January 31: Deadline for receipt of application materials. It is a disadvantage to apply early in November or December for several reasons. Faculty may not remember you if you have not had contact in over a month. You may wish to retake the GRE but have already self-reported old scores on the application. You may wish to update your CV or SOP but cannot log in to do so once you have submitted the application. Finally, your fall grades will not yet have posted to your transcript.
Week of February 1: Files are created for each applicant and faculty members are notified that they are ready for review. The Admissions Committee reviews every applicant individually. We consider equally all materials submitted but often the biggest emphasis is given to the SOP as we cannot admit students who are not a good fit for our program and the research and teaching interests of our faculty.
Around February 15: Admissions Committee meets to discuss each applicant. Round 1: incomplete applications or those not meeting the minimum requirements are removed from consideration. Round 2: Those with research interests that do not match those of our faculty or have low marks, weak letters of reference, and/or a weak SOP are removed from consideration. Round 3: The names of applicants still under consideration are forwarded to faculty who must sign off that they agree to advise the students.
Around March 1: Once faculty have signed off on their selections, we forward the names of applicants to the Admissions Office who verifies that the minimum admission requirements are met. This may take two weeks or more for international students whose Bachelor’s Degrees must be verified. Geography cannot make offers of admission or funding until Admissions clears the student.
Sometime after March 1: Letters of admission and funding offers are drafted and sent via email to the address supplied on the application form. We aim to issue letters before spring break, but this is not always possible.
April 15: This is the national deadline for the acceptance of offers of funding. If we offer you funding and you do not accept by this date, we will move to the next student on the list. Please be kind to other students who are on the wait list and let us know of your decision as soon as you have made it.
April 30: If you received an offer of admission without funding, this is the deadline to notify us if you will join us in the fall. Please remember that many students who did not receive an offer of funding in March have been selected for funding in August when they arrive or in a future semester. If you need more time to decide, please let us know at this time.