Graduate Programs

UAF students comprise a diverse group who ultimately seek and obtain careers in economic geology, petroleum
industry,  or continue their education in graduate school, and seek careers in academia. The department offers six
graduate degree programs: MS in Earth system Science, Geoscience or Geophysics, and PhD in Earth system Science,  Geoscience or Geophysics.

Upholding our commitment to college access
MS/PhD - Earth System Science

Students working on a graduate degree in Earth System Science can specialize in one of the following areas of concentration in the department: Cryosphere, Geoscience, Geospatial Science or Solid Earth Geophysics.  Additional concentrations are also available. Note that currently the program is only able to accept applications from US citizens, while we wait for the program to be approved for visa-related matters. Detailed information about the degree requirements for MS and PhD degrees in Earth System Science can be found in the UAF Catalog:

MS/PhD - Geoscience

Students working on a graduate degree in Geoscience can specialize in one or more of the following two areas of concentration: Geology and Geography. Detailed information about the degree requirements for MS and PhD degrees in Geoscience can be found in the UAF Catalog:

MS/PhD - Geophysics

Students working on a graduate degree in Geophysics can specialize in one of three areas of concentration:
Solid-Earth Geophysics; Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Geophysics; or Remote Sensing Geophysics.  Detailed information about the degree requirements for MS and PhD degrees in Geophysics can be found in the UAF Catalog:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to our graduate program is restricted on the basis of:

  1. Meeting the admissions requirements for the appropriate degree program.
               a. Geoscience
                    -- complete a background at least to the level of a B.S.  concentration in geology, geophysics or earth science
               b. Geophysics
                    --complete a background at least to the level of a B.S. concentration in geology, geophysics or an
    appropriate physical science or engineering and complete MATH F302, MATH F314, MATH F421 and
    PHYS F220 or equivalent
  2. A 3.0 minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA (grade point average).
  3. Faculty interest and availability of funding.
  4. Completion and submission of all required application materials.

Application deadline for admittance into the fall semester is January 15
While the majority of new graduate student start in our department in the fall semester there may be faculty looking for a new student in the spring.  The application deadline for admittance into the spring semester is October 15

Steps to take when applying for our graduate program
  1. Apply to UAF through the Office of Admissions
    A formal application for admission to graduate school, along with the application fee.  You may apply online at 
    UAOnline  or Office of Admissions.  The Graduate School is a great resource for prospective and
    current students.  UAF Graduate School
  2. Make contact with  faculty and cooperating faculty members in an area of your interest.
    Introduce yourself, let them know of your research interests and your pending application.
  3. Make contact with the Department of Geosciences
    Send an e-mail to: and let the Department know that you have applied to the
    Graduate School for the upcoming semester. Please list your name, contact e-mail address, and what program you have applied for. This will  aid the Department in assisting you through the application process. Remember, those applications that are completed first will usually be the first to be looked at during the application reviews.
  4. Complete and submit the following documents
    •  Geoscience and Geophysics Summary form: Formerly called the Preliminary Summary. This is a departmental form and one of the first items looked at during the review process.  
      ESS Summary form
    • Statement of interest: an essay describing your interests and goals for study in geology/geophysics at UAF (see Preliminary Summary form). We recognize that your career goals may not be well defined at this point,
      but do your best. This will help us understand your expectations of a graduate program as well as to evaluate your ability to support your interests. This document is a listed requirement on the preliminary summary form and in the application portal.  Only one is needed.
    • Resume
    • Official transcriptsof previous academic work from each college you attended. Please note, to be considered official, transcripts must arrive in sealed envelopes from each institution attended. You may also submit your transcripts electronically through a secure transcript service.  The department will review your application file with unofficial transcripts but if an offer is made to you the official transcripts must be received in the admissions office to process your admissions to UAF.
    • Three letters of recommendation from appropriate references.

Proof of English proficiency for international applicants via official TOEFL or IELTS scores.  For other options please visit the Admissions Office website, International, Requirements

All of these documents need to be sent to:      
Office of Admissions
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P. O. Box 757480
Fairbanks , Alaska 99775-7480
emailed to: or uploaded into the application portal

Helpful links and contacts for the application process.

website UAF Office of Admissions
phone 907-474-7500 or -1-800-478-1823

website UAF Graduate School
phone 907-474-7464

website UAF International Student and Scholar Services