Considering applying for graduate school in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at University of Kentucky?

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Application Instructions for Prospective Graduate Students

Application Deadlines:

We typically accept six to eight new students for the fall term and one or two for the spring term. We review applicants for fall beginning February 1 and applicants for spring during the fall term as needed. Deadlines for domestic students are one month prior to the beginning of classes; deadlines for international students are: Fall, Mar. 15; Spring, Aug. 15.

Application Materials:

The Graduate School requires an official on-line application, including digital copies of transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended (unofficial scanned copies are acceptable), GRE scores (the institution code for the Grad School is R1837), TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international students who do not have English as their first language and who have not pursued a degree in an English-speaking country), and the application fee. In addition, as part of the on-line application, the Department requires three confidential letters of reference, and a statement about your research interests.

For more details please click here.

Admission Criteria:

Admission criteria include GPA, GRE scores, prior course work, letters of reference, previous experience, and match with faculty research interests.  

We typically require an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on all undergraduate and graduate work.  For international applicants, we require that applicants rank in the top 25% of their graduating classes.

Although we require that the GRE be taken, we don't require a minimum score. Applicants who score at least 75th percentile on one category of the GRE and who have (a) an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.30, (b) a GPA of 3.60 for the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate work, or (c) a GPA of 3.80 for a completed master’s degree (in each case from a US institution) are eligible for a Pirtle Fellowship, which provides $3,000 in summer salary.

We don't have fixed requirements for previous course work, but most of our students have had course work in geology as well as at least one year each of chemistry, physics, and calculus.

Whereas most of our applicants have a "standard" geology background, we also admit strong students with backgrounds in the sciences and engineering.

Spoken English proficiency is important because many of our graduate students are employed as teaching assistants (in particular, as laboratory instructors).  For international applicants, the Graduate School requires a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL (213 on the computerized version; 79 on the internet-based version) or 6.5 on the IELTS.

We typically only consider admission to the PhD program after completion of a master's degree either here at UK or at another US institution.

Students who are deficient in one or more respects may be admitted provi­sionally or as non-degree students by action of the Graduate Committee.

Your chances of admission are better if you've identified faculty members with whom you might work. We recommend you check out our listing of faculty research specialties at and contact faculty members in your areas of interest directly. Also, please refer to our Research Cluster pages.

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