How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Term of Entry International Students International
Already in the U.S.
International
Not in the U.S.
Fall (August) January 2 * January 10 January 15
Spring (January) October 1 N/A October 1

 * The deadline is January 10th but applications will be reviewed until January 15th. For the best opportunity to receive funding from the College, please apply by the preferred deadline. Applications received after the final deadline may not receive full review and consideration. Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Program Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited university (preferable majors include biology, chemistry, geology, physics or math). Master's degree in one of the above sciences highly preferable for Ph.D. applicants.
  • Have earned a "B" (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) average or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division student working for a baccalaureate degree. (Having these scores does not guarantee admission to our program.)
  • Have completed all of the coursework listed on the Undergraduate Preparation page.
  • Have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within 5 years preceding application.

The College of Marine Science is part of USF Tampa and not part of USF St. Petersburg even though we are located in St. Petersburg. You must select the Tampa campus for apply for our degree programs.

  • Have the commitment of a Marine Science faculty member to serve as advisor during the student's graduate studies (this will be determined after your complete application is received and reviewed by the admissions committee).

Required Application Documents:

  • Complete the Online Application ($30.00 fee, paid online) and prepare the following supporting documents:
  • Application Information / Research Interest Essay (use this linked MS Word template and upload this document in the "Essay" section of the online application)
  • Resume or CV (upload to the "resume" section of the online application)
  • Official Transcripts of Grades (request official transcripts from your higher education institutions to be sent directly to USF Tampa. Their address is Office of Admission 4202 E. Fowler Ave. SUC 1036 Tampa, Fl 33620.  You should upload an unofficial copy to the online application to have your application reviewed)
  • Request 3 Letters of Recommendation to be uploaded to application or emailed to marinescience@usf.edu
  • ETS PPI Index (request up to five PPI evaluations)
  • GRE Scores (submit to code 5828)
  • TOEFL Scores (for non-native English speakers)
  • International Forms (for international students, available on the online application)

Application Decisions

All complete applications are reviewed after the deadlines by the admissions committee. Fall decisions are typically made during February and March. Spring application decisions are typically made in October and November. Denied applicants will receive notification by email directly from the Office of Graduate Studies. Accepted applicants will receive notification in the physical mail as well as email.

Submit Online Application

Complete the Online Application. There is a $30.00 application fee required. The fee must be paid before your application can be seen by the Admissions Committee. A fee waiver may be requested if you qualify by being part of one of the programs listed on the fee waiver request form. Please email the waiver form directly to marinescience@usf.edu, if you qualify. Please note that the College of Marine Science is part of USF Tampa and not part of USF St. Petersburg even though we are located in St. Petersburg. You must select the Tampa campus for apply for our degree programs.

Review Faculty Research & Submit Your Research Interest Essay

We encourage all applicants to review the CMS faculty pages ahead of time to learn more about their research. Please list all of the faculty members that you are interested in on your Research Interest Essay. All applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee after the deadline to determine admissibility and to match student's interests with available professors. Making direct contact (phone/email/skype) with faculty members of interest is mandatory. Use this linked MS Word template to create your essay and upload it in the "Essay" section of the Admissions Application.

Resume or CV

Upload your most current resume or CV in the “Resume” section of the Admissions Application.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to provide three letters of recommendation as part of the admissions application. The applicant will be asked to enter in the contact information of each recommender as part of the Admissions Application. Each recommender will receive an email with a link to the recommendation upload site. At this site, the recommender can then type in the recommendation letter or attached a .doc or .pdf file. Alternatively, recommendation letters can also be emailed directly to marinescience@usf.edu. The letters should address the "Admissions Committee." It is preferred to have letters printed on university or company letterhead in .pdf format, attached and email from a professional email address if applicable.

Official Transcripts of Grades

One official transcript from all institutions of higher learning where you have earned a degree is required, but applicants may also provide unofficial copies of transcripts to expedite the processing of their applications, which can uploaded directly to the online application. Any admissions granted using unofficial transcripts will not be finalized until official transcripts are received in a sealed envelope to USF's Office of Admissions. If you are applying while still completing an undergraduate degree, you must submit transcripts of at least six (6) semesters of completed undergraduate work. Final transcripts showing the award of a bachelor's degree will be required if an applicant is admitted and enrolls. If you have attended USF as a degree-seeking student, you do not have to submit your USF transcripts.

International Transcripts:

All transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant's responsibility to have foreign transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of their graduate application packet. Please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluations Services Listing of evaluators.

Tampa address for the Office of Admissions:
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036,
Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Phone Number: 813.974.3350

Graduate Record Exam scores (GRE - verbal/quantitative)

The GRE General Test is a standardized test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study.

Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828. Please submit scores from the General GRE Test only (verbal and quantitative). The GRE now has a *Revised General Test: the format and scale of the GRE changed August 1, 2011. The competitive minimums scores are as follows:

  • Current minimum preferred scores:
    • Old scale: Verbal=500, Quantitative=600
    • *Revised scale: Verbal=153, Quantitative=148
  • MRA concentration minimum preferred scores:
    • Old scale: Verbal=550 and Quantitative=700
    • *Revised scale: Verbal=156, Quantitative=155

TOEFL exam scores (For non-native English speakers)

Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired term of entry.

