How To Apply
Before you apply, please review descriptions of the research programs of our faculty, contact those faculty members with whom you share research interests, and consider a visit to the campus to meet faculty and their students to discuss specific research interests, funding opportunities, and program information.
- Application and all supporting materials - Due Date: January 15th
- Notification of Admission: April 15th
- Questions? Contact us at Admissions@vims.edu
You may use the checklist below to ensure that all application materials are completed and submitted by the due date:
To apply online, set up a username/password and complete the Online Application. You will be able to edit your application in one or more sessions before it is submitted.
2. Letters of Recommendation
Note: Letters are requested automatically when you use the online application.
You will need three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge your scholarly and professional capabilities/potential. Requests for letters will be sent automatically when you list referees during the online application process. Your referees will receive an email notification from AD-AS@vims.edu with instructions on how to complete the letter of recommendation using our on-line system.
We recommend that you request letters by no later than early December.
Have each college or university you attended send an official transcript by the application due date to the address below.
We recommend that you request transcripts by no later than early December. You must have a transcript sent for every college or university attended regardless of the number of credits completed.
In general, the minimum GPA requirement for acceptance to SMS is a 3.0 (on scale of 4.0).
In order to expedite evaluation of records of foreign-educated students, English translations of transcripts of college
records must be provided naming courses taken, credits attempted, credits earned and grades. Where transcripts do not give these details, the transcripts must be accompanied by an official statement explaining how the scholastic record may be compared to that of the College of William & Mary.
Details must be given as the whether the courses are given on a semester basis (15 credits per semester, 30 per year, 120
for graduation), quarter basis (15 credits per semester, 45 per year, 180 for graduation) or other basis. In addition,
the grading scale must be explained showing the grade equivalence in terms of A (highest), B, C, D (passing) and F (failing).
4. GRE Scores
The GRE® General Test is required of all applicants.
VIMS/SMS Institution Code: 5871
GRE scores more than 5 years old will not be accepted.
We recommend that you take the GRE no later than November.
In general, the minimum combined GRE required for acceptance to SMS is 1100 (verbal + quantitative; for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011) or 300 (verbal + quantitative; for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011).
Scores in an Advanced section of the GRE in the applicant's undergraduate major field, or in an area appropriate to the applicant's proposed area of concentration in marine science are recommended, but not required.
5. TOEFL ScoresAll international students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
VIMS/SMS Institution Code: 5871
Department Code: 99
6. Essay/Objective Statement
Provide an objective statement [500 words or less] describing your research interests, career plans, and reasons for pursuing
graduate study at VIMS/SMS.
Include a description of experiences pertinent to your future research goals and explain your choice of potential advisor(s) and department(s).
Submit the essay online in .doc or .pdf format with the online application, mail with the paper application, or send an electronic version (.doc or .pdf) using the contact information below.
7. Résumé or CV
Provide a short summary of education, job experience, awards, presentations at scientific meetings, publications, and other
Submit the résumé online in .doc or .pdf format with the online application, mail with the paper application, or send an electronic version (.doc or .pdf) using the contact information below.
8. Virginia Residents
If you wish to claim Virginia domiciliary status, you will need to complete an Application for In-State Tuition Privileges.
Send the form to the VIMS/SMS Office of Academic Studies at the address below, not to the University Registrar on main campus as indicated on the application.
9. Processing Fee
A non-refundable processing fee of $50.00 (check or money order payable to the College of William & Mary) is required and must be sent directly to the Office of Academic Studies (address below).
The School of Marine Science is pleased to waive the application fee for anyone who has served honorably in the armed forces of the United States. You must contact the Office of Academic Studies before January 15 if you wish to request a fee waiver for service in the US armed forces.
- International Students—If you are offered admission, a Supplemental International Form will be required before an I-20 can be issued.
- If you have limited access to computers or if you have trouble downloading/printing any material, please contact us directly.
- Whether you apply online or by mail, ALL forms and other materials supporting the application are due by January 15.