Graduate application

Applications are accepted on a rolling admission for each term until six weeks before the start of the term. Please check the university academic calendar for term start dates

For fall term enrollment, applications that are RECEIVED by January 15 have a greater chance for funding opportunities.

To apply, please follow the directions on the Graduate School's admissions page.

GRE scores

For master's students, GRE scores are waived if your undergraduate GPA is above 3.0. For PhD students, GRE scores are waived if your undergraduate and graduate GPA are above 3.0 and you have approval from your major professor.

We only require the general GRE exam. Your GRE scores should be from a test date within the last 5 years. You should plan to take your GRE’s well in advance of the deadline as it may take weeks for scores to reach the Graduate School. We would like to see a combined minimum score of 300. Enter your test scores in the online application and have your scores sent directly to the Graduate School from your testing agency. Learn more about sending GRE scores directly to the Graduate School. 

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts can be added to your online application. We will contact you for official copies if they are necessary. 

Requirements summary

For all students:

International requirements:

  • Follow the Graduate School's international admission requirements
  • TOEFL - 550 for Regular Admission, 500 – 547 Conditional Admission
  • TOEFL iBT - 80 with a minimum score of 18 on each section for regular admission, 60-79 Conditional Admission
  • IELTS - 6.5 for Regular Admission, 6.0 Conditional Admission
  • INTO OSU – Program information
  • PSM international applicants with English scores below the required minimums will be considered for an INTO OSU Graduate Pathway

International students

Please review the information for international students on the Graduate School's website. 

Letters of reference

We require three letters of recommendation. You will enter the contact information of your reference writers on the online application. Letters should come from academic or professional contacts that have had enough experience working with the applicant to evaluate the individual’s ability to be successful in a graduate program. At least one letter should be from a professor. Letters from personal references are not acceptable.

Statement of goals

The statement of academic and career goals is perhaps the most important requirement for your application.

The statement is entered on the “Other Graduate Questions” page of the online application. Please keep your statement to no more than 700 words.

In your statement please include:

  • A BRIEF personal history regarding why you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in Environmental Sciences at Oregon State University 
  • What you would like to research specifically

In order to be successful, graduate students must have a well-defined idea of what type of research, and in what field, they would like to undertake for their thesis project. Vague interests such as “human-environmental interactions” or “environmental degradation” are not helpful in finding a specific track to pursue. Specific interests, for example “riparian management in forest ecosystems" or "remediation of toxic waste sites,” can make finding a major professor and research project much easier than broad, unfocused topics. Applicants should have a firm understanding of what they want to research, what types of research projects are currently being conducted at Oregon State, and how their interests coincide with these projects.

CV or résumé

Please upload a current CV or résumé to your application.

Prerequisites

There are no specific requirements for our program since students can go in many different directions with their studies. Finding a major professor early in the application process is important so you can discuss your background. This discussion is sometimes the longest part of the application process. Previous scientific training or professional experience is preferred and varies by concentration.

Finding a major professor

Finding a major professor is the most complicated requirement for admission to the program for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and the primary reason that applicants are not admitted. Prospective PSM students do not need to find a major professor for admission.

Start early and be persistent. Find faculty that share your interests, study their most recent publications and explore their future research goals. The Environmental Sciences Graduate Program allows tremendous flexibility to explore a broad range of classes and topics, so our students can work with ANY professor and even affiliated professionals in the community.

We have a list of professors that have worked with our students before, but applicants should not feel limited to this list. Remember, our students can work with individuals in any department.

Our office staff is not able to stay up-to-date with the current research projects of every professor in the university. It is the applicant's responsibility to identify and contact professors with whom they would like to work.

Keep in mind that this search can take a long time. Once your complete application has been received by the Graduate School, we will email the professor(s) listed on your application with access information to view your application. This email is rarely enough to secure a major professor, which is why applicants must contact professors directly via email, phone, mail, or personal contact. When you find professors that are interested in working with you, they can contact our office by email to gain access to your application online.

Learn more about the responsibilities of your major professor »