Dauphin Island Sea Lab offers diverse opportunities for graduate study in the marine sciences, focusing on the oceanography and ecology of estuaries and near-coastal communities and ecosystems. While the DISL serves as the focal point of graduate education in marine science in the state of Alabama, it is not a degree-granting institution, and graduate degrees are offered through ten of the 22 DISL Member Schools.
The Graduate Program at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is carried out year-round, with most courses being offered during the academic year although some graduate courses may be taken during the DISL Summer Program. Graduate courses are taught by resident DISL faculty year-round as well as by visiting faculty during the summer. The DISL curriculum is designed and integrated to meet the requirements of the various member institutions.
Approximately 50 graduate students are in residence at the DISL on a year-round basis. Students generally undertake many of their formal course requirements during the first three semesters of study, at which time they also develop their thesis prospectus and initiate their research.
In addition to stipend support, the DISL provides significant support for students to carry out their thesis research (e.g., vessel and vehicle use, materials and supplies, and analytical support) as well as travel to regional and national meetings. In addition, there are a limited number of low-cost housing options that are available on the DISL campus to graduate students.