Domestic Admissions

Required Materials

  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores
  • Application (see below)

To apply to the university, please use the online application system found at the Graduate Admissions Website. In order to be considered for all competitive USC fellowships, applications and supporting materials should be submitted by December 1. January 15 is the final deadline for applications to be considered fully for any fellowship. Applications past this deadline will be considered for fellowship or assistantship support only if funds are available.

Electronic Application

We require you to complete your admission application online. We no longer accept paper applications.

The application fee is $85 for this program.

Be sure to select the correct program when applying. The Marine Environmental Biology Ph.D. program is listed under the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.

Please attach an unofficial transcript, statement of purpose, and any other supplemental application materials as supplemental documents in your online application. Please mail official transcripts to the address at the bottom of the page.

Your statement of purpose for the Graduate School application should explain both why you wish to pursue graduate study in Marine Environmental Biology and, more specifically, why you wish to do so at USC. We admit a small number of students each year in order to offer them full financial support; we therefore seek to find applicants whose interests best suit our program.

Unofficial copies of GRE scores are acceptable for evaluation purposes, but if offered admission, an applicant will be required to send official documentation.

We encourage you to have your letters of recommendation sent to admissions electronically.

When you have submitted the online application, arrange for your transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to us by mail to the address below.

Additional Information

We offer a very personalized approach to graduate recruiting. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members and/or the graduate student coordinator at any time during their undergraduate education if they identify potential research interest at the University of Southern California. We sometimes develop relationships with potential students a year or more prior to enrollment. We will invite a number of applicants to visit the program, usually in February prior to admissions. We will make all arrangements (purchase plane tickets, provide accommodations, etc.) for any applicant invited by the program. Usually, a complete application is required before visits will be arranged. We will reimburse travel expenses only for applicants who have been officially invited to visit by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

The USC Graduate School requires that the sum of the Verbal and Quantitative scores on the GRE be a minimum of 1000. We do not require a GRE Subject Test. Applicants with undergraduate grade point averages below 3.0 will be considered only under unusual circumstances including evidence of recent improvement or clearly outstanding potential as a researcher.


  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371