Applying to SEAS

Thank you for your interest in graduate programs at Michigan SEAS! This year, to eliminate financial barriers and access issues that can discourage qualified applicants, we are waiving the application fee for all applicants, and GRE scores are no longer required for master's applicants.

If you have any questions about any aspect of the application process, please contact our Admissions Coaches via email ( or call 734-764-6453.


Important Deadlines

Ph.D. (Application fee waived)
December 15, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST):
Final deadline for Ph.D. applications for Fall 2021 admission. The application portal will open in September 2020.

Masters (Application fee and GRE waived)
August 1, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST):
The Fall 2020 application is open until August 1, 2020, for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only.

This year, to eliminate financial barriers and access issues that can discourage qualified applicants, we are waiving the application fee for all applicants and GRE scores for master's applicants.

Applications are submitted through the University of Michigan’s Rackham School of Graduate Studies online application. You may begin filling out the application form, save it, add information, and edit and proofread it as needed. Once you submit your completed application, you cannot make changes.

Your Application Checklist


MS applicants choose: Master's program in Environment and Sustainability
MLA applicants choose: M.L. Arch program in Landscape Architecture
PhD applicants choose either Ph.D. program in Resource Ecology Management or Ph.D program in Resource Policy & Behavior

The Fall 2020 application is open until August 1, 2020, for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only.

Applications for the SEAS PhD program for Fall 2021 must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on December 15, 2020.

The priority deadline for Fall 2021 Master’s applications is also December 15, 2020. MS and MLA applicants who submit their materials by this date will have their materials received and confirmed before the university closes for Winter Break.

The final deadline to also be considered for Master’s program for Fall 2021 funding is 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2021.

An unofficial copy (front and back) of your transcripts must be uploaded within the online application for review purposes. You will be prompted to do so after you upload your resume.

Domestic applicants do not need to forward official transcripts to the Rackham Graduate School until prompted to do so.

International applicants must have their official transcripts sent to Rackham to be fully considered for admission.

Instructions for sending official transcripts to Rackham can be reviewed on Rackham’s website.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency via TOEFL or IELTS scores unless they meet the Rackham Graduate School criteria for an exemption.

Additional information regarding test scores is available on Rackham’s website.

Make sure your resume provides current educational information and professional experience, including dates. These dates should match your application. Including community service activities and your hobbies/interests is encouraged, as it helps us get to know you better. Your resume should be no longer than two pages.

Your academic statement of purpose (~500 words) 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 a 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.

Your 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. In other words, you should describe the personal journey that has led you to apply to SEAS. Please do not repeat your academic statement of purpose.

All applicants will be prompted to reply to a brief essay prompt pertaining to diversity involvement and leadership. This essay is optional, but we greatly appreciate any and all responses.

Applicants to the Landscape Architecture program may opt to submit a portfolio to highlight any previous creative design work.

PhD applicants are expected to provide a writing sample.

All applicants must register and receive letters of recommendation from 3 letter writers. Applicants will register their letter writers via the online application system, which will generate an emailed set of instructions (sent to each letter writer) to upload their letter electronically.

Choose your letter writers wisely! Recommendation letters are one of the best ways for the faculty and staff who review your materials to learn about your strengths and understand how you stand out. Choose recommenders who work in your area of interest and can vouch for your capacity to work on team projects and/or conduct research. Make sure your recommenders feel capable of writing a strong letter for you and give them plenty of time to complete the task (four weeks, if possible).

Master’s program applications will begin to be reviewed by faculty shortly after the January 15 funding deadline. Applicants with completed applications can expect to receive a decision in early February. Initial funding offers will be provided as part of this notification process.

PhD program applications will begin to be reviewed by faculty shortly after the December 15 deadline. Initial communications to PhD program applicants will be sent in early January.

Additional Considerations

Instructions for dual-degree applications

  • Dual-degree students must apply to both graduate programs (e.g., MS in Environment and Sustainability 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). In your statement of purpose for SEAS, you should indicate your interest in pursuing a dual degree.

  • 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.

Application instructions for undocumented and DACA students