Applying to the Program

  Domestic Application Deadline Document Deadline
Spring 2024 November 1, 2023 November 20, 2023
Fall 2024 May 1, 2024 May 20, 2024
  International Application Deadline Document Deadline
Spring 2024 October 1, 2023 October 20, 2023
Fall 2024 April 1, 2024 April 20, 2024

For more detailed information, please visit Graduate Admission website.

Steps to Apply for Admission

  1. Contact and meet the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    The program is academically rigorous and demanding; it requires dedication, focus, and an abiding passion for the environment. Only students interested in working on issues supported by faculty expertise and interest are admitted to the program. 

    Applicants should review the research focus areas for the Environmental Studies Thesis Advisors prior to applying. Decisions on applicants will be made on an individual basis. Acceptance will be contingent on the willingness of a full time faculty member to serve as thesis advisor.

    To start the application and learn more about the Master of Science in Environmental Studies, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Rachel O'Malley at You can also schedule a meeting on her Google Calendar.

  2. Contact and meet with Potential Thesis Chairs

    • Global and local perspectives are integrated in the coursework and the faculty and students embrace a diversity of perspectives. Faculty members work closely with graduate students within the above areas of specialization to execute a program of study. For additional information, please follow the above link to review the faculty thesis advisors, and contact those with focus areas of interest to you.
  3. Apply Online at Cal State Apply. Applications are submitted electronically using Cal State Apply through Graduate Admissions (GAPE). Prospective students should check with GAPE for University domestic and international applications and Graduate Application Deadlines.

    Note: Make sure to follow the directions carefully; incomplete applications are not forwarded to the department.

  4. Submit Financial Aid Application, if Applicable

    The Environmental Studies Department strongly encourages students to apply for scholarship and fellowship funding at the same time that they are applying to the graduate program at SJSU. The department does not guarantee funding to any of its graduate students.

    Students are encouraged to apply for all college level and departmental research grants and to work with their Thesis Advisor to develop outside funding opportunities. In addition, each year the College of Social Sciences and the Environmental Studies Department advertise a few small grants and graduate students are encouraged to apply.  Many students also seek financial assistance through the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

  5. Email PDF copies of the following documents to 

    • Two Letters of Recommendation - At least one from a university faculty member (emailed directly from the letter writers).

    • Statement of Purpose - A brief statement, in PDF format, that describes the student's relevant background, goals, and objectives for seeking the Master of Science in Environmental Studies degree at SJSU. The SOP should indicate the proposed research area of focus for thesis work and specific faculty members that the student might wish to work with.

    • Unofficial Transcripts from an accedited undergraduate institution.

  6. Send Official Transcripts to the Graduate Admissions and Program evaluations (GAPE) Office:

    • Submit official U.S./Canada transcripts or World Education Services (WES) evaluation to SJSU.

    • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE English proficiency test scores.

Requirements for Admission

Candidates must meet all of the University admission requirements. The following list describes the minimum requirements for admission to the Master in Environmental Studies:

  1. An undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies or related field from an accredited institution. Students who have completed a major in another field may be accepted as "conditionally classified." Conditionally classified students will be required to complete prerequisites or meet other conditions before they are able to apply for classified standing.
  2. An overall grade point average of 3.0 (“B”) or better for the last 60 semester units of academic study at an accredited institution.
  3. English Language Proficiency Exam Requirements: Applicants from countries in which the native language is not English must achieve a minimum score of 580 (Paper Based), 237 (Computer Based), or 92 (Internet Based) on the TOEFL; IELTS score of 6.5 exam for foreign students. Note: All test scores must be less than two years old. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing office to San José State University (SJSU Institution Code is 4687; Department Code is 0502).
  4. Two letters of recommendation from university faculty members or professionals in the field.
  5. A personal statement of purpose that describes your background and objectives for seeking the MS - Environmental Studies at SJSU. This letter should also convey a sense of focus and direction for thesis research and potential faculty thesis advisers in the department.
  6. Other Requirements include:
  • Research interests that complement those of existing faculty in the Environmental Studies Department at SJSU.
  • Capability, in the opinion of the Graduate Committee, of successfully completing the degree requirements.