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University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a master's program must:

  • have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
  • present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

The GRE is not required for this program.

To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.

Undergraduate Degree and Coursework

You must have an undergraduate degree in Geology with courses in:

  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Sedimentology 
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structural geology 
  • A course in field-mapping

Additionally, there are requirements for secondary science and math which include two semesters of chemistry, physics, and calculus.

You may be considered for the program without these courses but would need to be completed at Illinois State before graduating with your MS.


Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of your undergraduate coursework or any previous work in a master’s program.

Statement of Goals

Upload a one to two-page statement of your academic and professional goals. Be sure to include:

  • the general area of research in which you are interested
  • the faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in working with for research (i.e., major professor)
  • your plans after completing graduate school

Recommendation Contact Information

Submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application.

English Proficiency (International Students Only)

Minimum English proficiency scores for international students are a 79 on the TOEFL internet-based (iBT) or 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS. International students can visit the International Admissions site.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall (August)  February 1 
Spring (January)  Coordinator approval only 
Summer (May/June)  No applications are accepted for this term 

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Dr. Wondessen M. Seyoum  Felmley Science Annex 443  (309) 438-2833