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  • Fall 2015 Start Date:
    Applications due April 15
  • Spring 2016 Start Date:
    Applications due November 15

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Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy

The Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy (MCOP), housed in the Department of Public and International Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a professional, non-thesis, multidisciplinary degree program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to assume leadership roles in governmental and nongovernmental organizations involved in the formulation, implementation, and administration of coastal and ocean policy at all levels of government.


A central focus of the MCOP program is to teach students how to integrate science into government decision making processes, in order to improve coastal and ocean resources management in the U.S. and abroad.

About the Program

The MCOP is a new professional master degree program beginning Fall 2013 and we are particularly interested in enrolling individuals who are excited to help build the program. 

The MCOP program’s curriculum is unique and different from many of the other Marine Affairs programs around the country. Students will take courses in public policy analysis to better understand the institutions and processes by which policy is developed and implemented, as well as to learn the techniques used to analyze policy. Students will also be able to take a variety of electives in the areas of economics, public management, nonprofit management, environmental policy, and coastal planning and management offered by a NASPAA accredited Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. Students will also take courses in the sciences to understand the complex challenges associated with managing the increasing human use and development of coastal and ocean resources. Students will then take additional electives in coastal and marine resource management taught by leading researchers from a variety of academic departments and disciplines. Students will synthesize their learning by completing an integrated capstone project to finish their studies. The goal is to produce a set of students who understand the nexus between science and policy and can then utilize the knowledge and analytical skills to help advance the stewardship and management of coastal and ocean resources in the United States and abroad.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) is uniquely positioned to deliver the MCOP program. Our geographic location, in a vibrant coastal city in southeastern North Carolina, provides students with an opportunity to work on class projects and seek internships to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom.  Since UNCW is home to world class research facilities associated with UNCW's Center for Marine Science, students will also have access to the wide range of faculty who are leading experts in coastal and marine science and policy in a variety of academic departments including the Department of Public and International Affairs, Economics and Finance, Environmental Studies, Health and Applied Human Services, Geography and Geology, Biology and Marine Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Physics and Physical Oceanography. 

This website will provide you with detailed information about the Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy.  We hope you consider applying to be part of this exciting new professional masters degree program.

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