Three Seas FAQs


The maximum number of students per cohort (master’s or undergraduate) is 20.

A shuttle to the MSC leaves the Northeastern main campus at 8:00 AM and returns by 5:00 PM on weekdays. The MSC is not conveniently located to public transit.

Students spend one full academic semester in Nahant, followed by one full semester abroad. The abroad semester is split into 10 weeks in Panama and 8 weeks in Washington.

During the Nahant semester master’s students can elect to live in Willis Hall at Northeastern’s main campus in Boston. Willis Hall is a 10-story high-rise residential building containing four-person apartments. Two individuals per room. Each apartment is equipped with a kitchen, dishwasher, garbage disposal, cable hook up, and internet access. Undergraduate students should continue to secure housing through the Northeastern housing lottery system. Meal plans can be purchased for food on main campus. There is a daily shuttle running to and from the Boston campus specifically for the Three Seas students. Students who are not living on main campus can still elect to take to shuttle to Nahant. Some students have low cost alternatives to main campus housing and opt out of the provided housing.

In Panama and Washington, students live in dorm-style housing. Meals are provided to ensure students and faculty can maximize time spent in the field. Room and board are not included within tuition.

We have meetings during the Nahant semester to prepare everyone for the abroad semester. During these meetings we will share travel dates and the travel agent’s information who students contact to book their travel to each location. Once at each aboard location, the program will arrange travel and lodging.

We provide a detailed gear list for the locations we travel to. Each location has distinct field and environmental gear needs. This gear list is provided to students prior to the start of the program and is reviewed during our abroad meetings.


In order to participate in AAUS scientific dive training, Three Seas students are required to be Open Water certified and have 10 total career dives. The 10 total career dives can include your 4 certification dives. Students must also receive medical clearance to dive from their physician.

Northeastern undergraduates have the option of taking the Beginning Diving course which is offered in all semesters. Students from other institutions may have similar opportunities available. Otherwise, dives can be arranged through your local dive shop. In addition, there are dive opportunities organized within the program before the start of each semester. If you are interested in renting a drysuit from Northeastern, consider obtaining your drysuit certification in order to reach 10 total career dives.

Exposure protection (wetsuit or drysuit, hood, gloves, boots), mask, fins, snorkel, dive knife or shears, dive light, compass, and weight (10 lbs). Students have the option to rent the following SCUBA gear from Northeastern:

  • Buoyancy Compensator: $65/year
  • Regulator: $65/year
  • Dive Computer: $70/year
  • Drysuit: $150/year (only if drysuit certified)

If you are unable to dive for medical or personal reasons, we accommodate this in the courses.  We encourage students to dive if possible, as it allows for a much more immersive experience, however snorkeling is always an option.

Yes! DAN insurance provides some travel-related incident coverage, so it is beneficial for divers and non-divers alike.

No, students just need to complete the required paperwork and number of dives in order to be an active scientific diver at Northeastern.


Yes, you can! We accept applications on a rolling basis after the initial review on January 1. Please apply for the Three Seas Master of Science in Marine Biology (MSMB) program HERE.

Personal statement, transcripts, writing sample, and a resume.

No, GRE scores will not be considered during application review.

Taking all four courses (or institutional equivalent) is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended. Three Seas is an accelerated research-intensive program. Students are enrolled in 20-21 credits each semester. Having taken the recommended prerequisites will better prepare you for success in the program.

Yes! Qualified students who are not studying Marine Biology can and have participated in Three Seas. Taking the courses above will help strengthen your application. If you are not certain you have the appropriate background, please contact the Three Seas Program Manager, Andrea Jerabek ([email protected]).

No. Unlike traditional master’s programs, Three Seas does not require students to reach out to faculty before applying. As an incoming master’s student, you are assigned a Northeastern faculty advisor to assist you in refining your research goals and interests. During the Nahant semester, master’s students take Marine Biology Careers Seminar, a course designed to prepare you for the six-month graduate internship conducted after the two academic semesters of Three Seas.

Admissions decisions for all students typically go out in March. Students who apply after the priority deadline may receive their decision later.

Unfortunately, there are no Three Seas specific scholarships or financial aid. Due to the unique and accelerated nature of Three Seas, there isn’t time for students to conduct traditional teaching assistantships.

If you are interested in financial assistance for the Three Seas Program, we encourage you to contact Northeastern’s Financial Aid Department for a personalized financial aid package.  In addition, there are several scholarships that our students have utilized and applied for in the past including the AAUS student scholarship and the Women Divers Hall of Fame scholarship.  There are many private scholarship opportunities that students can apply for to help cover partial cost of the program. The Financial Aid Department can suggest various search engines and websites to pursue those opportunities.

Three Seas students have great flexibility in terms of research topic and location for the six-month graduate internship. Previous student research has included topics in coral reef ecology, marine mammal behavior, fisheries science, social science, and more. Students can complete their internships at Northeastern, elsewhere in the United States, or around the world, such as Bermuda, China, and New Zealand. Our program is a non-thesis Master of Science in Marine Biology; however, you are required to submit a manuscript and present your research at the end of your internship to the Marine Science Center community.

Many of our students use the Three Seas Program as a springboard into a PhD program.  Whether students come into the program knowing they will pursue a PhD following graduation, or they decide along the way, the Three Seas Program provides its students with the knowledge and contacts necessary to make the leap into some of the nation’s top programs.

Three Seas alumni are involved in all facets of marine science research at institutions all over the globe including WHOI, SCRIPPS, NOAA, NSF, TNC, and USGS. In addition, there are countless research institutions, educational facilities, and consulting firms that our alumni work.