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College of Arts & Sciences
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

SEOE Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of the Earth, Ocean & Envrionment (SEOE) graduate program requires a successful application to the USC Graduate School, and the recommendation of the Program. Successful applicants must have received a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited college or university and meet admission requirements set by The Graduate School.

Applicants should have acquired competence in one of the fields of basic science. However, more important than any fixed entrance requirements, the candidate’s academic record and other credentials must indicate the potential to progress satisfactorily in graduate studies. Students that are typically accepted into the SEOE graduate program have an undergraduate GPA exceeding 3.0 and letters of recommendation that rank them in the upper 25% of their cohort. The SEOE does not have a specific set of required undergraduate courses but bases its admission mainly on demonstrated ability to do academic work and interest in the field of Geosciences, Marine Sciences or Environmental Sciences. Questions concerning admission should be submitted to the director of graduate studies. Deficiencies in prerequisite subjects must be made up before a student may proceed with graduate work. International students are required to adhere to additional requirements set by the Graduate School.

Moreover, successful applicants are required to have a minimum Verbal required score is 146 with a minimum Quantitative score of 144. GRE scores expire after 5 years. However, for admission to the PhD program, students will not be required to retake the GRE if: 1) they have taken the exam and received a minimum total verbal and quantitative score, and 2) they have a Master of Science Degree from an accredited U.S. institution with an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher, and 3) recommendations from qualified referees. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (internet-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. 

Applications should be submitted prior to January 15 to receive full consideration for assistantships and awards for Fall semesters, and as late as February 15 for applicants to the MEERM degree program.  Most assistantship and award decisions are made during the early spring (March-April) for Fall admission.

Spring and Summer term admissions are rare and are accepted only in special circumstances where applicant has discussed the possibility of admission in one of these terms with their potential faculty mentor and the graduate director.  Please select a Fall application term if you have not already discussed early admission with faculty mentor and graduate director. Spring and Summer applications are due by November 1