Orange Alert

Application Information

Applications for fall admission are strongly encouraged by January 15; later applications may be considered. The Department only admits students that have identified faculty advisors, so it is recommended you contact potential advisors in your field of interest either before or after application. (Please indicate your preferred faculty advisor in the Personal Statement section of your application.) Applications are submitted through an online system and forwarded to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Admission Requirements

  • Incoming students are expected to have two semesters of the following courses: calculus, chemistry, and physics or biology.
  • Applicants must have at least 12 credit hours in Earth and Environmental Science-related courses, such as: Remote Sensing, Paleobiology, Sedimentology, Mineralogy, low-temperature Geochemistry, Geophysics, Climatology, Geomorphology, and/or Hydrogeology.
  • Some advisors have a strong preference for students who have completed a summer field course or who possess other comparable field experience.
  • We evaluate applications based on fit with your advisor, grades and GPA, coursework, personal statement, research experience, and letters of recommendation.
  • If an advisor requires GRE scores, please report these scores directly to the potential advisor.
  • International/non-native English speakers must take the TOEFL exam; applicants with scores < 80 are unlikely to be admitted.

Required Application Materials

(1) a complete Graduate Application Form; (2) a personal statement that describes research and/or teaching experience, research interests, career goals, and identified faculty members in our program you are interested in working with as an advisee; (3) three letters of recommendation; and (4) official transcripts. The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English. Officials scores must be reported. Exceptions for students who have previously been immersed in the English language can be considered on a case by case basis.

Financial Support

Students who make satisfactory progress in their programs receive 4 (M.S.) to 8 (Ph.D.) semesters of financial support. The form of support varies between teaching or research assistantships with a tuition scholarship during the academic year. Summer financial support is advisor dependent. All students that will be candidates for teaching assistantships must have sufficient background to provide instructional support for introductory Earth Sciences courses. There are a handful of Syracuse University Fellowships available for graduate students. Applying to local and national programs for graduate fellowships is strongly encouraged.

Syracuse has a low cost of living, which means our assistantship stipend provides a comfortable income and Syracuse University provides excellent health insurance options. University-funded students are eligible to participate in the University's Group Health Care Plan. Coverage details and premium rates can be found at the Barnes Center.


Applications are reviewed by the Department's Graduate Advisory Committee immediately following the application deadline. Decisions regarding suitability for admission and nominations for fellowships are made as soon as possible. The initial round of admission offers are usually issued in on or around March 1.