Application Process Steps
1. Contact and secure an advisor
Choosing an advisor whose interests match your research goals is critical for the success of your work. SNR emphasizes the cooperative exchange between students and advisors in research programs while still giving advisors the overall responsibility for the direction and course of the student's research. Contact an SNR faculty member regarding your interest in our graduate program. Before you apply, you must receive the advising support of a faculty member who is a member of the Graduate Faculty (as recognized by the Office of Graduate Studies).
Locate faculty who can advise through the SNR Directory
2. Submit an application for graduate admission to the Office of Graduate Studies
The appropriate application materials can be found through the Office of Graduate Studies. Please note: you will be required to pay a nonrefundable application processing fee. Be sure to have a confirmed advisor before you submit your application to graduate studies to ensure your application's review.
3. Receive your university ID
After you have completed your application with the Office of Graduate Studies, you will receive an e-mail with your university ID (NU ID). Once you receive your NU ID, establish your password through TrueYou. This step is necessary to complete the application for the Natural Resource Sciences major. Please note: you should allow seven business days to establish your NU ID.
4. School of Natural Resources Review
The SNR Graduate Committee will review your application and will notify Graduate Studies of its admission recommendation. Graduate Studies will conduct a final review of your file.
5. Response from the School of Natural Resources
You will receive a notification of your application status from SNR. If accepted, Graduate Studies will also notify you and mail your Certificate of Admission — This is a work in progress. They are updating their notification process — and other important information for incoming students. You will be eligible to enroll for the entry term indicated on your Certificate of Admission.
Why graduate admission is competitive?
We aim to admit a limited number of students so that we can better support them, both intellectually and perhaps financially. Additionally, professors suited to particular interests may be on leave or working with other graduate students.
Statement of Purpose:
Your statement of purpose, also known as a statement of intent, details your career goals (where you see yourself in 5 years) and educational objectives (how you will get there). It tells us a little bit about you and your passion. This statement is typically 2-3 double-spaced pages long. We look at how focused your interests are, your writing ability, and whether and how we can help you meet your goals and objectives.
If, for example, you indicate that you wish to start a Heritage Management company based in eastern North American archaeology, then we would not admit you since we have no one on staff to supervise such work. If you indicate a desire to study the physical geography of Antarctica, we would refer you elsewhere as, again, we do not have the faculty to supervise such a thesis or PhD.
To write a compelling Statement of Purpose, do contact the faculty member with whom you see yourself working and learn more about their research. Faculty members welcome your interest in their work! The Graduate Chair can also help answer questions.
Letters of Reference:
Three letters of reference should come from professionals who can speak to your ability to perform graduate-level work, such as a professor who knows your work through independent study, senior seminar work, field school, or lab work. These referees could speak to your degree of preparation, your aptitudes and skills, abilities to set and meet goals. A supervisor from work could also be a reference and could speak to your professionalism, sociality and time management skills, for example.
Be sure they know you well enough to write you a positive letter. Provide them with a resume or summary of work and academic experiences. Coach them on a specific aspect you would ask them to highlight in their letter for you. Give them advance warning (e.g., at least a month) on when the letter is due.
Transcript of Courses:
We consider your performance in undergraduate classes, especially in the discipline you hope to pursue. Students with better grades tend to know what they are good at and have mastered the skills needed to be successful graduate students. Some students may have lower grades from their freshman and sophomore years; we expect to see As and Bs in disciplinary coursework by their junior year.
If there are gaps or series of withdrawals or incompletes in your academic career, we look for explanations.