MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


The Joint Program of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers advanced degrees in oceanography and applied ocean science and engineering. Graduate study encompasses virtually all of the basic sciences as they apply to the marine environment: physics, chemistry, geology, geophysics, and biology. Students who choose applied ocean science and engineering may concentrate in the major fields (civil, environmental, mechanical, and electrical), materials science, or oceanographic engineering. More than 160 scientists/faculty from the two institutions participate in the Joint Program.

Since all the faculty involved in the Joint Program are members of an academic department at MIT, their individual accomplishments and awards are reported through those departments. These include Courses I, II, VI, VII, XII and XIII.

There were 166 applicants to the Joint Program for 1997-98, of which 46 were admitted. We continue to maintain our high acceptance statistics: 70 percent of all applicants offered admission accepted. Women comprise 50 percent of the entering class, which is a new record for the Program.

Enrollment in the Joint Program decreased slightly this year from 146 to 137 students. The projected enrollment estimate for September 1997 is 141 students, with 18 in Chemical Oceanography, 26 in Marine Geology and Geophysics, 36 in Biological Oceanography, 28 in Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, and 33 in Physical Oceanography. The downturn in enrollment reflects uncertainty as to the exact consequences of direct charging for graduate students on research proposals.

The Joint Program graduated 22 students in 1996-97; of these, 14 received the doctorate, and eight received the master's degree. The breakdown by discipline is as follows: Chemical Oceanography (three); Biological Oceanography (two); Marine Geology and Geophysics (five); Physical Oceanography (seven); and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering (five).

We anticipate that there will be an external review of the Joint Program in the fall of 1997, as a follow-up to the Internal Review which was conducted in 1994.

More information about this Program can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Ronni Schwartz

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97