Message from the Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean

James A. Yoder, PhD


WHOI’s mission and leadership extend beyond ocean science and engineering, to include training the next generation of oceanographic leaders and to helping foster a science-literate and ocean-aware public. These aims meet in WHOI’s Academic Programs Office, with offerings geared toward higher education.

WHOI is accredited and authorized to issue graduate degrees, although we choose to partner with MIT for the Joint Program in Ocean Science and Engineering.  Today it is one of the most prestigious programs of its kind in the world.  In 2015, the Joint Program has more than 120 graduate students enrolled, most of whom will earn a Ph.D.  Since 1968, the program has awarded almost 1000 MS and PhD degrees, including 75 graduate degrees for U.S. Navy officers.  Our alums work around the world in academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and the U.S. Navy.

Post-doctoral training is a crucial next step in a young scientist’s career development, and WHOI has more than 90 post-docs in residence at any time. Many WHOI scientists began their careers as post-docs here. Post-docs are supported with U.S. and international fellowships and by grants awarded to WHOI scientists, and WHOI also holds an annual competition for internally funded postdoctoral scholars and awards 10 to 12 of these prestigious appointments per year.

Each year we also invite 25 to 30 undergraduate science and engineering students to participate in our Summer Fellows program. Fellows spend most of their time working on research projects with WHOI scientists, but they also attend lectures, try hands-on oceanography on our coastal vessel R/V Tioga, and participate in events that give them a broad look at the life of a professional ocean scientist or engineer in one of the world’s most advanced and competitive oceanographic research environments. Many of these fine young scholars return to WHOI, since Summer Fellows often apply to the Joint Program.

Other programs that WHOI Academic Programs oversees include opportunities for guest undergraduate and graduate students throughout the year, a tuition-supported, semester-long program for undergraduates starting in fall 2015, training courses in ocean science for oil industry employees, and limited K-12 programs.

Join the “Next Wave” of ocean scientists and apply to one of our education programs.