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Application for Graduate Studies

How to Apply

A single application form is now used that includes information for both the Graduate School and the Earth & Planetatary Sciences Department. The application must be completed online at: Graduate School Application. For more information on Graduate School policies, see the links in the box at the right.

If you had previously begun filling out the old, now-defunct departmental form, please transition to the new Graduate School application. The same material will be requested.

To fill in the application fully, you will need to have the following information and files:

  1. Names of two potential advisors. It is strongly recommended that students contact potential advisors about research projects before applying.
  2. PDF files (optically scanned or "printed" to PDF files) of:  a) Your unofficial college/university transcripts (PDF file size of 5Mb or less), b) Your c.v. or resume (PDF file size of 2Mb or less), and c) A statement your of interests (PDF file size of 2Mb or less).
  3. Your GPA from all colleges/universities previously attended.
  4. GRE scores (these may be submitted after you’ve taken the exam).
  5. Names and email addresses of two or three people who will serve as your references.
  6. For foreign students who are not native speakers of English, your TOEFL score.

    Important Note: The Department and Graduate School use an entirely online system for receiving graduate application forms, supporting documents, and letters of recommendation. Hardcopy materials sent through the mail are not accepted.

When to Apply

The Graduate School application due date is February 1st for Fall admission, or October 15th for Spring admission.   Students applying for Fall admission are encouraged to complete their application by January 1 for full consideration by the Department. Applications received after these dates will be considered on a rolling basis if additional positions are available.  Graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) are offered to exceptionally qualified students on a first-come, first-served basis.  

No offer of admission or GTA support can be made until your application (Application Information) is complete.  Please note that the Graduate School can take from four to six weeks to process its application materials before they are made available to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  International students may require additional time for the Graduate School to process visa information – for more information, click here.

Admissions Requirements

The UT Graduate School requires a minimum grade point average of 2.7 out of a possible 4.0, or a 3.0 during the senior year of undergraduate study. Applicants with previous graduate work must have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4 point scale or equivalent on all graduate work. Any person whose native language is not English must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 213 on the computer based test or 550 on the paper test is required for admission consideration.

The University of Tennessee operates on a three-semester academic year (Fall, Spring, and Summer), and admission to the graduate program is permitted in any semester.

Additional Information from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Questions about research programs in specific areas, application delays, or financial aid should be addressed to the Chairman of the Graduate Admissions Committee in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The Department telephone number is 865-974-2366. The email address is

Additional Information from the Graduate School

For a complete explanation of admission requirements, please refer to the: Application Requirements Posted by the Graduate School and also the UT Graduate School Web Pages

You may call the Graduate School Office at 865-974-3251 to check on the completion of your application file.

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