Applying to Our Graduate Program

Application Procedures & Materials

Admission Requirements:

Our expectations for admission include the following:

  1. GPA of 3.0 or higher in geosciences and related sciences
  2. Strong letters of recommendation
  3. Acceptance by a faculty member as a provisional advisee
  • Incoming graduate students with geosciences degrees are expected to have a strong background in math and science that typically includes a year each of calculus, physics and chemistry at the college level. However, at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee, course deficiencies may be satisfied during the student's first year. Students with undergraduate degrees in other sciences can construct a remedial course schedule in geosciences pertinent to their research interests.
  • The department requires all graduate applicants to have made prior contact with a prospective advisor or to indicate with whom they want to work.

The Department recognizes the variance in these measures from different colleges, various curricula, and test-taking abilities. Thus, strong performance in some areas may outweigh lesser results in others. The Department of Geosciences does not require the GRE.

The University is committed to providing programs that are accessible and usable by students with disabilities. Applicants and students with disabilities will be provided with reasonable modifications and accommodations. Applicants and students who seek a reasonable modification should begin the process by registering with the Office of Disability Services for Students (DSS). University policy as well as federal and state law prohibits retaliation against anybody for exercising their right to request a reasonable modification or accommodation.

Application deadline:

Electronic Application via the Graduate School Web Page: Received by January 14 for beginning the following fall semester.  Applications received after January 14 may be​ considered at the discretion of the admissions committee​ but only after a review of timely applications has been completed.

Application Instructions:

  • Instructions for applying to the Graduate School are in the Applying for Admission section on the Graduate School website.
  • To start the application process select “Apply Online” in the left panel of the page. Fill in all the information required. You can save the form and come back to finish items for which you do not have information.
  • The Geosciences Department requires:
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • A statement of purpose (~300 words) describing your background and future goals.
    • Form A
  • We prefer that the reviewer includes these electronically by selecting that option on the Graduate School website. Alternatively:
    • Mail to:  Geosciences Department-Graduate Applications
      32 Campus Drive CHCB #126
      Missoula, MT 59812
    • E-mail to:

Assistantships and Funding

We support some graduate students with teaching assistantships (TAs) made available by the Graduate School. These TAs are generally awarded to incoming students based on merit and, with satisfactory performance, continued for a second year for M.S. students and, occasionally, a third year for Ph.D. students. Research assistantships, off-campus internships, or other awards in lieu of the TA will not change the total number of semesters of the initial award for students (four semesters for M.S. or six semesters for Ph.D.). Please indicate in your application if you are interested in being considered for an assistantship.

Other funding opportunities, including occasional one-semester teaching assistantships, are advertised within the Department. Faculty members may also provide research assistantships or research funds to graduate students. 


International Students