How to Apply
|Term of Entry||International Students||Priority Deadline|
|Fall (August)||January 2||January 10|
|Spring (January)||October 1||October 1|
Program Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited university (preferable majors include biology, chemistry, geology, physics or math). Master’s degree in one of the above sciences highly preferable for Ph.D. applicants.
- Have earned a “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) average or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division student working for a baccalaureate degree. (Having these scores does not guarantee admission to our program.)
- Completed undergraduate coursework reflective of the recommendations on the Undergraduate Preparation page.
- Have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within 5 years preceding application.
- Have the commitment of a Marine Science faculty member to serve as advisor during the student’s graduate studies (this will be determined after your complete application is received and reviewed by the admissions committee).
Required Application Documents
- Complete the Online Application ($30.00 fee, paid online) and prepare the following supporting documents:
- Application Information / Research Interest Essay (use this linked MS Word template and upload this document as a PDF in the “Essay” section of the online application)
- Please only upload PDF files to your application. Word Documents may not be retrieved.
- Resume or CV (upload to the “resume” section of the online application)
- Transcripts of courses and grades from all colleges/universities attended
- Request 3 Letters of Recommendation to be uploaded to application or emailed to email@example.com.
- GRE Scores (submit to code 5828)
- TOEFL Scores (for non-native English speakers)
The University of South Florida does not require GRE or GMAT scores for official admission
to the University, but our graduate program does require test scores. However, if
you are seeking admission during the summer or fall of 2020 and are unable to take
the required entrance exam due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the resultant closing
of testing centers, please contact us to request a waiver of this requirement.
Finally, some international students may have difficulty taking the TOEFL test due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The TOEFL test is now online but is limited in the number of countries that offer online access. Because of this constraint, USF will temporarily use the online DuoLingo test. A score of 105 on the DuoLingo test is equivalent to a TOEFL 80-85.
All complete applications are reviewed after the deadlines by the admissions committee. Fall decisions are typically made during February and March. Spring application decisions are typically made in October and November. Denied applicants will receive notification by email directly from the Office of Graduate Studies. Accepted applicants will receive notification in the physical mail as well as email.
Submit Online Application
Complete the Online Application. There is a $30.00 application fee required. The fee must be paid before your application can be seen by the Admissions Committee. A fee waiver may be requested if you qualify by being part of one of the programs listed on the fee waiver request form. Please email the waiver form directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, if you qualify. Please note that the College of Marine Science is part of USF Tampa and not part of USF St. Petersburg even though we are located in St. Petersburg. You must select the Tampa campus for apply for our degree programs.
Review Faculty Research & Submit Your Research Interest Essay
We encourage all applicants to review the CMS faculty pages ahead of time to learn more about their research. Please list all of the faculty members that you are interested in on your Research Interest Essay. All applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee after the deadline to determine admissibility and to match student’s interests with available professors. Making direct contact (phone/email/skype) with faculty members of interest is mandatory. Use this linked MS Word template to create your essay and upload it in the “Essay” section of the Admissions Application.
Resume or CV
Upload your most current resume or CV in the “Resume” section of the Admissions Application.
Three Letters of Recommendation
Applicants are required to provide three letters of recommendation as part of the admissions application. The applicant will be asked to enter in the contact information of each recommender as part of the Admissions Application. Each recommender will receive an email with a link to the recommendation upload site. At this site, the recommender can then type in the recommendation letter or attached a .doc or .pdf file. Alternatively, recommendation letters can also be emailed directly to email@example.com. The letters should address the “Admissions Committee.” It is preferred to have letters printed on university or company letterhead in .pdf format, attached and email from a professional email address if applicable.
Official Transcripts of Grades
One official transcript from all institutions of higher learning where you have earned
a degree is required, but applicants may also provide unofficial copies of transcripts
to expedite the processing of their applications, which can uploaded directly to the
online application. Any admissions granted using unofficial transcripts will not be
finalized until official transcripts are received in a sealed envelope to USF’s Office
of Admissions. If you are applying while still completing an undergraduate degree,
you must submit transcripts of at least six (6) semesters of completed undergraduate
work. Final transcripts showing the award of a bachelor’s degree will be required
if an applicant is admitted and enrolls. If you have attended USF as a degree-seeking
student, you do not have to submit your USF transcripts.
All transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of their graduate application packet. Please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluations Services Listing of evaluators.
Office of Admissions (Tampa Campus)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036,
Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone Number: 813.974.3350
Graduate Record Exam scores (GRE – verbal/quantitative)
The GRE General Test is a standardized test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative
reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to
any specific field of study. Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF.
The institution code for USF is 5828.
Please submit scores from the General GRE Test only (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing). Subject tests are not required or considered. GRE scores should be no more than five years old.
Competitive scores are as follows
- Bio, Geo, Phys, Chem concentrations: Verbal=153, Quantitative=148
- MRA concentration: Verbal=156, Quantitative=155
International Forms (for International Students Only)
Upload the Financial Support Requirements Form to the online application. This form
is available on the online application. You may also visit the USF Graduate Admissions web site for more helpful information for International Applicants.
As mentioned above, all international transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of their graduate application packet. Please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluations Services Listing of evaluators.
TOEFL exam scores (For non-native English speakers)
Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry.
Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions. Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828.
The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
- Scored 500 (153 on revised test) or higher on the GRE Verbal Test
- Earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning
- Earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English (must be noted on the transcript).
- Scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
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