Admission Requirements

The undergraduate student wishing to prepare for graduate work in the marine geosciences must be well trained in the basic sciences. Applicants must take the GRE, and those whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550. According to the special interests of the individual, the undergraduate major and minor should be in geology, physics, chemistry, and/or mathematics.

Application for Admission to the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (Ph.D. and M.S.)

Getting Started

All applicants should review undergraduate preparation requirements and recommendations for a competitive application. In addition to satisfactory scores (as judged by the graduate program) on the appropriate tests, the general requirement for admission is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA average. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact the Graduate Program Director for the program you are interested in. 

When submitting an application, prospective students must indicate the program(s) of interest. The online application will allow you to submit one application to multiple RSMAS graduate programs with no additional application fee.

The online application will ask you to identify up to 5 faculty with whom you would be interested in meeting if you are offered the opportunity to interview. We encourage you to review faculty associated with various research areas and the list of available research assistantships. Please note your application will be considered regardless of your selection. Applicants are welcome to contact faculty via email before and during the application process, but this is not required.

Dates and Deadlines

RSMAS accepts applications year round. For best chances of fall admission into one of our PhD or research based Masters of Science programs, your complete application including all supporting documents must be received in the application period of November 1st - January 10th. However, complete applications received by December 1st will have the highest chance of being invited to our on-site annual recruitment weekend visit in early February.

Application Requirements

Online Application Form and Upload Supporting Documents

Please use the online application which can be found at

  • The application will ask you to identify up to 5 faculty with whom you are interested in. See above statement for more details on this.
  • Upload PDF of Statement of Purpose identifying your goals and objectives in pursuing a graduate degree. If you have already identified RSMAS faculty you are interested in, please be sure to include this information here as well.
  • Upload PDF of unofficial transcripts (for review purposes only). See below statement on transcripts for more details on this.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons well situated to evaluate your qualifications for graduate study. The online application will ask you to enter your recommender's email addresses for the RSMAS recommendation letter form to be sent to them.
  • Non-refundable application fee ($85).

Official Transcripts of All College and Graduate Level Work


While the online application will allow you to upload unofficial transcripts for review purposes, RSMAS must receive official transcripts before an offer of admission can be released. You are strongly encouraged to request the registrar of each institution attended to send transcripts directly to the University of Miami, RSMAS, Graduate Studies Office (address below). For any institution allowing electronic transfer of the official transcript, please use as the delivery address.


Submit the following educational documents to an approved international credentialing evaluation service for evaluation:

  • Official original diplomas and certificates in the original language
  • Official original transcripts in the original language (names of courses, grades, and hours of instruction) for every year of study.
  • NOTE: Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by professional, certified English translations. Translations supplement, but do not replace the official documents.
Type of Evaluation Required
  • The Rosenstiel School requires international applicants to complete a course-by-course evaluation with GPA.
Where to Submit Documents for Evaluation
  • Josef Silney & Associates (JS&A), Inc, International Education Consultants, is the preferred evaluation vendor for international applicants to the University of Miami due to their competitive prices and high-quality service. Click here for more information including the Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials.
  • Please note that international applicants are not required to use the services of JS&A. The international credential evaluation services of any approved vendor may be used. Click here to view a list of approved vendors.
  • Please be sure the vendor sends your evaluation directly to
  • Evaluation Fee - Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee.
  • Please note that failure to comply with these instructions may cause significant delays in the review and processing of your application, and therefore also significant delays in the processing of your I-20.

Official GRE Score Report

  • An official score of the Graduate Record Examination Test (GRE): must be submitted using institution code 7690 (there is no department code). The University of Miami requires a minimum score of 297 (total of verbal + quantitative) for acceptance into any Graduate School program. The Rosenstiel School does not have a minimum score requirement of its own (other than the UM minimum) for the verbal and quantitative sections, but most admitted applicants score approximately in the 80th percentile or better. In addition, applicants must have a minimum of 3.5 on the analytical writing section.
  • It is only recommended, not required, that applicants to the Graduate Program in Marine Biology and Ecology submit the score of the Subject Test in Biology.

Official TOEFL or IELTS Score Report (International Applicants Only)

  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official results of the Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL): using institution code 2919 or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) using institution code 4862. There is no department code for either score submission.
  • An exception to this rule is an international student who will have earned a US degree prior to enrollment at RSMAS. 
  • A minimum score of 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), 80 (iBT), or 6.5 for the IELTS is required for admission.

Additional Supplemental Documents

  • Ph.D. Applicants with a Prior Master's Degree
    • Students applying to the Ph.D. program with a prior Master’s degree must include with their application an abstract of the thesis or reprints or manuscripts of scientific work. Applicants can email this to
  • Financial Documents
    • Applicants who have already secured an external fellowship, scholarship, sponsorship or other funding to finance the degree should email financial documents directly to

Mailing Address:

Graduate Studies Office SLAB 130
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149
Telephone: 305.421.4155
Facsimile: 305.421.4771

Curriculum Requirements

The MGS M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Course Requirements 26
All MGS students must complete two of the following courses:
Earth Surface Processes
Introductory Geochemistry
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
Comprehensive Examination 3
MGS Seminar 4
Seminar in Marine Geosciences
Geotopics Lecture Series 5
Total Credit Hours30


The mission of the MGS M.S. program is to prepare our students for either further academic education in a Ph.D. program or professional employment in marine geology and geophysics, environmental sciences, and petroleum geology. The program is based on two main elements: well-rounded course work plus conduct of original research that leads to preparation of a publicly defended M.S. thesis.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students completing the MGS M.S. degree will demonstrate a broad comprehension of Marine and Earth sciences. Students will understand the geological, geochemical, and geophysical processes that affect the Earth and its environment and will be able to apply this knowledge in either academic or professional careers.
  • Each student will prepare an original M.S. Thesis that demonstrates his/her ability to critically evaluate scientific literature, comprehend previous knowledge on a topic, formulate testable hypotheses, and skillfully use available data and tools to advance the knowledge in that topic.
  • Students will demonstrate good oral communication skills, and be able to effectively communicate and defend their scientific findings to a peer audience.