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Procedure for Admission

  1. Contact Information:

    Graduate Program
    Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
    319 Forest Resources Building
    Penn State University
    University Park, PA 16802-3504 USA

  2. Application Packet

    A complete application includes:

    • completed Graduate School electronic application form (submitted to the Graduate School),
    • two original sets of transcripts (submitted to the Department,
    • an official version of the GRE score report (sent to the Department),
    • official TOEFL/ IELTS scores (sent to the Department) for students who come from nations where English is not the native language or who have not received a baccalaureate or master’s degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English,
    • a personal goal statement, and
    • three letters of reference (names and addresses of references are submitted to the Graduate School as part of the electronic application form).

    Applications may be submitted at any time, but competition for financial support of students starting in the Fall Semester is intense and application should be completed by January 2. International students should have their applications submitted at least nine months before the beginning of the semester for which they are applying. Information on the online application system

  3. Evaluation by the Department Graduate Programs Committee

    Complete application packets for graduate study in Agronomy or Soil Science are evaluated by the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management Graduate Programs Committee and potential advisers who consider the applicant’s (1) previous coursework, (2) academic performance (grade-point average), (3) GRE scores, (4) TOEFL/IELTS scores, when appropriate, (5) appraisal of deficiencies, (6) personal vita, (7) personal goal statement, (8) information given on Graduate School application forms, and (9) letters of recommendation. Recommendation for acceptance or rejection of an applicant is made by the Department Head in consultation with the proposed faculty advisers to the Graduate School.

  4. Completing M.S. Degree and Continuing for the PhD Degree

    A master’s candidate who completes his/her degree or is near completion and wants to continue in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management as a candidate for the Ph.D. degree needs to complete a “Resume Study/Change of Graduate Degree or Major” form and submit it to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services, 114 Kern Building, at least six months prior to expected admission to the PhD program. In addition, the candidate should prepare a new goal statement and arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to the Graduate Program Head. The candidate’s documents (some items can be secured from the applicant’s M.S. file) will be reviewed by the Department’s Graduate Programs Committee and a recommendation for admission will be submitted to the Department Head.