e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

How to Apply

GRE scores are highly encouraged and factor in some funding decisions. If you do not take these tests, you must request a waiver from clinehan@esf.edu.

Each GPES student is admitted into one Study Area. The Study Area Leaders, the GPES Graduate Director, and the Director of the Division of Environmental Science are responsible for admissions, allocation of GPES graduate fellowships and assistantships, initial assignment of Major Professors. Below the steps in the application process are outlined.

1) Identify Study Area

GPES has 3 Study Areas: Climate and Energy (C&E), Ecosystems: Land, Water and Air (ELWA), and Policy, Planning, Communication and Society (PPCS). Links to SUNY ESF Faculty who align with a particular Study Area are located on the Study Area pages. To apply to GPES, you must identify a Study Area.

2) Identify Major Professors

Every applicant should identify 2 Major Professors (MPs) with whom they wish to work: a primary MP and a secondary MP. From the Study Area descriptions there are links to SUNY ESF Faculty who align with specific Study Area. We strongly encourage you to contact potential MPs and inquire about their plans to recruit new graduate students. Developing a personal relationship with your MP is a path to a successful graduate student experience and funding opportunities.

3) Identify Degree Program

GPES offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree programs. The PhD and MS are research-oriented degree programs, while the MPS focuses primarily on coursework and professional development. You should discuss with your potential MPs which degree program you should pursue.

4) Fill Out Application

Follow this link to the SUNY ESF graduate application portal. The application requirements can be found here. Within the application, you will identify your Study Area and select 2 potential MPs. Application for fall admission are rolling, but for financial consideration you should apply by January 15th. The deadline for spring admission is November 15th.

5) Funding Opportunities

There are multiple ways that GPES graduate students may be supported. GPES offers a number of Graduate Assistantships (GAs) to aid with course delivery. These are merit-based awards, with preference given to PhD students. There are also GAs in your MPs home department, as well as Research Assistantships (RAs) that your MP may control. The college commonly offers tuition assistance to students with fellowships (e.g., Fulbright).

6) Application Decision

We typically notify applicants for fall admission of their status by March 15th.