Application Deadline: December 15th

Applications are accepted for FALL QUARTER ONLY. Please note that the December 15th date is “received by” and not “postmarked by”. It is essential that your materials be on-time and complete for the admissions committee to properly evaluate your application.

It is important to click the correct button on the form to indicate your degree objective (MA, MA/Ph.D., or Ph.D.).

For general information about applying for graduate study at UCSB, please visit the Graduate Division website.

Geography Graduate Degree Program

Geography department Admissions Stats

Department Admission Criteria

An undergraduate grade-point average (3.25 or >) is required. The University minimum GPA for admission is 3.0. All entrants are required to submit verbal, quantitative, and analytical GRE scores upon formal application “total combined verbal and quantitative scores must be above 1100”. The test must have been taken within the last five years to be valid–the Graduate Division will accept any GRE score, as long as it is official from ETS. When you register for the GRE, please use the Institution code for UCSB Geography (UCSB: 4835). A department code is not necessary. Undergraduate preparation in mathematics, statistics, and computer programming is strongly recommended. Applicants whose native language or language of undergraduate or graduate instruction was not English are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum score for consideration is 550 when taking the paper test, 213 when taking the computer test, and 80 when taking the internet test. TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old at the time of admission. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL. Requests for exceptions to this requirement will be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English.

Department Applicant Evaluation Process

The initial evaluation is done by the department’s Graduate Committee, which is composed of several faculty members and the Graduate Program Assistant. The Graduate Committee looks at your academic record as presented in the application and supporting documents, as well as your preparation in the proposed field of study, work experience (if relevant), and the appropriateness of your goals and research interests to those of the program. Selected applications are then made available for review to the entire department faculty. If a faculty member is interested in “sponsoring” an applicant, they let the Graduate Committee know. The Graduate Committee then makes the final decision on admission based on their evaluations of your record in relation to the rest of the applicant pool and whether or not you have a faculty sponsor. Satisfaction of minimal standards does not guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. All of these steps take about eight weeks to complete. It is very important to indicate on your Statement of Purpose which faculty member(s) you are interested in working with and to be specific about which research areas within the broader subject headings of HG, ESS and MMC you are interested in. For example, within ESS you might specify climatology or hydrology; within HG you might specify spatial decision making or urban and regional planning.