Watershed Science How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the graduate programs of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (ESS) at Colorado State University (CSU). To be considered for admission to our programs, applicants must submit an online application through the CSU Graduate School.

The preferred application deadline for Fall Admission is February 1st for full funding consideration. 

Begin the application process — Apply Now!

Watershed Science Admission Criteria

Required admission criteria for applicants to the Watershed Science program includes:

  • Confirmation of interest from an Watershed Science Faculty Advisor (see our guide on Choosing a Faculty Advisor)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher (Preferred GPA of 3.3 or higher)
  • GRE General Test scores (Preferred scores in the 70th percentile or higher) (*Please note that the GRE requirement has been waived for Fall 2023 applicants.) 
  • Undergraduate degree in a related field (Undergraduate degrees in unrelated fields may require additional coursework.

Watershed Science Application Instructions

Explore Faculty Research Interests

On your application, please list the names of potential faculty advisors. Prior to applying to the program, we recommend that you contact potential advisors, as students are only admitted to the program if a faculty member chooses to accept them as an advisee.

A great starting point is to browse our faculty profiles and see our guide on Choosing a Faculty Advisor.  Determine which faculty members associated with our department have similar research interests to your own.  Read their recent publications for further information about their research.

When you initiate contact with a faculty member, be specific about why you are interested in that particular line of research.  Ask if they are currently accepting students, if they would consider accepting you as a student, and if there is funding available for the term you wish to start.  Remember that most faculty receive many more requests from prospective students than they can accommodate, so please be patient and respectful, and make yourself stand out.

If you have the resources and time, consider a visit to CSU, setting up a meeting prior to your visit.  Putting a name to a face goes a long way in remembering a student and their interests.  If you cannot visit, then initiate contact via email to set up a phone conversation.

Submit Online Application to CSU Graduate School

After creating your online application, begin submitting your supporting materials to complete your application.  The final step will be paying your application fee.

  • Upload a variety of supporting documents to your application.  The Watershed Science application will require the following documentation:
    • Personal statement of intent
    • Resume/Curriculum Vita
    • Transcripts from all previous institutions of higher education
    • GRE scores (and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants) Waived for Fall 2023 applications
    • At least three professional letters of recommendation
  • To submit official transcripts, contact your previous institutions to request they submit official transcripts to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).
  • To submit test scores, contact the test agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).
  • For any documents that cannot be uploaded, submit paper copies directly to the Office of Admissions at the address below:
CSU Graduate Admissions address

Electronic submission of college transcripts is supported and preferred whenever possible. Most commonly, CSU receives paperless college transcripts via Parchment/Docufide, eScript-Safe, ConnectEDU and the National/Colorado Transcript Centers, and is willing to access electronic transcripts through any other secure sites hosted by the sending institution.

College officials are welcome to send links to secure site delivery to etranscripts@colostate.edu.

Check Your Application Status

View the status of your application at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or check for updates.  The online application status in only available to applications for Fall 2016 and beyond.