Graduate Admission

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Prospective Graduate Students

The majority of the School of Earth and Space Exploration’s (SESE) admissions are for the fall semester. Spring admissions occur under special circumstances. For full consideration of funding and campus recruitment activities, the following application dates apply. Applications are encouraged before these dates and those received after may be considered at a lower priority for funding:

January 15 of the current year for fall admission
October 1 of the previous year for spring admission

To be eligible for admission to SESE’s graduate program applicants must:

SESE no longer requires applicants to take the GRE. Although this change may not be reflected on all of ASU’s webpages it is effective immediately.

Additional Items to Consider:

  • Most applicants will have a degree in an area related to the graduate degree they are seeking, although this is not a requirement.
  • Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee admission to the program.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty ahead of time to discuss our programs and current opportunities. Our faculty often attend international meetings prior to the application deadline, for instance the December American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the January American Astronomical Society (AAS) meetings and applicants attending these meetings are encouraged to make contact with faculty during these events.
  • Students who complete a 3-year bachelor’s degree are required to show proof of 1-year of graduate studies to be eligible for admission to ASU.

Application Information

All application materials are submitted online through the Graduate Admissions electronic application. The application will provide instructions regarding the required materials, which include:

1.  Basic application and fee

https://admission.asu.edu/graduate/apply

2. Statement of Purpose 

Applicants must prepare a statement of purpose explaining the interest in our program, academic/professional goals and areas of interest. Applicants should also reference the names of faculty with whom they are interested in working or have already consulted. Statements are uploaded to the electronic application and are generally a few pages in length.

3. Three letters of recommendation 

In the degree portion of the electronic application, applicants must provide email addresses for referees. Referees will receive automated requests to fill out SESE’s electronic letter of recommendation form where they can also upload a written letter of support. Once the electronic application is submitted, students may send reminder emails to referees and edit referee contact info through MYASU: https://webapp4.asu.edu/myasu.

4. Demonstration of English Proficiency

International graduate applicants whose native language is not English are required to show proof of English proficiency. More information can be found here: https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency .

Official English proficiency test scores must be sent directly from the agency administering the test to the ASU Admissions. The ASU Institution code is 4007. Test results should not be sent directly to SESE.

5. Transcripts from all former institutions

Applicants must have one set of transcripts from every college and university attended sent to ASU. For more information about transcripts please visit: https://admission.asu.edu/graduate/apply .

See the Graduate Admissions website for more details regarding application materials.

6. Academic Record form

Downloadable Academic Record form PDF and Word doc

This form is intended to highlight the coursework applicants have taken that is applicable to the degree for which they are applying. It is not a replacement for official transcripts and is required in addition to official transcripts. Applicants should fill out the academic record form as completely as possible. The form must be uploaded to the Academic Record section of the online application. Applicants who are unable to fill out the form electronically should fill it out by hand, scan it, and upload it to the Academic Record section of the application.

All official documents must be mailed to Graduate Admissions:

If sending by stamped mail: 

Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
PO Box 871004
Tempe, AZ 85287-1004

If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS:

Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
1150 East University Drive, Building C, Room 226
Tempe, AZ 85281

Additional Application Information

Prior to the application deadline, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors to discuss research interests and to explore research opportunities. Networking at an early stage can strongly enhance admissions decisions.

The graduate admissions committee may not review incomplete applications. It is important for applicants to turn in all the required materials as early as possible.

Late applications are accepted although they may not receive the same consideration as those turned in by the deadline.

It is the student’s responsibility to confirm that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by SESE. Inquiries may be sent to sese-grad@asu.edu .

Graduate Student Admissions FAQ

How do I submit my application materials? 
All application materials for SESE graduate programs are submitted through the Graduate Admissions electronic application. More information regarding the electronic admissions application can be found at: https://admission.asu.edu/graduate/apply.

What materials will be required to submit to be considered for admission?
The Graduate Admissions application will guide students on the appropriate application materials that need to be submitted. These include the application and fee, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, academic record form and official transcripts from all schools previously attended. Curriculum vitae are optional but encouraged. International students whose native language is not English will be required to submit additional documents. For more information, please visit: https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency .

