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FSU Geography
Application Procedures for Prospective Graduate Students

Application Deadlines

For 1-yr applied Master's degree in GIS applicants:

Fall Deadline: July 1
Spring Deadline: Nov 1

For traditional Master's and Doctoral Degree applicants:

Fall Admission
January 15 for full priority
Applications accepted until July 1
(International students: December 15)

Spring Admission
Nov 1
(International students: September 15)

Application for admission is usually made for the Fall term. A smaller number of students are accepted in the spring.

For a detailed description of our program, consult the FSU Graduate Catalog or the Geography Graduate Student Guide.

Application Criteria

Florida State University requires that an applicant have an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student while working towards a baccalaureate degree, or hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or comparable graduate degree from an international institution. In addition, the Department of Geography requires all applicants to take the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and submit their scores as a part of their application.

During the Summer of 2011, Educational Testing Services (ETS) began implementing a new form of the GRE with a different scoring mechanism than the prior GRE. To accommodate these changes and ensure comparability between old and new versions of the GRE, the Department of Geography will consider and evaluate the percentiles associated with applicants’ reported GRE scores in making admissions decisions. As a guide, the department looks for applicants to have a preferred GRE percentile of at least 50 on each of the verbal and quantitative portions of the test. However, the GRE percentiles of funded graduate students on assistantships are typically much higher than these minima. Students whose native language is not English must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the Internet-based test. Meeting these minimum criteria is a prerequisite for, but not a guarantee of, admission. Individuals holding degrees in disciplines other than Geography are encouraged to apply but may need to complete prerequisites as judged by the geography graduate director and their major professor.

How to Apply

The formal application is prepared and submitted online. U.S. citizens and international applicants should submit their application online.

Please print this page for future reference. You will need it to complete your application.

To begin your application navigate to:

STEP 1. The first part of this online application requests general application information for admission to graduate study. You will be asked to submit to the Office of Admissions two (2) official transcripts from each institution attended/ing and official GRE test scores.

STEP 2. The second part of the application asks you to upload supporting documents. Documents can be uploaded in these formats: Word (.doc), Wordperfect (.wpd), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Text (.txt), or Portable File Document (.pdf). File size is limited to 500 kb.

Document 1: Personal Statement
Upload a short single-spaced essay (1-2 pages) describing why you are pursuing a graduate degree in Geography at Florida State University. What are your professional goals? What are your research interests? What faculty might you like to work with? Include any information about yourself that is pertinent to your application but might not have otherwise been covered in your application. Please use 11 or 12 point font in Times New Roman or Arial. Do not include a cover sheet. On the first three lines of the first page type your full name, degree sought (MSGIS, MS-non thesis, MS-thesis) and semester/year for which you are seeking admission. Here is a template.

Document 2: Curriculum Vitae or Resume
Upload your most recent version of your curriculum vitae or resume.

Document 3: Writing Sample
Submit a writing sample of no more than ten pages. Writing completed for a class paper, an academic publication from a journal, or writing undertaken as part of employment are all acceptable. If your writing sample exceeds the file size limitation (500 kb) or if it is not available in electronic format, you may mail a hardcopy through postal mail directly to Dr. Xiaojun Yang in the FSU Department of Geography.

Document 4: Graduate Applicant Information Sheet Submit a digital (or scanned) copy of the graduate applicant information sheet found here. Please fill in the information and email the form to Dr. Xiaojun Yang.

Additional Documents
If they are available, upload any unofficial transcripts or GRE score reports. Official copies of these documents must also be sent directly to the FSU Office of Admissions.

STEP 3. The third and last part of the online application process will require you to arrange letters of recommendations submitted on your behalf. Recommendations will be submitted online through AY. First, find three people who will agree to provide a recommendation for you. If a potential letter writer agrees, obtain their email address, and enter it into AY when prompted. An email will be sent to your letter writer directing them to the AY web site to complete a recommendation form. Your letter writer will first fill out a brief questionnaire about your abilities and potential as a graduate student. Then, they will have the opportunity to enter text to provide any additional information.

After you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation via email that your application has been received. The application will not be processed without payment of fee.

To check your application status, log into your ApplyYourself account and review the "Submission Status." Emails will be sent to the address you list in the ApplyYourself system. Please update email addresses in your ApplyYourself account promptly.

We will communicate admissions decisions via your ApplyYourself account or through a personal email sent directly to you from the Department of Geography. Technical support is available from any page within the online application by clicking on the ApplyYourself Tech Support button or by email at i-support@applyyourself.com. AY responds to all technical support questions within 24 hours.

Financial Aid

Departmental assistantships are awarded to qualified PhD students as funds are available. For more information about funding opportunities visit this link:


For more information or if you have any questions or problems in the application process, please contact:

Xiaojun Yang
Professor and Graduate Director
FSU Dept of Geography
Room 321 Bellamy, Tallahassee, FL 32306
Phone: +1 850 644 8379

FSU Office of Admissions
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL USA 32306-2400
E-mail: gradadms@admin.fsu.edu
Phone: +1 850 644 3420
Fax: +1 850 644 0197

International Student are directed to the following two web sites for further comprehensive information about university admission:

Graduate Program

  • Summary of Grad Program
  • Geog Grad Guide