Admissions Requirements | Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

Ph.D. in Geography

Admissions Requirements

Minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. in geography include 36 hours of graduate work in geography or an allied discipline, acceptable scores on the GRE Exam, three strong letters of recommendation, and a personal statement that summarizes your background and interests in pursuing an advanced degree in geography. We also encourage you to submit a writing sample (i.e., publication, research paper written for class, report relevant to your professional activities) that demonstrates your writing ability.

Tips on Writing your Personal Statement: When you write your personal statement, please explain your professional goals and research interests, and identify one or two faculty member/s (or potential advisor) with whom you seem to share common interests for pursuing your research and professional goals. Additionally, we encourage you to describe how your life experiences and perspectives may contribute to increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity in our program, consistent with the values of the College of Arts & Sciences (

Promising students who do not meet the formal requirements for full admission may, upon departmental recommendation, be granted provisional admission. Full graduate standing will be granted when the student satisfactorily completes prescribed courses or otherwise removes deficiencies as outlined by the Director of Graduate Studies or the Graduate School. All special conditions must be satisfied no later than upon the completion of 15 semester hours of graduate credit. A graduate student admitted provisionally is not eligible for appointment to an assistantship or fellowship until full graduate standing is achieved.

Application deadlines for submission of ALL requirements using “Application Management”; are:

    • FALL: Applicants reviewed until the final deadline of April 1. However, for best consideration submit by January 15;
    • SPRING: November 15.

Funding Information

We offer competitive funding packages through Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and Graduate School Fellowships.

Department Assistantships:

Our program currently offers competitive graduate assistantships that include a 9-month stipend of up to $14,500 for PhD students and $8,500 for MA students, plus tuition and health care support through the Graduate School.

Graduate School Fellowships:

There are many fellowships offered by the Graduate School that cover tuition, fees and living expenses. Please click the link below to find out more about these fellowships: (

International Applications

All applicants should use the online “Application Management” program located on The Graduate School website, with two additional requirements set by UNCG for international applications:

  1. Provide an acceptable score on the TOEFL or IELTS for English proficiency; if the score is low or not provided, applicants will be accepted only provisionally, tested through the INTERLINK program, and may be required to complete some modules before taking classes.
  2. Transcripts of academic records from every college and university previously attended must be translated in English and can be uploaded through or can be mailed to the Graduate School. For more information please click the link: