Students frequently ask which program they should choose. The answer to that question is not always straightforward. However, as you will see further down, no matter which decision you make, you will have an individual and flexible selection of courses from both programs.

Academic degree

One way to think about this choice is looking at the degree you obtain: in the Coastal Communities and Regional Development program (CRD), students graduate with a MA degree (Master of Arts) while those in Coastal and Marine Management (CMM) finish with a MRM degree (Master of Resource Management). Looking at the mandatory courses, you will see that CRD is based in the social sciences, such as Human Geography, Sociology, Economics, and Planning. This program examines the opportunities and challenges of coastal community development and how to build resilient and sustainable coastal regions. The CMM program combines elements from the natural and social sciences with management to examine a wide range of topics in coastal and marine systems. One of the ultimate goals of this program is to enable graduates to manage these systems in a sustainable manner.

Academic background

Although students ideally come to their chosen program with a background in the relevant subjects, such a background is not mandatory. If you come from a different academic background than the program you choose to apply to, we ask you to explain your interests in the program when you apply so we can better understand your motivation and background. Rest assured, we have good examples of students from diverse academic backgrounds graduating from both programs.

Your interests

Both programs possess a good amount of flexibility. 24 of the 75 credits course work are from mandatory courses in your program and another 10 credits from common core courses. This means that you can choose 41 credits from the variety of elective courses we offer and tailor a program based on your interests. If you decide your interests lie more in the other program, you are able to take the core courses from the other program as electives. You can also choose your thesis topic to reflect your interests (within the requirements of the program). 

In case you want to discuss your options for choosing a program, you can contact us and we will schedule a meeting with you to help you understand the two options better. You can also apply for both programs and we will place you in the program we feel fits your background and interests best.