Marine Mammal Graduate Certificate

Prospective Students

Marine mammals are charismatic sentinels of ocean ecosystems that are deeply entwined with humans in both positive and problematic ways. Commercial and recreational fisheries, shipping, energy and mineral extraction, ecotourism, naval and defense operations, and pollution are just a few of the many activities associated with complex problems that bring marine mammals and humans together. There is a growing need for experts in marine mammalogy to engage in these issues and provide solutions that conserve marine mammals and embrace humans as a critical part of marine ecosystems, with sustainability and ocean health as the ultimate goal.

The Marine Mammal Graduate Certificate provides a mechanism for training professionals who are critical to achieving this goal. This certificate represents a transdisciplinary approach to marine mammalogy through the study of the stewardship of our oceans through curriculum integration that dissolves boundaries between conventional disciplines and organizes teaching and learning around the construction of meaning in the context of real-world problems.

This is a flexible program, with many courses that can be chosen to fit the specific interests and needs of participants, including resident, nonresident, and international students, both traditional and nontraditional. This certificate can be a starting point for early career students and an opportunity to increase breadth and depth of knowledge for early and mid-career professionals in federal government and state agencies, commercial enterprise, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

Courses are taught by OSU faculty and delivered on campus or online through Ecampus — a national leader in online education.

Read more about our learning outcomes.

For questions about either program, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, or learn more about How To Apply to the Graduate Certificates Program.  

Current Students

Advising Guide

Welcome to the Marine Mammal Graduate Certificate program offered through the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. We want to help you reach your professional goals. An advising guide provides students enrolled in a graduate certificate offered through the FWCS department with critical information needed to manage their academic studies. The Marine Mammal Graduate Certificate Advising Guide is coming soon. In the meantime, here is an example advising guide for other FWCS certificates.


A total of 20 (or more) credits of approved coursework, half or more from graduate-only courses, are required to earn the certificate. The curriculum includes courses and fieldwork with experts in a wide range of disciplines (biology, habitat science, policy, statistics, conservation, human dimensions). Students will expand their knowledge of marine mammals, marine ecosystems, and management and conservation challenges pertaining to these keystone animals; develop advanced skills in human dimensions, problem solving, and data analysis; and synthesize specialist knowledge of the strategies and partnerships required to sustainably manage marine resources.

A minimum of 7 credits (at least two courses) must be chosen from the Marine Mammalogy area. Students have the option to add one or more focused electives (minimum 6 credits for each elective) in Conservation Biology and Management, Policy and Effective Communication, Habitat Science, or Statistics and Data Analysis.

The core course, required for all certificate students, is Human Dimensions of Marine Mammal Conservation (FW 568), taught within a holistic framework where students learn and practice problem-solving strategies that include stakeholders from different disciplines. The results are integrated approaches to solving problems associated with human–wildlife conflict, using marine mammals as case studies.

Program requirements

Capstone Projects

In addition to coursework, students will plan and implement a substantive, hands-on marine research or outreach project addressing a complex problem. The program will assist students with the identification of their project and provide a professional mentor, both tailored to the students’ career interests or goals.

This document contains all the steps needed to get started on your capstone project. 

Certificate advising 

If you have questions about this certificate please reach out to

For advice on transitioning to an online Masters program.

Dr. Susie Dunham (she/her) 
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Graduating and looking for a Job? 

Students looking for a job can peruse our Job Board list, check our FW Job Board and sign up for our OSU FW job listserv that is distributed as a weekly digest to subscribers. 

New Federal regulations require institutions to report certain information about educational programs that lead to gainful employment in recognized occupations.

For answers you didn’t find here, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, at