Join Us and Make Scientific Research Count at Stony Brook University!

Welcome to the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. We are working on the most important problems on the planet, and want you to be part of the solution!

SoMAS provides future scientists and policy makers with the education, training, and skills to take you wherever you want to go. Our graduate students and faculty explore topics such climate change, extreme weather, marine and atmospheric pollution, fisheries management, clean water technology, harmful algal blooms, feeding patterns of marine mammals and birds, tropical meteorology, and much, much more.

Graduate students at SoMAS have access to top flight faculty researchers and facilities both at SoMAS, in other Stony Brook graduate programs in the basic fields of science, math, and medicine, and at nearby national laboratories. Our location is in close proximity to a wide range of coastal and open ocean habitats.

We are one of the premiere coastal marine science and atmospheric schools in the country, with classrooms, labs, and facilities on the shores of the Long Island Sound, Great South Bay and the Atlantic, and the main campus at Stony Brook. The National Research Council ranks SoMAS in the top 10 marine and atmospheric science programs in the United States.

No previous marine science experience is required! We encourage applicants with strong backgrounds in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and applied math to apply to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs, and those with strong backgrounds in political science, economics, and public policy to apply to our M.A. program.

Below are projects in which SoMAS faculty are seeking new students to participate – this could be you!


Using advanced numerical models to explore how extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, change with climate change.


Understanding the sources of extreme weather and climate predictability.


Aircraft-based measurements of greenhouse gases, ozone, and particulate matter, from New York City to the Beaufort Sea.


The spatial analysis and the foraging ecology of marine mammals and seabirds using quantitative skills.


Using naturally occurring radionuclides as indicators of biogeochemical processes in the Pacific Ocean.


Exploring the reactivity of ancient organic molecules found in the sea using radiocarbon dating


Assessing the effect of pCO2 draw down by seagrasses on benthic community development and resilience to ocean acidification.


Hydrothermal vents in the context of exobiology and the origin of life


Investigating variations in carbon cycling in marine plankton on a cell by cell basis using state-of-the-art confocal Raman microspectroscopy and atomic force microscopy.


Relating thermal adaptations of fiddler crabs in the context of physiological and mating performance in the face of climate change.


Development of coastal processes projects (beach morphology, rip currents) and coastal groundwater hydraulics (submarine groundwater discharge, coastal flooding, salt water intrusion).


Spatiotemporal analysis of primary productivity over two decades in Long Island Sound


Examining trophic interactions in the Northwest Atlantic using stable isotopes, molecular tools, and food web modeling.


Integrating genomic tools and ecological physiology to probe shellfish response to pathogenic and environmental stress.


Using field data (e.g., NASA IMPACTS program 2019-2021) and high resolution models to better understand the processes and predictability of winter storms.


Unraveling the mechanisms of particle selection in suspension-feeding mollusks.


Studies examining the vulnerability of populations, trophic interactions, and communities to stressors such as eutrophication, habitat alteration, overfishing, and climate change.


Setting up a geochemical tracer experiment in Jamaica, West Indies.


Explore benthic invertebrate performance (heartbeat rates, valve gaping, bioturbation) in response to enviornmental change (temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH) to identify stress thresholds in dynamic coastal environments.


Bivalve-microbe interactions: from molecules to populations.


We study the impact of atmospheric aerosol on air quality and climate using custom-built instrumentation.


Improve our understanding of pelagic ecosystems through the use of active and passive acoustic techniques.

If you have a bachelors degree, you can apply directly either to the M.S. or the Ph.D. program, or complete a M.S. here and then continue on in the Ph.D. program. The M.S. is not required for entry to the Ph.D. program.

If you have a background in math and science, particularly with a strong quantitative background, you are encouraged to apply to our programs. We help our students apply the tools of math and science to solve complex environmental issues.

Qualifications for Admission

  • Minimum 3.00 G.P.A. in undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate coursework.
  • Two semesters of college level calculus, physics, and chemistry, plus advanced coursework in a scientific discipline.
  • The general Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Specialty tests are not required.
  • International students who do not have English as their native language must demonstrate proficiency in English by taking the TOEFL or IELTS test. Minimum acceptable scores are 600 for the paper-based TOEFL, 213 for the computer-based TOEFL, 90* for the internet-based (IB) TOEFL, and 6.5 for the IELTS. *MS and MA students can be admitted with an IB TOEFL of 85 but are then not eligible for TA support.

Admission Application Deadlines

Your application should be received by January 15th for the Fall semester or October 1st for the Spring Semester. Applications received after the deadline date will still be reviewed but full consideration for financial assistance requires timely submission. You will be notified via e-mail when all required documents have been received. Financial support is generally only available for students beginning study in the fall semester.

To Apply

  1. Fill out the online application to the Stony Brook University Graduate School.
  2. Identify 3 people to provide letters of reference, and make sure they submit them when prompted by Apply Yourself.
  3. Have ETS send Stony Brook University your official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Stony Brook’s code for score reporting is 2548).  International students must submit your TOEFL/IELTS scores to Stony Brook (code 2548).
  4. Arrange to have one official transcript from each university attended sent electronically or mailed to:

    Educational Programs Office
    Endeavour Hall, Room 107
    School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
    Stony Brook University
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000

* Note: Item 4 applies to all transcripts other than Stony Brook University transcripts. SBU transcripts do not need to be mailed in. Also, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences does not require supplemental information from applicants.

For additional information on graduate programs, please contact either:

Dr. David Black, Graduate Program Director
631-632-8676, for questions concerning program content, or

Prof. Glenn Lopez, Director of the M.A. Program in Marine Conservation and Policy
631-632-8660, e-mail:, or

Prof. Sultan Hameed, Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Atmospheric Sciences
(631) 632-8319, e-mail: or

Ms. Christina Fink, Graduate Programs Assistant
631-632-8680 for questions regarding application status or process


Go for Graduate Studies at SoMAS


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