Gain Marketable Skills in 12 Months

A combination of hands-on experience, research, and targeted coursework empowers our students to tackle real world challenges and provides them with an edge over other candidates in the job market.

The Master of Operational Oceanography track is a compact 12-month Master of Science degree program providing thorough but efficient applied training for students from around the world. For Rutgers students, it also provides a concise path for marine science undergraduates to earn a master’s with a single year of additional training (a “4+1” model).

With small class numbers and an individualized mentorship model, we support our students in building :

  • marine science expertise
  • collaborative skills
  • observing system technology experience
  • data literacy
  • ocean modeling literacy
  • communication skills
  • job preparation

Our Program

The Master of Operational Oceanography track is grounded in a three prong approach: building foundational knowledge and practical skills through core courses, providing opportunities to gain real experience working with marine technology, and fostering connections with professionals and peers.

Summer Session III:

16:712:507 Field Laboratory Methods 1:
This field course provides hands-on training in the field. The focus will be on providing a range of practical skills for the remote sensing and fixed point ocean data systems.

Fall Semester:

16:712:505 Integrated Ocean Observing 1:
The course exposes students to a wide range of operational data streams anchoring ocean forecasting with hands on training using Eulerian tools and time series approaches.

16:712:509 Integrated Ocean Observing – Software Bootcamp:
The aim of the course is to introduce some widely used software tools and teach basic coding practices. The goal is to help students jump start research by acquiring the skills to work efficiently with their data. Topics to be covered include: Jupyter notebooks/lab, the Unix shell: interacting with your computer programmatically and reproducibly, Python programming (including common geoscience libraries: numpy, matplotlib, pandas, xarray, cartopy …), version control (git), accessing public earth science datasets. The course will assume no prior coding experience and is aimed at beginners. The course will aim to build a solid programming foundation to accelerate your data analysis. The course will culminate in a project of each student’s choosing. Ideally this will be a task that directly builds on/complements your research.

16:712:510 Operational Ocean Modeling/Visualization 1:
Course provides an overview of the major modeling and numerical tools with a focus on using operational modeling systems, running the models, and using model outputs as a synthesis tool.

Spring Semester:

16:712:506 Integrated Ocean Observing 2:
The course exposes students to a wide range of operational data streams anchoring ocean forecasting with hands on training using Lagrangian tools and time series approaches.

16:712:508 Field Laboratory Methods 2:
This field course provides hands-on training in the field. The focus will be on providing a range of practical skills for using mobile autonomous systems.

16:712:511 Operational Ocean Modeling/Visualization 2:
Course uses the major modeling and numerical tools that will be used to inter-compare regional and global models outputs as well as comparing the model/data comparisons.

Our students benefit from joining one of the worlds most advanced and longest operating ocean observatories. As part of our team, students work directly with our faculty, technicians, and partners across NJ and worldwide to deploy and repair gliders, help install and maintain our high frequency radar network, and operate marine equipment to support ongoing RUCOOL research.

Students participate in group and individual meetings throughout the program so that we can best support them both during the program and as they embark on their career path. Group meetings allow students to learn from and collaborate with the entire RUCOOL group. Meanwhile, 1-on-1 meetings help our faculty to identify and work with each student to meet their research and career goals.

Application Information

Applications received by January 1 receive full consideration. Applications received after that may be considered on a rolling basis, but are not guaranteed. The program begins in Summer Session III each year.

For information about applying to Rutgers graduate school see this page: This program is a track within the Oceanography (MS) degree in the School of Graduate Studies – please use that application form. However, note that the GRE is NOT REQUIRED for this track.

Application requirements include: a Personal Statement, official undergraduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

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A baccalaureate degree in marine science or related field, and one year of calculus and physics.

Cost and Funding

Master of Operational Oceanography students are self-funded, however funding assistance may be available depending on research focus. Full cost of the program attendance is based on university tuition and fees rates for the School of Graduate Studies, found here.

For more information about the Master of Operational Oceanography, please contact program faculty advisor Alexander López.