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Academic Programs

Physical Oceanography

Physical Oceanography is one of the three main divisions within the FSU Department of Oceanography, and is focused on the interaction between oceans and atmosphere and how that interaction influences and shapes our world.

Professors guide students in their study of wave motions, tides, currents, salinity and temperature of the oceans and how those properties influence weather and climate. Other avenues of study involve the transmission of light and sound through water and the ocean’s interactions with its boundaries at the seafloor and the coast.

Physical oceanography requires a basic understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics (the study of fluid motion on a rotating sphere), classical physics, and applied mathematics.

Research Highlights

(click on the professor’s name to take you to their individual research page.)

 

Dr. Chassignet

  • the role of the ocean in climate variability from the complementary perspectives of coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling and observations
  • emphasis on the study of thermohaline circulation, western boundary currents, associated eddies and their impact on the world ocean circulation

Dr. Clarke

  • where does red tide in the Northern Gulf of Mexico originate
  • understanding and predicting El Nino and the Southern Oscillation
  • decadal and longer climate change
  • coastal fisheries and coastal ocean climate variability

Dr. Dewar

  • understanding the dynamics of the ocean at scales from 100 km to 10,000 km, or equivalently from the deformation scale to the basin scale
  • dynamics of eddies
  • Gulf Stream rings and coherent structures
  • western boundary currents
  • forced and free mesoscale systems; mesoscale phenomena: nonlinear sciences
  • mixed-layer dynamics

Dr. Speer

  • ocean circulation 

 

Masters & Ph.D. Oceanography Graduate Program General Guidelines

Graduate Application Info -Oceanography

How to Apply

The application process at FSU is completely online. See the checklist below for required application materials and a link to the online application.

The department admits new students year round, though most of the faculty tend to admit students in spring to begin the following fall.


Department application deadlines for Oceanography are:

  • For Fall admission - February 15th
  • For Spring admission - September 15th

 

University deadlines may differ. Please refer to the FSU Graduate Admissions office for university deadlines. You are advised to submit your application and supporting materials at least three months in advance of the semester you wish to enter. You may apply later than these department guidelines, but there are less likely to be openings available.

For further information about the university admissions process, visit the FSU Office of Admissions. For general information on funding opportunities, news, and events, degree programs, fee waivers, as well as University contact information, visit the Graduate School website. If you have questions about the Oceanography or Aquatic Environmental Science programs, contact the Academic Coordinator.

If you’re interested in specific courses, use the Course Lookup Form to search the Catalog of future, current, and past courses.

Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
Graduate Programs
Application Procedures -Oceanography

  • Complete and submit the Florida State University Graduate Admissions Application (available at http://admissions.fsu.edu/graduate/).
  • An application fee ($30.00 nonrefundable U.S. currency) is required. Information about paying the application fee online is e-mailed to you as soon as your application is submitted.
  • Have each college or university you have attended send one official transcript. These documents are required from every university or college you have attended. Have them sent to -Florida State University, Office of Admissions, 282 Champions Way, P.O. Box 3062400, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400 (Please note that only transcripts and no other documents are to be sent to this address).
  • Have an official copy of your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent to the Office of Admissions (Institution Code 5219, Oceanography Code 0508). If you are an international student, your scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination are also required.

Graduate Record Examination                                                                     TOEFL Programs & Services
Educational Testing Service                                                                          PO Box 6151
Box 6000                                                                                                       Princeton, NJ 08541
Princeton, NJ 08541                                                                                     USA
Telephone: 609-771-7500                                                                             Telephone: 609-771-7500
E-mail: E-mail: toefl@ets.org
Additional Documents Required
Choose the specific program you are interested in to confirm the documents they require that you provide. At a minimum they will need the following uploaded into your FSU Online Application:
 

  1. Statement of Interest: State your reasons for choosing this area of study and your academic goals. You may wish to include information about your academic background and experience. To find out about faculty research interests see http://www.eoas.fsu.edu/people/faculty UPLOAD YOUR STATEMENT OF INTEREST INTO THE ON-LINE APPLICATION.
  2. Transcripts: Provide a scanned version of your transcripts or an unofficial copy of your transcripts. UPLOAD YOUR UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS INTO THE ON-LINE APPLICATION.
  3. Resumé/CV: You may submit a resume if you like. UPLOAD YOUR RESUME INTO THE ON-LINE APPLICATION.
  4. Letters of Recommendations: Arrange for three letters of recommendation from professors, mentors, and/or employers familiar with your academic and/or research experience. In the on-line application system complete your recommendation providers information as directed. The application system will e-mail your recommendation providers and request that they submit a recommendation online. There is no set format for these letters.

 
It is in your best interest to complete your application as early in the admission season as possible.
Incomplete applications are not considered

Use the following checklist to ensure you have correctly completed the application process: View/Print an Adobe version of this checklist

 



_____


 
US or International On-Line Application
(opens in a separate window)
  • Read the instructions for this form carefully
  • Fill out the form completely
  • The online application system will as you for information that his needed both by our department and by the university, including your Statement of Interest
_____ Statement of Interest
  • State your reasons for choosing our department/area and your academic goals
  • You may wish to include information about your academic background and experience
  • This is part of the online application
_____ $30 Application Fee
  • A check or money order should be made payable to The Florida State University
  • This fee is not optional
  • The Office of Graduate Admissions will not process your application without it
  • The Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science department has no mechanism by which we can request a waiver or pay the fee for you
_____ Official Test Results
  • As soon as possible, request that your GRE (and TOEFL if international) scores be sent to the university
  • FSU’s code is 5219
  • The Oceanography area’s code is 0508
  • The Geology area’s code is 0504
  • The Meteorology area’s code is 0507
  • International applicants must send TOEFL scores
  • These two requirements cannot be waived, postponed, or dismissed
  • The Office of Admissions will not process your application without them

_____
 
Two Official Transcripts
  • These documents are requried from every university, college or school you have attended
  • The Office of Graduate Admissions will not accept copies


_____
 

Three Letters of Recommendation
  • There is no specific form for these letters
  • University letterhead is acceptable
  • They may be mailed through the FSU application system or may be mailed directly to the EOAS Department/Oceanography area

 

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It is in your best interest to complete your application as early in the admission season as possible.
Incomplete folders are not considered.

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In addition, after reviewing the list of faculty inlcuded in our departmental brochure, you may directly contact the faculty member(s) whose research interests most closely parallel your own. The department does not admit students without a faculty sponsor.

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