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Ph.D. Degree

At the discretion of individual schools or departments and with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, applicants may be considered for admission to one of the following classifications:

  1. Prospective Candidate for a degree. Applicants who meet all requirements for admission to a degree program may apply as prospective candidates for a graduate degree. Applicants who are missing an official document or test scores may be admitted provisionally to a degree program, if recommended by the department and approved by the graduate dean. The conditions of the provisional admission must be satisfied by the end of the first semester of enrollment.
  2. Nondegree (ND). Applicants who do not intend to pursue a degree but who wish to take courses for professional advancement, licensure, or certification purposes, and who hold a baccalaureate degree or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution, should apply for nondegree status. Nondegree students who are later admitted as prospective degree candidates may apply up to 9 hours of course work taken in nondegree status toward a graduate degree program, subject to the approval of the major professor, the departmental graduate coordinator, and the dean of the Graduate School.
  3. Graduate Transient (TRANS). Transient admission may be granted to students in good standing at regionally accredited graduate schools who wish to enroll for one semester at the University of Georgia. Students admitted in this classification who later wish to enroll as prospective candidates for a degree must make formal application to the Graduate School as described in item 1 above.

Section B: Admission Procedure

The GRE revised General Test is required of all degree candidates. Students who have already taken the exam but feel that they can significantly improve their score are encouraged to take the exam again, since the GRE score is an important factor in the competition for all university-wide assistantships and fellowships. Transcripts from all universities attended are required as well as three letters of reference. Appropriate forms and instructions are available from the Geography Department website ( Additional information and instructions for international students is also available from the Geography Department website. Based on the above information the Graduate Studies Committee makes admission recommendations to the Graduate School. The final and official admission decision is made by the Graduate School.

The University of Georgia requires a minimum level of English language proficiency and will accept satisfactory scores on either the TOEFL or IELTS language proficiency examinations for admission of international applicants to graduate programs. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. The minimum TOEFL score requirement is an overall score of 80 with at least 20 on speaking and writing. The minimum IELTS score requirement is an overall band-width of 6.5, with no single band (score) below 6.0.

Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores that are not more than two years old. Applicants who have received degrees from accredited institutions in the U.S. or from institutions in countries where English is the primary language (e.g., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) usually are not required to submit the TOEFL (or IELTS) scores. If such an applicant received the degree more than two years prior to application to the Graduate School and has been residing/working in a country where the primary language is not English, he or she must submit current scores. Students who are currently enrolled and have been enrolled at least one year at a regionally accredited U.S. institution, may have the English language proficiency requirement waived, if their work shows a strong quality of performance. Some departments may require the TOEFL (or IELTS) regardless of previous educational experience.

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