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Admissions FAQs

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Where to Start? 

Please feel free to visit Community DEI Resources. This is a great starting point when considering your Graduate Career. 

Do I need a Master’s degree to apply to the doctoral program?

No. Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree may apply directly to our doctoral program

Does the department of Earth System Science offer a MS degree?

We do not offer a coursework-only MS degree for non-PhD students. We offer a thesis MS degree, however few faculty accept terminal MS students and the MS degree is more commonly earned on the way to the PhD. Before you apply to our MS degree check with your potential faculty advisor whether they accept terminal MS students.

What type of financial aid does the program provide?

Generally, all PhD candidates within ESS are provided financial support for the first five years.

How do I find out more about the research being done in your department and if I’m a good fit?

Faculty profiles list what type of research department faculty are doing, and more information can be found by reading about Earth System Science research groups. If you are interested in knowing more please contact faculty directly. Please note they can only answer questions regarding research. Admission-related questions should be directed to the department at

What is the minimum GRE score required in order to be considered for admission?

The general GRE test is optional. Therefore, we do not have a minimum GRE score requirement, and we do not track average scores for admitted applicants.

What is the minimum GPA score required in order to be considered for admission?

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement. The evaluation of each applicant is based on all the materials in the file and is not exclusively based on GPA.

What if my official transcripts are not received by the deadline?

Your file will not be considered complete until all required application materials are received. We may do a preliminary review of your file with unofficial transcripts, but we will not make a final decision until we have official transcripts.

More information can be found on the Graduate Admissions site.

What if I only have one or two faculty members as potential advisors in mind? What should I list in the Supplemental Information?

Please identify at least one faculty member with whom you would like to work. You can simply write N/A if you have less than four names in mind.