Why Study at VIMS?

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) offers diverse opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research, to learn about the application of marine and ocean science to address complex environmental and societal issues, and to participate in workshops and program that enhance professional development.  

Research programs at VIMS extend from inland watersheds to the open ocean, with primary emphasis on estuarine and coastal science and issues such as water quality, habitat conservation and restoration, fisheries management, aquaculture, effects of climate change, human health risks, and coastal flooding.  Extending past the the near-shore focus, many of our faculty also conduct research in the open oceans and at the poles.  Our emphasis on interdisciplinary research brings perspectives from a variety of disciplines to the search for new knowledge. 

Many VIMS research programs produce results that have direct application to resource management and policy development at state, regional, federal, and international levels.  There is, and has always been, a focus on "science for solutions" at VIMS.  The varied research foci and approaches provide School of Marine Science students with a wealth of opportunities and experiences that facilitate learning and discovery and prepare them with the skills and training they need to become leading professionals in the field.   

Students in our graduate program may also interact with faculty and staff of our Aquaculture and Genetics Breeding Technology Center (ABC), Center for Coastal Resource Management (CCRM), Marine Advisory Services Program (MAS), and Eastern Shore Laboratory (ESL), as well as our federal partners—the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERR) and Virginia Sea Grant (VASG).

Students who are interested in careers at the science/policy interface may choose to pursue the joint degree option with  William and Mary's Public Policy Program (WMPPP) or a sub concentration in Marine Policy in collaboration with WMPPP and the W&M Law School.   School of Marine Science students continue to be highly competitive for the National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program.  Those with interests in teaching and public outreach have many opportunities for professional development through coursework, workshops and education and outreach programs.