Skip navigation

Hydrographic Science - Master's

Availability: Stennis Options

Why Study Hydrography?

Traditionally, the hydrographer has been associated with making the sea charts for navigation. This is still an important role but, as a science and profession, hydrographic surveying has developed into a multi-disciplinary occupation. The hydrographer is involved with every aspect of ocean data from bathymetric mapping of the ocean floor, managing large marine data sets, exploring for the minerals that lie far beneath, measuring currents, tides and waves, and observing the ocean environment.

Our Hydrography degrees comprise only 1 of 3 programs in North America that are Recognized by the International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers for technical professionals.

There are two hydrography related graduate programs at USM. One offers a Master’s in Hydrographic Science, the other offers a Ph.D. in Marine Science with an emphasis in Hydrography. The M.S. degree program in Hydrographic Science is a non-thesis degree program. The M.S. program is also known as The Joint International Hydrographic Applied Science Program (JIHASP) at USM and is conducted jointly by USM and the Naval Oceanographic Office. Through the PhD track, a doctoral thesis is completed under the advisement of a marine science faculty member.

Request info Apply

100%job placement expected
$1.5M2017 Mapping Center Funding
1 of 3Programs in North America

What Will I Learn?

  • Data mining for all existing spatially-related information for the project area
  • Planning, preparation and development of Hydrographic Survey Specifications for the project area
  • Data collection (multi-beam, single-beam, side-scan sonar, tides, sound velocity, shoreline, navaids, etc.)
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Quality assurance checks to determine if international standards have been met
  • Electronic Navigational Chart production
  • Completion of a comprehensive Report of Survey meeting the standards of the current NOAA Hydrographic Survey specifications and deliverables
  • Presentation of the project and results to the examination committee

See our Alumni and the spectrum of careers they have entered.



Degree Plan Availability
Hydrographic Science MSStennis
  • Hydrographic Surveyor
  • Physical Scientist
  • Marine Survey Technician
  • Monica Price, 2014
    Naval Oceanographic Office
  • Raymond Beets, 2017
    US Navy Fleet Survey Team
  • Christopher Robin McHugh, 2014
    Project Surveyor TerraSond Limited