Graduate Applications

Considering applying to our Graduate Program? We encourage you to contact potential research supervisors well ahead of the deadlines posted below. Search our faculty page (under: Active Faculty) for their e-mail addresses. We welcome your visit to the Department, either before or after you apply, and we will work with you to facilitate your travel financially. The Department and the University are actively committed to increasing graduate student diversity on campus. We welcome tigers of all stripes to apply for Graduate Studies in the Department of Geosciences. For students who may find the application fee a burden, we draw your attention to the fee waivers offered by the Graduate School, see the bottom of the Graduate School's Application page.

Background Needed
Application Procedures
Graduate Admissions Process
Deadline and Fees
Financial Aid
Foreign Applicants

The department strives to admit 10-15 new graduate students every year. Our department has a strong emphasis on a multidisciplinary "systems" approach to study the earth, and has links with chemistry, math, physics, biology, and computational science. 

Background Needed

A strong background in the sciences is a prerequisite for admission for the Geosciences Ph.D. We admit students who have majored in such diverse fields as chemistry, physics, math, geology, biology, computer sciences, and engineering. We prefer applicants to have had college-level chemistry and physics, and math up to multivariable calculus. For the environmental track an advanced organic chemistry course is desirable; the solid earth track prefers students who have done math through partial differential equations.

Application Procedures

Official applications go through the Princeton University Graduate Admissions web page. This website directs you to the detailed application procedures.

Graduate Admissions Process

The admissions process will take until March, although you may be able to get unofficial news if you have established a communications link with one of the faculty members. 

The department makes its decision for admission on the basis of the complete application file. Letters of reference, personal statement, resume, and TOEFL scores all play a role in the final decision. 

There is separate information available for students in the AOS program. The AOS program has an emphasis on physics and applied math, and a rigorous course requirement for the first two years. The Geosciences program is more flexible on courses but is more demanding on the research to be done before the General Exam.

Deadline and Fees

  1. Application Deadline Date = January 3, 2024
  2. Subfield(s) = not required
  3. Supplemental Question(s) = not required
  4. Diversity Statement = not included
  5. Writing Sample = not required
  6. GRE general = not accepted
  7. GRE subject =  not accepted

Application fee: $75, though see the graduate schools information on fee waivers

Financial Aid

In general, graduate students are supported (tuition plus stipend) for at least 4 years through fellowships, project grants awarded to individual faculty members from outside agencies, or through an Assistantship in Instruction. Students who are U.S. citizens are urged to apply for National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, NASA, or Hertz fellowships.  Various funds are also available to support summer studies, fieldwork, and other research away from campus. The average time to obtain a Ph.D. is about 5 years.

Additional Information for Foreign Applicants 

Princeton welcomes students of all nationalities. However, students from non-English-speaking countries must show they are proficient in the English language in order to be admitted. The GRE and TOEFL examinations are a first indication of English proficiency. We often conduct a telephone interview before deciding on admission.

GRE Exam. The GRE exam is no longer considered for admission to the Department of Geosciences. Test scores should not be submitted and if they are, they will not be looked at.

TOEFL Exam. TOEFL exams are required for non-native English speakers, and results should be sent directly to the graduate school upon submission of the application. For scheduling this exam, please see

Contact the faculty member(s) you would like to work with. E-mail addresses are on the faculty's profile page.

For Graduate Students

Grad Student Handbook thumbnail image
  • Graduate Student Handbook
    Last Update: 07/31/2023
    This guide comprehensively covers the academic requirements for attaining a Ph.D. in GEO. It focuses on the first and second years, as these have the most requirements. Information pertaining to subsequent years focuses on dissertation research and career services.