**The Department of Geography evaluates fit of applicant interests with those of prospective faculty advisors. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with department faculty during the application process**

Application Deadlines




MSGIS April 1st (May 1st with a $30 late fee) October 1st (no late applications accepted)
Geography MS (Applying for financial aid) January 10th Admitted Fall only
Geography MS (No financial aid requested) January 10th Admitted Fall only
Geography PhD (Applying for financial aid) January 10th (No funding)
Geography PhD (No financial aid requested) April 1st October 1st


  • MSGIS students are not eligible for departmental financial aid. WICHE WRGP students may apply for discounted tuition.
  • MS students are only accepted for Fall Semester
  • The departmental application AND financial aid deadline for the MS program is January 10th for the following academic year.
  • PhD applications are accepted for Fall semester (due by April 1) and Spring semester (due by October 1). However, for PhD applicants the financial aid deadline is January 10th for the following academic year.
  • TIP: Submit your online application and pay the fee 30 days prior to the department deadline to allow time for referees to write and submit their recommendations.


  • Separate applications must be submitted in order to apply to more than one degree program
  • Application fees are subject to change and ARE NOT WAIVED
  • We will evaluate your file only after we receive all required fees and documents, including transcripts
  • International Students only: Proof of financial responsibility is NOT needed to evaluate an applicant's file, nor is it needed to accept a student.  AFTER being admitted, this information IS NEEDED prior to issuing the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility so students may obtain a student visa. (Students being funded by the Department do not need to submit an additional Financial Statement.)  Current estimated expenses for graduate students are detailed here.
  • GRE scores and grades:  We do not admit or deny applicants on the basis of GRE or GPA; rather, we aim to consider the applicant as a whole.  Minimum GPA accepted by the Graduate School is 3.0
  • The Geography PhD program requires an academic Master's degree prior to admission.
  • Please review the requirement sheets for each degree program for the prerequisite coursework and proficiencies needed

Admission Standards:

The minimum academic requirements for Graduate admission are:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college/university,
  • At least a 3.00 or higher undergraduate weighted mean GPA,
  • Meeting the Department's admission standards, and receiving a recommendation for admission to the program.

Required Supporting Documents


Please upload your student copy of your transcripts to the online application for the admissions evaluation.  Transcripts must reflect grades.  If admitted, arrange to have official transcripts and degree certificates sent directly to the address below. The University of Utah accepts electronic transcripts as official from the following agencies only: Docufide by Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, AVOW and Scrip-Safe. Please send electronic transcripts to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Admissions Office – Graduate Division
The University of Utah
201 S. 1460 E. Room 250 S SSB
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


Graduate Record Examination - Required of all applicants to the academic degree programs. Arrange for ETS to send your most recent scores to the University of Utah, school code 4853 / department code 2203.

NOTE: Applicants to the professional Master's program (MSGIS) are not required to take the GRE.


(International Applicants Only)

Test of English as a Foreign Language - Arrange for ETS to send your most recent scores to the University of Utah, school code 4853 / department code 70. The TOEFL score expires after two years.

NOTE: Scores must be a minimum of 80 (iBT) or 550 (pBT) for the TOEFL or a minimum band score of 6.5 for the IELTS

Statement of Purpose

The Geography Department requires a Statement of Purpose from each applicant. Please write a statement which includes concise and clear statements on the following topics:

  1. Describe your professional goals following graduation, and why you feel that a Master's or Ph.D. will help you attain those goals;
  2. Describe your specific area(s) of research interest, along with how these interests align with Department and faculty specialties;
  3. Describe how you think the Department of Geography and the University of Utah can fit your needs for a Master's or Ph.D. program.

Writing Sample

Ph.D. applicants only: Upload an abstract of your Master's thesis (if completed) or a description of your thesis research in progress. Master's applicants: A writing sample is optional.

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations for Department of Geography applications will ONLY be accepted electronically via the application system. Paper recommendations will not be accepted.  Three (3) recommendations from persons who are familiar with your academic abilities are required for each applicant. We encourage you to "waive the right" to see your letters since most evaluators consider confidential letters more valuable.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Most recent CV or resume

Application Instructions


  • To begin your application click on the Apply Yourself link above, use the following link or copy and paste this link into a web browser: https://app.applyyourself.com//?id=utahgrad
  • Read the information on the page, then create a new account by clicking the "Create Account" button
  • Should you experience any problems during the application process, please click on the "Technical Support" button for assistance. Questions about the requirements may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Step 2) Complete the Online application

  • NOTE: All sections within the application can be accessed at any time using the links at the left side of the page. However, it is recommended that on your first pass through the application that you start with the Personal Data section and use the "Save and Continue" button at the bottom of each section to advance through the application.
  • If you do not complete all questions in the residency sections of the application, you will be classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes.
  • MS/PhD applicants: Please choose up to three professors from the drop-down lists with whom you are interested in working.  It is strongly recommended that you consult with these professors during the application process.
  • MSGIS applicants: Be sure to mark the question relating to full-time or part-time student status under the Applicant Survey section.  Also, supply the relevant work experience and pre-requisite information.  


  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae-Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Writing Sample-Essay-Publication


Be sure to select "Yes" to the question "Will this provider be submitting the letter of recommendation online?"  Log in to your application regularly to check the status of your recommendations. Contact each recommender to verify receipt of the email notification. Resend notifications to recommenders who have not submitted in a timely manner.

NOTE: Inform your recommenders that notification emails will indicate "University of Utah – Graduate" as the sender, but the email will come from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If they use a spam-blocking tool, please ask them to add this email address to their list of known/safe addresses.


Using the links at the left side of the page, go back through each section of the application and review it for completeness. Once you are satisfied with your application, click the "Check Your Application" link (last link on left side of page). Any incomplete answers found will need to be completed before submitting your application.


After you have carefully reviewed your application, click the "Submit" button at the top of the page.

NOTE: Changes cannot be made to your application after submission.   Additional documents may be uploaded, however, it is recommended that you notify the Department by email when adding documents after submission.


After you submit your application, you will be asked if you want to pay the fee at the time of submission (online with a credit card) or at a later date. We highly recommend paying the application fee at the time of submission with a credit card. Applications will not be processed until the application fee has been paid. The University of Utah and the Department of Geography have different application deadlines. You must submit your application by the Department of Geography deadlines (refer to the table at the top of this page) to be considered for admission.


For the academic MS and PhD programs, the application review process will not begin until after the submission deadline (January 10). It may take several weeks to complete the process before applicants will be contacted. In most cases, applicants are notified soon AFTER February 24th.

For the professional MSGIS, the applications are open until May 1st.  You should receive notification by June 1st.

tracking your application status

If you are admitted, you will receive an official Letter of Acceptance from the Office of Admissions in the mail.  If you have not received your acceptance letter, then check your progress in the ApplyYourself application.  If you received your Letter of Acceptance in the mail, then you may still need to send us final documentation. Check your status now.


The department has a small amount of funding for domestic graduate applicants who are interested in visiting the University of Utah before making their decision. Please inquire with the Director of Graduate Studies.


For additional information, see:

International Student Services
International Center
410 University Union
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Loans & Scholarships

Financial Aid & Scholarships Office
201 S. 1460 E., Rm. 105
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9055


Office of Residential Living
S114D Van Cott Hall
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

University Student Apartments

1945 E. Sunnyside Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84108-1397
List of Apartments & Housing Websites
Off-Campus Housing Listing

Thank You

Thank you for your interest in the graduate program at the University of Utah Department of Geography.  If you have additional questions about the application process, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Decisions will be communicated to applicants by email AFTER February 24.