University of California, Riverside

Environmental Sciences



Graduate Education FAQ


Fall Quarter Admissions Priority Deadline:
December 1

How do I apply?

To obtain application information, or to have any questions you may have answered, simply contact the faculty member(s) you are interested in working with directly, send an email request to the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at envisci@ucr.edu, or write directly to:


Graduate Student Affairs Office
Environmental Sciences Graduate Program
1140A Batchelor Hall Keen Hall
University of California, Riverside 92521
(951) 827-2441

What are the requirements for admission?

Completion of a baccalaureate degree in a field appropriate as preparation for graduate study in environmental sciences. Students normally will come to the program from an environmental sciences related discipline such as atmospheric science, aquatic science, earth science, environmental chemistry, hydrology, or soil science, in a basic science such as biology, chemistry, or physics.


Graduate education in the environmental sciences is divided up into several focus areas. See the relevant web page for each focus area for further expectations in each area:


Each student must have a faculty sponsor prior to admission. It is strongly suggested that you directly contact potential faculty mentors to gauge their interest and whether they have space in their research group prior to application.


Applicants are evaluated based on their promise as a future researcher.

What happens after I apply?

The admissions committee determines which applicants meet the basic standards for admission and which applicants qualify for fellowships in early February. Then, the admissions committee attempts to match qualified applicants to faculty mentors for those applicants that have not already identified mentors. Applicants are not admitted to the program without a faculty mentor. Therefore, we encourage applicants to identify possible mentors from our faculty and communicate directly with the faculty mentor.

How do I identify a faculty mentor?

Identifying and communicating with a potential faculty sponsor is necessary for admission and will often improve your chances for financial aid. Often prospective students are unsure how to identify a faculty mentor. One way is to examine list of faculty in the focus area of interest. Another way is to examine the list of faculty by research area and locate one or more faculty. You may also want to email one of our graduate students in your area(s) of interest to inquire about potential faculty mentors. If you aren't quite sure about which faculty to email, don't be shy, pick someone and describe your interests. If that professor is not the right choice s/he will forward your email along to the faculty member whose research interests are closest to your area of interest.

When will I learn the final decision on my application?

You will be notified of your admissions status by the end of February. However, fellowships and financial aid decision may at times take longer.

What financial aid is available?

Graduate students are generally supported through a mix of fellowships, teaching Assistantships, research assistantships, and faculty grants or contracts. The particular mix depends on the candidate and the faculty sponsor.


Fellowships are only available to the most outstanding candidates and usually cover fees (including non-resident tuition) for two years and a stipend for one year. Teaching assistantships (TA) cover a portion of fees plus a stipend for the quarter the student is teaching. Research assistantships (RA) offer approximately the same support as TAships and usually entail working on a faculty research project.


UCR has a variety of fellowships and financial aid programs available, http://graduate.ucr.edu/fin_aid.html. There are also scholarships available through the Department of Environmental Sciences.

What is the Handbook?

The Environmental Sciences Graduate Program Handbook presents the scholastic policy and procedures for the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, administered by the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California at Riverside, as of July 2008. It outlines departmental expectations of students as well as what students can expect from the department. It is intended to serve as a convenient source of information for both students and faculty. The information in this handbook supplements the General Catalog of the University of California at Riverside and the Graduate Student Handbook published by the Graduate Division. This handbook should be consulted in conjunction with those documents which are available on the web at http://www.catalog.ucr.edu and http://graduate.ucr.edu/forms/GSHandbook.pdf.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Environmental Sciences
Geology 2460

Tel: (951) 827-5116
Fax: (951) 827-4652

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