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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Application Information

Applications for fall admission are strongly encouraged by January 15th; later applications may be considered but with diminished chances of financial support. 

Admission Requirements: Incoming students are expected to have two semesters of the following courses: calculus, chemistry, and physics or biology. Applicants must have already taken (or take during their first two years of graduate study) at least three Earth Science courses, such as: Paleobiology, Sedimentology, Mineralogy, Structural Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Climatology, Geomorphology and/or Hydrogeology. Students are strongly encouraged to have participated in an approved summer field course or comparable field experience. Substitutions may be granted upon petition of the Department. The Department only admits students that have identified faculty advisors, so it is recommended you contact potential advisors in your field of interest either before or after application. (Please indicate your preferred faculty advisor in the Personal Statement section of your application.) GRE scores are now optional for graduate admission and departmental support (teaching and research assistantships). We evaluate applications based on fit with your advisor, grades and GPA, coursework, personal statement, research experience, and letters of recommendation. Some advisors may require GRE scores, and these may still be required for University and College awards. International/non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL exam. 

Financial Support: Students are typically supported financially for four semesters for students in the MS program and eight semesters for students in the PhD program. This support typically comes in the form of a teaching or research assistantship with a tuition scholarship during the academic year, with the student free to conduct their research full-time during the summer. All students that will be candidates for teaching assistantships must have the background to provide instructional support for introductory Earth Sciences courses. Students may also be supported by their faculty research advisor's external grants or by Syracuse University Fellowships. Applying to local and national programs for graduate fellowships is strongly encouraged. 

Syracuse has a low cost of living, which means our assistantship stipend provides a comfortable income. In addition, tuition is paid in full, and Syracuse University provides excellent health insurance options. University funded students are eligible to participate in the University's Group Health Care Plan. Coverage details and premium rates can be found at the Office of Human Resources, Employee Benefits.

Application Procedure: Applications are submitted through an online system - Online application. The Enrollment Management Center (EMC) directs the processing of admissions and applications for all programs of graduate study. For inquires, please go to: Graduate Admissions.  

Required Application Materials: (1) a complete Graduate Application Form (submitted online); (2) a personal statement that describes research and/or teaching experience, research interests, career goals, and identifies faculty members in our program you are interested in working with as an advisee; (3) three letters of recommendation; (4) official transcripts; (5) official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (CODE: 2823). The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. Officials scores must be reported.

Applications are reviewed by the Department's Graduate Admissions Committee. Decisions regarding suitability for admission and nominations for fellowships are made as soon as possible.