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Undergraduate Admissions

Becoming a University at Buffalo Student

Admission to UB is competitive, with an acceptance rate of 57%. For the 2017 admitted freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 25-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. Additionally, 92 percent* of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class. 

*Based on the percentage of students who reported a rank.

Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.

The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • Three years of college-preparatory mathematics

Visit University Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.

Current UB Students Applying to the Environmental Geosciences Program

Admission to the program is contingent on completion of the prerequisites with a 2.33 minimum GPA and a 2.33 minimum overall GPA.

Mandatory Introductory Courses for the Environmental Geosciences major

GEO 101 (Earth Systems Science), 105 (Earth, Environment, and Climate Lab) and 106 (Global Climate Change); OR GLY 101 (Natural Hazards), 102 (Climate Change), 105 (Natural Hazards and Climate Change lab); BIO 200 (Evolutionary Biology)

Upon completion of the four introductory courses, students can submit an application to the Environmental Geoscience major for full acceptance to the program. Prior to that, students at any time can submit the same application as an INTENDED major. Applications can be found in Clemens 602, or by emailing the department. 

Current UB Students Applying to the Environmental Studies Program

Students should complete the pre-requisite course(s) and apply for admission to the major no later than the end of their sophomore year.

Upon completion of the introductory course (ENV118), students can submit an application to the Environmental Studies major for full acceptance to the program. Prior to that, students at any time can submit the same application as an INTENDED major. Applications can be found in Clemens 602, or by emailing the department. 

Students are expected to follow major requirements as listed in the catalog for the academic year during which they are admitted to the major. 

To be eligible for admission to Environmental Studies students are required to attain a grade of C or better in the prerequisite course and to have a minimum UB grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.

Suggested Introductory Courses for the Environmental Studies major

SSC 118 Introduction to Environmental Studies 
BIO 200 Evolutionary Biology 
GEO 101 Earth Systems Science and GEO 105 Earth & Climate Lab OR GLY 101 Natural Hazards & GLY 105 Natural Hazards and Climate Change Lab 
A statistics course

Graduate Admissions

Application Requirements

Applicants should have a CGPA* of 3.0 or higher (*cumulative undergraduate grade point average). The EEB program is competitive, and average GPA admission scores are generally 3.5 for MS, and 3.8 for PhD applicants. For international applicants with different grading systems (e.g., 0-100), submitted scores will be considered in relation to the top scores of the grading system in that country. Applicants will also be asked to list the names and email addresses of three individuals who are willing to write online letters of recommendation. They will be contacted after you have submitted your application for review.  We no longer accept GRE scores for the Masters or PhD programs in EEB.

International applicants who do not speak English as their native language must take a language proficiency exam and upload their scores upon application. In line with the general UB grad school requirements, the EEB Program accepts TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, CAE, and CPE scores. In order to be considered for funding through a Teaching Assistantship (TA), international applicants should have a TOEFL iBT score of at least 100, or higher, an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher, a minimum PTE Academic score of 55 with no individual section sub-score below 50, or a score above 200 on the Cambridge English Scale (=Grade A for CAE, Grade C for CPE).

January 15th is the deadline to be considered for funding (please see note about TA funding in the 'Funding' section below)

May 1st is the final date we will accept PhD applications.

August 1st is the final date we will accept MS applications.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, contact us at evs-admin@buffalo.edu.


Our program offers training in a diverse array of subjects and a key component of the application process is to identify an EVS faculty member with whom you wish to work. We strongly encourage students to correspond with potential advisers before applying to the program to determine whether the adviser is accepting new students into their lab or group. Applications are reviewed by and must be accepted by both the Graduate Affairs Committee and the potential adviser. Admission is based on the strength of the student’s academic record, letters of recommendation, as well as language proficiency (for international applicants).

Accepted students will subsequently be required to submit official copies of these documents (transcripts and language proficiency scores, if appropriate) before enrolling.


Funding for students in the form of fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships may be offered to students when available from faculty research grants, the faculty member’s home department or other University and College of Arts and Sciences sources. In order to receive full consideration for Teaching Assistantships (TAs), you should complete your application and make sure all supporting materials (transcripts, letters of reference) are in our office by January 15th. In general, TA’s are preferentially awarded to PhD applicants, but depending on availability, MS candidates can be also considered. Additional information about financial aid is available from the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Admissions.

Due to the on-going covid-19 crisis, PhD funding will be limited for fall 2021/2022 admission. We anticipate being able to fund very few new students. Potential applicants should consider this circumstance in making their decision to apply. In case of doubt, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Chris Larsen, or the Director of Graduate Admissions. As circumstances change, this message will be updated.

The graduate application fee is $75 U.S. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). Applicants to master's-level tracks who reside in New York State are eligible to apply for an application fee waiver courtesy of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, provided they have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and meet the admissions deadlines. 

Application Checklist

Application Checklist:

  • Designate potential adviser(s) on application 
  • Upload transcripts, personal statement and resume into the application
  • 3 recommendation letter writers and their email addresses into the application
  • Pay $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Upload language proficiency test scores into the application (International Applicant only)
  • Upload copy of passport biographical page  (International Applicant only)
  • All materials should be submitted by January 15 (for full consideration for TA’s) and May 1st for all applications