Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

Using the Scripps Degree

What can I do with a degree from Scripps?

A degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography can lead to a number of different types of careers:

Tenure-track faculty and academic research: Many Scripps PhD graduates leave to begin careers in academia at institutions all around the world.  Faculty at these institutions teach undergraduate and graduate courses, train graduate students and other researchers, and run their own labs and research programs.  Their labs and programs also employ professional researchers from all educational levels.

Non-profit research professional: There are many opportunities to conduct exciting, world-changing research outside of academia through careers with federal, state, and local government as well as national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  These are careers on the front lines of work to understand and protect our planet, dealing with issues such as climate change, natural hazard mitigation, and marine conservation.

For-profit research professional: Many industries are looking for science graduates to conduct research into new technologies and new business opportunities.  Each year, a number of our graduates enter into research positions with the petrochemical industry, clean energy companies, and biotechnology firms.

Program coordination: Scripps trains expert administrators at all levels that help coordinate large research endeavors.   These professionals assist in the day-to-day operation of research programs at academic institutions as well as governmental- and non-governmental organizations: writing and executing grants, providing direction to the research agenda, managing staff, and coordinating the dissemination of research results.

Science communication: The interdisciplinary nature of marine science education at Scripps produces excellent science communicators who can translate cutting-edge research to public audiences.  These communicators can serve as teachers, museum and collections administrators, communication and outreach officers for research organizations, and editors of science journals.

Science policy: The vast majority of research in the atmospheric, earth, and marine sciences has immediate implications for human and marine life, and as such it is incredibly important to translate that research to policy-makers at all levels.  Scripps graduates have served as legislative aides for elected officials, policy officers for NGOs, and science lobbyists in Washington DC.

Browse through these lists of current job openings to get an idea of what's out there for Scripps graduates:

Our alumni have global reach and occupy a wide range of positions.  Straight from the PhD program, the majority (~63%) go into a post-doctoral research position, with another 20%+ going into an assistant professor/researcher position.  Many of our graduates work in positions related to marine and environmental policy for both non-profit organizations and the federal, state, and local government.

To learn more about Scripps alumni, visit our site: