About the School

The School of Marine Science (SMS) prepares graduate students to address societal and global challenges in estuarine, coastal and marine systems.  The SMS fosters academic excellence and provides a core graduate education program encompassing knowledge, scholarship, communication and professional development. Our program of study prepares students to compete successfully in a wide range of career opportunities.  

As one of five graduate and professional programs at William & Mary (W&M), the SMS is also an integral part of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), located in Gloucester Point, VA, 16 miles from the main campus in Williamsburg.  Founded in 1940, VIMS is one of the largest marine science centers in the U.S., with a focus on coastal and estuarine science.   The SMS is a vibrant scholarly community that is characterized by a high level of collegiality and a commitment to student professional growth.

As of May 2015 SMS had granted over 1000 graduate degrees, making us one of the largest marine science graduate programs in the United States.  SMS graduates have sought and achieved diverse career paths in colleges and universities, government agencies, consulting firms, marine education and outreach organizations, NGOs and industry around the world. We have alumni in faculty positions at major universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.  A significant percentage of our graduates seek and attain research, management and policy positions in federal agencies such as NOAA, NMFS, EPA and USGS.  More than 90% of SMS graduates have a job in the field of marine science at the time of graduation.