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Application Info

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.

Successful applicants are highly motivated students with strong scientific backgrounds, who display independence, initiative, and perseverance. All applicants with undergraduate or MS degrees from any field of science and with an interest in the Earth Sciences will be considered.


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.


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. 

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.

For University of Michigan undergraduate students who are currently pursuing an Earth and Environmental Sciences major, we offer a fifth-year MS program.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online. Prospective graduate students should follow the instructions on the Rackham School of Graduate Studies web site. Program codes to use in the application may be found in the Earth and Environmental Sciences section of the Rackham web site.

Applicants should clearly state their research goals for graduate school in their Statement of Purpose. 


Applications for Fall admission are due January 10.

A completed application form, must be submitted on the ApplyWeb website by midnight on January 10. All other required items must be submitted on the ApplyWeb website by 5pm on January 10, 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.


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 to the Department.

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 obtained from the Educational Testing Service (P.O. Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540) or on their 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.)

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 CollegeNet, 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: Unofficial transcripts or scanned copies of official transcripts should be uploaded with the application online. In addition to your official transcript from your degree-granting institution, please upload with your application copies of all other academic transcripts related to courses transferred for credit, if applicable.

Official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only should be mailed to Rackham Admissions; see Instructions for Submitting Transcripts. Send the Academic Records/Transcript Submission Form with your official transcript so that it is quickly associated with your application. Be sure to include your University of Michigan ID number.

Application Checklist

Submit online or upload to ApplyWeb:

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

Send to Rackham Graduate School Admissions Office:

One set of official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only to:

Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Information about Rackham's transcript policy may be found on their web site. 

How to Check your Application Status

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


Contact the Earth and Environmental Sciences  Graduate Admissions Office.

Completing and Submitting Your Application for Admission

Click on the link above to submit your online application via Rackham's web site. Be sure to check the list of required materials before you continue to the online application.

Earth and Environmental Sciences section of the Rackham Graduate School website

Click on the link above for a list of graduate courses. Also listed are the program codes to use in the application and other information about PhD and MS programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Wolverine Access

This is the University's web portal and it's your first stop for most of the things you will need to do. For prospective students, you will check your application status and accept admission here. As a UM student, go to Wolverine Access to check your student account, register for classes, update your address, etc.

Ann Arbor Best Place to Live (PDF)

Rackham Student Life Web Site

Rackham's graduate student life web site has information about housing, health care, transportation, child care, etc.