Applying to SEAS
Thank you for your interest in SEAS's graduate programs. Please read this page in its entirety before starting your application. Prospective students must apply to SEAS through the University of Michigan's Rackham School of Graduate Studies online application. Rackham oversees admissions for most of the graduate programs at the university.
Important dates for fall 2018 admission
- January 5, 2018: FINAL deadline for PhD applications. Doctoral program applications completed after this date will not be considered for fall 2018 admission.
- April 30, 2018 (11:59 p.m. EST): FINAL deadline for all master's program applications. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
- Completed online application
- Academic statement of purpose
- For master's applicants: Your academic statement of purpose is your opportunity to introduce yourself to faculty and explain how graduate study at SEAS fits into your plans. Faculty members use the statements to understand your education and career objectives, as well as to see how well you write and organize your thoughts. Ideally, your statement should be concise (not more than two double-spaced pages), well-written, and describe your academic and research background, your career and educational objectives, and how an SEAS graduate program will help you meet your goals. Please indicate your planned field of study and the faculty members with whom you wish to work.
- For PhD applicants: Every statement of purpose is different, depending on the background and interests of the applicant. In general, good PhD statements are 500 to 1000 words (two to four pages, double-spaced). The statement should discuss your academic and/or professional background, especially how it has prepared you to pursue doctoral work at SEAS. As much as possible, it also should describe your intended research focus, as well as which professors you envision guiding you through the process and why. The more specific you can be, the better. Obviously, many students change their minds about exactly what they want to do when they get to SEAS, but our faculty members want to see that you are relatively focused and aware of what pursuing doctoral research entails. It is also helpful to link some of your research proposals with faculty members who could serve on your advisory committee. Please view the SEAS faculty profiles to learn more about our faculty members and their individual research interests.
- Personal statement: The personal statement (500 words) should convey how your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan. For example, if you grew up in a community where opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. The personal statement will be included in your application materials sent to the SEAS review committee, but traditionally evaluation has focused on the statement of purpose, which will likely command the bulk of their attention. Please do not repeat your academic statement of purpose.
- Official test scores: Use the following University of Michigan test codes to share your scores with us.
- GRE test code: 1839 (no department code necessary)
- GMAT test code: SN1-J6-40 (accepted in lieu of GRE for MS/MBA dual-degree applicants)
- TOEFL test code: 1839 (Required of all non-native English speakers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or who have not received a four-year bachelor's degree from an institution in the United States, England, Canada, or Australia, where English is the primary language. Test scores from MELAB, IELTS, or ECPE may be substituted for the TOEFL.)
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and postgraduate institutions attended: Transcripts must be received by both the School for Environment and Sustainability (electronic) and the U-M Rackham School of Graduate Studies (official paper copy). Please read the procedures at the bottom of this page for submitting both sets of transcripts.
- Writing sample (PhD only): If you are a PhD applicant, we recommend that you submit a short paper that you have turned in for a class, preferably on an environmental topic. However, faculty rarely have time to read more than a couple of pages. If you are considering sending a scientific paper or thesis, it is best to only send the abstract or introduction rather than the complete document. If you have been working prior to applying to graduate school, a document that you have written for an employer could also be considered a writing sample. We request that you be the only author on the writing sample, rather than submitting a jointly written paper.
- Landscape architecture applicants: Portfolio optional for the MLA in Landscape Architecture applicants. Mail your portfolio to University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, ATTN: Landscape Architecture Admissions, 440 Church Street, Suite 1520, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.
- Dual-degree applicants: Dual-degree students must apply to BOTH graduate programs (e.g., MS in natural resources and environment through SEAS, and MBA through U-M's Ross School of Business). Each school requires a separate application and supporting materials (official transcripts, statement of purpose, resume, test scores, and letters of recommendation). If you are admitted to both programs, you may choose to pursue a dual-degree program. Each school and/or program must be notified of your decision. In your statement of purpose, you should indicate your interest in pursuing a dual degree. More information can be found on our dual-degree master's programs webpage.
- Application fee: $75 USD for domestic applicants, $90 USD for international applicants, to be paid by credit card online via a secure site. Once your fee is paid, you will receive an email containing directions for checking to see if your application materials have been received. It also will include the method for updating your personal information, if needed. If you are a current Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Vista Volunteer, you may request an application fee waiver through the Rackham Graduate School. Fee waiver requests may take an additional 10 days to process, so plan accordingly.
- The CIC FreeApp program: The FreeApp program from the Committee on Institutional Cooperation is designed to expand participation of underrepresented minority groups in graduate education. Through this program, applicants can request a fee waiver for graduate applications to Ph.D. programs at CIC institutions.
The online application system allows you to submit your entire application package electronically, with the exception of official transcripts for Rackham Graduate School. You may begin filling out the application form, save it, add information, and edit and proofread it as needed. When you are ready, you may submit your completed document; after submission of the application, you cannot make changes. Confidential letters of recommendation also should be submitted electronically. SEAS faculty will begin reviewing completed applications after January 5, 2018.
If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process, please contact SEAS's Office of Academic Programs via email or call (734) 764-6453.
Procedures for submitting two sets of transcripts:
Rackham (set 1):
Mail one set of official transcripts from undergraduate and postgraduate institutions to:
Rackham Graduate School
Attn: Transcripts/ U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
915 E. Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070 USA
* It is your responsibility to request that transcripts be sent to Rackham from all previous institutions.
School Environment and Sustainability (set 2):
An unofficial copy (front and back) of your transcripts should be uploaded within the online application for review purposes. During the online application process, you'll be asked to upload your transcripts after you upload your resume. Please remember that this digital set of unofficial transcripts is for review purposes only, and that an official paper set must be sent to Rackham (see above).