How to Apply

How to Apply

Interested in studying planetary sciences? We look forward to your application to the graduate program in Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Starting Semester Application Deadline Application Available
Fall 2024

December 8, 2023 at 5:00p.m. MST

Note: Application will be unavailable as of 5:00p.m. on December 8. 

August 21, 2023

The department does not offer spring admission.

To learn about required coursework and steps to degree, review the PTYS Ph.D. degree requirements and the PTYS core course requisites. Additional information about degree requirements and available courses and course descriptions is available from the Graduate Program page.

Only complete applications will be considered. Applicants should have strong background and exceptional academic achievement in physical or mathematical science. The Admissions Committee uses transcripts, statement of interest, and letters of recommendation to evaluate applicants. Most admitted students are awarded financial support in the form of research or teaching assistantships. 

Offers of admission are typically extended in late January. Admitted students are invited to attend a hosted two-day open house, usually scheduled for late February or early March.  During the visit, prospective students will have the opportunity to attend classes, meet faculty and students, and tour facilities. Financial support for matriculating students is confirmed by early June; students also receive at that time information about campus orientations. Incoming students will meet with the Graduate Admission and Advising Committee in August to discuss and confirm enrollment and advising and review any outstanding questions about the program and the department.

BEGIN the UA Graduate College Application

Prospective students must complete an application to the University of Arizona Graduate College as well as to the Department of Planetary Sciences. These applications are combined into one online application. There is an application fee.

The Department of Planetary Sciences application deadline for Fall 2024 is 5:00p.m. MST on December 8, 2023. This applies to both DOMESTIC and INTERNATIONAL students.

INCLUDE Transcripts

Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended are required as part of the application process. For purposes of application, unofficial transcripts may be submitted. Upload unofficial transcripts to the online application and/or request that your institution send official electronic transcripts to PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOm5xenZmZnZiYWZAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj5ucXp2ZmZ2YmFmQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4=. