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The deadline for applications for Fall 2017 admission is December 15, 2016. The admissions committee will begin review of applications in early November 2016, in order to identify potential candidates for non-departmental university fellowships, including University Graduate Fellowships (UGF) and Funds for Excellence in Graduate Recruitment Assistantships (FEGR). To be considered for these prestigious awards, application materials must be received by November 18, 2016.

This deadline applies to all domestic and international students. Students are expected to have a bachelor's degree in some branch of the natural or physical sciences, engineering, or mathematics. A student also is expected to have completed standard introductory courses in geosciences, chemistry, physics, and mathematics through integral calculus, plus 15 credits of intermediate-level work in one or a combination of these subjects. Students who are admitted but have less than the minimum preparation in these subjects must make up their deficiencies prior to entry to the program. They may take courses concurrently with their graduate studies, but this is not encouraged. Students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests whose undergraduate grade-point average in courses pertinent to geosciences is below a 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) will be considered for admission only when there are strong indications that a 3.00 average can be maintained at the graduate level.

Students are admitted either to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree program. A student may work toward a Ph.D. degree without first earning a master's degree.


If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit the website at:

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application at:

Download and complete this department-specific form. You will need to upload it to the Graduate School application:
Course Summary

TOEFL (international students) and GRE Codes that you will need on your Application

TOEFL Code:   2660 (Institution Code)
GRE Code:  2660 (Institution Code)  0511 (Department Code)

 - As part of the online application process, you are required to upload electronic copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g. degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) in the language of instruction, as well as copies of an official English translation, if English is not the language of instruction.  (If you are offered admission, Penn State's Graduate School will request official transcripts by postal mail.  Note:  Offers of admission will be revoked if original, official documents do not arrive by specified deadlines, or if official documents do not match electronic copies provided prior to the offer of admission.

 - Provide official GRE and TOEFL scores to Penn State. You do not need to send a copy by mail if official scores are reported electronically in this manner.

 - Scores from the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test (GRE) can often be provided electronically to Penn State by the administering agency.

TOEFL or IELTS scores, can also be submitted electronically to Penn State by the administering agency. All international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received baccalaureate or master's degrees from an institution in which the language of instruction is English, must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. A TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test is required for admission.  If you take the iBT (internet-based TOEFL test), the minimums are 80 (total score) and 19 (speaking).

Note that your application will not be considered complete until you have filed your online application AND we have received the TOEFL and GRE, by official electronic submission to Penn State from the administering agency.  

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