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Applying to the EPS Graduate Program


A strong foundation in math and science is the main prerequisite for admission to our graduate program. We welcome students with backgrounds that span the range of STEM disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science, and mathematics, in addition to those whose undergraduate preparation was in geology or earth sciences. We encourage students who have not studied geoscience as an undergraduate to pay close attention to prerequisites for the graduate level courses they wish to take.

Applications will be accepted again in Fall 2020; final deadline to be announced at that time.

Students should review The Graduate School's application requirements. Students must complete an on-line application on CollegeNet, where you will first need to create a password-protected account. The online application site becomes active in early September for admission to the following year's incoming Fall Quarter class. Prospective students must submit their applications by the announced deadline to be considered for the full range of financial support including fellowships, research and teaching assistantships.

Application Timeline

Decisions are finalized by mid April.

Complete applications require the following additional materials:

 Additional Requirements for Foreign Applicants

Foreign applicants from countries in which English is not the native language must certify their English proficiency in one of the following ways:

Financial Support

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences provides all of its Ph.D. students full tuition support and living assistance for five years, provided they maintain satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degrees. The support package includes the tuition scholarship, a living stipend, and Northwestern student health insurance. Students may apply for additional financial support for field research and travel to conferences and professional meetings. First-year graduate students are frequently supported by University Fellowships and, to a lesser extent, research and teaching assistantships. To qualify for teaching assistantships, foreign students must demonstrate proficiency in spoken English.

The Writing Sample

Writing samples may include reports, papers, a thesis, a proposal, or another document on any subject matter. Writings in English are preferred but writing samples in other languages may also be submitted. It is not necessary to develop a writing sample solely for the purpose of the graduate school application.

Contact us!

Students interested in receiving information on graduate studies in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University are invited to browse our website. You may also e-mail us at to request additional information. If you know the area(s) of Earth and Planetary Sciences that you'd like to pursue, please contact relevant faculty (research expertise is described on individual faculty web pages) directly via e-mail to discuss mutual research interests. We look forward to hearing from you!

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