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What is Coastal and Marine System Science?

System Science is one of the newest technical disciplines. Like traditional science, we propose and test hypotheses, but System Science takes a giant step beyond by generating model-based predictions. Where traditional science is content to describe and analyze a given phenomenon, System Science seeks to understand the relationships between all of the variables affecting a given phenomenon. As such, it is called a multivariate science and involves critical inputs from both the biotic and abiotic world. It is also a computational science which relies heavily on the manipulation of large datasets to extract new knowledge.

Highly interdisciplinary, the Coastal and Marine System Science (CMSS) graduate program is designed to serve graduate students with diverse backgrounds in the natural and computational sciences. Ideal candidates will have backgrounds in some combination of biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, oceanography, engineering, and geographic information science. If you want a degree that will allow you to make a difference, consider being part of this unique program in Coastal and Marine Systems Science.

Coastal and Marine System Science focuses on integrative concepts that have emerged in recent years, linking biogeochemistry, geographic information science, ecosystem dynamics, and quantitative modeling. The CMSS program also promotes interdisciplinary studies of the coastal zone that integrates natural science with socio-economic sciences. Graduates of the CMSS program will demonstrate proficiency in understanding and applying the concepts and principles of all of the natural sciences as well as a working competence in mathematical modeling and geospatial analysis.

An Interdisciplinary Setting for Interdisciplinary Study

As a relatively young institution, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi prides itself on our academic structure. Instead of dividing each discipline into separate departments, we group people with common interests together. As a result, the Coastal and Marine System Science education is offered by a faculty representing over a dozen scientific and mathematical specialties blended into one coherent philosophy for studying and understanding the most dynamic environments on Earth.

As part of their progression through the Coastal and Marine System Science program the students will:

  • acquire the skills required for system science studies applied to coastal and marine topics such that they are prepared to conduct CMSS original research
  • perform original and hypothesis-driven quantitative analyses that will lead to comprehensive verifiable models of natural systems
  • develop statistical, mathematical, and analytical skills to analyze observations, critically evaluate models describing the dynamics of natural systems, and answer environmental "what if" questions by providing comprehensive interpretation
  • develop the skills necessary to present and publish their work at national and international venues
  • develop the skills necessary to teach effectively a college level class in the area of Sciences and Engineering
  • develop a skill set and research record such that they can secure employment in Universities, Federal Agencies, Private Companies or Non Governmental Organizations where they can apply the skills and knowledge acquired during the program

The CMSS program offers both the Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Click here for a summary of the application steps or the College of Graduate Studies for more information about how to apply for Graduate programs, program deadlines, funding opportuntities, or to submit an information request.