The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was established in 1943 as the Marine Laboratory of the University of Miami. It has grown from its modest beginnings in a boathouse to be one of the nation’s leading institutions for oceanographic and atmospheric research and education.

Originally a tropical marine biological facility, the Marine Laboratory initiated a program of studies leading to the Master of Science degree in 1949. In 1953, laboratory and classroom buildings were constructed on the School’s present campus on Virginia Key, and in the late fifties, the Marine Laboratory expanded its staff and developed its oceanographic capabilities in response to the increased interest in scientific research in the United States. It became the Institute of Marine Science in 1961. Ocean-going research vessels were acquired and additional buildings were constructed to accommodate new wide-ranging projects. In 1969, the Institute, now a School, was named for Dorothy H. and Lewis Rosenstiel in recognition of a major contribution, made through the Rosenstiel Foundation, to encourage progress in the marine and atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami. In 1977, the Rosenstiel School and College of Arts and Sciences joined together to establish an undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science program based on the Coral Gables campus. The degree granting authority for this program was formally transferred to the Rosenstiel School in 2008.

Today the Rosenstiel School has a faculty of 100 scientists who conduct sponsored research while offering studies leading to the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Government agencies and private organizations support basic and applied research at the Rosenstiel School. Graduate and undergraduate students are an integral part of the research effort, and research programs, many multidisciplinary in nature, provide the environment within which professors and students interact.

The Rosenstiel School has modern laboratory facilities and a state-of-the-art catamaran, unrivaled worldwide for both shallow and deep water research. The vessel, named the F. G. WALTON SMITH, in honor of the founder of the Rosenstiel School, signals a new era in scientific research.


The Rosenstiel School strives to be in the forefront of basic and applied research as it applies to the ocean, atmosphere and global environment, with particular emphasis on subjects of societal significance. Our goal is to provide excellence in graduate and undergraduate education and research training, and to be a strong force towards improved environmental understanding and management.



Applications for incoming freshmen are processed and reviewed by the Office of Admission. Enrollment in the Undergraduate Marine Science and Atmospheric Science Programs is selective and highly competitive. Admission decisions are based on the secondary school record, SAT/ACT score, counselor’s evaluation and the applicant’s essay.

Student Responsibilities

Students of the Rosenstiel School are responsible for planning their own programs and for meeting degree requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to understand and fully comply with all the provisions set forth in this Bulletin and written changes to their program of study.

Academic Progress

The Rosenstiel School will review each student’s record at the end of each semester. All students in the Undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science Program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better in order to remain in the program. Only those courses passed with a grade of C- or better may be applied to the major or minor.


The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science offers degree programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels for students interested in marine and atmospheric science as a career.


The Atmospheric Science program offers a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science degree in Meteorology, with a curriculum conforming to the recommendations of the American Meteorological Society. The BS in Meteorology is a single major program, though students often combine meteorology with a second major in mathematics or physics, among others. A double major combining meteorology and broadcast journalism through the School of Communications is a popular option.
The Rosenstiel School Marine Science program offers two undergraduate degree options, a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs. The Bachelor of Science degree program is meant for students planning to continue with graduate studies in marine science, or for those who will pursue a technical career in this area in government or private industry.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed for students planning either non-technical careers with government agencies or private industries directly or indirectly concerned with the ocean, or graduate studies in such areas as business, law, economics, political science, education, or communication.

In cooperation with the graduate program in Marine Affairs and Policy, a five-year BA/MPS program in Marine Affairs is available. This program enables qualified students to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs in four years with the opportunity to earn a Master of Professional Science in Marine Affairs with only one additional year.


Graduate courses in the marine and atmospheric sciences are offered through the Graduate School and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and are listed under the following divisional headings of the Rosenstiel School graduate programs entry in the Bulletin:

• Applied Marine Physics
• Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry
• Marine Biology and Fisheries
• Marine Geology and Geophysics
• Meteorology and Physical Oceanography
• Marine Affairs and Policy

Courses at the 500-level may be taken for undergraduate credit with junior standing and departmental consent.


Honors in the Marine and Atmospheric Science Program may be earned by students who have a 3.5 GPA and have completed 6 credits of independent research and a senior thesis.


