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Considering applying for graduate school in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky? Fill out the Mini App! This form lets us know that you are interested in our program and helps match you with a potential advisor, if you haven't already been in contact with one. This initial step is free and separate from the full application that you would fill out when you apply to University of Kentucky. If you aren't sure where to start, start here! 

Fill Out the
Mini App Here


Application Deadlines:

Graduate applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and admissions are determined based on department needs, the strength of the application, and the ultimately availability of funding. Students interested in Fall semester admissions are strongly advised to submit completed applications by early January, though earlier is preferable. Students interested in Spring semester admissions are strongly advised to submit completed applications by early October.

Application Materials:

The Graduate School requires an official on-line application (with application fee), including digital copies of transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended (unofficial scanned copies are acceptable) and 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. 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 is required. If the application fee constitutes a financial hardship, please contact the director of graduate studies to discuss options ( In addition, as part of the on-line application, the Department requires three confidential letters of reference, and a statement about your research interests.

Guidance for letter writers can be found here.

Guidance on personal statements for students seeking admissions is located here

For more details on the admissions process from the UK Graduate School and the full application, please click here.

Reminder: When you apply, ensure you are choosing the correct degree and program (MS or PhD and Geological Sciences)

Choose Geological Sciences for your degree

Admissions Criteria:

Our department has developed a multi-faceted rubric for admissions for holistic, systematic evaluations. 

  1. Undergraduate preparation. We have enrolled students with backgrounds in geology, environmental science, physics, chemistry, and engineering and will consider other aligned STEM disciplines on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Letters of recommendation (n=3
  3. Undergraduate and graduate grade point average (minimum of 2.75/4.0 is set by UK's Graduate School; our most successful students have had GPAs > 3.3/4.0)
  4. Experience (undergraduate research, employment, life history) that speaks to scholarly potential
  5. Personal statements - articulation of motivations for pursuing the advanced degree
  6. Alignment with program diversity values
  7. Availability of an adviser and resources. *All prospective graduate students must identify and discuss the possibility of admissions and available projects with a faculty adviser, as this individual is the person who advocates for a teaching assistantship or research assistantship support. Both regular faculty and adjunct faculty advise students in our program. We have limited funding available for new graduate students that is awarded on a competitive basis, so having a faculty advocate during the admissions process is quite critical. We do not advise making a formal application until it has been recommended by a faculty advocate.