Application Deadline: December 15th

Applications are accepted for FALL QUARTER ONLY. It is essential that your materials be on-time and complete for faculty and the admissions committee to properly evaluate your application.

It is important to click the correct button on the form to indicate your degree objective (MA, MA/Ph.D., or Ph.D.).

For general information about applying for graduate study at UCSB, please visit the Graduate Division website.

Geography Graduate Degree Program

Geography department Admissions Stats

Department Admission Criteria

An undergraduate grade-point average (3.25 or >) is required. The University minimum GPA for admission is 3.0. All entrants are required to submit verbal, quantitative, and analytical GRE scores upon formal application total combined verbal and quantitative scores must be above 302 (in the current version and 1100 in the previous version). The test must have been taken within the last five years to be valid–the Graduate Division will accept any GRE score, as long as it is official from ETS. When you register for the GRE, please use the Institution code for UCSB Geography (UCSB: 4835). A department code is not necessary. Undergraduate preparation in mathematics, statistics, and computer programming is strongly recommended. Applicants whose native language or language of undergraduate or graduate instruction was not English are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper test, 213 when taking the computer test, and 80 when taking the internet test. TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old at the time of admission. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL. Requests for exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English.

Department Applicant Evaluation Process

The initial evaluation is done by individual faculty as well as the department’s Graduate Committee, comprised of several faculty members and the Graduate Program Assistant. The Graduate Committee is responsible for admission decisions, taking into account individual faculty assessment as well as your academic record as presented in the application and supporting documents, proposed field of study, work experience (if relevant), and the fit of your goals and research interests to those of the program. Faculty assessment and sponsorship of an applicant is very important. It is recommended that you contact faculty you are interested in working with. Admission decisions are based on evaluations of your record in relation to the rest of the applicant pool. It is very important to indicate in your Statement of Purpose which faculty member(s) you are interested in working with and to be specific about which research areas within the broader subject headings of Human Geography (HG), Earth System Science (ESS) and Modeling, Measurement, and Computation (MMC) you are interested in. Also important is a Diversity Statement indicating the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences could include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region. Your diversity statement can also emphasize your experience with economic or educational disadvantage and/or your engagement in research or preparation for a career focused on problems related to individuals or groups who have experienced economic or educational disadvantage in society.