  Internet-based Computer-based Paper-based
Minimum Scores 79 213 550

Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions. Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828.

The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:
• Scored 500 (153 on revised test) or higher on the GRE Verbal Test
• Earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning
• Earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English (must be noted on the transcript).
• Scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

International Forms (for International Students Only)

Upload the Financial Support Requirements Form to the online application. This form is available on the online application. You may also visit the USF Graduate Admissions web site for more helpful information for International Applicants.

As mentioned above, all international transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant's responsibility to have foreign transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of their graduate application packet. Please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluations Services Listing of evaluators.

Optional Information:

Students may opt to participate in the PPI to add to their application, but it is not mandatory.

Personal Potential Index (PPI) Evaluations

The USF Office of Graduate Studies is taking part in the evaluation of a new assessment tool, the Personal Potential Index (PPI).  In part, this new instrument is being developed to offer administrators a more holistic understanding of an applicant's potential for success as a graduate student.  Students, too, may benefit from this tool because it may allow them to communicate a more comprehensive representation of their skills and attributes to their desired graduate program.  The instrument is designed to ascertain an applicant's knowledge and creativity, resilience, communication skills, planning and organization, teamwork, and ethics and integrity.

More information about the PPI can be obtained from ETS. All student information sent to ETS will be de-identified to maintain students' anonymity. 

Questions?

We are here to help you. If you have any questions please contact us:

Email:  marinescience@usf.edu

Phone: 727.553.3504

 

Admissions

Graduate Program Admissions

We recruit graduate students from our region, across our nation and around the world. We are committed to maintaining a diverse and highly qualified graduate student population and enabling their success. Our program is a mentored one in which students work closely with their faculty advisors as apprentices. This is demanding of our faculty members' time, but upon graduation our students are fully prepared for a successful entry into our field. For questions regarding the application process, please visit our FAQ page or email marinesciences@usf.edu.

Who is Welcome at CMS?

We welcome anyone who has a passion for the oceans and for science, who values different perspectives, and who cherishes the opportunity to think critically and promote dialogue about the knowledge we create and disseminate. Regardless of what you look like, what you believe, or where you come from, we want to include you in our college if this description fits you.

Important Deadlines

Fall Admissions Priority Deadline: January 10th

Fall Admissions Final Deadline: January 15th

Spring Admissions Final Deadline: October 1st  

International Student Fall Admissions Deadline: January 2nd

International Student Spring Admissions Deadline: June 1st

How to Apply

The following materials must be received by the final deadline in order for the application to be considered complete. For the best opportunity to receive funding from the College, please apply by the Priority Deadline.

Submit Online Application

Complete the Online Application. There is a $30.00 application fee required. The fee must be paid before your application can be seen by the Admissions Committee. A fee waiver may be requested if you qualify by being part of one of the programs listed on the fee waiver request form. Please email the waiver form directly to marinescience@usf.edu, if you qualify. Please note that the College of Marine Science is part of USF Tampa and not part of USF St. Petersburg even though we are located in St. Petersburg. You must select the Tampa campus for apply for our degree programs.

Research Interest Essay

Use this linked MS Word template to create your essay and upload it in the “Essay” section of the Admissions Application.

Resume or CV

Upload your most current resume or CV in the “Resume” section of the Admissions Application

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts from all institutions of higher learning that you attended must be uploaded in your Admissions Application. Once you have been admitted to the College, you will need to send your final, official transcripts to the Office of Admissions before registering for classes. If you have attended USF as a degree-seeking student, you do not have to submit your USF transcript.

Mail all transcripts to:

Office of Admissions
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036
Tampa, FL 33620, USA 

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are required to provide three letters of recommendation as part of the admissions application. The applicant will be asked to enter in the contact information of each recommender as part of the Admissions Application. Each recommender will receive an email with a link to the recommendation upload site. At this site, the recommender can then type in the recommendation letter or attached a .doc or .pdf file. Alternatively, recommendation letters can also be emailed directly to marinescience@usf.edu. The letters should address the “Admissions Committee.” It is preferred to have letters printed on university or company letterhead in .pdf format, attached and email from a professional email address if applicable.

Graduate Record Exam Scores (GRE-verbal/quantitative)

The GRE is a standardized test that measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills that are not related to any specific field of study. Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828. The competitive minimum scores are as follows:

Verbal = 153 and Quantitative = 148. For the MRA concentration the minimum preferred scores are Verbal = 156 and Quantitative = 155.

TOEFL exam scores (For non-native English speakers)

Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States mist also submit TOEFL scores earned within two years of the desired term of entry. A minimum total score of 79 in the internet-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test are required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied with no exceptions. Contact ETS to find a testing location and have your scores sent electronically from ETS to USF. The institution code for USF is 5828. The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:

  • Has scored 153 or higher on the GRE verbal test
  • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning
  • Has earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English (must be noted on the transcript)
  • Has scored a 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International Applicants                 

Upload the Financial Support Requirements Form to the online application. This form is available on the Admissions Application. You may also visit the USF Graduate Admissions website for more helpful information for international applicants. All international transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign transcripts translated and evaluated before submitting them as part of their graduate application. Please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluations Services Listing of evaluators.

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