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Graduate Program Application Information


Our department is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in geosciences. Most of our students receive full tuition support. In particular, we encourage applications from students from traditionally underserved communities.

We no longer require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to our programs. We made this decision based on multiple studies (Hu, 2020; King et al., 2020)* that suggest that success on this exam doesn't predict student success in graduate school and disadvantages applicants from underrepresented groups. Instead, we focus our admissions decisions on recommendations, statement of research interest (can include personal interests as well), and GPA. Please reach out to the Graduate Coordinator with any questions.

Before applying, be sure to carefully review our graduate admission requirements for M.S., Geology or M.S. Geophysics.


  • JANUARY 15th – applications due.  Priority for admission and financial support will be given to those applications submitted on or before January 15. Late applications will be reviewed as they are received up until April 15th.
  • LATE FEBRUARY/ EARLY MARCH – We will begin to notify applicants on the status of their applications.
  • LATE AUGUST – classes begin.


Make sure you have the following ready before filling out the applications:

  • Unofficial Transcripts of all undergraduate course work and calculated GPA (overall and in major).
  • A list of 3 recommenders and email addresses who can address your graduate potential. Emails will automatically be sent to your letter writers with a link for submitting their recommendations. Note that after submission it may not be possible to change names.
  • A statement of research interests. Please write a narrative (2500 character limit) regarding your interest in geology and graduate school.  What personal, professional, and/or educational experiences have inspired you to pursue a graduate degree in geoscience?
  • Your potential advisor in the department. Acceptance into the program is more likely if a student has established sponsorship by a CSUN Geoscience faculty research advisor. This is especially important if you are applying without the prerequisite coursework associated with a BS degree in Geology or Geophysics, as explained in the admission requirements for M.S., Geology or M.S. Geophysics.

TWO ONLINE APPLICATIONS REQUIRED (must apply to both CSU & Department)

Application #1 - California State University Application ($70 fee required)

Application #2 - Department of Geological Sciences Application


contact Dr. Richard Heermance (Graduate Advisor)