Graduate Application Assistance Programs

Anai Novoa and Danielle McHaskell at tidepools.
Anai Novoa and Danielle McHaskell at tidepools near Scripps Oceanography. Photo by Erik Jepsen / UC San Diego Communications.

The Scripps Oceanography Graduate Application Assistance Program seeks to demystify the graduate application process and help support students who have been systematically marginalized and/or historically excluded from academia.


Apply here


Program Background

As a leader at UC San Diego and in the field of geosciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) is taking proactive steps to support the Chancellor's call to create a more diverse campus by offering a program that seeks to demystify the graduate application process and support students who have been systematically marginalized and/or historically excluded from academia. In an effort to increase the number of students from underrepresented backgrounds applying to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, we will be doing targeted outreach to minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCUs).

Students of all backgrounds are welcome to apply.  Students who have been historically or are currently underrepresented or underserved in marine and ocean sciences who attend minority-serving institutions (HBCUs, TCUs, and/or HSIs) are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes but is not limited to applicants from underrepresented minority groups (Black/African-American, Chicanx/Latinx, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, mixed-race POC), LGBTQIA+ students, persons with disabilities, students who are the first in the family to attend college/university, low-income students, and/or women).

These programs are designed to demystify the application and admissions processes as well as to create a more personal connection with prospective students in order to help "close the gap" in the number and depth of applications Scripps receives from underserved historically excluded communities.

These programs are brought to you as a collaboration between Scripps Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and SIO-ASK (SIO Application Skills & Knowledge, a personalized mentorship effort led by current Scripps graduate students).

Informational Workshops

2023 Workshop dates

All workshops are 10:00-11:00am PST

Students who participate in all 4 workshops may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Oct. 30 - Research at Scripps

  • Learn about the variety of research being done at Scripps and how to identify potential research projects
Nov. 6 - Life at Scripps
  • Hear what it is like to live in San Diego, and a day in the life of a graduate student, particularly from the perspective of underrepresented students
Nov. 13 - Applying to Scripps
  • Learn tips and tricks to creating a strong application
Nov. 20 - Writing Workshop
  • Learn how to craft a compelling Personal Statement and CV

Zoom links will be sent out to registered participants prior to the first workshop.

Chat with a Scripps Scientist

For students who have attended the workshops and are interested in applying to Scripps for graduate school in this admissions cycle, the Scripps EDI team arranges one-on-one, introductory meetings between prospective graduate school applicants and Scripps professors, researchers, postdocs and/or current graduate students.  This 'warm hand-off' helps prospective students gain access to faculty who are often inundated with email requests from students interested in joining their labs.  It also helps faculty identify prospective students they may have otherwise overlooked during the busy application process. 

Space is limited and students applying to this year's application cycle are prioritized. Depending on capacity, we will also try to arrange introductory meetings for those students who are still exploring graduate school options, but are not planning on submitting an application this year.

Personalized Application Mentorship (offered by SIO-ASK)

SIO-ASK is a mentorship program for prospective Scripps graduate students that matches applicants with current student mentors and provides personalized mentorship throughout the application process.

If you have any questions about SIO-ASK, please contact

The application for Fall 2024 opened on September 6, 2023 and closes December 6, 2023. The application will be accessible through the UC San Diego Graduate Division For more information about Scripps PhD, MS and MAS programs, please visit

General questions or comments can be sent to the Scripps Director of Diversity Initiatives, Keiara Auzenne, at or at (858) 822-4962.