Coronavirus Information for the UC San Diego Community

Our leaders are working closely with federal and state officials to ensure your ongoing safety at the university. Stay up to date with the latest developments. Learn more.

How to Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for fall 2020. The fall 2021 application will open in September 2020.

Scripps does not admit in the winter and spring quarters.

Exceptions for special circumstances will be considered by petition.

Ph.D. 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. Graduate Record Examination (GRE), general test score report
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) subject test score (suggested for applicants to the Ocean Biosciences Program)
  7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report (international applicants only)
  8. Application fee ($120 for U.S. Citizens and $140 for International Applicants)

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

Report GRE scores to:

Institution Code 4836 (UC San Diego)

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.

SIO Department Address

University of California, San Diego
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
SIO Department
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0208
La Jolla, CA 92093-0208

UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. Address

8755 Biological Grade
Eckart Building, 2nd Floor
La Jolla, CA 92037