Prospective Students

If you are interested in applying to join our research group at UD, please review the information in this page, which should help you to learn more about what we do, and whether we are a good fit for you.

Here are some frequently-asked questions about the group:

What degree would I pursue at the University of Delaware?

If you join the group, you will be part of the School of Marine Sciences and Policy, and pursue a Masters and Ph.D. degree in Physical Ocean Sciences and Engineering. You can learn more about the requirements of the degree programs at the POSE site as well as the School's website, as well learning about the experience of being a student of our College.

How would I be funded?

The group's graduate students are funded by a combination of external and internal fellowships as well as graduate research and teaching assistant positions. Because the funding landscape is constantly changing, we strongly encourage you to apply for external fellowships, including the National Science Foundation's Graduate Fellowship or others. UD maintains a database of funding opportunities you should review, and most other research universities do also (see for example an excellent site at UCLA).  If you are applying from overseas and/or are not eligible for a U.S.-based fellowship, there might be funding opportunities in your home country. Your ability to secure external funding can greatly increase your chance of being admitted as a graduate student.

Are my research interests a good fit for the group?

The research focus of the group is on understanding the physical processes that control the circulation and hydrographic properties of the coastal ocean, with a particular emphasis on processes that are closely connected to the larger climate system. You can learn about our current and past projects in the research page. Depending on the problem at hand, we might seek to go to the field and collect new data, or analyze existing historical data, or use numerical models to simulate processes that are challenging to observe, and therefore complementing our observations. If you join our group, you will be encouraged to learn about observations, modeling, and theory so that you get a well-rounded education in physical oceanography.

What courses and background should I have to apply to join the group?

People can become oceanographers starting from a number of different disciplines. Becoming a physical oceanographer does require a solid quantitative background, and having taken math  (e.g. Calculus, Differential Equations) as well as statistics classes provides a solid foundation to succeed. While not necessary, having a background in meteorology or oceanography with courses on fluid mechanics, general atmospheric/ocean circulation and observational/physical oceanography is helpful. Take a look at the course requirements of the POSE program to get a sense of what additional courses you would be taking if joining us at UD.

Ok, I've decided to apply. What should I do next?

strongly recommend you contact me (cmoffat at udel edu) if you are interested in applying. This will give us an opportunity to discuss whether the group is a good fit for you, and if so, specific projects, funding, etc., that are available. When you first reach out, it is helpful for me to have a few pieces of information so I can give you meaningful feedback:

  • An up-to-date CV
  • A brief statement of your research interests.

I look forward to meeting you!