Applying for Graduate Study in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Geosciences graduate programs!  You can find information on our different M.S. concentrations here and our Ph.D. program here.  If you are interested in applying for our programs, you should be certain to complete these important tasks:

  1. Make sure you have completed all prerequisite coursework and degrees for the concentration you are interested in. If you have questions about this, please reach out to the graduate coordinator.
  2. Identify three potential sources for a letter of reference and collect all of your previous transcripts.
  3. Identify a potential mentor to supervise your thesis or dissertation research by searching our faculty profiles (available here) and reaching out to faculty you may be interested in working with.  Admission for M.S. applicants may be contingent on your ability to identify a mentor, and Ph.D. applicants are required to have a willing mentor before they are admitted to the program.
  4. Develop a statement of purpose with important details about your interests, including which concentration you wish to apply for, your research interests, your career goals, and your potential mentor. 

If you have completed these tasks, there is a two-step process to apply to our Graduate Programs.  First, you should click the link below to reach the application page for the Mississippi State University Graduate College’s application form.  This application form will require transcripts, letters of reference, and a statement of purpose, as well as any other information requested by the Graduate School.

Apply for Graduate School Admission

In addition to that, if you are applying for on-campus admission, you need to complete the Department of Geosciences assistantship application at the link below.  This application will require you to provide an updated resume or CV to the graduate coordinator (information about that is in the form).

Apply for Department of Geosciences Graduate Assistantship

Please be aware of important deadlines.  The Graduate School has deadlines relevant to applying for specific semesters of admission available on their academic calendars (available here). 
Please note that the Department of Geosciences has a deadline of January 15th for the given year to be considered for assistantship funding for the subsequent Fall semester.  Typically, teaching and service assistantships span a Fall-Spring timeline.  You must have submitted the assistantship application and your resume or CV to the Graduate Coordinator no later than that deadline if you wish to be considered in the first round of assistantship funding.  We often have more applications than available assistantship positions, so you are encouraged to apply early to ensure you are included in the initial pool of applicants.  Please note that the department does not directly facilitate research assistantships, they are facilitated by individual faculty.  You are welcome to include your interest in research assistantships in your application, but you are strongly encouraged to reach out to your faculty mentor to learn about what research assistantship opportunities are available. The Graduate Coordinator is not apprised of all different research assistantships available in the department.

Typically, admission decisions will occur a few weeks after the applications are completed, and you will likely be notified of successful admission soon after those decisions are made.  This contact will be directly from the Graduate School and will indicate successful admission into the university.  However, the Department will not review assistantship applications until after the January 15th deadline, regardless of when a student applies or is accepted.  Please note that departmental funding decisions are recommended by faculty in the specific concentration area, not by the Graduate Coordinator, and funding offers will come directly from the Department of Geosciences’ department head.

If you have any questions about this process, do not hesitate to reach out to the Graduate Coordinator (  Thank you for your interest and good luck in the application process!