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Applying to Our Graduate Program

You are encouraged strongly to correspond directly with faculty in your target research area in order to gauge their interest in new graduate students and explore possible research projects. Please contact the Geology Graduate Committee if you have questions about our graduate programs.


Applications are submitted online here: USU School of Graduate Studies. Your application materials must be complete and on file at the School of Graduate Studies within the first full week of January to be considered for acceptance the following academic year. This means planning well in advance to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Decisions about admittance and assistantships are made in March and April.

Waiver of Application Fee

The Department of Geosciences will cover the application fee for all prospective PhD students and all prospective Diversity Fellowship students. Please contact our faculty graduate director to arrange this.

Apply to the Climate Adaptation Science program

If you are interested, discuss with your prospective graduate advisor whether you should apply for a CAS Specialization to your Geo graduate degree. Learn more about the separate CAS application process.

Evaluation of Applicants

Applicant evaluations for our graduate program are based on GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and the advocacy and support available from faculty. To be considered for admission into the MS Program with matriculated status, your GPA should be above 3.0 (A=4.0) and for the GRE, your scores should be no less than the 40th percentile. For admission into the PhD Program, your GPA should be above 3.4 and for the GRE, your scores should be no less than 50th percentile.

Departmental Financial Support

Departmental financial aid for research-focused students consists primarily of graduate research or teaching assistantships. These positions pay at a competitive rate for either a 9-month or 12-month appointment, and a graduate stipend goes further in Utah where the cost of living is relatively low. Tuition expenses are covered for holders of assistantships. Finally, student health insurance is subsidized by our department.

In additon, we have enhanced, 12-month diversity fellowship available for eligible graduate students:

Information About Our Graduate Diversity Fellowship

There is also a Presidential Doctoral Fellowship available to PhD students:

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship available

The Geosciences Department at Utah State University is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education's (WICHE) Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). Students from western states may be able to enroll in USU's MS in Applied Environmental Geoscience Program and have their non-resident tuition waived.