Academic Divisions

Marine Affairs & Policy

About MAF

The Division of Marine Affairs and Policy undertakes basic and applied research and training activities that contribute to policy development and management of marine resources. The Marine Affairs and Policy (MAF) academic program offers a broad curriculum that links core areas of Marine Affairs (natural resource economics, political ecology and marine anthropology, underwater archaeology, ocean and coastal law and policy) with the marine sciences.

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MAF also offers academic tracks in aquaculture management and underwater marine cultural resources.

Marine Affairs and Policy students tailor their course selections to match their individual career objectives. MAF offers the Master of Science (MS) and the Master of Professional Science (MPS). The MS degree requires completion of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits. The Master degree programs are for those wishing to pursue careers in marine policy and management. The M.S. can also lead into Ph.D. specialization in marine policy, environmental law, maritime business, economics, anthropology, or environmental education or a Ph.D. in pure sciences. The MPS degree requires completion of 24 course credits and 3 internship credits.

The University of Miami School of Law and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science offer a Joint degree program in law and marine affairs and policy. Upon completion of this program, a student earns a Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law and the Master of Professional Science degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from Rosenstiel. A student may complete requirements of both degrees within three and one-half years in an intensive program of six semesters and two full summers. This program is geared toward students who want a career in the field of law with a specialization in marine and environmental issues.

Applicants to the master’s program must possess a B.S. or B.A. in any relevant academic field. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Those whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550.


Little Salt Spring: The Rosenstiel School’s Division of Marine Affairs manages an underwater archeological and ecological preserve at Little Salt Spring, in North Port, a site located in southern Sarasota County, Florida about 10 miles (16 km) from the Gulf of Mexico.

Donated to the University in 1982, the spring is surrounded by undisturbed native hydric hammock containing several rare and endangered plant and animal species.

During early prehistoric times (12,000–7,000 years ago) the sinkhole was an oasis in the peninsula that attracted seasonal hunters and gatherers. The site has produced the second-oldest dated artifact ever found in the southeast United States — a sharpened wooden stake some 12,000 years old. Little Salt Spring contains some of the oldest cultural remains in the United States.

The unique anoxic water that fills most of the sinkhole (below 5 meters/16 feet depth) has preserved a great range of organic materials including wood, textile fragments, hair, skin and brain tissue dating back to the Late Paleoindian and Early Archaic stages of Florida’s prehistory, ca. 9,500 – 7,000 radiocarbon years ago. Archaeological remains exist both in the spring basin and the “27 meters/90 feet ledge”, a natural cavern at that depth below the spring surface.

Aquaculture Program: The Aquaculture Program at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School is leading the way for research and development in the emerging fields of hatchery technology and offshore aquaculture. The program is responding to the need of scientific and technological improvement in aquaculture with concerns for the environment protection. Our program is a pioneer in raising cobia (Rachycentron canadum). Hatchery technology and demonstration projects of offshore aquaculture of cobia are led in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Our tanks house only native, non-genetically modified species raised without the use of antibiotics. Scientists at the Rosenstiel School have developed innovative techniques for increasing feeding efficiency by optimizing management practices, working with feed companies to develop environmentally friendly aqua feeds to minimize or eliminate reliance on fish meal.

Program Areas

Aquaculture science, technology, management and environmental issues Integrated Coastal Zone Management Marine resource economics Political and Environmental Ecology Underwater Marine Cultural Resources

Environmental, Coastal and Ocean Law Fisheries and aquaculture management Ocean Policy and Development Marine Geographic Information Systems

Funding Opportunities

A number of fellowships and assistantships are available to MAF students. Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Degrees Offered

M.S. and M.P.S. degrees. The master’s degrees are for students who wish to pursue careers in marine policy and management. The University of Miami School of Law and the Rosenstiel School offer a joint degree program in law and marine affairs and policy (J.D. and M.P.S. degrees awarded). A B.A./M.P.S. program enables qualified students from the undergraduate marine affairs program to earn a B.A and an M.P.S. in MAF in 5 years.


Marine Affairs and Policy

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