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The mission of the Oceans Department is to discover, educate, and innovate to support a known, sustainable, and equitable ocean. Faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars advance ocean research, education, and impact through interdisciplinary collaboration, technology development, user-inspired research, and immersive education and training. The Oceans Department brings together ocean sciences – including biological, physical, and social sciences – and technology to advance exploration and knowledge of our blue planet and pursue solutions that tackle the most pressing challenges in climate and sustainability.

Degree programs

Undergraduate opportunities

Stanford undergraduate students interested in ocean research can pursue oceans-related courses and majors via the Department of Biology or Earth Systems.
Stanford Undergraduate Admissions
Earth Systems

Graduate program

The objectives of the doctoral program in Oceans are to enable students to develop the skills needed to conduct interdisciplinary, collaborative and original investigations into oceans-related research, in order to advance exploration and knowledge of our blue planet and tackle the most pressing challenges in climate and sustainability.

Learn moreStanford Graduate Admissions

Oceans research at Stanford

Our faculty and students engage with partners on ocean research across the university. 

Hopkins Marine Station

Above the water, Hopkins Marine Station can be seen in the background. Underwater, divers move close to the surface

Many of our faculty work at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove where students and researchers come together to ask big questions, explore new ideas, and discover how and why things work.

Center for Ocean Solutions

People collaborating in a meeting

We partner with the Center for Ocean Solutions at the Woods Institute for the Environment to translate research insights into solutions at scale with collaborators across the globe.

Marine operations

Divers getting ready to go out in a boat

Learn about required training and procedures for boating, diving, and working in the tidal zone at Hopkins Marine Station and the surrounding marine protected area.

Oceans events

Oceans news

  • The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and the Naval Postgraduate School recently convened experts to discuss coastal resilience, water security, and energy security for communities and military installations along the U.S. West Coast.

  • A spate of encounters between orcas and boats off the Iberian coast has puzzled scientists and sailors recently, as seemingly coordinated ambushes by the killer whales led to the sinking of three vessels. The reason for the attacks, according to one scientist who has studied the phenomenon, may be revenge.

    The Washington Post
  • Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing accounts for one in every five fish caught around the world and costs the global economy between $26 billion and $50 billion annually. Fishing vessels engaged in these, largely out of sight, illegal activities have also been linked to organized crime and human rights violations such as forced labour, debt bondage, human trafficking and modern slavery.

    World Economic Forum