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Ocean Engineering

Availability: Gulf Park Options

Ocean Engineering

Why Ocean Engineering at USM?

The School of Ocean Science and Engineering offers the only ocean engineering degree in the state of Mississippi and one of only 10 such programs in the nation. This program features interdisciplinary coursework that integrates multiple engineering fields (e.g., mechanical, civil, electrical, computer, environmental). Collaboration between ocean engineering and other oceanographic disciplines allow our students the opportunity to engage in other marine related fields of study.

The ocean engineering program is housed at the University’s Gulf Park campus. The pre-engineering components of the program will be available at both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses during freshmen and sophomore years. During junior and senior years student will be at the Gulf Park campus. This will give students a unique opportunity to access laboratory facilities in Stennis Space Center as well as at the Marine Research Center in Gulfport.

The Bachelor of Science program in ocean engineering at USM is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.


USM’s Ocean Engineering Program
Receives Accreditation through ABET



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100%Job Placement
1 of 10OE programs in the nation
1Summer Internship building career connections

What Will I Learn?

  • Engineering design process
  • Computer aided design (CAD)
  • Computer programming
  • Field methods
  • Data analysis
  • Ocean instrumentation
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Coastal processes
  • Underwater sensing and communication
  • Marine infrastructure

Students will work with marine science faculty to gain hands-on experience with AUVs, gliders, ROVs and other sensor systems in the lab or in the field from USM vessels, such as R/V Point Sur.

Ocean Engineering program has 6 credit hours of summer internship in the curriculum. Internships provide students with valuable work experience and allow them to connect with employers in the region at federal agencies and engineering firms in the area.

Engineering learning continues outside the classroom and Ocean Engineering students will get the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through coursework before they graduate and will be stronger candidates for employers because of it.

USM is at the forefront in developing and implementing new capabilities to use autonomous platforms to explore the ocean. Our students have access to unique assets like an 18’ Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) (C-Worker 5), a 100” Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) (Iver3), an explorer class AUV rated for 2000m, among other systems.

Senior Ocean Engineering students will take project and design and capstone courses and will have the chance to apply their knowledge and skills to design and application oriented research projects. Ocean Engineering program will also provide Honors College students the chance to participate in cutting edge undergraduate research.

Judith Bostwick Ocean Engineering Scholarship Endowment is to award scholarship to students with financial need majoring in Ocean Engineering.


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Gero Nootz

Step into the fascinating world of marine exploration alongside none other than Dr. Gero Nootz. As an esteemed engineer, he is the mastermind behind optimizing optical instruments on the autonomous/uncrewed marine vessels used to explore the ocean and collect data.

Exploring the ocean with autonomous vehicles

About the Program


The mission of the Ocean Engineering program is to provide students with the best possible preparation to excel in an ocean related industry as highly competent engineers or to pursue advanced degrees.


The goal of the Ocean Engineering BS Program is to become an established provider of high-quality education in the field of ocean engineering and to be recognized for its well-prepared graduates who can become leaders in their field. Our vision is to become the premier institution for the development of uncrewed systems and the modeling and monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Graduates use the knowledge and skills to successfully develop engineering solutions to complex current and future problems considering the unique challenges of the ocean environment. 
  • Graduates take economic, environmental, and societal factors into account as they arrive at an engineering solution. 
  • Graduates gain the trust and respect of peers as effective and ethical members of diverse teams. 
  • Graduates advance intellectually and professionally through lifelong learning building upon their education. 
  • Graduates are prepared to seek out positions of leadership within their profession, their organization, and their community. 

(1) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.

(2) an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.

(3) an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.

(4) an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.

(5) an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.

(6) an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.

(7) an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Academic Year 

Current Enrollment



23 1


25 3


23 5


24 1


21 0


10 0


2 0



Degree Plan Availability
Ocean Engineering BSGulf Park
Uncrewed Maritime Systems CertificateMarine Research Center
Uncrewed Maritime Systems Operator CertificateStennis Space Center
  • Ocean instrumentation design and implementation
  • Maritime operations
  • Coastal hazard remediation
  • Unmanned submersible vehicles
  • Shipbuilding Industry
  • Oil and Gas
  • Navy laboratories
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Data Buoy Center
  • Naval Oceanographic Office
  • Marine technology companies
  • Research institutions
  • Ocean mapping industry
  • Offshore energy industry 
    oil and gas & renewable
  • Consulting firms