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Graduate Program Admissions

Who should apply

Students with bachelor’s degrees can apply directly either to the M.S. or the Ph.D. program, or complete a M.S. here and then continue on in the Ph.D. program. The M.S. is not required for entry to the Ph.D. program.

Students with backgrounds in math and the sciences, particularly those with strong quantitative backgrounds, are encouraged to apply. We help students apply the tools of math and science to solve complex environmental issues.

Qualifications for Admission

  • Minimum 3.00 G.P.A. in undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate coursework
  • Two semesters of college level calculus, physics, and chemistry, plus advanced coursework in a scientific discipline.
  • The general Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Specialty tests are not required.
  • International students who do not have English as their native language must demonstrate proficiency in English by taking the TOEFL or IELTS test. Minimum acceptable scores are 600 for the paper-based TOEFL, 213 for the computer-based TOEFL, 90* for the internet-based (IB) TOEFL, and 6.5 for the IELTS. *MS and MA students can be admitted with an IB TOEFL of 85 but are then not eligible for TA support.

Admission Application Deadlines

Applications should be received by January 15th for the Fall semester or October 1st for the Spring Semester. Applications received after the deadline date will still be reviewed but full consideration for financial assistance requires timely submission. Applicants will be notified via e-mail when all required documents have been received. Financial support is generally only available for students beginning study in the fall semester.


To Apply

  1. Fill out the online application to the Stony Brook University Graduate School.
  2. Prepare your personal statement.Tell us why you want to earn a graduate degree (MS or PhD) in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. How would your time in our program help to get you from your previous experiences to where you hope to be in 10 years? If relevant, describe how any prior research experience has prepared you for graduate school. Additionally, tell us about other life experiences that have prepared you for graduate work by building transferable skills (e.g., project management, coding, budgeting, work ethic, ability to work in a team, ability to work independently, etc.). Describe your research interests as specifically as you can, including which SoMAS faculty you would like to work with to pursue those interests. Although contact with potential advisors is not required before applying, it is very strongly encouraged. Our program embraces and supports diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); please describe if and how your experiences and goals are connected to DEI. Finally, tell us anything else you would like the Admissions Committee to know in evaluating your application. Aim to be concise; an effective personal statement is often less than two pages. Please note that you will be prompted to upload your personal statement from the 'checklist' page that will appear after you have submitted your application (and paid the application fee) in Slate.
  3. Identify 3 people to provide letters of reference, and make sure they submit them when prompted by Slate.
  4. Have ETS send Stony Brook University your official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Stony Brook’s code for score reporting is 2548).  International students must submit your TOEFL/IELTS scores to Stony Brook (code 2548).
  5. Arrange to have one official transcript from  each university attended sent electronically or mailed to:
    Christina Fink

    Educational Programs Office

    Endeavour Hall, Room 105

    School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

    Stony Brook University

    Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000

* Note: Item 4 applies to all transcripts other than Stony Brook University transcripts. SBU transcripts do not need to be mailed in. Also, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences does not require supplemental information from applicants. Applicants are only required to submit transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended from which a degree was earned. Applicants must submit all transcripts relating to any graduate level work undertaken, regardless of whether or not a degree was earned.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Jackie Collier, Graduate Program Director
631-632-8696, for questions concerning program content, or

Ms. Christina Fink, Graduate Programs Assistant
631-632-8680 for questions regarding application status or process

SoMAS Graduate Admissions Frequently Asked Questions