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Applied Ocean Science

[ professors and associated research groups ]

Old Scripps Building, Room 22

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Graduate Program

Applied Ocean Science (AOS) is an interdepartmental PhD program with a focus on the interface between ocean exploration and technology. It is administered by an interdepartmental group composed of members of the faculties of cooperating departments: the Department of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This interdepartmental curriculum combines the resources of these departments to produce oceanographers who are knowledgeable about modern engineering and instrumentation, as well as marine oriented engineering scientists who are familiar with the oceans. Since physical, chemical, geological, and biological aspects of the oceans and all forms of engineering may be involved, the curriculum provides maximum flexibility in meeting the needs of each individual student.

Candidates for admission should apply directly to one of the departments participating in the Applied Ocean Science program, listing Applied Ocean Science as an area of specialization. The choice of department should be based on the individual student’s planned area of major emphasis. Applicants will be expected to meet the admission requirements of the department to which they have applied.

The program is primarily directed toward the PhD. However, both the candidate of philosophy and master of science degree (either Plan I, thesis, or Plan II, comprehensive examination) also will be offered under special circumstances. Students applying for a terminal master’s program should be aware of any special requirements for the department to which they apply.

The degrees completed under this program in the Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography will carry the title “Oceanography.” Those degrees completed in the other cooperating departments will have the parenthetical title “(Applied Ocean Science)” appended to the appropriate authorized title.


All students enrolled in the program are required to take or demonstrate proficiency in the following core courses or their equivalent:
  • SIO 202A-B. Fundamentals of Wave Physics
  • SIO 203A-B. Introduction to Applied Mathematics or
  • MAE 294A-B. Introduction to Applied Mathematics or
  • MATH 210 A-B. Mathematical Methods in Physics and Engineering
  • SIO 210. Physical Oceanography
  • SIO 214A. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
  • SIO 240. Marine Geology
  • SIO 260. Marine Chemistry
  • SIO 280. Biological Oceanography

The students are expected to enroll in the Applied Ocean Science Seminar (SIO 208) throughout their period of residency. This seminar will make use of outside speakers, faculty members, and students in presenting various topics on applied ocean science and related fields. It provides a central forum in which all AOS students can participate. In addition to these basic requirements, the student will be subject to whatever additional requirements are prescribed by his or her department.

Course work occupies much of the first one and one-half to two years of graduate study. During this period there are numerous opportunities for students to investigate the research programs of the various research groups on the campus, and cultivate associations with professors and research groups which can provide support and guidance for thesis research in their selected field of specialization. In consultation with an adviser, students will plan a curricular path of courses that will adequately prepare them in their field of specialization. The courses may be selected from the entire catalog of courses available on the UC San Diego campus or where appropriate from other UC campuses and other universities.