Graduate Application Information for International Applicants

The Odum School of Ecology only accepts students for admission in the fall semester of each academic year.

  1. Once you have identified one or more faculty within the Odum School of Ecology with whom you might be interested in working, contact them regarding your interests. Applicants are not considered for admission unless they have contacted a faculty member within the Odum School of Ecology who will agree to serve as a major advisor should the student be accepted. Please list your potential major professors at the end of your personal statement.
  2. All application materials and supporting documents should be submitted by December 1.
  3. Formal application to the Odum School of Ecology begins with the submission of an application at the UGA Graduate School Application website.

Application Fee

The fee of $100 must be submitted to the Graduate School before your (international) application can be evaluated. We are unable to waive this fee for anyone due to University regulations.


Please be sure to have your application and supporting documents submitted to the Odum School of Ecology and the Graduate School by December 1. This deadline enables our faculty to complete their reviews and make admission recommendations to the Graduate School’s Office of Graduate Admissions. Applicants who have applied by this date, and have been nominated by a potential major professor, will be considered for funding to attend the graduate student recruitment weekend and Graduate Student Symposium in January. The Odum School of Ecology Graduate Program Committee meets in mid-December to review completed applications and select 15-20 highly qualified applicants for travel to this invite-only event. Applicants are notified of admission decisions by April 1-15.


Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted using the online recommendation form from the Graduate School: you must provide a valid e-mail address for each recommender. Please make sure that your recommenders have indicated that they are willing to fill out a reference form for you in advance. Also keep in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommender has submitted the form by the appropriate deadline. Your recommender will receive an email notification with login information when you enter your recommender’s information and click the submit button for that field.

Statement of Interest

Please write a brief research statement (one page, single-spaced) describing your graduate educational and research goals. This statement carries great weight in the admissions decisions and should identify your general area(s) of interest, articulate the fundamental concepts that underlie those interests, outline potential research problems, and specify your career objectives. Included in your research statement your purpose for pursuing a graduate degree. Your statement should be well-organized and concise, demonstrate your ability to articulate important problems in your discipline, and identify your research interests. Please list your potential major professors at the end of your personal statement.


Two official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended. The documents must have official seals of certification of the appropriate school official or office (photocopies are not acceptable). If the original language of the record is not English, a certified translation in English must be attached to the original.

Applicants from India: If you attended a college “affiliated to” an Indian university, list the name of the major university, not the college (i.e., University of Mumbai).

English Language Tests (TOEFL or IELTS)

For International Applicants from countries whose primary language is not English, a copy of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) OR IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test scores are also required. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores can be submitted directly from ETS by using the institutional code of 5813; no departmental code is required. UGA requires at least a 550 on the paper test or 80 on the IBT (Internet-based TOEFL test) with a min. of 20 on the speaking & writing or 6.5 on the IELTS (w/no less than 6.0 on any subscore).

Certificate of Finances

International students are also required to submit a Certificate of Finances (COF) form (found in Downloadable Forms in the Graduate School’s Application).

Supplemental Essays for I.D.E.A.S. program and for I.C.O.N. Program

IDEAS Program Applicants ONLY

Please provide a supplemental essay discussing your motivation for applying to the IDEAS program. The essay should describe how your background had prepared you for the IDEAS training, and how the program aligns with your future research and career goals. Please limit to 500 words. This is to be uploaded onto page 4 of the UGA graduate application.

Please visit the IDEAS website for more information:

ICON Ph.D. Applicants ONLY

Recent years have seen increased calls for interdisciplinarity in conservation. These calls are a recognition of the fact that conservation problems do not conform to disciplinary boundaries and require multiple fields of expertise. Furthermore, some scholars have called not for the creation of interdisciplinary teams, but for the training of “interdisciplinary people” (Adams, 2005). In addition to the call to engage many types of knowledge in conservation efforts, it also has been noted that both the study and practice of conservation are hindered by the traditional divide between academicians and practitioners.

Our vision of “integrative” conservation training is one in which students not only become conversant across multiple disciplines but also become comfortable moving between the worlds of academia and practice. Please reflect on that vision, discussing the merits and downfalls of such an approach, as you see them, and why you think you would be a good fit for this training program. Please limit your response to no more than 600 words.

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