Application Information for Graduate Students

Admission to OSE
The Odum School of Ecology only accepts students for admission in the fall semester of each academic year. Please review all of the information on our degree programs in the Degrees & Programs section.

  1. Once you have identified one or more faculty within the Odum School of Ecology with whom you might be interested in working, contact them regarding your interests. Applicants will not be considered for admission unless they have contacted a faculty member within the Odum School of Ecology who will agree to serve as a major advisor should the student be accepted.
  2. Applications and supporting documents should be submitted by December 5th. While applications will be accepted until January 1st, only applicants who have applied by December 5th, and have been nominated by a potential major professor, will be considered for funding to attend the graduate student recruitment weekend and Graduate Student Symposium in January. The Odum School of Ecology Graduate Program Committee meets in mid-December to review completed applications and select 10-15 highly qualified applicants for travel funding to this invite-only event. 
  3. Complete the OSE Background and Interest Form. There is no fee required for this step. This form helps the Odum School of Ecology faculty review information about your qualifications, career goals, research interests, and graduate advisor preference.
  4. Formal application to the Odum School of Ecology begins with the submission of an application at the UGA Graduate School Application website.


  • Domestic applicants must submit to the Graduate School: An unofficial transcript is required from each institution of higher education attended, whether or not you earned a degree. UGA transcripts are not required for previous UGA attendance. If you are currently enrolled, provide the last expected date of enrollment. If recommended for admission, applicants will be asked to submit ONE OFFICIAL copy to the Graduate School.
  • International applicants submit to the Graduate School: TWO official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended. The documents must bear original, official seals of certification of the appropriate school official or office (photocopies are not acceptable). If the original language of the record is not English, a certified translation in English MUST be attached to the original.
  • Applicants from India: If you attended a college "affiliated to" an Indian university, list the name of the major university, NOT the college (i.e., University of Mumbai).
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores: You will also need to provide a copy of your GRE scores. The Odum School of Ecology competitive verbal and quantitative GRE scores although there is some flexibility if an applicant has extensive research experience and/or particularly strong letters of recommendation. ETS can send official test scores directly to the Graduate School by using an Institutional Code of 5813; no departmental code is required.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be submitted using the online recommendation form from the Graduate School: you must provide a valid e-mail address for each recommender. Please make sure that your recommenders have indicated that they are willing to fill out a reference form for you in advance. Also keep in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommender has submitted the form by the appropriate deadline. Your recommender will receive an email notification with login information upon your final submission of this application.
  • Statement of Purpose: Please write a brief research statement (one page, single-spaced) describing your graduate educational and research goals. This statement carries great weight in the admissions decisions and should identify your general area(s) of interest, articulate the fundamental concepts that underlie those interests, outline potential research problems, and specify your career objectives. Included in your research statement your purpose for pursuing a graduate degree. Your statement should be well-organized and concise, demonstrate your ability to articulate important problems in your discipline, and identify your research interests.
  • English Language Tests for International Students: For International Applicants from countries whose primary language is not English, a copy of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) OR IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test scores are also required. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores can be submitted directly from ETS by using the institutional code of 5813; no departmental code is required. UGA requires at least a 550 on the paper test or 80 on the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL test) with a min. of 20 on the speaking & writing or 6.5 on the IELTS (w/no less than 6.0 on any subscore).
  • Certificate of Finances: International students are also required to submit a Certificate of Finances (COF) form (found in Downloadable Forms in the Graduate School's Application).
  • Supplemental Essay for Integrative Conservation Ph.D. Applicants ONLY:Recent years have seen increased calls for interdisciplinarity in conservation. These calls are a recognition of the fact that conservation problems do not conform to disciplinary boundaries and require multiple fields of expertise. Furthermore, some scholars have called not for the creation of interdisciplinary teams, but for the training of “interdisciplinary people” (Adams, 2005). In addition to the call to engage many types of knowledge in conservation efforts, it also has been noted that both the study and practice of conservation are hindered by the traditional divide between academicians and practitioners. Our vision of “integrative” conservation training is one in which students not only become conversant across multiple disciplines but also become comfortable moving between the worlds of academia and practice. Please reflect on that vision, discussing the merits and downfalls of such an approach, as you see them, and why you think you would be a good fit for this training program. Please limit your response to no more than 600 words. For more information, contact
  • Application Fee: The fee of $75 must be submitted to the Graduate School before your (domestic) application can be evaluated. We are unable to waive this fee for anyone due to University regulations. International application fees are $100.
  • Deadlines: Please be sure to have your application and supporting documents submitted to the Odum School of Ecology and the Graduate School by December 1st at the latest to be fully considered for financial support and for Ecology's recruitment weekend. This deadline enables our faculty to complete their reviews and make admission recommendations to the Graduate School's Office of Graduate Admissions, which has a yearly application deadline for admission and financial support of January 1. Applicants are notified of admission decisions by April 1-15.

Admission to ICON
Please note, if you are applying to ICON through Ecology, you should turn in all of your materials to both programs by Dec. 1.

  1. To apply to the Integrative Conservation (ICON) Ph.D. Program you must apply through one of four home departments (AnthropologyGeographyEcology, or Forestry and Natural Resources). Each department has different application deadlines and guidelines (please see departmental websites for details). The ICON application codes are:
    • Integrative Conservation and Anthropology (PHD_ICAN, 046)
    • Integrative Conservation and Ecology (PHD_ICEC, 047)
    • Integrative Conservation and Forestry and Natural Resources (PHD_ICFR, 048)
    • Integrative Conservation and Geography (PHD_ICGE, 049)
  2. Visit the University of Georgia Graduate School website for admissions information for domestic applicants and international applicants, and to apply onlineClick here for information on student fees.
  3. For full consideration for assistantships, some departments require that you apply before December 1st.
  4. In addition to departmental application requirements, you must also complete the ICON Supplemental Essay (please email your essay to by January 1st).