Who should I have write letters of recommendation for my application?
The most useful letters of recommendation will come from faculty members, instructors, or other individuals who have worked closely with an applicant and can comment on his/her research experience and scientific potential. Letters from employers are acceptable, if necessary.

Do I have to pay the application fee? 
Yes. Applicants must submit the application fee before the Graduate Admissions office will release the application materials for SESE to review.

Is there a special form to complete for financial support through a Graduate Assistantship?
Financial support is considered for all applicants and there is no additional paperwork necessary to complete. More information about financial support can be found here: https://sese.asu.edu/student-life/financial-support .

What is the minimum acceptable score for the English Proficiency Exam?
The minimum TOEFL iBT score for anyone to be admitted into an ASU graduate program is 80. The minimum IELTS score required is 6.5. The minimum PTE score is 60. These scores are determined by ASU Graduate Admissions and students with scores below these are not eligible for admission. See the Graduate Admissions website for more information, including expiration dates for English Proficiency test scores: https://admission.asu.edu/international/graduate/english-proficiency.

What score on the speaking section of the English Proficiency test do I need to obtain to receive a Teaching Assistantship? 
Admitted international students must demonstrate additional English language proficiency to qualify for a TA assignment, unless the student received a 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL or an 8 or higher on the speaking portion of the IELTS. Achieving these minimum scores provides an exemption from the additional English language proficiency requirements for a TA position. More information about this can be found at: https://learnenglish.asu.edu/international-teaching-assistant.

If I send my application information in an email, can I receive a pre-evaluation to see if I am eligible to apply? 
Admissions eligibility requirements are listed here: https://sese.asu.edu/admission/graduate-admission . As a result, we do not pre-evaluate applications for admission. All application materials must be received before a final admissions decision will be made.

How many students will you admit this year?
Admissions are based on the number of TA and RA spots available; however, SESE typically enrolls around 20 to 25 students each fall.

Do you accept applications from students who are transferring from other graduate programs? If so, how many credits can I transfer to my SESE degree?
Students coming from another graduate program will apply through the standard admissions application process. The Graduate College has restrictions on how many credits students can transfer from previous graduate programs. See the ASU pre-admission credit policy in the Graduate College policies and procedures guide for more information regarding prior graduate credits earned and how they may be applied to a new graduate program: https://graduate.asu.edu/policies-procedures.

Do I need to send official transcripts to both the Graduate College and SESE? 
No. Official transcripts must only be sent to the Graduate Admissions office.

I missed the deadline for application. Can I still apply? 
Applications received after the deadline for fall admission may be reviewed and considered; however, we cannot guarantee that the application will receive the same consideration as if it was sent on time. In addition, the applicant may not be eligible for special scholarships or fellowships. International students must consider important dates for the issuance of immigration documents. Please refer to the following website for this information: https://students.asu.edu/international/immigration.

Do all supporting documents need to be submitted by the deadline?
Supporting documents may be submitted after the deadline; however, preference may be given to applicants whose files are complete by the application date. Students are encouraged to submit applications early to allow time for items being sent by other parties (letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc.) to be received.

Should I contact individual professors to see if they will consider me for their research group? 
Absolutely, yes! Applicants will be asked to provide names of prospective faculty advisors on their application. The intent is that applicants have been in contact with these faculty members prior to applying. These connections will help determine if applicants will be a good fit for the faculty member’s research group based on how well their scientific goals and interests align. SESE has a committee who reviews graduate applications but decisions are made based on individual admissions recommendations from faculty. These recommendations often stem from outside contact faculty have had with applicants.

When will a decision be made on my application? 
The SESE admissions committee will review applications for fall beginning in late January. Recommendations for admissions will begin in February and continue through April.

I am an international student, when should I submit the Financial Guarantee Form? 
The Financial Guarantee form should be submitted only if you are accepted to a graduate program. The Graduate College will send information on completing this form with their official admissions notification.

For questions regarding official documents and other Graduate Admissions requirements, see the website:https://admission.asu.edu/contact/faqs#graduate .

Please direct any unanswered questions to the SESE Academic Programs Office at sese-grad@asu.edu.