Admission Criteria

Admission is fairly competitive. Evaluation is based on each applicant’s entire record along with the documents that have been submitted with each application. This holistic approach examines such factors as:

  • GPAs – Undergraduate and Graduate cumulative GPAs above a 3.0 will receive preference.
    The Graduate School’s minimum requirement is 2.75.
  • GRE scores – Although a minimum score is not required, scores and percentile of the national average weighs heavy in the overall evaluation of the application.
  • Courses taken – It is assumed that a student beginning an M.S. program would have completed the course requirements for a B.S. in Geosciences or a geology-related field.
  • Involvement in independent research
  • And letters of recommendation – Three are required.

It is based on these evaluations that the department faculty will rank the prospective students to determine who will receive the graduate assistant offers for the upcoming academic year. See below for the average GPA and GRE scores of recently admitted students.

How Many Students Are Admitted?

Students work in close association with their major professors. The student: major professor ratio is about 3:1. Given this ratio, the department has room for approximately 35 graduate students, with about 6 new students admitted to the M.S. program and about 2 new students admitted to the doctoral program each year. A total of 14 students applied to the M.S. program and 3 for the doctoral program for the Fall 2012. Ten M.S. students were accepted, 1 doctoral, and only 6 of them received graduate assistantship offers and have enrolled for the academic year.

GPA and GRE of Recently Admitted Students

The Department of Geosciences prefers to hold incoming students to a higher standard than the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School, in particular when referring to their minimum grade-point average and Graduate Record Examination score. Below are summary statistics on students that have been recently admitted to the M.S. and doctoral programs. Average scores are included.

M.S. Doctoral
GPA, undergrad, all courses. 3.413 3.393
GPA, graduate. N/A 3.736
GRE, Verbal 154 156
GRE, Quantitative 154 151
GRE, Writing 3.98 3.5