Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate

Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate

Combining studies in ocean policy with the science of the sea

An interdisciplinary approach is needed in the increasingly complex and technical management of our oceans.

Effective handling of ocean issues depends on an understanding of the natural environment, the technology that allows exploration and exploitation of that environment, and the social factors that govern those activities. From the local to the global level, individuals and governments must be prepared to assess chemical, biological, geological, legal, political, economic and other implications of policy decisions.

The University of Hawaiʻi (UH) is uniquely qualified to combine natural and social science perspectives in a professional education program.

Located in the Pacific, with established ties to Asia and Mainland U.S. coasts and Pacific island nations, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is home to world-class academic and research programs relating to the sea under the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and to the human-environment interface under the College of Social Sciences and the Environmental Law Program of The William S. Richardson School of Law. Instructors include UH faculty members and experts from the professional community in Hawaiʻi. The program provides opportunities to network with peers and professionals who share an interest in marine affairs and policy, ocean resources, and coastal management.

The Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate program allows creation of individualized curricula to augment graduate training and professional experience.

Classified UH graduate students and law students in good standing are eligible for the program. Non-UH students and community professionals (who hold at least a bachelor’s degrees and meet minimum UH requirements) are admitted as special, non-degree students on approval from the Graduate Division. Full- or part-time students may participate.

Students with scientific/technical backgrounds emphasize policy track courses, while those with non-technical training enroll in more science track courses.

Certificate requirements for all students include:

  • Completing 12 credits in elective coursework drawn from an approved list (includes courses in law, geography, urban and regional planning, and economics in the policy track and from oceanography, botany, zoology, geology and geophysics, meteorology, and engineering in the science track).
  • Completing the 3 credit core course (either OEST/SOCS 735, GEOG 621 or ECON 409).
  • Preparing and presenting a research paper.
  • Completing a policy practicum or internship such as: one week of oceanographic research at sea and observation of legislative or regulatory development concerning ocean policy over the course of a semester. (Can be waived on the basis of past experience.)
  • Maintaining a minimum grade point average.

The University of Hawaiʻi‘s Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate Program offers the best in comprehensive interdisciplinary training integrating law, social sciences and science and technology as they relate to our oceans.

The certificate is designed for:

  • Ocean industry managers and policy makers: the program offers the technical background necessary to assess the scientific requirements and implications of policy decisions.
  • Graduate students: within the academic structure of existing programs, the certificate provides the interdisciplinary focus needed to work in the real world of ocean policy.
  • Scientists and engineers: the program provides an understanding of legal, political, economic, and social forces that affect the oceans and ocean activities.
  • Working managers and professionals: participants receive training on a flexible schedule and may earn a certificate without enrolling in a formal degree program.
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