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.
Decisions are finalized by mid April.
Complete applications require the following additional materials:
- Application Fee of $95. Application fee waivers may be available to applicants who meet the requirements of eligibility set by The Graduate School. Requesting an application fee waiver is part of the application process.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- GRE scores for the general test.
- A scanned copy of your transcript or academic record from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended. Applicants upload scanned versions online. Please include an official English translation to accompany any foreign language transcripts.
- Writing sample.
- Personal statement (no more than two pages).
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:
- By providing acceptable Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. The test must be taken no more than two years before the intended quarter of entry. To qualify for admission, students must earn a minimum score of 90 on the internet test, or a 7.0 on the IELTS.
- By earning an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, where the language of instruction is English. Please contact the Program Assistant to inquire about whether your institution qualifies for this exemption.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!Back to top