Doctor of Philosophy in MCMS

The Ph.D. program in Marine and Coastal Management and Science (MCMS) at the Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University at Galveston seeks to train the next generation of researchers and practitioners to address pressing problems at the nexus of the human and physical environment.

The MCMS Ph.D. Program    

Investigating the nexus of coastal environments and society

Increasing coastal population growth and development continues to threaten ecological and environmental systems, while people face increasing risk from natural hazards in the 21st century.  Resilient development of coasts in the face of threats from storms, coastal flooding, sea-level rise, and human alteration of natural environments is an issue of paramount global importance.  These multifaceted problems demand specialists who are capable of bridging the silos between coastal science, policy development, and sustainable management.

Training Leaders

The MCMS Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program that is firmly grounded in both the social and physical sciences.  The program’s emphases encompass the impacts and opportunities from the built environment and development, rigorous training in research methods and analytical procedures, and interdisciplinary approaches to research and learning—with a focus on the coastal and marine near-shore environments, where problems at the interface of the natural and built-environment are most pronounced.  Through their interdisciplinary training, MCMS graduates will have a multitude of options for employment, ranging from academic and research institutions, government, industry, consulting, to non-governmental organizations.


Program Details
Program Details

The MCMS Ph.D. curriculum requires 60 hours for students entering with a Master’s degree, or 90 hours for those entering with an undergraduate degree.  Core coursework includes a series of methodological, quantitative and theoretical courses.  A flexible selection of courses on coastal management, geospatial analysis, living and nonliving resources, natural and technological hazards, and legal/ethical issues (chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty advisory committee) contextualize and ground the student’s research topic.  Following coursework, students complete original research and a dissertation at the direction of a faculty advisory committee.  Prospective students are encouraged to arrange a faculty chair prior to application, and must have agreement from a faculty chair before acceptance into the program.  Various scholarships are available for competitive students at the MCMS program.

Contact Program Coordinator
Contact Program Coordinator

Dr. Wes Highfield
Associate Professor
Phone: (409) 740-4726

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At Texas A&M University at Galveston we offer a comprehensive array of degrees which are geared to make the most of our ideal location on the edge of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With programs ranging from marine biology to maritime administration led by enterprising professors at the top of their fields, we’re full of the opportunities you’re seeking.

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