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Prospective Students

We are glad that you are interested in applying one of our graduate degree programs! You will find below helpful information and links to other sites that will assist you in completing your application.

What to Expect

To complete your application, you will need to make sure that all information is sent to the appropriate location by the deadline.  You will submit some of your materials directly to the Graduate School and some directly to us in the department.  Once your file is complete in the department, a committee of geography faculty members (the Graduate Studies Committee) will review your application and make decisions about admission and funding.  Once the Graduate Studies Committee decides to admit an applicant, we send a recommendation to the Graduate School for final review.  The final decision to admit a new graduate student is made by the Graduate School, who will send out an official letter.

The Graduate School requires that international students demonstrate English language proficiency (80 combined TOEFL, 20 on the speaking and writing components).  For full discussion, check the Graduate School’s website.  Note that the requirement of scores of 20 on the speaking and writing components of the TOEFL exam are the minimum necessary for admission.  Higher scores on the speaking component of the TOEFL are required for international students to receive financial support that will involve the instruction of undergraduate students (this is typically interpreted as a minimum score of 26 on the speaking component of the exam). 

Note: The GRE is not required for fall 2024 admission.

How To Apply

Please follow application instructions closely to avoid delay in the review of your application. These instructions include what to send to the Office of Graduate Admissions and what to send to the department. Please DO NOT put any of your application materials in a bound notebook or any other bound format. It slows down the processing time because we must tear them apart to scan the individual items – the committee will never see the effort you put into making a beautiful presentation!

When To Apply

We admit most of our new graduate students to begin in Fall Semester and we strongly recommend that you follow this schedule, especially if you are applying for financial support.  Applicants for Spring or Summer Semester admission will receive secondary consideration for financial support, contingent upon financial resources, until the following cohort of Fall applicants is reviewed by the department’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Applications for Fall admission are due DECEMBER 1st. Note that the Graduate School has recently implemented earlier deadlines for the campus-wide competitions, which are held only once a year.  Prior to being considered for one of the campus-wide competitions, the department’s Graduate Studies Committee must review your application and recommend you for admission.  Due to the strong reputation of our programs, we are receiving an increasing number of excellent applications each year.  We need time to review your completed application and have adjusted our departmental deadlines accordingly.

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We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about how to help us grow.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.