Application Overview

Master of Science in Applied Geosciences application deadlines 

You may apply to begin the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) degree during the fall or spring terms. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines:

Fall 2016 admission
Application deadline: April 1, 2016

Spring 2017 admission
Application deadline: November 1, 2016
International applicants should submit their application by October 1, 2016, to allow time to obtain visas.

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Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy material other than official transcripts or letters of recommendation will not be accepted.* Please urge your recommenders to submit their letters through the online system.

Applications must contain all of the following in order to be considered complete:

*Unsolicited material will not be used for review.

  • Completed online application
  • Current résumé
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system 
  • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
  • Two letters of recommendation (details below) 

Master of Science in Applied Geosciences application essays

Your application will include essays addressing four topics. Responses may be as long or as short as you feel necessary. (Please compile your responses into a single document, but keep them as separate essays.)

  • Have you ever been placed on probation, dismissed or suspended from any college or university for reasons pertaining to academic integrity? If this does not apply, please write N/A in your response. If yes, please include any facts that you believe bear on the significance of this circumstance.
  • Please describe how your professional and academic background has prepared you to enter the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program at Penn.
  • Describe in conceptual terms the curriculum you hope to pursue as an MSAG student.
  • How do you expect to apply the expertise you would gain in the MSAG program?

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant will submit two letters of recommendation, but you may elect to submit an optional third letter. Letters should come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and/or academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to study geoscience at the advanced level. Recommendations may be submitted online (preferred) or by mail. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.

Standardized test scores

Standardized test scores are not required for admission to the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences. However, you may choose to submit standardized test scores, such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), in support of your application. Request that your scores report for the GRE test be forwarded to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, using ETS institutional code 2986.

International applicants whose first language is not English must also submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Please note that the TOEFL is rarely waived; therefore, we encourage applicants to take the test to avoid delays in completing the application. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are: 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT) or 600 (PBT). The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986. To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted and the minimum score for consideration is a 7. You may upload a copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of the application.

Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores. 

International transcripts from institutions outside the United States

If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the US, you must submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency, for a course-by-course evaluation.

World Education Services Inc. (WES) must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent U.S. marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching the University of Pennsylvania and then selecting College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt.

World Education Services Inc. evaluations will be reviewed by our administrators, and the determination of degree equivalency to US degrees is at the discretion of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, you may visit their website at

Walk-In Wednesday

Walk-In Wednesday

Members of the MSAG Program Team are here to answer your questions face-to-face on the second Wednesday of each month.

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Summer Application Deadline: April 1st

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