Admissions and Financial Support

Admissions information


Applications to the graduate programs in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, the Department of Earth Sciences, and the School of Marine Science and Policy are evaluated on the basis of the applicant's undergraduate record, TOEFL scores (if applicable), and three letters of recommendation. The Department of Earth Sciences will consider qualified applicants without a previous degree in geology, although preliminary work may be required. Prospective graduate students should explore CEOE faculty research interests on their webpages to find potential advisors. (Faculty pages are linked from each of their departments.) Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members working in areas that interest them.

Graduate Admissions and Financial Support | College of Earth, Ocean & Environment | University of Delaware
Graduate Admissions and Financial Support | College of Earth, Ocean & Environment | University of Delaware
Graduate Admissions and Financial Support | College of Earth, Ocean & Environment | University of Delaware

Application process

All graduate applicants should submit the following:

  • A completed graduate school application form plus application fee
  • Transcripts of all college work
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the student's potential for graduate work
  • A supplemental page or personal interest statement indicating your specific interests in order to help us assign an appropriate adviser

For international students

International students for whom English is not their first language must also submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language. A minimum TOEFL paper-based score of 550 is required by the University and a score of 600 is recommended by our College.  A TOEFL IBT score of 79 is required by the University and a score of 100 is recommended by our College.  For additional information about TOEFL test requirements, please view the University’s Graduate College site.

Financial Support

Most of our graduate students are supported by research assistantships or teaching assistantships that provide hands-on experience in addition to financial aid. A significant number of competitive scholarships and fellowships are also available to qualified students, and travel support often is provided for national meetings to allow students to network with others in the field.

Currently, nearly all full-time graduate students at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment receive full financial aid via fellowships, teaching assistantships or research assistantships. Most part-time graduate students receive partial aid through scholarships and other sources.

A variety of scholarship/fellowship opportunities are available to qualified students. If you have further questions after reading through the descriptions here and at the Grad College Funding Opportunities webpage, send an email to

Supported by the Graduate College, CEOE offers two Breaking Barriers fellowships for U.S. students from historically underrepresented and excluded populations seeking a PhD in geological sciences, geography or climatology. The funding will provide full tuition and a $30,000 stipend for a minimum of two years. Interested applicants should submit a Graduate College inquiry form, indicating their degree interest and noting “Breaking Barriers” in the Questions section. Qualified students will have their application fee waived.

REEF@UD provides entrepreneurship training, mentorship and funding support to innovators who seek to create businesses, commercialize discoveries and develop new products that will solve environmental problems or improve sustainability. Click here to learn more

The Joanne Currier Daiber Fellowship was established in 1999 by Franklin C. Daiber in honor of his wife, Joanne C. Daiber, and her pioneering work in the field of marine biology in the early 1950s. She was the first female marine biologist hired by UD and was a founding member of the graduate College of Marine Studies, the predecessor of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. The Joanne Currier Daiber Fellowship supports female graduate students in the marine biology and biochemistry program.

The Magers Family Fellowship was established in 2009 by Sandra G. and J. Christopher Magers. Sandy was a UD staff member in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment who made this gift because of her love of UD and dedication to the College. The Magers Family Fellowship supports graduate students in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment who are studying marine alternative energy.

Several fellowships from the Okie endowment are available to students enrolled in the School of Marine Science and Policy programs. The fellowships are based on academic and research excellence and demonstrated leadership abilities.

The Nancy M. Targett Graduate Tuition Scholarship was established in 2016 by members of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) Dean's Advisory Council, in honor of Nancy Targett's dedicated service to the University of Delaware. A member of the UD faculty since 1984, Targett served as Dean of CEOE and director of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program for 10 years starting in 2005. The University Board of Trustees appointed Targett as Acting President effective July 1, 2015. On May 17, 2016, the University's Board of Trustees passed a resolution naming Nancy Targett as the University's 27th president, and she received an honorary degree at UD's 2016 Commencement. Several members of the UD community made additional gifts to the fund in honor of Targett. The Nancy M. Targett Graduate Tuition Scholarship supports graduate level students in the School of Marine Science and Policy, with special consideration given to under-represented students studying the sciences.

The Stavros Raptis Howe Endowed Fund provides support for ecological research and other professional activities by SMSP graduate students.  Funds may be used for specific research needs (e.g., equipment, supplies, small-boat time, travel, etc.) or to foster participation in professional meetings.  Typical grants will be less than $1,000, and a limited number of grants will be awarded each academic year. More information and application form.

The Carolyn Thompson Thoroughgood Graduate Research Fund was established in 2018 by plant scientists. The fund provides unrestricted support for graduate level research in the School of Marine Science and Policy. The research will be conducted on the Lewes, Delaware campus.

The School of Marine Science and Policy and the Department of Earth Sciences each offer fellowships to some students entering their specific programs.

The Historically Underrepresented Graduate Students Fellowship was created by the dean of the College in 2017 and provides support to students from racial and ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in earth, ocean and environmental sciences.


University Fellowships are awarded to students already matriculated into one of the graduate programs on the basis of nominations by the graduate departments or school. Students with regular, full-time status and high academic standing may qualify. Fellowships usually provide full tuition and a stipend. Awards are competitive and are based on academic achievement and professional commitment and potential. Awards are granted for one year.

Awards are competitive and administered by the University. They are awarded based on many criteria including challenging social, economic, educational, cultural or other life circumstances; academic achievements; first-generation graduate student status; and/or need as determined by federal income guidelines (FAFSA).

The Graduate College is committed to facilitating funding and fellowships for the graduate student body. These opportunities, available through university lines, as well as through external foundations and institutions, provide students with vital sources of support in their master’s and doctoral programs. Moreover, fellowships and awards further professional development by funding conference presentations, while expanding horizons through national and international research and travel. Read more >

Other External Funding

Below is a listing of some of the programs/sources of funding for which our students have been the most successful in obtaining external funding. Still have questions about graduate financial support?  Please contact the assistant dean for graduate services, Kelli Kerbawy.