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As is generally the case, the Ph.D. program is primarily a research degree. As such, it is intended to serve students with interests in conducting research in academia, industry, and government along with those who intend to become faculty in undergraduate teaching institutions, managers in technology-based industries and policy makers in government. 

Students will learn the process of identifying, defining and solving an original research problem. The Marine Biology program from University of North Carolina Wilmington also includes a teaching practicum with classroom instruction in pedagogical techniques and technologies along with lecture experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Ph.D. Marine Biology Student Learning Outcomes

  • A graduate student should be able to develop a research plan.
  • A graduate student should be able to present and defend a research plan.
  • A graduate student should be able to independently answer questions regarding their research field.
  • A graduate student should be able to communicate his or her research to a broadly-trained public audience.
  • A graduate student should be able to write up his or her research in the form of a manuscript for publication in a scientific journal.

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Oceanography and Environmental Science 
  • Ecology 
  • Physiology and Biochemistry 
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology 
  • Evolution and Diversity 
  • Practicum in College Biology Teaching

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

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    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

  • One official transcript is required from each U.S. post-secondary institution attended.
  • 3 recommendations to be submitted through the online application with accompanying letters by individuals in professionally relevant fields, one from the intended faculty mentor.
Additional Requirements
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Summary of M.S. thesis research (3 page maximum)
  • Statement of PhD research interests (3 page maximum)
  • Copies of publications (if available)
  • Should make initial contact with the faculty with whom you wish to work
  • Must have received a M.S. degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited university OR, if entering with a B.S., completed one year in the M.S. Biology program.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    18548 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 18548 USD per year and a duration of .
  • National

    4720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4720 USD per year and a duration of .
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Wilmington

  • 900 - 1400 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

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