How to Apply

The Fall 2021 application for the Master of Science program is now open and will close on December 2, 2020. Apply at

In light of the COVID-19 situation, the GRE will not be required for Fall 2021 admission. If you have already taken the test, you are still welcome to include your scores on your application.

Scripps does not admit in the winter and spring quarters.

Exceptions for special circumstances will be considered by petition.

PhD and M.S. applicants apply through the UC San Diego Graduate Application, Grad Apply, and select Scripps Institution of Oceanography as the department.

Next, they select a degree major: Earth Sciences, Marine Biology, or Oceanography.

Later in the application process, they will select a program: Climate-Ocean-Atmosphere (COAP); Geosciences of the Earth, Oceans, and Planets (GEO); or Ocean Biosciences (OBP).  Applicants may apply to up to two programs.

Applicants will be reviewed and considered by the curricular group that most closely matches their research interests.

The following documents are required for a successful application:

  1. Statement of Purpose
    • Submitted with electronic application
    • Maximum 2 pages, 2500 word limit, no smaller than 10-point font
    • State and justify your interest in research areas and Scripps faculty
    • Discuss why you are interested in these areas and how your experiences (academic or otherwise) are relevant to your continuing academic studies. Include any research experience or publications you have and list any skills not otherwise noted in your application.
    • Explain why you choose to become a graduate student and why you choose the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
    • Additional information.
  2. Official transcripts of all college-level work uploaded directly into the application as a PDF.  Do not mail hard copies at this time.
  3. Three letters of recommendation, submitted electronically, via the online application
  4. Checklist of courses (for applicants to the Ocean Biosciences Program only)
  5. GRE- In light of the COVID-19 situation, the GRE will not be required for Fall 2021 admission. If you have already taken the test, you are still welcome to include your scores on your application.
  6. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report (international applicants only)
  7. UC San Diego Application fee** ($120 for U.S. Citizens and $140 for International Applicants)

**Application fee waivers: Only United States citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for an application fee waiver and the UC San Diego Graduate Division fee waiver website will detail specific qualification criteria. Please note, all fee waiver requests must be submitted through the application system at least one week prior to the application deadline. Your application must be fully submitted for your fee waiver to be processed.


We encourage all prospective students to identify and contact faculty who are conducting research in their field of study. To browse Scripps faculty and researchers, please visit our research website.

It is also important to review the fellowships offered by UCSD's Graduate Division.

The TOEFL examinations must be taken no later than November for the scores to arrive before the application deadline.

Report GRE scores to:

If you choose to report GRE test scores, please send them to Institution Code 4836 (UC San Diego).  Department code is not necessary as all UC San Diego departments access the same test score database.

Report TOEFL scores to:

Institution Code 4836 (UC San Diego)

Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required for all international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country in which English is a dominant language.

Three English proficiency exams are accepted for graduate study at UCSD.  In addition to the TOEFL exam, the IELTS and Pearson Test will be accepted.  More information can be found here.