About Us


The College of Marine Science is located on the USF St. Petersburg campus. 

Assuring Healthy Ocean, Human Interactions

We are a research intensive group. Our faculty is highly interdisciplinary and we address a wide variety of problems that are aimed at understanding the ocean’s impact on humans, and vice versa, and at providing solutions to make these impacts as positive as possible. Our graduate students are intimately involved in this research and our faculty members provide unique enrichment opportunities in support of the university’s undergraduate programs.

Local to Regional to Global

We are committed to research that is locally applied, regionally relevant and globally significant. We can inform local decision makers on a wide variety of important ocean-related issues, and we are also major players in research that spans the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the southeastern United States and extends to global problems. Some of our students come from the Tampa Bay area, but we recruit across the nation and across the world.

An Overview of Our Research Program

Our oceans are an important economic resource – consider fisheries and tourism, for example. Our oceans affect our weather, sometimes catastrophically in the case of storm surges. And our oceans exert a major control on the Earth’s climate. Humans, on the other hand, also affect the ocean. This can happen by overfishing, by pollution, or by ocean acidification due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. We study all of these things and more.

A Few Examples of the Research We Do

At the local level we have ongoing studies in Tampa Bay and the West Florida Shelf that range from fisheries studies to investigations of the physical properties of our oceanic backyard. At the regional level we are proud of the observations and analyses done by our faculty and students in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. At the global scale we are involved in sea level rise research, climate modeling and ocean acidification studies.

Our Education Program – MS and PhD Degrees

We offer MS and PhD degrees and are committed to providing one of the highest quality graduate programs in the country. At the same time we are always looking for opportunities to enhance the undergraduate mission of the university. We have a strong Education and Outreach program that reaches many secondary school age children in our region. We are also looking to expand certificate opportunities for working professionals in our area and beyond.

Graduate Education

We recruit graduate students from our region, across our nation and around the world. We are committed to maintaining a diverse and highly qualified graduate student population and enabling their success. Our program is a mentored one in which students work closely with their faculty advisors as apprentices. This is demanding of our faculty members’ time, but upon graduation our students are fully prepared for a successful entry into our field.

Undergraduate Education

The College of Marine Science does not offer undergraduate degrees.  However, our research intensive program enables high quality, strategic teaching and research enhancements to the university’s undergraduate mission. We offer a variety of undergraduate courses and welcome eligible upper level undergraduates to some of our college’s graduate courses. We have been awarded a National Science Foundation Award to run a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates over the next several years starting in the Summer of 2024.  Occasionally, undergraduate students may find opportunities to assist in research activities in the lab, field, or at sea at various times over the year.  For students interested in applying to an undergraduate degree program at USF that is broadly related to Marine Science, please consider the following programs at the following links:

Faculty Engagement – Local to Global

Our faculty members are much more than researchers and teachers. We provide expert guidance at all levels, local to global, in our areas of expertise. We advise decision makers on ocean-related issues from fisheries management to sea level rise flooding risks to ocean acidification impacts on coral reefs. We are involved in setting the research agenda at every level. We are very proud of the good citizenship demonstrated by our faculty members.

A History of Our College

If you’re interested in a nice history of our college, please visit the birth of a college article.