How to apply

Apply online via the UI Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

After you submit your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password in order to access your Admissions Profile on MyUI, our online portal for students. All supporting materials can and should be uploaded through your Admissions Profile. If your academic program requires letters of recommendation, you will be asked to provide the contact information of your recommenders on your profile. The recommender will then receive an email from the Office of Admissions instructing them on how to upload a recommendation letter and/or recommendation form.

Applicants for admission to the graduate program must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College and the department offering the degree program (review the General Catalog for departmental requirements). See the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website for additional information.

Prior to applying for admission, we strongly recommend that you identify the faculty member whose research interests most closely align with your own, and contact them directly. Through this process you can learn more about research opportunities in your area, and your potential faculty advisor can learn more about you and your interests.

Important deadlines

Application deadline: Jan. 1 (for all programs)

Review of applications begins: Dec. 31 (for fall semester)

Requirements for admission

Applicants for fall semester whose application materials are received by Jan. 1 have the best chance to be admitted and receive financial aid. All applicants must submit:

  • Academic transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with their past academic work
  • A statement of purpose
  • One or more samples of original writing (one of which should be in SUBJECTHERE) that show their ability to pursue graduate work in SUBJECTHERE (an honors thesis, term paper, seminar paper, or other course papers)
  • International students must also submit TOEFL, or IELTS or Duolingo, scores according to the English Proficiency Requirements of the Graduate College

Statement of purpose essay

A statement of purpose essay (approximately two pages) describing your research interests and plans for undertaking a graduate degree in our department is required to apply.

Your essay should address:

  1. Your background and experience (both inside and outside of academia), including any personal traits, unique attributes, or skills/strengths that you think make you a strong candidate for graduate study.
  2. Your expected field of study. You do not need to propose a specific research question or study, but be as specific as possible about the type of research that you would be interested in conducting. You should also identify a faculty mentor who can advise you on this research.
  3. Your goals and objectives in obtaining a graduate degree. What are your career goals, and how do you anticipate that a graduate degree will advance your career?
  4. Your interest in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. Why are you interested in joining our department, and how do you anticipate that joining our department will help you achieve your long-term goals?

Have questions?

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact us via e-mail to our departmental office or Director of Graduate Studies.

Portrait of Heather Sander

Heather Sander

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies