How to Apply

Thank you for applying to the graduate program in the Department of Geography.



The deadline for applications for entrance in the next academic year is

December 15.


To be considered for a nondepartmental University fellowship, your application is due by November 20, 2017. Applications received after this date are still eligible for department support. Students in our M.S. program are funded for two years. Students in our Ph.D. program are funded for four years.

Be aware that the department accepts students only for entry in the fall semester.

Applying to the graduate program here is a multi-step process. Please follow the chronology below, and direct any questions to


Application Procedure

(Please review The Graduate School's instructions on how to apply.)

Complete The Graduate School's online application and indicate "University Park" campus under your choice of campus.


  • Instructions for completing the online application: When you complete the Graduate School online application, you will need to choose M.S. or Ph.D. For the five-year Ph.D. program, choose Ph.D. Then, under Program Specific Questions, you will need to indicate “yes” to five-year Ph.D.


The following materials will need to be submitted electronically during this process:

Official Requirements

Official GRE score report: Please request ETS to electronically submit to: PSU institution code 2660 and Geography department code 2203.

GRE requirement: A combined verbal / quantitative reasoning GRE score of at least 310 is required for admission. A score of at least 3.0 on analytical writing is required for admission.

Official TOEFL score report: Please submit official TOEFL scores to PSU institution code 2660, Geography department code 2203, and TOEFL code 70.

TOEFL requirement: A combined TOEFL score of 90 total with a 19 on the speaking section on the Internet-based (iBT); or 6.5 on the IELTS test is required for admission. Those who have an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution are exempt from these tests.

There are no official GPA or GRE score requirements, however, as a guideline, successful applicants typically have a Jr/Sr GPA greater than 3.3/4.0


All test scores must be sent from ETS


  • The names, addresses, and e-mail addresses for three (3) people who will write letters of reference for you. Once you provide their names, addresses, and e-mail addresses, and submit your application, they will be contacted and prompted to file the letters electronically.
  • Statement of intent. This must be at least one page, and your essay should include a discussion about your interests within geography, how you came to select your intended fields of study, and what you hope to study here.

  • Transcripts: As part of the online application process, applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the United States., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction).  Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent).  The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission.  An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission.  For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.



Note: Current application fee information is available here.



The Department will not evaluate your application packet until all materials have been submitted.

E-mail with questions about the application process or the graduate program in the Department of Geography.