Doctoral Admissions FAQ

The following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers about the application process.


Application files must be complete for an applicant to be admitted to the program or be granted a graduate associateship; a complete file must include GRE scores.
SDSU Graduate Admissions will only accept GRE scores that were earned within the past five years.
A master’s degree is normally a requirement for admission to the Joint Doctoral program. Applicants enrolled in a master’s degree program at the time of application may be admitted if completion of the degree is expected prior to entering the Joint Doctoral program. On occasion, students pursuing a Masters’ degree in Geography at SDSU may be pre-admitted into the Joint Doctoral program if they apply during their first year of studies, with the expectation that the Master’s degree will be earned at SDSU first en route to completing the doctoral degree. This option, however, is only available on a limited basis to highly qualified and high-performing students.
Exceptions are occasionally approved. However, admission to the Joint Doctoral program is very competitive and students not meeting minimum requirements are rarely admitted.
No. Students are admitted at the beginning of the academic year, during the fall semester.
Applications are first reviewed by the SDSU in early February and then by the UCSB faculty in late February to early March. Offers of admission and funding are normally made in early to mid March, but may carry through to April. Applicants offered admission are normally given around two weeks to accept or reject the offer.
There is no protocol for postponing admission. If you don’t enroll for at least one course in the semester following admission you will have to reapply for admission to the Graduate Division. Depending on circumstances, we may guarantee offer of admission and funding, but an applicant will need to formally reapply.