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Applying to the PhD program

Application Deadline

The application deadline for Fall 2015 is January 15, 2015. We will begin accepting applications for Fall October 1, 2014.

Application Procedure

Before applying, explore the range of research groups foci and faculty expertise. Identify the faculty or research group(s) that interest you. Faculty interests and expertise are easiest to get through the departmental websites listings in Geography, Geology, and ESM. Please feel free to make preliminary contact with these faculty for more information on their research. If there is a particular faculty person who you want to work with, be sure to make contact and explore the possibility that they would be able to be your adviser.

There are two parts to the application process:

1. Applying to the university via the Admissions Office. On the "Planned Curriculum" page, please choose from the "Major" dropdown menu "Earth, Environment, & Society, PHD."

2. Applying to the School of the Environment via our online application system [will reopen in October 2013 for Fall 2014 admission]. You will first need to click on "create your account" before applying. You will be asked to provide:

  1. Your name and contact information.
  2. Copies of transcripts from all prior attended institutions. We would like scans of your transcripts, but if a scanner is not available hard copies can be sent to: PSU School of the Environment, Attn: Ember Stevens, P.O. Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751. In addition, official transcripts need to be sent to the PSU Admissions Office.
  3. Information about previous teaching experience (if you want to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship).
  4. CV or resume.
  5. GRE scores. We would like scans of your GRE scores, if available, but official GRE aptitude test scores, taken within the last 5 years, need to be sent to PSU directly from ETS. The GRE ETS code for Portland State is 4610, and for the School of the Environment is 0599. We have no strict requirement for minimum GRE scores, however, most successful applicants have combined verbal and quantitative scores of at least 300 and an analytical score of at least 3.7.
  6. International applicants: your TOEFL or IELTS score, if available. We would like scans of your TOEFL/IELTS scores, but if a scanner is not available hard copies can be sent to: PSU School of the Environment, Attn: Ember Stevens, P.O. Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751. In addition, official copies of your TOEFL/IELTS score need to be sent to the PSU Admissions Office.
  7. Statement of Intent. The Statement of Intent should be about two pages long and discuss your motivation for pursuing a PhD and your general area of interest. In this statement, you should identify research groups and faculty members with whom you may be interested in working, as placement in the program is dependent upon available advisers.
  8. Names of three persons qualified to assess the your promise as a graduate student and willing to provide letters of recommendation. You will provide recommender names and email addresses on the online application, and recommenders will be automatically emailed for you. Letters of Recommendation need to be received by January 15. Email your recommenders well ahead of time by advancing to the last page of the online (choose "postpone validation" if the form won't let you advance) application and clicking on the three "Submit Recommendation Request" buttons. This will email your recommenders now even if you are not ready to submit your final application.

If you would like some advice or have questions on the application process, please email us at environ@pdx.edu.