Graduate Application Information

The Odum School of Ecology only accepts students for admission in the fall semester of each academic year. The application processes for international and ICON students have additional requirements: see below.

  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 are not 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. Please list your potential major professors at the end of your personal statement.
  2. All application materials and supporting documents should be submitted prior to December 1.
  3. Formal application to the Odum School of Ecology begins with the submission of an application at the UGA Graduate School Application website.
  4. Application Instructions:  Please refer to this document to guide you through the on-line application process.

Application Fee

The fee of $75 (domestic students) or $100 (international students) must be submitted to the Graduate School before your application can be evaluated. We are unable to waive this fee for anyone due to University regulations.


Please be sure to have your application and supporting documents submitted to the Graduate School by December 1. Applicants who have applied by this date, 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 ~15 highly qualified applicants for travel to this invite-only event. Applicants are notified of admission decisions no later than April 15, but typically in late-February or March.  Students who are offered admission have until April 15th to provide a decision.  Most student matriculate in fall (our semester starts in mid-August), but we can help facilitate an earlier matriculation in summer, or defer matriculation to January.


Minimum Admission Requirements

We do have not specific course requirements for admission to any of our graduate programs.  We do however expect an applicant to be prepared for advanced study in ecology. This can be conveyed in multiple ways: e.g., coursework in ecology and allied disciplines, work experience, and past or ongoing ecological research experiences (e.g., via a published research paper(s), presentation(s) at a conference, a senior thesis, or participation in an REU program). Your application (via your CV and Statement of Purpose) should clearly convey your preparedness for graduate study and research. The Graduate School requires that you hold a bachelor’s degree (UGA Double Dawgs are an exception ), or foreign equivalent, from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.0 (although this can be waived under exceptional situations with justification) at the time you matriculate into our program.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted using the online system as part of your application. You must provide a valid e-mail address for each recommender. Please make sure that your recommenders have indicated that they are willing to write you a letter of recommendation before you apply. Also keep in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommender has submitted their letter by December 1. Your recommender will receive an email notification with login information when you enter your recommender’s information and click the submit button for that field.

Resume (Curriculum Vitae)

Please upload your CV (as a PDF) when prompted by the online application. Your CV should include, for example, your educational background, research experiences, posters and talks presented at scientific conferences, publications in scientific journals, and manuscripts that are in preparation or in review.

Statement of Purpose

Please disregard the guidance provided on the online application regarding the Statement of Purpose – those instructions emphasize your past experiences, but those will be presented in your CV. Instead, we are more interested in having you articulate your “future”. The Statement of Purpose (one page, single-spaced) carries great weight in the admissions decisions and should identify your educational, research and career objectives, specify your general area(s) of interest, articulate the fundamental concepts that underlie those interests, and outline potential research problems and approaches. Your statement should be well-organized and concise, and demonstrate your knowledge of, and ability to articulate, important problems in your discipline. Portions of this statement should read like a succinct research proposal. Please list 1-3 potential major professors at the end of your Statement of Purpose.

Transcript (for domestic students; international students, see below)

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.


Do not submit GRE scores. We no longer require GRE scores and will not consider them in our admissions process.

Supplemental Requirements for ICON Applicants

Please 1) Label this as “PhD ICON Supplemental Essay”; 2) describe how you envision the ICON PhD Program providing you with training or experiences that are different than a traditional disciplinary-based PhD program in your chosen field; 3) briefly share your ideas – be they general or specific – about your intended integrative research project or your previous experience with integrative work; and 4) list your preferred faculty advisor.  Please limit your response to 600 words. Please merge your 1-page Statement of Purpose (above) and your Supplemental Essay into a single file, and upload this PDF when the application website asks you to upload your Statement of Purpose.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants


Two official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended are required. The documents must have 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., list University of Mumbai).

English Language Tests (TOEFL or IELTS)

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).