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Admission to the Graduate Program

Application Deadline

The Department of Geography accepts applications into the masters and doctoral programs for Fall term admission only. Applications should be completed and all materials should arrive by January 15th in order to be considered for the following fall term. The department will notify applicants of its decision around April 1. Decisions about funding through Graduate teaching fellowships are normally awarded only once per year, in April.

Students must be admitted to the Graduate School at UO in addition to the Department of Geography. To begin, go to the online application for the Graduate School.

In order to be considered, students must compile the following information. Please read the instructions carefully:

  1. Statement of Purpose. You should include a 2 to 3 page statement introducing yourself, discussing your research interests, and explaining how our Department will help you best meet your career goals. The statement should combine your intellectual autobiography, relevant experiences, and your vision of what you will do in our program and subsequent to your graduate studies. This statement is the most valuable opportunity to present and distinguish yourself as a qualified individual; thoughtful and carefully written statements provide a better introduction than a laundry list of accomplishments or traits. We are interested in what kind of a geographer you are or want to be, and why it makes sense for you to undertake graduate work with us.You should also indicate faculty whose research interests are aligned with yours and with whom you would like to work. Applications that signal a type or types of specialization within the discipline will be more effective than sweeping statements that affirm that all of geography is of interest or that too broadly stake out potential courses of study. Please note that department policy allows formal declaration of a primary advisor only after the first term of enrollment in the graduate program. While it is important to identify potential collaborations as part of the application process, we believe that a period of mutual familiarization enhances optimal committee selection. Prospective students are encouraged to be in communication with potential advisors prior to submitting your application, and to visit the department if possible, but please be aware that this is supplemental to rather than a substitute for the formal application process and the decision of the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  2. Three Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be requested from three (3) persons who best know your academic qualifications. Your referees should know you and your research interests and be able to speak to how they have worked with you in the past and your potential for success within, and contributions to, our program. Letters are submitted directly by the letter writers via the gradweb online application. The gradweb system will send requests directly to the referees that you specify in your application. This will include instructions for uploading letters to your application file.

    While the department takes into consideration all application materials, it looks closest at the statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Take time to carefully consider what you write and whom you ask to write your letters. It is advisable to provide your letter-writers with your statement of purpose in order that they can see specifically what your goals are for the program.

  3. Application Form and Fee. When you complete the online application for the Graduate School, you will need to pay an application fee ($50) by credit card or check.
  4. Transcripts. Transcripts from all college-level classes taken must be provided. Transcripts must show degrees awarded. One transcript should be scanned and submitted with your online application and one original official (sealed) transcript should be sent to the Office of Admissions, 240 Oregon Hall, 1217 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1217.
  5. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). All applicants are required to take the GRE. Only the general test is required, not the subject test (Geography). Neither the University of Oregon nor the Department of Geography sets a minimum requirement for GRE scores. The GRE code for Institution (University of Oregon) is 4846. The code for the Geography Department is 2203. For information about the GRE, visit their website at http://www.gre.org. It takes five or six weeks for scores to reach the Department, so be sure to take the exam in time for your scores to arrive before the application deadline. The GRE scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the University of Oregon Graduate School. Only exams within the past five years are accepted.
  6. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS). All international students whose native language is not English must also submit either a TOEFL or IELTS exam result from within 5 years of the application date. The Department of Geography requires a minimum score of 575 (paper) or 88 (Internet-based) for the TOEFL. The minimum overall band score on the academic module of the IELTS is 7.0. For information about the TOEFL exam visit their website http://www.toefl.org. For information about the IELTS see http://www.ielts.org.
  7. Financial Statement-International students only. All international students applying for graduate admission at the University of Oregon are required to complete a Supplementary Application and Financial Statement for International Students. Upon request by the UO Admissions Office the student may need to supply a bank statement, which is documented proof of what the student reports on the financial statement. Proof can be in the form of a letter from the student’s/parents’/sponsor’s bank, a letter awarding a scholarship or government loan, an affidavit of support (I-134). Upon verification of the student’s financial ability to pay for the educational and living experiences, the UO will issue a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20), which is required in order for a student to apply for a visa. Send the Supplementary Application and Financial Statement to the Office of Admissions, 240 Oregon Hall, 1217 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1217.

Application Packet Checklist of materials to be submitted online:

  • Two to three-page statement of purpose.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation (submitted online directly by the letter writers).
  • Application for Graduate Award (Graduate Teaching Fellowship), if desired.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions in which you took college-level courses.
  • GRE scores (submitted by Educational Testing Service)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (international students with English as a second language only).

The following materials should be sent to:

Office of Admissions
240 Oregon Hall
1217 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1217

  • One set of official transcripts from all institutions in which you took college-level courses.
  • Supplementary Application and Financial Statement for International Students (international students only).