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Where to Go to School to Become an Oceanographer

by Carissa Lawrence

The field of oceanography provides a wide range of topics for people fascinated by the ocean to explore. Whether performing field experiments on seawater or examining physical processes within the ocean, research will play a major role in your career as an oceanographer. If you're interested in pursuing a career in oceanography, consider attending a school that is renowned as one of the top research institutions in the field.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has joined with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to offer students programs in a number of related fields. Students at MIT can choose to focus on biological, chemical or physical oceanography. These joint programs allow students access to sophisticated instruments and the latest technology as they engage in research at both the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT. Along with receiving direction and education from dedicated faculty members, oceanography students at MIT are given seminars and lectures by visiting scientists from all over the world.

Rutgers University

The Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University has a graduate program designed for students interested in earning a Master of Science or doctorate in oceanography. Oceanography students at Rutgers conduct research using the institute's state-of-the-art equipment and resources including seawater and remote sensing laboratories, electron microscopes and a satellite receiving station. The institute also features the Center for Coastal and Environmental Studies and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology Extension Center, two labs where students participate in various research groups.

Princeton University

Students interested in oceanography can earn a doctorate through the program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at Princeton University. This program is organized by Princeton and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is located on one of Princeton's campuses. Here students can participate in research studies with the Oceans and Climate scientist group using advanced technology and methods. Students in the AOS program at Princeton can choose from a wide range of courses that are designed to help them understand fundamentals and gain exposure to advanced research topics in the field.

University of Washington

The School of Oceanography at the University of Washington offers many undergrad and graduate programs to students pursuing a career in the field. The undergrad programs provide students with knowledge of a broad range of subjects related to the field, while grad students focus on specialized areas such as biological, physical or chemical oceanography. Oceanography students at the University of Washington choose from numerous areas of research and collaborate with faculty in the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, which is located close to the school. Students in the School of Oceanography also benefit from a large faculty whose research areas cover a wide range of subjects.

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