Application Overview Heading link
Thank you for your interest in graduate study in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UIC. We admit both Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students. Applicants are considered and admitted for both fall and spring semesters.
We invite you to explore our EaES Research Themes and Faculty web pages. We encourage prospective students to contact individual faculty members via email with questions regarding research interests and opportunities.
Additionally, please take a look through our Guided Prompts (for your Personal Statement) and Application Checklist to help you prepare and submit your documents for application into our graduate program.
Getting Started Links Heading link
How to Apply Heading link
2) Check Admission Requirements
Applicants are considered on an individual basis. A BA or BS in geoscience, science, or engineering is strongly recommended. Students from other backgrounds may also be considered for admission.
In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants should meet the following program requirements:
- Baccalaureate Field: Earth science, environmental science, other natural or physical sciences, or engineering (also applies to those applicants having an MS degree). Students from other areas are also encouraged to apply if their backgrounds indicate a reasonable chance for success in the program.
- Prerequisites for all applicants are listed below:
- Baccalaureate degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences, related science or engineering field, or other (in special cases)
- Chemistry (1 year)
- Physics (1 year); alternatively, Physics (1 semester) and Biology (1 semester)
- Calculus (1 year)
- Note: Students entering with an MS degree in the sciences can receive up to 32 hours of credit toward the PhD.
- Note: Highly qualified students lacking in one or more of the prerequisites may be considered for admission under “limited standing” with specific additional prescribed courses.
- Grade Point Average: At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
- GRE: Not required.
- Minimum English Competency Test Score
- TOEFL 80, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR,
- IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
- PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
- Letters of Recommendation: Three required; preferably from professors familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
- Personal Statement: Personal Statement Required. Instead of an open-ended personal statement, we ask the applicants to answer a set of Guided Prompts.
- Deadlines: The deadline for Fall admission is January 15 and for Spring admission is July 15.
3) FIll out and Submit the Application
Students applying to our program will follow the standard application process for the university. The application for graduate study should be completed online. The application fee can be paid online with a credit card at the time of your application submission.
- Complete and submit the application and fee. After submitting the application, you will receive an email within 2-3 business days indicating that you can log back into the application system to begin uploading materials.
- Upload required EaES materials, academic credentials, and initiate online requests for letters of recommendation. Checklist items will populate based upon our program requirements and will display in your application record.
- Note that all application information, including uploaded material, does not have to be completed at one time. View the system checklist as often as needed to see what materials have been successfully uploaded and verified as received by the department.
4) Deadline and Timeline
The deadline is January 15 for Fall Admission and July 15 for Spring Admission. Most financial aid decisions are made by early March for Fall Admission and by early September for Spring Admission. Earlier submission is encouraged. Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies if you wish to apply after the deadlines.
4) Guided Prompts for Personal Statement
Guided prompts for applicants to the UIC EaES MS and PhD programs
Instead of an open-ended personal statement, EaES requests from its MS and PhD
applicants answers to guided prompts that will inform us about your research interests, experiences, and goals. These answers should be
submitted in a single document as the personal statement file in the online application.
Please answer the 5 questions listed on the guided prompts. Answers to each prompt are limited to 350words.
5) Application Checklist
Application Items How to Provide to UIC Description Application for Graduate Study Online Form Forms include personal information, contact information, planned course of study, and test scores (if applicable). Personal Statement Upload Please answer the Guided Prompts Official Transcripts/ Academic Documents in PDF format Upload Hard copies are required ONLY if an applicant is admitted. 3 Letters of Recommendation Submit Email Contact Information Letters must be written by professors or employers who can and should address the applicant’s academic and research ability. Inform recommenders that their letters must be on institutional letterhead and signed. GRE General Exam Scores
(GRE Scores are no longer required)
We have recently removed the GRE requirement. You do not need to submit your scores. Application for Graduate Appointment Upload Exclude the personal statement from this form, and upload the statement separately. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae Optional Upload You may upload a résumé or CV if you would like to include it in your full application. TOEFL Exam Score For international students only Have TOEFL send the score to UIC code – R1851.
EaES uses the following rubric to evaluate applicants. Please use this rubric to help you reflect on the information you are providing in your application and through your personal statement. Remember, the personal statement should be specific to our Guided Prompts.
Categories 3 - High 2 - Medium 1 - Low Academic Preparation A- or better in all core STEM courses AND B or better in non-STEM courses; received an academic honor B or better in all core STEM courses; concerning grades have a reasonable explanation Lower than a B in 2 or more core STEM courses; grades of C or lower do not have a reasonable explanation Scholarly Potential Clear commitment to and enthusiasm for research ANDexperience equivalentto a senior thesis Clear commitment to and enthusiasm for research, BUT experience less than a senior thesis Signals that an advanced degree is more of a next step than a clear passion Alignment with Program Discusses how research interests align with 1 or more faculty AND stated career goals align with program training Simply states that research interests align with 1 or more faculty AND stated career goals align with program training Limited alignment with faculty research interests OR limited evidence of alignment between career goals and program training Realistic Self-Appraisal Clearly describes strengths and weaknesses AND provides clear evidence of effort on self-development Basic statements about strengths and weaknesses AND does seek positive and negative feedback Over- or understates abilities; indications that self-assessment or learning from experiences are limited Preference for Long-Term Goals Clearly communicates long-range goals beyond the degree AND has a record of engaging in long-term endeavors Clearly communicates long-range goals beyond the degree OR has a record of engaging in long-term endeavors Goals are short range (e.g., specific coursework); limited history of engagement in long-term projects
About the Graduate Program Heading link
MS and PhD We have robust programs for MS and PhD students. Our students go on to earn jobs in industry, government, and academia.
Fall or Spring We offer admission to students for the Fall and Spring semesters. Deadlines: January 15 for Fall admission and July 15 for Spring admission.