Graduate Programs Application Information


Applications for fall admissions strongly encouraged by JANUARY 15th; later applications considered but with diminished chances of financial support.  Students are strongly encouraged to apply for MS or PhD degrees.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have earned a B.S. or a B.A. degree. Our minimum scores for consideration are: Quantitative ≥600 or ≥148, Verbal ≥450 or ≥150 and W ≥3.   Most competitive applicants score well above this range.  International/non-English speaking students must take the TOEFL exam.  We generally follow the University guidelines, which require a minimum composite TOEFL score of 85 and no subscore below 20, except writing which must be 21 or higher, although the University allows departments to make their own decisions as necessary. 

It is expected that all students admitted to the Department of Earth Sciences that will be candidates for TA appointments will, without exception, have the background and experience to be capable of holding a teaching assistantship for an introductory Earth Sciences course.   Potential graduate students will have taken, or will take during their first two years in residence, at least three core Earth Science courses, such as: Paleobiology, Sedimentology, Mineralogy, Structural Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Climatology, Geomorphology and/or Hydrogeology.  In addition, all incoming graduate students are expected to have successfully completed a full year (2 semesters) of Calculus, Chemistry, and either Physics or Biology.  It is recommended that they have participated in a field course or approved field experience.

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. 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. (See Awards & Fellowships

Given Syracuse's low cost of living, this is a comfortable income. In addition, tuition is paid in full, and Syracuse University provides excellent health insurance options. University Fellows, graduate assistants, and graduate associates 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 for Fall admissions strongly encouraged by JANUARY 15th. Start your Online application.  Incomplete applications may delay review of your application, therefore, you should request your transcripts and encourage recommenders to submit their letters through the online application system as soon as possible.

General Application Instructions

The Enrollment Management Center (EMC) directs the processing of admissions and applications for all programs of graduate study. To start your online application, please link to: Graduate Admissions.  

Required Application Materials:  Graduate Application Form (online), Personal Statement: include research and/or teaching experience, research interests, career goals, and identify faculty members in our program you are interested in working under.  Three (3) letters of recommendation, Official Transcripts, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants. (CODE: 2823). Officials scores must be reported.TOEFL or IELTS 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.

Contact Us

Department of Earth Sciences
204 Heroy GL
Ph: 315-443-2672
Fx: 315-443-3363