FAQs: Graduate Admission

Each of our graduate programs have individual requirements for admission. See below to learn more about the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to each our graduate programs:

Master of Arts in Geography

Is the GRE required for admission to the MA program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the MA program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing undergraduate degree)
  • Cumulative GPA is between 2.5 and 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree in unrelated field

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?

4007

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the MA program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 102 on the TOEFL. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Should I contact a faculty member before I apply?

Professors welcome e-mail from prospective students. They often take note of the prospective applicant's name and research interest and watch for the full application to be submitted for a full evaluation. A judiciously placed, carefully worded email can pave the way for your admission even if you don't get an immediate personal reply.

Is there a deadline to apply?

January 15 is the final deadline to submit your complete application. Applications received or completed after this date may be reviewed only if space is available in the program.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English proficiency scores (if required)
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

Is there a program fee?

No, the Master of Arts in Geography program does not have a program fee.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

Master of Arts in Geography students are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

Can I start the degree in the Spring semester?

Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester.

Do I need to earn a degree in geography to be admitted?

No. We often admit students who have undergraduate degrees in disciplines other than geography.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the graduate program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Master of Urban and Environmental Planning

Is my undergraduate major adequate preparation for an urban planning degree?

The program draws students from a wide range of undergraduate majors including architecture and design, the social sciences, economics, finance and sustainability. Students’ diverse undergraduate backgrounds are valued.

Is the GRE required for admission to the MUEP program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the MUEP program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing undergraduate degree)
  • Cumulative GPA is between 2.5 and 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree in unrelated field

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?

4007

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the MUEP program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 100 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Is there a deadline to apply?

January 15 is the priority funding deadline.  Applications for the MUEP program that are completed by this date will be considered for funding. Applications received after January 15 may be reviewed only if space is available in the program. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English proficiency scores (if required)
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

Is there a program fee?

Yes. The MUEP program fee is $1750 per semester. Visit the Tuition Estimator to calculate complete program costs including tuition and fees.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

We consider all applicants meeting the January 15 deadline for funding packages. This funding is competitive. We offer a mix of one- or two-year packages in the form of 10hr/week (quarter-time) or 20hr/week (half-time) teaching assistantships. Quarter-time TAs receive 50% tuition remission, and half-time TAs receive 100% tuition remission. Students who are not awarded a funding package may apply for TA appointments on a semester-by-semester basis.

Additionally, the Planning Department offers some scholarship funding for graduate students in the program. For more information about those specific scholarships please see our Awards page for more information.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a financial award?

We do not offer need-based financial aid. Rather, we offer merit-based fellowships and teaching assistantships. Assistantships typically require ten hours of work per week and include a partial waiver of tuition. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from ASU Financial Aid. U.S. citizens and permanent residents should file the FAFSA form.

Do you offer admission for the spring semester?

Very rarely. Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester.

Should I include a portfolio?

It is not necessary; the MUEP is not a design degree. Your carefully crafted personal statement is sufficient.

What is the minimum GPA you will accept?

Graduate Admissions requires a minimum 3.0 GPA. Occasionally we admit students with lower GPAs if they have significant professional experience, a strong statement of purpose, outstanding recommendations, or other extraordinary qualifications.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the master’s program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Is the MUEP a STEM designated degree?

“STEM” refers to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, an acronym popularized by the National Science Foundation. The MUEP degree is not a STEM designated degree, though the Master of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems degree program is STEM designated.

Master of Advanced Study in Geographic Information Systems

Is my undergraduate degree adequate preparation for a GIS degree?

There are no required undergraduate degrees for the MAS-GIS students. We have had students from a wide variety of undergraduate degrees and they have all done very well in the program.

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the MAS-GIS program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 89 on the TOEFL. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Is there a deadline to apply?

Complete applications will be reviewed for Fall admissions on a rolling basis as long as space is available in the program. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English proficiency scores (if required)
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

Is there a program fee?

Yes. The MAS-GIS program fee is $400 per credit hour. Visit ASU's Tuition Estimator to calculate complete program costs including tuition and fees.

