Virginia Institute of Marine Science


The School of Marine Science is committed to building a talented, diverse and inclusive community of marine science leaders who have the education and research skills necessary to meet present and future societal needs.  All well-prepared individuals, including those traditionally under-represented in the marine sciences, are encouraged to apply. The School of Marine Science does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability or age in its programs or activities. Admission criteria are based on past and potential academic and research performance and potential for leadership in the field of marine science.

Admission to the School of Marine Science is highly competitive, with about 20% of applicants offered admission.  Our faculty carefully evaluate criteria of performance, including overall GPA and GPA in area of concentration, GRE scores, an applicant’s statement of purpose, CV, letters of recommendation, and prior experience.  Most successful applicants have completed an undergraduate degree in a basic science or an advanced degree (MS) in marine science or a closely allied field. Our departments offer additional guidelines on preparation for advanced work in the sub-disciplines of marine science and list any specific prerequisites you will need.  

Please note: It is important to contact potential faculty advisors early in the application process.  You may learn more about our faculty members and research programs by navigating this website or via links in the School of Marine Science Graduate Catalog.  Please be aware that we do not make an offer of admission to an applicant until we have identified a faculty advisor.   Faculty typically do not have the resources to accept a new student every year.  This means that even excellent candidates for a graduate program in marine science may not receive offers of admission simply because we do not have capacity in our program.  

The Clery Act

The School of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Crime statistics and the annual Campus Safety Report are available from the William and Mary Office of Institutional Analysis and Effectiveness.