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Update Regarding EES Graduate PhD Applications - 2020-2021 

We regret to announce that the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania will not accept applications for the PhD program during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Arts of Sciences made the difficult decision to focus resources on supporting current students and ensuring that we are in a position to fully support future cohorts of Penn graduate students.  Therefore, we will pause bringing new PhD students into the program for one year, with the expectation of welcoming a new cohort of graduate students in the fall of 2022.The Earth and Environmental Science Professional Master's Program remains open and will be accepting applications through the 2020-21 admissions cycle. 


Applications can be located here:


Special Admissions Requirements for Doctoral Programs

The GRE General Test is not required. Undergraduate preparation in physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics, as well as in geology is recommended; the Graduate Group welcomes applicants who have majored in these fields, and will consider applicants from any field. The Graduate Group recommends that students who have not taken an undergraduate field-geology course make arrangements to do so before matriculating.

Ph.D. students must pass a preliminary examination showing command of a range of geologic sub-fields, and advanced knowledge of the field of proposed concentration. Before admission to degree candidacy, each student must present an acceptable proposal for thesis research, and pass an oral examination covering that proposal but also extending to a broad range of related knowledge. Ph.D. candidates must sustain a public oral examination on their theses and allied subjects.

Doctoral candidates are expected to have reading knowledge of at least one foreign language that is significantly represented in the geologic literature.


Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316