Formal coursework will introduce students to interconnected aspects of estuarine and coastal processes, biotic responses, critical habitats, human impacts, and resource management issues associated with global change. Graduate seminars will emphasize critical reading of relevant primary literature. Workshops will address professional skills, scientific communication, scientific writing, data analysis, ethics and budgeting. The two required graduate electives can be taken any semester and are designed to further the working knowledge of the subject that pertains to thesis research. The most appropriate electives for you will be discussed and decided upon with your advisor. It is required that at least one of the two electives be a graduate seminar course. The Interdisciplinary Marine and Estuarine Sciences MS program requires 2-3 years of full-time study, including the summer bridge semesters in years one and two. Students conducting field-based ecological research typically require 2.5 to 3 years to complete their degree. Most, but not all, courses required for the MS degree are offered at Estuary & Ocean Science (EOS) Center on the Romberg Tiburon Campus, 3150 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA. Some courses may only be offered at SF State’s city campus, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA. Students should plan on taking required coursework on both campuses.


Fall Year 1 Spring Year 1 Summer Year 1 Fall Year 2 Spring Year 2 Summer Year 2 Fall Year 3 Spring Year 3
Semester 1 Semester 2 Bridge Semester 1 Semester 3 Semester 4 Bridge Semester 2 Grace period Continuous Enrollment
9+ Units 7+ Units Thesis Research 7+ Units 7+ Units Thesis Research Thesis Writing 1 unit (CEL)

Coursework Trajectory

Course # Course Name Fall Year 1
Semester 1
Spring Year 1
Semester 2
Summer Year 1
Bridge Semester 1
Fall Year 2
Semester 3
Spring Year 2
Semester 4
Summer Year 2
Bridge Semester 2
Fall Year 3
Semester 5
Spring Year 3
Semester 6

BIOL 708

Scientific Methods for Professional Aquatic Scientists 3 Units              

MSCI 709

Foundations in Interdisciplinary Marine & Estuarine Sciences 4 Units              

MSCI 715

Writing for Interdisciplinary Marine & Estuarine Scientists   3 Units            

MSCI 717

Professional Skills Workshop I: Data Analysis & Visualization   2 Units            

MSCI 788

Professional Internship in Marine & Estuarine Sciences       3 Units        

MSCI 718

Professional Skills Workshop II         2 Units      

MSCI 885

Seminar in Interdisciplinary Marine and Estuarine Science (Wednesday Colloquium) 4 Units Total (can be taken twice)      
BIOL 863, GEOG 857,
ERTH 795, CHEM 708, etc
2 Graduate level electives (seminars and/or lectures)

4-7 Units Total (one seminar required).

Note: There are many choices for electives, so please discuss which 2 you will take with your faculty advisor or IMES grad coordinator


MSCI 897

Graduate Research 4 Units throughout 4 semesters      

MSCI 898 or MSCI 895

"Master's Thesis + Oral Defense" or "Field Study/Applied Research Project"         4 or 3 Units   Grace Period  

Research Activities

Research Research Activities Research Activities Research Activities Research Activities Research Activities Research Activities    

SCI 499 (College of Extended Learning)

Continuous Enrollment (if needed)               1 Unit