The Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is focused on maintaining excellent educational and research standards. Our goal is to produce highly professional graduates with a solid foundation in the marine sciences, a strong capacity for problem solving and conducting research. Our graduates move on to academic, government, consulting, research positions in public and private organizations.



To increase knowledge of the marine environment by means of scientific research, and transmitting this knowledge to the larger academic community.

To provide leadership and serve as a model department for graduate education on the Mayagüez Campus.

To contribute to social and economic development of Puerto Rico through the conservation and rational uses of the marine environment.


The mission of the Department of Marine Sciences is to promote a greater understanding of the marine environment within the core areas of marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology and marine physics. The specific goals of the department are to increase knowledge in the marine sciences, to train graduate students in the marine sciences, and to serve the community. Original research by both faculty and students is the central focus of the department’s program, and emphasizes the complementary and mutualistic relationship among these goals.

The Department offers Master of Marine Sciences and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Marine Sciences covering both the full breadth of the discipline and the specialization needed to develop specific technical and analytical skills within a larger scientific context. The program seeks to produce graduates with a solid background in marine sciences who are able to critically analyze problems and offer solutions through the application of scientific knowledge and research. Marine scientists are trained for careers in teaching, research, development and resource and environmental management.



The Department of Marine Sciences (DMS) has its origins in the Institute of Marine Biology (IMB), founded on February 8, 1954 formerly associated with the Department of Biology of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Main offices of the IMB were located at a small building campus and laboratory facilities were established at Magueyes Island, La Parguera. At that time, the IMB shared the 18-acre island with the Puerto Rico Zoo. Modest research structures were built at Magueyes Island together with dormitory facilities for students and visiting scientists.  A dock served the dual purpose of harboring the R/V CARITE and as support structure for marine cages pertaining to the zoo exhibition.

In June 1966, Prof. José E. Arrarás, then Chancellor of the Mayagüez Campus, known as the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, requested of Dr. Maximo Cerame-Vivas, Associate Professor of the Department of Biology,UPRR, to prepare a proposal for the creation of a Department of Marine Sciences for the Mayagüez Campus. On June 18, 1966, Dr. Cerame-Vivas submitted a proposal entitled “The Development of Marine Studies in Puerto Rico for the next 25 years”. This document contained the justifications and expected benefits for the Institution and for the country by the establishment of a center for research and education in Marine Sciences. The proposal emphasized the potential of human and environmental resources of the island.




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NOTE: The information on this page changes frequently, may be outdated and in need of revision. Please contact us for the most up to date information, cima@uprm.edu.