Please note that the Tuition Estimator on this site is based on enrolling in 18 credits per year; but completing the MAS-GIS program in a year requires taking 30 credits total. For an accurate estimate of your tuition and fees, scroll down to the "breakdown by credit hour" tables and examine the value associated with 12 hours in the fall and 12 hours in the spring.  Although there is no matrix for the summer session, note the tuition and fees for six hours in either the fall or spring table.  

What types of financial aid do you provide?

MAS-GIS are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

Do you offer admission for the spring semester?

No. the MAS-GIS program is firmly structured and begins only in the Fall semester.

What is the minimum GPA you will accept?

Graduate Admissions requires a minimum 3.0 GPA. Occasionally we admit students with lower GPAs if they have significant professional experience, a strong statement of purpose, outstanding recommendations, or other extraordinary qualifications.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the master’s program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have letters from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have both of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Are there any courses I should take to prepare for the MAS-GIS program?

You do not need to have taken any courses before entering the MAS-GIS program.  However, any experience you can gain learning about GIS and Esri’s ArcMap software might help you to feel more relaxed in the program.

Geography, PhD

Can I enter the PhD program if I do not have a master’s degree?

Yes. We encourage all prospective research students to apply for admission to the PhD degree program. PhD students may earn the MA in Geography en route to the PhD (master’s in passing).

Is the GRE required for admission to the Geography PhD program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the Geography PhD program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing a degree)
  • Degree(s) in unrelated field(s)

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?

4007

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the PhD  program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 100 on the TOEFL or 8 on the IELTS. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Should I contact a faculty member before I apply?

Professors welcome e-mail from prospective students. They often take note of the prospective applicant's name and research interest and watch for the full application to be submitted for a full evaluation. We strongly recommend that you contact a prospective faculty advisor prior to applying for admission. A judiciously placed, carefully worded email can pave the way for your admission even if you don't get an immediate personal reply.

Is there a deadline to apply?

December 15 is the deadline to submit your complete application. Applications received or completed after this date are not guaranteed to be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English Proficiency Scores (if required)
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

We consider all applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages. This funding is competitive. Funding typically consists of four-year packages in the form of 20hr/week research or teaching assistantships that include full tuition remission and health insurance.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a financial award?

We do not offer need-based financial aid. Rather, we offer merit-based fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. Assistantships typically require twenty hours of work per week and include a full waiver of tuition and most fees. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

As an international student, what are my chances of full financial support?

We consider all PhD applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages.

Can I start the PhD degree in the Spring semester?

Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester. On rare occasions, we allow exceptional students to start their doctoral studies in the Spring semester. Students entering in the Spring semester are less likely to be offered financial support.

Can I complete the PhD degree as a part-time student? Remotely? Are sufficient night classes available? Could I earn a PhD over several summers of study?

No. The PhD degree is a multi-year, in-person, research-intensive experience that requires full commitment by all students to their studies.

Do I need to earn a degree in geography to be admitted?

No. We often admit and fund students who have undergraduate (and graduate) degrees in disciplines other than geography.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the PhD program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Geographic Information Science, PhD

Is the GRE required for admission to the Geographic Information Science PhD program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the Geographic Information Science PhD program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing a degree)
  • Degree(s) in unrelated field(s)

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?

4007

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the PhD program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 100 on the TOEFL or 8 on the IELTS. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Should I contact a faculty member before I apply?

Professors welcome e-mail from prospective students. They often take note of the prospective applicant's name and research interest and watch for the full application to be submitted for a full evaluation. We strongly recommend that you contact a prospective faculty advisor prior to applying for admission. A judiciously placed, carefully worded email can pave the way for your admission even if you don't get an immediate personal reply.

Is there a deadline to apply?

December 15 is the deadline to submit your complete application. Applications received or completed after this date are not guaranteed to be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English Proficiency Scores (if required)
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

We consider all applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages. This funding is competitive. Funding typically consists of four-year packages in the form of 20hr/week research or teaching assistantships that include full tuition remission and health insurance.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a financial award?

We do not offer need-based financial aid. Rather, we offer merit-based fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. Assistantships typically require twenty hours of work per week and include a full waiver of tuition and most fees. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

As an international student, what are my chances of full financial support?

We consider all PhD applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages.

Can I start the PhD degree in the Spring semester?

Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester. On rare occasions, we allow exceptional students to start their doctoral studies in the Spring semester. Students entering in the Spring semester are less likely to be offered financial support.

Can I complete the PhD degree as a part-time student? Remotely? Are sufficient night classes available? Could I earn a PhD over several summers of study?

No. The PhD degree is a multi-year, in-person, research-intensive experience that requires full commitment by all students to their studies.

Do I need to earn a degree in geography to be admitted?

No. We often admit and fund students who have undergraduate (and graduate) degrees in disciplines other than geography.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the PhD program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Urban Planning, PhD

Can I enter the PhD program if I do not have a master’s degree?

No; the PhD in Urban Planning requires a master’s degree in order to start the program.

Is the GRE required for admission to the Urban Planning PhD program?

The GRE is not required for admission into the Urban Plannning PhD program. However, prospective students may submit GRE scores if they feel it will strengthen their application. Examples of situations in which applicants may choose to submit GRE scores include:

  • Returning students (more than 5 years after completing a degree)
  • Degree(s) in unrelated field(s)

What is your GRE exam institutional code number?

4007

What additional exams are required for non-English speaking students for admission to the PhD in Urban Planning program?

Competitive applicants have achieved an average of 100 on the TOEFL or 8 on the IELTS. Please visit Graduate Admission English Proficiency for university requirements and more detailed information on demonstrating English proficiency, including waiver eligibility.

Should I contact a faculty member before I apply?

Professors welcome e-mail from prospective students. They often take note of the prospective applicant's name and research interest and watch for the full application to be submitted for a full evaluation. We strongly recommend that you contact a prospective faculty advisor prior to applying for admission. A judiciously placed, carefully worded email can pave the way for your admission even if you don't get an immediate personal reply.

Is there a deadline to apply?

December 15 is the deadline to submit your complete application. Applications received or completed after this date are not guaranteed to be reviewed.

What do you mean by a “Complete Application”?

A complete application includes all of the following items:

  • Graduate Admissions Application and Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Official English Proficiency Scores (if required)
  • Resume or CV
  • Personal statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

All items must be received by ASU Graduate Admissions in order for the application to be considered complete.

What types of financial aid do you provide?

We consider all applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages. This funding is competitive. Funding typically consists of four-year packages in the form of 20hr/week research or teaching assistantships that include full tuition remission and health insurance.

Do I need to submit a separate application to be considered for a financial award?

We do not offer need-based financial aid. Rather, we offer merit-based fellowships and research and teaching assistantships. Assistantships typically require twenty hours of work per week and include a full waiver of tuition and most fees. Information on need-based financial aid (grants and loans) is available from Financial Aid.

As an international student, what are my chances of full financial support?

We consider all PhD applicants for multi-year guaranteed funding packages.

Do you offer admission for the spring semester?

Our graduate programs are designed to start in the Fall semester. On rare occasions, we allow exceptional students to start their doctoral studies in the Spring semester. Students entering in the Spring semester are less likely to be offered financial support.

Should I include a portfolio?

It is not necessary; the PhD in Urban Planning is not a design degree. Your carefully crafted personal statement is sufficient.

Can I complete the PhD degree as a part-time student? Remotely? Are sufficient night classes available? Could I earn a PhD over several summers of study?

No. The PhD degree is a multi-year, in-person, research-intensive experience that requires full commitment by all students to their studies.

What is the minimum GPA you will accept?

Competitive applicants generally achieve a master's level GPA of around 3.4, but there is some flexibility. Occasionally we admit students with lower GPAs if they have significant professional experience, a strong statement of purpose, outstanding recommendations, or other extraordinary qualifications.

Whom should I ask to send letters of recommendation?

The primary purpose of the letters of recommendation is to help us to determine your ability to successfully complete the PhD program and your potential to make significant academic contributions. At least two of your letters should be from academic sources. Applicants with extensive professional experience are likely to have their remaining letter from supervisors; applicants with less experience may have all three of their letters from academic sources. Most importantly, your letters should be from references who know you well enough to say specific things about your abilities, accomplishments, and professional potential.

Have a question that isn't answered above? Send us an email at sgsup.gradprograms@asu.edu.