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Graduate Program Application Information


Our department is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in geosciences. We strongly encourage people underrepresented in the Earth Sciences to join us, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, LGBTQ+ folks, veterans, people with disabilities, and first generation college students.

Our MS students receive at least one year of full tuition and fees support (most receive two years of tuition support) and at least one teaching assistantship per semester.  Additional support may be available as a teaching assistant, research funds from an advisor, or from internal and external funding opportunities. 

We do not 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 your recommenders’ evaluations of your academic skill sets, your personal statement and research statement, and your overall GPA and GPA in the major. Your application will be evaluated holistically by a three member faculty review panel. 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. Joshua Schwartz (Graduate Advisor)