Aerial View of Leutze Hall and Ponds

Program Overview

The Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy (MCOP), is a professional, non-thesis, multidisciplinary degree program that provides 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. 

Students will take a unique curriculum that combines coursework in public policy analysis and coastal and marine sciences taught by leading researchers in their respective disciplines. 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. 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Degree Requirements

The Master of Ocean and Coastal Policy (MCOP) program requires 42 credit hours of approved graduate level courses.  The core curriculum is 24 credit hours: 12 hours focused on public policy analysis, 6 hours focused on science, a 3 credit-hour seminar, and a 3 credit-hour capstone. The remaining coursework consists of 18 credit hours of electives: 6 hours of electives in public management or policy analysis and 3 credit hours from a list of courses with significant science-related content. The final 9 credit hours are general electives tailored to fit the student’s professional career goals. 

Capstone Requirement

One of the unique features of the program’s curriculum will be the final capstone class in coastal and ocean policy.  To prepare for this project, students will enroll in a seminar in their third semester of study. Students will be assigned to their capstone project at the beginning of this seminar. It will be an applied policy project for a real or hypothetical client.  By the end of the seminar, students will complete the literature review and research design for the project. The seminar will also focus on professional development. During the final capstone class, students will complete the data collection, analysis, and presentation of data related to the project. 

Core Requirements (24 credit hours)

All students are required to complete the following core curriculum:

Students should consult with their advisors to select the appropriate course.

Advanced Science Electives

Students are required to select 3 credit hours of a course with an applied science component.  Students should consult with their advisors to select the appropriate course. The following is a list of approved electives:

Advanced Policy and Management Skills

Students are required to select 6 credit hours of courses related to policy and learning management skills. Students should consult with their advisors to select the appropriate courses.  The following is a list of approved electives:

Coastal and Ocean Policy Electives

Students complete their degree program by selecting 9 credit hours designed to advance academic or professional career interests. Students can select from the classes listed above as science or policy electives. Students should consult with their advisors to select the appropriate courses. The following is a list of approved electives:

For complete course descriptions, please see the Academic Catalog.


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