Graduate Program FAQ

What degrees does MLML offer?

MLML offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in marine science.  

How is MLML affiliated with the California State University (CSU) system?

MLML serves as the marine science graduate program for seven CSU campuses: CSU East Bay, CSU Monterey Bay, CSU Stanislaus, Fresno State, Sacramento State, San Francisco State, and San Jose State. Every student in the MLML graduate program is officially enrolled through one of these campuses. Students register for classes and pay fees through this “home campus”, and this campus officially awards the degree. All classes are held at MLML’s main facility in Moss Landing.

How do I apply?

Prospective students must apply both at MLML and through at least one affiliated CSU campus via CSUMentor. After completing the MLML application, the student will receive instructions for completing his or her application.

Should I get in touch with a potential advisor before applying?

Yes. All prospective students should contact the member(s) of the MLML faculty whose research is most closely aligned with the student’s own interests to discuss the program and application process.

Where should I send my application materials?

Supporting application materials must be sent to both MLML and each CSU campus through which the student applies. Those documents required by MLML, including at least 3 letters of recommendation sent directly from the student's references, can be emailed to the MLML Graduate Coordinator. Every CSU campus requires official copies of transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, and some require that additional documents be sent. Applicants may contact the MLML Graduate Coordinator for more information.

How should I decide through which CSU campus to apply?

In general, the academic experience for all MLML students is the same regardless of home campus. However, fees, funding opportunities, registration deadlines, and graduation requirements can vary slightly by campus. Some CSU campuses require that the student have a faculty member from the home campus on his or her thesis committee.

Does MLML admit students for the spring semester?

No, students may only begin the graduate program during the fall semester.

Will I need to travel to my home campus?

MLML students rarely if ever need to travel to the home campus, so geography need not be taken into account when a prospective student is deciding through which CSU campus to apply.

How much will it cost to finance my education at MLML, and what funding is available?   

Tuition and fees differ by CSU campus. MLML offers a variety of scholarships, grants and graduate assistantships, and students are made aware on a regular basis of outside funding opportunities. Additionally, each CSU offers campus specific scholarships, fellowships and grants. All prospective students should fill out a FAFSA.

What services will I have access to should I enter the graduate program?

Regardless of home campus all MLML students have access to the health center, gym, and library at CSU Monterey Bay, in addition to the MLML library and other  MLML services. MLML offers limited housing through our Sandholdt facility, and all MLML students also have access to the Frederick Park Apartments at CSUMB.

Can I enroll as a part-time student?

The MLML M.S. program is designed to be completed in 3 years, and students should plan to be enrolled full-time for the duration of their tenure, though some students enroll half-time while completing the thesis. 

Can I transfer courses taken at another institution?  

Once in the program students may transfer up to 6 units of coursework completed at another institution. Courses taken to fulfill the requirements of another degree are not eligible for transfer credit, but can be used to waive a required course.

Does MLML have a minimum GPA or GRE score required for admission?

MLML has no GPA or GRE minimums. However, each CSU campus has a minimum GPA. MLML does not require prospective students to take the GRE, but a good score on either the GRE general test or a relevant GRE subject test can greatly improve an applicant's chances for admission. As such, MLML strongly recommends that prospective students take the GRE before applying. Certain CSU campuses require the GRE.

How will my application be evaluated?

MLML evaluates applications holistically, taking into account past academic performance, relevant professional experience, and the applicant’s likelihood of success within our interdisciplinary program. MLML prefers that students have a strong background in math and science in general and the marine sciences specifically, but such experience is not required. Prospective students with limited or no completed coursework in related disciplines may, if accepted, be asked to take additionally classes before enrolling at MLML.

What is the application deadline, and when can I expect to receive an admission decision from MLML?

Prospective students must apply to both MLML and at least one CSU campus by Feb. 1, and all supporting documents are due by Feb. 15. Applicants can expect to hear from MLML with an admission decision by April 1.