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How to Apply


About equal numbers of masters and doctoral students are admitted. Most successful doctoral applicants have completed a masters degree before applying. In some cases, a student without a masters degree who is focused on a research and teaching career may be admitted directly to the doctoral program.

Admission is granted for Fall term only. The deadline for doctoral applications is December 1. The deadline for masters applications is January 15. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that all application materials are submitted by the deadline, including transcripts and reference letters. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications are reviewed by a committee of ENVS faculty members (voting members), and ENVS grad students (providing feedback to voting members). You will be notified of your admission status in March.

Plan ahead for your application by doing the following things.

GRE requirements have been waived for December 2021 (PhD) and January 2022 (Master’s) applications

  • Take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). The GRE General Test (verbal, quantitative, analytical/writing) is required of all applicants. The subject test is not required.
    • Take the exam early enough so that your scores are reported before the application deadline.   You will fill in the scores in the online application. If you are admitted, you must have the official record of your scores sent by ETS to The University of Oregon.
    • If you have taken the GRE within the last five years, you can use those scores.
    • We do not have a minimum score requirement, but our admitted students typically have scored in the top 25th percentile of the test.
  • Do research on our faculty, programs and courses to make sure University of Oregon is a good fit for your interests.
    • In the online application, you will need to list two to three faculty who are potential advisors. To identify potential advisors, look at their websites to learn about their research interests and read some of their publications. See our Faculty page and follow links to individual websites. Also look at faculty in units other than Environmental Studies whose interests are close to yours.
    • In the online application, you will also need to list courses for your concentration areas. Many of these courses will be from units other than Environmental Studies.
  • International students should read information specific to international applicants on the International Admissions web page.
    • Take the TOEFL.
      • International students for whom English is a second language must have their TOEFL scores sent directly to the University of Oregon. Please have official results sent to the University using Code 4846.
      • The University of Oregon requires a minimum score of 575 for paper-based test or 88 for the Internet-based (iBT) version or 7.0 for the IELTS exam.
      • Scores must be less than two years old at the time of application.
      • Applicants may also satisfy the language proficiency requirement by submitting a degree transcript(s) proving that they have received a bachelor’s degree or higher, within the last seven years, from an accredited U.S. institution or from an institution in the following countries: Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom. In this case the TOEFL is not required.

There are three steps to the application process.
I. Complete the Online Graduate Application for Environmental Studies
II. Submit Official Documents to the Environmental Studies Program
III. Submit Official Documents to the Office of the Registrar

 I.    Online Graduate Application

All applications are submitted online. Hard copy materials are not reviewed by the committee. Documents that you compose and upload, such as your resume and statement of purpose, can be uploaded as one of these file formats: (.pdf, .doc, .docx, .jpg, or .png).

You do not have to complete the online graduate application in one sitting.  You can continue to work on your application until your payment is made or the deadline passes.  When starting the application, be sure to remember your login credentials so that you can come back to your applications in progress, and track submission of your letters of recommendation. The non-refundable application fee is required (credit, debit, or e-check) after you have completed your application and are submitting it.  As of Fall 2020 this fee is $70 for domestic students and $90 for international students.

The application consists of the following sections:

  • Personal Information
  • Residency Information
  • Educational Information
  • Environmental Studies Program Application (departmental section)

Be prepared to:

      1. Select the correct major
        • Environmental Studies for the master’s program
        • Environmental Studies, Science and Policy for the doctoral program
      2. Enter information on three people who have agreed to write letters of reference for you
        • Recommendations from faculty members who have taught or advised you carry the most weight.  Letters from professionals who have supervised you in environmental work are also acceptable in a supplemental capacity.
        • Enter their name, position, institution or employer, address, telephone number and email address.
        • The University of Oregon will notify them via e-mail that a letter is needed.
      3. Upload a current resumé or CV
        • In addition to the standard elements of a resumé, list any environmentally-related employment, projects or volunteer work
      4. Upload a Statement of Purpose
        • This is a narrative of three to five double-spaced, typewritten pages that clearly expresses your reasons for applying to this program.
        • Show how past achievements make you a good candidate and how your experience will complement your ambitions. Describe any intangibles not represented elsewhere in your application.
        • Avoid the obvious; assume every applicant is dedicated to making the world a better place, has nurtured these tendencies since childhood, and thinks the Pacific Northwest is beautiful and environmentally-friendly
      5. Input information into the applicant course plan area of the application
        • Identify three faculty members with whom you would like to work.
        • For master’s applicants, name your two concentration area and list four to five UO courses for each area.
        • For doctoral applicants, name your secondary concentration area and list four to five courses for it.
        • To identify potential courses, access the listing of graduate-level courses in the University of Oregon Catalog.
        • Your concentration areas may be composed of any 500-600 level classes offered at the University that are listed in the Catalog.
        • Ideally, the concentration areas complement each other and form a coherent, cohesive plan for your studies.
      6. Upload any other information required by your focal department
        • Some focal departments require other information, such as a writing sample or GRE subject test score. Contact your intended focal department (Graduate Program Coordinator) to find out if any other information is required.
      7. Upload transcripts from all higher education institutions you have attended.
        • Have the institution(s) from which you earned a degree(s) snail-mail one official transcript to:  Office of the Registrar, 5257 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR  97403-5257.
        • Upload transcripts from all institutions you attended, even if you didn’t get a degree. These may be unofficial transcripts issued to you. You will be required to submit official transcripts from all institutions only if you are admitted.

    GRE requirements have been waived for December 2021 (PhD) and January 2022 (Master’s) applications

    1. Report your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores.
      • GRE scores must be less than 5 years old at time of application.
      • If you have taken the test more than once, use your highest combined scores from one date; do not mix and match scores.
    2. Applicants whose native language is not English must report scores for the TOEFL, IELTS, or upload a transcript that shows language proficiency
      • Scores must be less than two years old at the time of application.
    3. Payment
      • Be sure your application is complete prior to authorizing payment, as changes cannot be made after payment has been submitted

GRE requirements have been waived for December 2021 (PhD) and January 2022 (Master’s) applications

II.     Submit Official Documents to the Environmental Studies Program

  1. Official GRE score report from the Educational Testing Service (E.T.S.)
    • Institution Code – 4846
    • Department Code – 0502
    • Send to: Graduate Programs Coordinator
      Environmental Studies Program
      5223 University of Oregon
      Eugene, OR  97403-5223

III.      Submit Official Documents to the Office of Admissions

The following must be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions. Please use the listed codes (where applicable) to ensure that official scores reach the University.

  1. Official transcript(s) from the institution(s) from which you earned a degree(s).
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended. Submit only after you have been admitted.
  3. TOEFL, IELTS, or Transcript showing language proficiency
    • Institution Code – 4846
  1. International students only: Supplementary Application and Financial Statement for International Students
  2. Send to:
    Office of the Registrar
    5257 University of Oregon
    Eugene, OR 97403

For questions about the graduate admissions process, contact the Environmental Studies Program Graduate Coordinator.