Graduate students play an integral role in the primary mission of Scripps: seeking, teaching, and communicating scientific understanding of our oceans, atmosphere, Earth, and other planets for the benefit of society and the environment. Scripps graduate students participate in a significant part of Scripps research. The stature of the institution is manifested both in the quality of students it attracts and in the quality of scientists it graduates.
The SIO Department offers instruction leading to Ph.D. degrees in oceanography, marine biology, and earth sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of research in marine and earth sciences is emphasized in student curricular programs. If a transect were drawn from Earth's core through the oceans into space, Scripps students could be shown to study the processes and interactions of all the basic systems found along its path.