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Application Information

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences welcomes applications to its graduate program from students with a keen interest in advancing knowledge in the Earth Sciences. The goal of our graduate program is to provide students with the critical and analytical skills and technical expertise to conduct independent and creative research. While many of our students will find successful careers in the Earth sciences, our mission is to develop broad-minded individuals with a sense of purpose, who can be leaders in any career of their choice.

Faculty Advisors

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty in the Department Earth and Environmental Studies who share their research interests. See the list of current faculty on our website. See also Research.


Tips for Applying...


Rackham Graduate School

Graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences are students in the Rackham Graduate School. Explore Rackham's website.

PhD Program

The Department provides financial support (tuition and stipend) to all students admitted to our PhD program. Students may opt to earn an embedded MS degree while pursuing a PhD. 

Students holding a BS degree may apply directly to the PhD program. 

MS Program

The Department offers a two-year Masters program with financial support for non-University of Michigan students. This program is also open to U-M students.



How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online. Prospective graduate students should follow the instructions on the Rackham Graduate School Admissions web site



Applications for Fall admission are due January 7.

A completed application form must be submitted on the ApplyWeb website by midnight on January 7, 2019. All other required items must be submitted by midnight on January 7, including all three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores.

Applications that fail to meet this deadline will not be considered for Fall Term admission.


Application Codes

PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences: 02043

MS in Earth and Environmental Sciences: 02044


Statement of Purpose 

Applicants should clearly state their research goals for graduate school in their Statement of Purpose. Your statement should highlight your research experience, such as lab work, publications, and conference presentations.


Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation in support of the student's application must be submitted. These letters should ordinarily be from professors at the student's last degree-granting institution. Recommenders must complete their recommendations online. When the applicant registers the recommenders' names in ApplyWeb, an email is automatically sent with a link to enter the recommendation online. Applicants should check the status of their recommendations on the CollegeNet website status page.



Upload with the Application:  Scanned or electronic copies of official transcripts should be uploaded with the application online. In addition to your official transcript from the university where you received/will receive your BS or MS, please upload copies of any other academic transcripts related to courses transferred for credit, if applicable. (Note that if your university only provides electronic transcripts, you may need to print a copy and scan it, then upload the scan with your application.)

U.S. Universities:  If you graduated or will graduate from a university located in the United States, your uploaded transcript is sufficient for our faculty to review your application. If you are recommended for admission, you will receive an email from the Rackham Graduate School Admissions Office, when you are required to submit your official transcript. (Note that Web App Status will show your uploaded transcript as "not received" because of the way the sofware works.)

Non-U.S. international institutions:  If you graduated or will graduate from an international university not located in the United States, mail your official transcript(s) to the Rackham Graduate School Admissions Office (in addition to uploading a copy with your application). See Instructions for Submitting Transcripts. Send the Academic Records/Transcript Submission Form with your official transcript so that it is quickly connected to your application. Be sure to include your University of Michigan ID number. See also Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions on Rackham's website.



Official GRE and TOEFL scores are required for all applicants except University of Michigan undergraduate majors in Earth and Environmental Sciences who are applying for the fifth-year MS program.

The University of Michigan code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 1839. (The department code is not necessary, since GRE and TOEFL scores are automatically added to applicant records as long as name and birth date can be matched.)

Applicants must request that their scores be sent to the University of Michigan using the code above. The scores will be downloaded to the University's database and automatically included in the application. Requests can be made on the GRE or TOEFL web site. Official downloaded GRE and TOEFL scores are required. Photocopies are not accepted. The applicant is expected to make his/her own arrangements to pay for these examinations and to see that the results are sent.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), prepared and administered by the Educational Testing Service, is required as part of the application for admission. The GRE is administered throughout the United States and many other countries throughout the year. Dates and places to take the examination may be found on the Educational Testing Service web site.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all non-native speakers. The University of Michigan requires a minimum TOEFL score for admission: 84 for the Internet Based TOEFL. However TOEFL scores lower than 100 are generally not competitive for admission to the Department. (For other English test minimum scores, please refer to the Rackham web site.)

See the Rackham Admissions Test Page for more information.


Application Checklist

Submit online or upload to ApplyWeb:

  • Application
  • Recommender names and email addresses
  • Transcript (scanned or electronic copy of official transcripts)
  • Statement of Purpose — include your research goals for graduate school
  • Personal Statement
  • Résumé or CV

Send to Rackham Graduate School Admissions Office:  Official transcripts only if you graduated from an international university not located in the U.S.

Do not mail anything to the Department office!
Anything sent to the office will not be reviewed with your application. 


How to Check your Application Status

You can check your application status on the University of Michigan Wolverine Access web site. Create a "friend account" on Wolverine Access and follow these directions.



If you or your recommender needs technical assistance regarding the application or recommendation systems please email ApplyWeb at Include the following information: user name, full name, email address, and phone number. ApplyWeb typically responds within 24 hours.

To contact the Earth and Environmental Sciences Graduate Admissions Office: email