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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

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If your passion is learning to use our wealth of environmental resources wisely, SEOE is for you. We offer degrees in geosciences, marine science, and environment and sustainability, as well as an accelerated master's degree for exceptional undergraduate students.

GRE Requirement

The SEOE does not require GRE scores for all graduate degree programs.   Note that IELTS or TOEFL (or equivalent) are still required for international students.

Who Are You?

All applicants should have acquired competence in one of the fields of basic science. However, more important than any fixed entrance requirements, your academic record and other credentials must indicate the potential to progress satisfactorily in graduate studies.

Students that are typically accepted into the SEOE graduate program have an undergraduate GPA exceeding 3.0 and letters of recommendation that rank them in the upper 25 percent of their cohort. The SEOE does not have a specific set of required undergraduate courses but bases its admission mainly on demonstrated ability to do academic work and interest in the field of Geosciences, Marine Sciences, or Environmental Sciences. 


Your Research Interests

We suggest that you explore our faculty's areas of research before completing your statement of purpose. You should also reach out to faculty members who share your research interests to discuss potential projects.


SEOE Graduate Admission

You'll apply through the University of South Carolina Graduate School. In addition to the online Application, you'll need to submit the following:

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP): a 300 word essay (minimum, but less than 3 pages),  explaining your research interests in Geological Science, Marine Science, or MEERM-Enviornmental Science, your professional goals and your current plans for fulfilling your goals.
  • Resume / CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty or other professionals in the field
  • Undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcript(s)
  • Official TOEFL score or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam (if applicable). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (internet-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5. 
  • Official LSAT score (if applicable for MEERM/JD program)
  • International Students: Please review the information regarding international applicants on the USC Graduate School’s webpage.



Applications should be submitted prior to January 8 to receive full consideration for assistantships and awards for Summer and Fall semesters.  Most assistantship and award decisions are made during the early spring (March-April) for Summer and Fall admission.

Spring and Summer term admissions are rare and are accepted only in special circumstances where you have discussed the possibility of admission in one of these terms with your potential faculty mentor and the graduate director.  Please select a Fall application term if you have not already discussed early admission with faculty mentor and graduate director. Spring applications are due by October 1. 

For more information about any of the three degree programs, please contact the Graduate Coordinator ( or complete the following inquiry form (will open in a new window):

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