Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Geography Graduate Program Application Instructions

Applicants wishing to start their studies during the fall term of 2017 should submit all application materials by January 5, 2017. Decisions for fall term admission are usually completed by April 15.

Submit all items before the deadline. It takes a few days for mail to be delivered to the appropriate person and for the online application to be processed. Applications will not be evaluated unless all items have been received by the deadline. The online application should be available for staff to view the day after you submit it to the Graduate School. Please note that waiting until the application deadline to submit your online admission application will make your completed application late. Therefore, please submit your application as soon as possible so you have time to submit the rest of the material by the application deadline.

OSU Graduate Admissions Application (submit online)

Please fill out the online graduate admissions application carefully and completely. If you have trouble accessing the online application, email the Graduate School or call them at 541-737-4881.

The online application includes a section for a written statement of objectives. Make sure you complete this part of the application. Your application will not be complete without it.

The statement of objectives should be no more than 1-2 pages long and should include your reason for pursuing an advanced degree; the specific topic you would like to research; any research you have already done and the results; and your long-range plans.

After you submit your online application, you will be directed to a page titled "Your application for graduate admission has been submitted." This page will have directions for the online letter of recommendation system and the option to upload unofficial documents including transcripts, tests scores and your resume.

GRE Scores

(submit electronically to OSU)

GRE scores are required. Please have your official general GRE exam scores sent to the OSU Graduate School electronically. The school code is 4586. There is no need for a department code. Your GRE scores should be from a test date within the last five years. Take your GRE test well in advance of the application deadline as it may take weeks for scores to reach the Graduate School. The scores will be loaded onto the computer database so that we have access to them.

If you are concerned about your scores arriving by the application deadline, you may upload your unofficial test scores via the online application process.

English Language Proficiency Test Scores

(Required for international applicants only—submit electronically to OSU)

Test scores for English language proficiency are required for all international applicants.

TOEFL: Official TOEFL scores should be sent directly to the OSU Graduate School electronically.

IELTS: Upload your IELTS report sheet to your online application. The Graduate School is able to verify authenticity and accuracy of the test scores.

You should arrange to take the language proficiency test well in advance of the deadline as it may take weeks for scores to reach the Graduate School. The scores will be loaded onto the application database so that we have access to them. Additional information on the English Language Proficiency Test requirements can be found on the OSU Graduate School web site.

If you are concerned about your scores arriving by the application deadline, you may upload your unofficial test scores via the online application process.

Transcripts

You will scan and upload your unofficial academic records for review purposes during the online application process. A certified English translation is required for all credentials not originally issued in English. You must provide complete documentation of all certificates, degrees, titles, or diplomas earned, as well as grades or mark sheets from your academic institution. All scanned documents are considered unofficial.

Three Letters of Reference

The online reference request system is available from within the application. Be sure to send requests in time for references to submit their letters before the January 5th deadline. You can submit requests prior to completing the application and paying the fee.

Resume

(submit online to Graduate School)

Please upload a copy of your resume via the online application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the acceptance process work?

The Graduate School reviews all applications to determine if minimum standards for admission to graduate study at OSU are met. The minimum standards include a four-year baccalaureate degree and a grade point average of at least 3.00 GPA on the last 90 hours of coursework.

Faculty determine the relative merits of qualified applicants before selecting a subset of applicants for acceptance. Graduate admission is fundamentally different from undergraduate admission because individual faculty members must agree to be research mentors (major professors) for accepted students. The availability of research mentors is the primary limiting factor in determining the number of students that will be admitted.

Strong academic records are necessary, but not sufficient, condition for acceptance. Assuming the academic track is acceptable, faculty reviewers examine applications to select those with the best fit for the program and available mentors. Applicants are encouraged to review the College website to understand available programs, the roster of faculty, and research directions before applying.

How do I find out about faculty/student research activities and interests?

On the CEOAS Geography Graduate Major web page, you will find links to faculty member pages. Start researching possible faculty mentors early and be persistent. Find faculty that share your interests by studying their most recent publications, and exploring their future research goals. Then contact them via email or telephone to let them know you are applying and you are interested in their research.

Do I have to have a degree in the field to which I am applying?

No. All CEOAS graduate programs admit exceptionally talented applicants with a variety of academic backgrounds. In most cases, background deficiencies can be eliminated after admission to our program by completing specific coursework. In some cases, you may be able to eliminate deficiencies before arrival at OSU.

Applicants to the geography program must have completed courses in statistics, natural resources/conservation, cartography and physical geography before arrival or complete the equivalent undergraduate courses soon after arrival at OSU.

What kinds of financial aid are available to an applicant?

Graduate teaching or research assistantships provide a monthly stipend, tuition remission and partially paid health insurance. You should indicate an interest by marking the appropriate boxes on the online admission application for both a teaching assistantship and a research assistantship if you are willing to accept either type of position. By limiting yourself to only one type of position, you are reducing the chances of receiving financial assistance.

The Graduate School offers scholarships, fellowships and loans. Information about these opportunities is found on the Graduate School Financing Your Education web page.

If I am admitted without an offer of financial assistance, is it likely that I will receive financial aid from the College after I begin my studies?

We make financial commitments to students as funds become available from research grants, state appropriations, contracts and gifts. It is possible that an offer of financial aid will be forthcoming sometime after arrival at OSU. However, we cannot guarantee that you will receive funding. If you are admitted, but not awarded an assistantship, you should be prepared to be a self-supporting student.

Questions or Concerns

Contact Lori Hartline at 541-737-5188 or lhartlin@coas.oregonstate.edu.