In addition to satisfying the course requirements for graduation with majors in Marine Science, Meteorology and Marine Affairs (specified above under “Undergraduate Majors”), students are expected to satisfy the School’s General Education Requirements. General Education Requirements stress breadth of knowledge and the cultivation of intellectual abilities essential for the acquisition of knowledge. Courses taken for the major, the minor, and the writing requirement may also be used to satisfy the General Education Requirements.

AREAS OF PROFICIENCYA)  English Composition:  3-6 credits

Students (except those first enrolling in English 103) must take English 105 and 106, or their approved equivalents, in the first year of residence.

Students with an appropriate score on the Advanced Placement [AP] language and literature examination, or with an appropriate score on the International Baccalaureate [IB] higher level English examination, may earn 6 credits in English 105 and English 106. Those with an appropriate score on the SAT verbal or ACT verbal exams may be exempted from English 105. Those with transfer credit for English 105 will take English 106 or its equivalent in the first year of residence.

B)  Writing Across the Curriculum

Every student must complete five (5) writing-oriented (W) courses beyond ENG 105 and 106. Students are required to write at least 4000 words in each W course. Writing assignments will be graded on both content and style. All literature and foreign language literature courses receive writing credit. Transfer students must satisfy at least three (3) courses of the writing requirement at the University of Miami.

C)  Mathematics

Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs:  3-6 credits
Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science: 11-12 credits

B.S. degree candidates must earn 11-12 credits, consisting of two semesters of Calculus: MTH 161-162, or equivalent and either a) one semester of a computer course approved by the department; or b) a statistics course approved by the department.

B.A. degree candidates who do not place out of MTH 101 must take MTH 101 or MTH 107 during their first year. In addition, all B.A. degree candidates must take one of the following MTH courses: MTH 108, MTH 113, MTH 130, or MTH 161.


A)  People and Society (Social Sciences):  6 credits

Students must earn six credits in the Social Sciences. Courses in the following areas may be used to fulfill this requirement: Africana Studies (AAS); American Studies (AMS); Anthropology (except APY 203); Economics (ECO); Ecosystem Science and Policy (ECS 113 or 302 only); Education and Psychological Studies (EPS); Geography and Regional Studies (except GEG 120); International Studies (INS); Judaic Studies (JUS); History (HIS); Political Sciences (POL); Psychology (PSY); Sociology (SOC); Teaching and Learning (TAL); Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), and the following courses: Broadcasting and Broadcast Journalism (CEM 102); Mass Media Communication in Society (COM 101); Communication Theory (COM 110); Interpersonal Communication (COS 112); Nonverbal Communication (COS 118); Political Communication (COS 336); Persuasion (COS 472).

One approved First Year Seminar course may be taken for the Social Sciences requirement.

B)  Arts and Humanities:  12 credits

Students must earn twelve credits from among the four areas listed below. No more the six credits may be earned in any one area.

Fine Arts: courses in the departments of Art and Art History, Dance (DAN 250 only), Musicology, Music Theory (MTC 125 only), and Theatre Arts (THA 101 only) count toward this requirement.

Literature: literature courses in the departments of English (200-level and higher), Modern Languages and Literatures (300-level and higher) and Classics (CLA 220, CLA 310, CLA 311 and CLA 370) count toward this requirement.

Modern or Classical Languages: modern language courses numbered 101-212, or courses in Greek or Latin, count towards this requirement so long as the language differs from the student’s native language, and if, when beginning with a 101-level course, they also take the 102-level course in the same language.

Philosophy and Religious Studies: courses in the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies count toward this requirement.

One approved First Year Seminar course may be taken for the Arts and Humanities requirement.

C)  Natural World (Natural Science)

Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs:  9 credits
Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science: 4-8 credits

B.A. degree candidates must earn nine credits in two of the following disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Ecosystem Science and Policy (except ECS 113 and 302), Geological Sciences, Marine Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Physics. APY 203 and/or GEG 120 may also be taken for this requirement.

B.S. degree candidates minoring in one of the subjects approved as a B.S. major must earn 4 credits, and those minoring in other subjects must earn 8 credits, in one of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences or Physics. These credits must be taken in a department other than the major or the minor, and must be earned in courses that count toward a major in that department.