FAQs for the Earth Sytem Science (ESS) Graduate Program
Beginning October 1 students can submit an online application through UCI Graduate Division including three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, personal history statement, and an English proficiency test for international students.
Submit one unofficial transcript for every post-secondary institution you have attended directly through the graduate application portal.
Applications will be reviewed beginning December 1, and admission offers will be made on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1 for the best chance of admission. The final deadline for applications is February 1.
Scores must be reported directly to UCI from ETS. The UCI institutional code for ETS score reporting is 4859. You do not need to include a department code, the Department of Earth System Science will receive your scores regardless of what department code you enter.
The Earth System Science Ph.D program considers many factors when reviewing graduate applications. These factors include but are not limited to research experience, letters of recommendation, and academic record. GPA is only one component of the review process and cannot solely be used to determine a student’s academic aptitude or likelihood of admission in to a Ph.D. program.
After you complete and pay for your application and Graduate Division processes your application (which can take up to one week), you may check to see if your scores and/or letters of recommendation have been received by using the Application Progress Review.
The Department will offer a virtual information session for prospective applicants in late October or early November. To get on the mailing list to learn more about that event, click here. Information about our formal visit day will be sent to invited students directly.
The statement of purpose focuses on your scientific aspirations. It should explain your research interests, long-term career goals, and why you want to pursue the PhD. The personal history statement should focus on your personal background and any challenges or obstacles you may have encountered in your academic journey and how you overcame them.
For the TOEFL, a minimum of 80 is required. For the IELTS, an overall minimum of 7 and no less than 6 on any module is required. Additionally, we prefer to see a speaking score of 26 on the TOEFL or a speaking score of 8 on the IELTS. If you meet the minimum cumulative score, but not the speaking score, you're still encouraged to apply.
Yes, all admitted students (including international students) are fully-funded. This includes a moving allowance, an annual stipend of $37,000 tuition and fees, and UCI health insurance.
Yes, students who are admitted to the Earth System Science Ph.D. program are eligible for a guaranteed offer of on-campus housing. To be eligible for this guarantee students must respond to Housing prior to their deadline at the beginning of May. Please refer to the Graduate & Family Housing website for specific information.
Typically, we are unable to schedule individual department visits for students before they apply. During the application process the department hosts a prospective student visit day and individual visits for invited students, please see above question on visit day for more information.
The Department of Earth System Science does not have a terminal master’s degree program. Emphasis at the graduate level is on the Ph.D. degree; the master’s degree may be awarded to Ph.D. students after fulfillment of the requirements.