How To Apply to the Graduate Program

Applying to any graduate program is a big step and requires time and effort to make the best decision for your future. The first step is to accumulate as much information about a program and potential faculty ( advisors as possible. We highly recommend you read about our faculty and contact members whose research closely align with your interests. Go to the library or ask potential advisors for copies of their recent research articles to see the types of work they are currently conducting. This is an important consideration, because by choosing an advisor you choose a research area.

  • Communicate with faculty by email or phone, let them know you are interested in their research and ask if they have room available for a new student.
  • Give them a short history of your education, research interests, and career goals. You may also wish to attach transcripts or a resume or CV in an email.
  • If possible, schedule a visit to the campus, talk to faculty and students about the graduate program, and tour the facilities. In cases where visits are impractical, Skype calls can be arranged.  Since we typically do not accept applicants who have not identified a potential advisor or a particular research interest, this phase is exceedingly important in the application process.

Department Application Deadlines

January 10 for fall semester entry and October 1 for spring semester entry (submission prior to these dates is strongly encouraged).

Application steps for graduate studies in Oceanography

Graduate School requirements must be met before applicants can be offered admission. Information about the requirements can be found on this page: begin the application, please visit:

The Oceanography Field of Study can be found in the application dropdown menu after selecting the Area Natural Sciences.

Applicants are expected to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a science or engineering field, or a bachelor’s degree and a background including at least one year of college-level physics, biology, and chemistry as well as math through calculus, with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the combined science courses. Admission is very competitive and successful applicants to Marine Sciences typically have GPAs considerably higher than the minimum, usually greater than 3.5 in the last four academic semesters. Students are accepted to the program based on merit and available funding. Applicants who are not a native speakers of English are required to submit evidence of proficiency in the English language. Details about this requirement can be found on this page:

In addition to all Graduate School required documents, the Department of Marine Sciences also requires a personal statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. A resume or CV is helpful, but optional.

Personal statement of purpose(2 pages, single spaced) – Your personal statement of purpose is an important component of your application: it is an opportunity for you to clearly explain why you are pursuing an advanced degree, how you’ve prepared for graduate-level education, and how UConn’s Oceanography Graduate Program will support achieving your career goals. The objective is to provide as complete a picture of you as an individual as possible, including and highlighting  information that goes beyond your transcripts or CV. Details of your learning experiences are much more valuable than vague generalizations. The admissions committee and potential faculty advisor(s) will review your essay to evaluate your academic writing skills, preparedness to conduct graduate-level research, and overall potential for success in our program.  In your statement, be sure to:

  1. identify your research interests and describe how they align with those of potential faculty advisor(s),
  2. describe relevant professional training or research experience(s) and how they have prepared or motivated you to pursue a graduate degree (examples include undergraduate research projects, academic awards/honors/scholarships, internships, publications, or conference presentations).
  3. explain how completing UConn’s graduate program in Oceanography will help you achieve your career goals.

Three letters of recommendation recommenders should be selected carefully. When possible, have at least one letter from someone who has seen you work in a field or laboratory research atmosphere (e.g., an advisor for an undergraduate research project). Individuals providing a letter of reference should provide candid evaluations of your scientific aptitude, training, motivation, teaching talent, and ability to express yourself orally and in technical writing.