Environmental and Earth Sciences

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON

Admission Requirements - FAQ

What kinds of Bachelor’s degrees prepare someone for admission to the Master’s program?

The program requires a BS degree in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, or engineering.

What if I don’t have a degree in one of these areas?

Applicants with other degrees in related fields are often accepted into the program. Regardless of their prior degree, every applicant is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to see if their preparation is adequate. If it is not, then they are assigned deficiency courses that must be completed in the first year of enrollment.

How are deficiency courses determined?

First, we examine the applicant’s transcript to see if they have a “core” set of undergraduate science courses ensuring an adequate basic science background to succeed in the program. These consist of 1 semester of physics, 2 semesters of general chemistry, 1 semester of organic chemistry, and 2 semesters of calculus. Students considering the program should be aware that some of the program’s required courses involve quantitative problem-solving and analysis, and the use of integral calculus.

Second, we look at the applicant’s upper division coursework, to see if they have at least 18 hours of advanced electives concentrated in biology, chemistry, geology, or civil engineering. This requirement ensures that an applicant has good preparation in a relevant science or engineering discipline. The program’s philosophy is that the best basis for interdisciplinary work is a solid foundation in one discipline. The evaluation is conducted by the program’s Graduate Advisor, in consultation with faculty members from the applicant’s area of study.

What are the most commonly assigned deficiency courses?

Students with a BS in biological sciences often have to take Calculus II, and those with a BS in engineering often have to take Organic Chemistry. Students getting a “traditional” science or engineering degree usually have enough upper division electives in a single discipline. However, students from Environmental Studies or similar interdisciplinary programs sometimes have to take some additional upper division science electives as deficiency courses.

What if I’m likely to have a long list of deficiency courses assigned?

There are two options. First, you could take some of the courses involved prior to applying to the program. Lower division courses such as Calculus II or Organic Chemistry are offered at community colleges as well as at UT Arlington. Upper division courses can be taken at UT Arlington or other four-year institutions.

The second option is to consider other programs at UT Arlington that don’t require as strong a science background.

What are the requirements for admission to the doctoral program?

The applicant must have either a Master’s degree in a relevant area, or 30 semester credit hours of graduate coursework. Applicants with only a Bachelor's degree may apply for the BS-PhD Track, allowing them to pursue doctoral studies without completing a Master's degree. If you are contemplating a doctoral program, you should examine the research interests of the program’s faculty to see if there are one or more professors who could serve as you doctoral advisor. Choosing your “major professor” wisely is the most important step in a doctoral program. This person will guide your dissertation research and it is important that you share research interests with them. See the questions about thesis and dissertation research below.

What if I have a Master’s degree from a foreign university?

You should be aware that Master’s degrees awarded in many countries (including India) are often not considered to be equivalent to an American Master’s degree, because fewer total years of study at university are involved. The Graduate School makes the determination of whether to recognize a Master’s degree from outside the US.

What if I want to get a doctoral degree but I don’t have a Master’s degree, or the Graduate School doesn’t recognize my Master’s degree

You should apply for the BS-PhD Track.

Are GRE scores required?>

What GRE scores are required for admission to the EES program?

There are no required “cutoff” scores for admission to the program. In our experience, students entering the Master‘s program with scores of 550 or higher on the quantitative portion and 380 or higher on the verbal portion of the GRE exam are likely to perform well in the program. Students entering the doctoral program with scores of 600 or higher on the quantitative portion and 460 or higher on the verbal portion of the GRE exam are likely to perform well in the program.

What if my GRE scores are lower than these guidelines?

We will still consider your application, and will examine other indicators of potential success, such as grades obtained in science and math courses, relevant professional experience, etc.

What are the Grade Point Average requirements for admission?

Your GPA should be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale, as calculated by the Graduate School. The calculation by the Graduate School is usually based on the last 60 hours of coursework for Master‘s program applicants and on prior graduate coursework for doctoral program applicants. These calculations may not correspond to those appearing on your transcripts.

What if my GPA is lower than the requirement?

We will still consider your application, and will examine other indicators of potential success, such as grades obtained in science and math courses, GRE scores, relevant professional experience, etc. The program may decide to give you a probationary admission. This usually means that to remain in the program, you must earn no grade lower than a B during the first 12 credit hours of coursework.

What English proficiency is required for admission?

If you are not a native English speaker, you must score 550 or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or 40 or better on the Test of Spoken English.

How can I get advice on visa requirements for non-US citizens?

Advice on visa and immigration issues can be obtained from the Office of International Education at the University (http://www.uta.edu/oie/). Students applying from outside of the country usually must obtain an F1 student visa. Non-US citizens already in the US on another type of visa or immigration status sometimes have a more complicated situation.

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