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Graduate Program Admission Information

Students must be accepted for admission by both the Department of Marine Science AND the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin before they may begin course work leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degree.
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Minimum requirements for regular admission to graduate study in the Department of Marine Science:

  • Bachelor's degree in an appropriate science discipline from an accredited United States Institution or proof of equivalent training at an institution outside the United States 
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of not less than 3.0 in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses and in any graduate work already completed.

Office of Graduate Admissions

All application materials listed below must be received no later than December 1, for admission in Fall Semester. Applications completed after this date will be considered for an alternate list.


Admission Materials Required:

  • The formal Application for Admission to the University must be completed online. This must be received in Austin no later than the deadline date for the semester in which you seek admission.
  • Short answer (max 250 words each):
    Topic 1: How have your personal and academic experiences contributed to your enthusiasm for research and prepared you for graduate studies in marine science?
    Topic 2: Describe a long-term goal that you’ve achieved or worked to achieve, research or non-research-related.
    Topic 3: Please address any information that you believe your application would be incomplete without and that sheds more light on your unique potential to succeed in marine science and contribute to the University community and the field or profession.

  • Essay (3-5 paragraphs):
    Tell us about your primary research interest and describe a question you would like to answer with your research. Include an explanation of your choice of faculty advisors (up to 3).
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference are required for each applicant. Complete the "Reference" section of the ApplyTexas application. Enter each recommender's name, valid e-mail address, and title. Give your recommenders plenty of lead time when requesting letters of recommendation. You must submit the online application before your recommenders can get the e-mail directing them to the online submission of letters of recommendation.
  • Transcripts: You must provide one copy of the academic transcript from every senior college you have attended. You may upload a copy of your transcript(s) after you have submitted your application for admission and paid the application fee. After you have submitted your application, you will recieve an email that contains a link to the Status Check web site where you will be able to upload your transcript(s).  The uploaded transcript(s) is considered to be unofficial but will be used to process your application for admission.  Please do not mail official tanscripts or paper copies of your transcripts before you are offered admission.  Sending paper copies of documents you have uploaded will significantly delay the processing of your application.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Our department no longer requires the GRE. However, International students applying to UT Austin must submit either an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report demonstrating an adequate knowledge of English. The Institutional TOEFL (ITP) and the IELTS General Training are not accepted. Consult the website of your program of interest to determine which test is preferred.

    International applicants who are from a qualifying country are exempt from this requirement. Additionally, applicants are exempt from the requirement if they possess a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or a qualifying countryThe requirement is not waived for applicants who have earned a master’s—but not a bachelor’s—degree from a similar institution.

Please be aware it is not uncommon for the transcripts of your previous college course work to arrive four to eight weeks after you order them from your former school.

Requests for references and other admissions materials can be monitored on the Application Status Check website. This site also allows you to resend a Request for Reference e-mail to your recommenders, add a new recommender, and revise your FERPA (right to view) status from retained to waived. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is not necessary to supply a second set of references to support an application for financial aid.

Because the application process is both expensive and time consuming, it is to your advantage to get an early start and follow through.