Prospective Students

How to Apply

How to Apply USF Marine Science

Application Deadlines


For Fall 2022 and beyond:

Term of Entry Priority Deadline International Students
Fall (August) December 15 December 15
Spring (January) October 1 October 1

Complete applications submitted by December 15 will be reviewed for competitive College funding opportunities. Prospective students may apply after these deadlines however funding and space may be limited.


Please only upload PDF files to your application. Word Documents may not be retrieved. Click on each item for more information.

Complete the Online Application with $30.00 fee

Click here to apply now. There is a $30.00 application fee required, which can be paid online. 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, if you qualify. Please note that the College of Marine Science graduate programs are listed under “USF Tampa” on the application, although we are located in St. Petersburg. You must select the Tampa campus for apply for our degree programs.


Application Information / Research Interest Essay (template linked below)

Please use this MS Word Application Information / Research Interest Essay template. This essay should address the research interests that you hope to pursue if accepted into a degree program the College of Marine Science. Please also include which faculty members or labs you are interested in joining. Use this linked MS Word template to create your essay. Save it as a PDF and upload it in the “Essay” section of the Admissions Application.

We encourage all applicants to review the CMS faculty pages ahead of time to learn more about their research. Please list all 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.


Personal Statement

Where the research essay should focus on your research interests, the personal statement is where you may give a narrative context to your application. Tell us about your passion, background, skills, challenges, obstacles overcome, inspiration, and aspirations as a future scientist. There is no template for the personal statement, but please limit it to no more than three pages. Save it as a PDF and upload it in “personal statement” section of the online application.


Transcripts of courses and grades from all colleges/universities attended

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 be 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 or electronically by 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.

International 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 International Graduate Admissions website for more English proficiency options and information.

Office of Admissions (Tampa campus)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036,
Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone Number: 813.974.3350

Official electronic transcripts must be sent to The address cannot receive electronical transcripts.


3 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 PDF file. Alternatively, recommendation letters can also be emailed directly to The letters should address the “Admissions Committee.”

Letters of recommendation should include the following elements: be on letterhead, have a signature, and uploaded or emailed as a PDF. If emailed, it is preferred that the letter be sent directly by the letter writer from their professional email address.


GRE Scores* (submit to code 5828)

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. Applicants may also submit their test taker’s score report as a PDF to their application for consideration. Subject tests are not required or considered. GRE scores should be no more than five years old.

Please see the ETS website for more information and testing options in your location.

Effective for Spring 2022 entry, the GRE testing requirement will be fully reinstated, due to testing availability. Provisions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic have ended. Applications to enter the Marine Science Program without GRE scores (from a test taken within the past five years) will be considered incomplete. However, any incomplete application may be considered for College support if a potential major professor notifies the Chair of the College Admissions Committee.


TOEFL Scores (for non-native English speakers)

International students from non-English speaking countries are required to demonstrate English proficiency. The most common why to meet English proficiency requirements is earning a qualifying score on the TOEFL. Please visit International Graduate Admissions website for more English proficiency options and information.

Application Decisions

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.


We are here to help you. If you have any questions, please contact us.

At this time, the Office of Academic Affairs is working remotely to promote safe learning and a healthy community. Therefore, email is the best way to initiate contact with us. Phone and video conference meetings are available and may be scheduled by emailing us or using Bookings. We appreciate your understanding.

Click here to schedule a 15-minute information session.
Phone: 727.553.3504