Statement on Graduate Admissions

At the Jackson School of Geosciences, we strive to recruit and develop graduate students with the potential to change the world. We seek M.S. students who will discover their ability to carry out meaningful research and be impactful leaders in their chosen professions. We seek Ph.D. students who will make significant contributions to fundamental and/or applied research and who will become leaders of the next generation of geoscientists. There is no single critical attribute of these individuals, but rather we value the demonstration of the following holistic traits in our search for them:

  • Academic preparation
  • Quantitative and analytical reasoning
  • Research and/or technical experience
  • Scientific interests that overlap with prospective mentor(s)
  • Passion for the geosciences
  • Creativity, maturity, inquisitiveness, collegiality
  • Commitment to be involved in an inclusive community of scholars
  • Communication skills

In evaluating prospective graduate students, we seek candidates that possess these holistic characteristics through demonstration of the following attributes:

  • Quantitative and analytical thinking skills
  • Persistence and motivation in addressing science questions and/or pursuing goals
  • Organizational skills, and the ability to process ideas and data
  • Involvement in a community of scholars
  • A positive outlook and the ability to overcome adversity
  • A professional demeanor, and the ability to think across the broader geoscience professions
  • Ability to mentor and be a role model

Update on Submission of Test Scores

The GRE is not required for admission. Applicants do not have to submit the GRE for the graduate program in Geological Sciences.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is still required for international applicants at this time. For more information about the TOEFL requirement please visit the Graduate School Admissions website.

Fall Application Deadlines

December 1 for fellowship consideration
January 1 for all applications

JSG Graduate Brochure (pdf)

If you miss the December 1 deadline but meet the January 1 deadline you will still be considered for other forms of financial support. Any applications completed after the January 1 deadline will only be considered on a space-available basis.

Applications must be complete in the Office of Graduate Admissions (OGA) by the appropriate deadline (see online application). This means ALL ITEMS must be received by the deadline.

All items are to be submitted electronically, and you are strongly encouraged to complete the online application well in advance of the actual deadline. Items such as the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation will have instructions in the online application. It is strongly preferred that at least 2 of your letters of recommendation be from professionals in academia, i.e. faculty, researchers, etc., who can speak to your academic success and aptitude.

NOTE: Do NOT submit any paper documents to OGA or to the department. They will not be accepted and could cause your application to be delayed.

If you feel compelled to submit items such as a CV, abstract, or other supporting information please contact faculty members or research scientists with whom you wish to work. They will let you know if they want these documents. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact members of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences Graduate Studies Committee in the field of interest, as all students are admitted to the graduate program on the recommendation of one or more members of the GSC. The procedures may vary slightly for non-US citizens or for former UT students. See the OGA website for full information.

Applicants to our graduate program are expected to have completed a minimum of 

  1. Two courses in calculus, or one course in calculus and one course in college-level statistics;
  2. At least four college-level courses in science or engineering, covering at least two of the following four categories: (a) physics, (b) chemistry, (c) biology, and (d) computer science or math courses beyond those used in requirement 1.
    All of these courses must have received a C or better.

Additional courses in geological sciences, including field training appropriate for the subject of interest, depend on the particular area within the geosciences that a student wishes to study. Specific programs may require additional prerequisite coursework. Any deficiencies in these areas must be addressed early in a student’s program. Other areas of study that are identified by a student’s mentor and examining committee as deficient should also be addressed early in a student’s program.

JSG Research Traineeship Experience (RTX)

The Research Traineeship Experience (RTX) is a paid opportunity for geoscience and other STEM undergraduates and recent graduates to gain technical skills, get involved in geoscience research and develop their own educational and professional goals. Students from other universities who are interested in experiencing life at the Jackson School and getting preparation for graduate school are encouraged to apply!

Learn More

For additional information contact:

Philip Guerrero, Graduate Program Coordinator or Tracey Wilson, Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone: 512-232-4545

More UT Austin Admissions Info