Doctoral Degrees in Marine Science & Conservation (MSC)


The Marine Science and Conservation (MSC) is one of several programs at the Nicholas School that offer a PhD. Before applying to any one of these, consider the characteristics of each to see which best fit for you by exploring the websites and contacting Lisa Campbell, the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or the assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGSA), Rachel Lo Piccolo

Before applying to the MSC program it is critical to identify one or a few professors you would like to work with. No PhD student will be accepted by the MSC division, no matter how good his or her credentials, unless a member of the faculty has the interest and ability to mentor (and in some cases fund) the student. You are encouraged to carefully consider the interests of the faculty and contact them directly to determine if you have similar interests and if the faculty member has the ability to take you on as a graduate student.

A list of Nicholas School faculty with links to their bios and research labs is available online.

The MSC PhD program has minimal formal coursework requirement, in additional to individual needs and preferences determined by student and advisor.

How to Apply:

​*Doctoral students in Marine Science and Conservation typically spend 1-2 semesters taking graduate classes at Duke’s main campus before moving to the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C. to complete their research, although residence in Durham is not required. Some sources of funding are contingent upon having an advisor from the Marine Lab's resident faculty.