Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

What transcripts are required?

What are the minimum GRE scores and GPA required for admission to the graduate program?

Are there additional requirements for international students? 

What ETS code should I use for the GRE and TOEFL exams?

Why do you recommend that I take the GRE (or TOEFL) before December?

Do I need to submit all of the admissions materials at one time?

Is the deadline for the letters of recommendation the same as the application deadline?

Can I apply for direct admittance to the Ph.D. program if I don't have a M.S.?

Are graduate assistantships available for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs?

How competitive is the admission process?

How do I apply? The "How to Apply" page lists the deadlines and provides a link to a pdf that contains further detailed information on the application process.  Use the "Apply Online" link in the menu to access the online application.  

What transcripts are required? Unofficial transcripts for all institutions attended for prior undergraduate or graduate degree work should be uploaded for the initial application following the application instructions.  Applicants selected for further consideration by the Admissions Committee will be required to submit official transcripts. Those applicants will usually be notified in February, but may be notified at a later date. Official transcripts must be requested from the appropriate institution’s Registrar.  International students must submit English translations of their transcripts.

What are the minimum GRE scores and GPA required for admission to the graduate program? For regular admission, the School of Marine Science requires a minimum combined score of 300 on the GRE and a GPA of 3.0+ (on scale of 4.0).  Applicants who do not meet the minima may be considered for provisional admission.  The Admissions Committee reviews all submitted materials to determine academic potential.

Are there additional requirements for international students? In addition to the GRE scores, international applicants whose native language is not English must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score. A minimum TOEFL score of 94 or a score of 7 on the IELTS is recommended for admission.  An exception to this rule is the international student who has earned an undergraduate degree at a North American university. 

What ETS code should I use for the GRE and TOEFL exams?  The code for GRE scores is 5871.  The code for TOEFL scores is 5871 – Department code 99.

Why do you recommend that I take the GRE (or TOEFL) before December? ETS sends official test scores to us by mail.  Typically, the score reports arrive 2-3 weeks after the test date.  During the December holidays, the scores may take even longer to arrive.  GRE and TOEFL scores will be uploaded by SMS staff as they are received.  The deadline for receipt of test scores is January 5th.

Do I need to submit all of the admissions materials at one time? Applicants can log in to the admissions system to work on the on-line application and upload documents until the January 5th deadline. 

Is the deadline for the letters of recommendation the same as the application deadline? The deadline for letters of recommendation is January 16, 2017.  It is highly recommended that applicants complete the section of the SMS application identifying their referees by the end of November so that their referees have sufficient time to submit letters of recommendation.  We are aware that many faculty travel or conduct field work during the December-January break and it may be difficult for them to send a letter during that time.

Can I apply for direct admittance to the Ph.D. program if I don't have a M.S.? Applicants who have not completed a Master’s degree in marine science or a closely allied field may apply to the M.S program or select the M.S. program bypass option on the application.  Students without a Master’s who wish to bypass to the doctoral program submit a formal application to bypass in year 2 of the program.  Applicants who hold or are completing a Master’s in marine science or a closely allied field may apply for direct admission to the Ph.D program.

Are graduate assistantships available for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs? Students in the program are funded in various ways, but most commonly the stipend, tuition and an allocation for health insurance for M.S. and Ph.D. program students are provided through a combination of institutional funds and grants and contracts to the advisor.  See the “Costs & Financial Aid” page for further information.

How competitive is the admission process?  Over the past 5 years, we admitted < 25% of applicants.  We are unable to make an offer of admission until we have identified a faculty advisor who agrees to provide financial support for the student for the normal duration of the program.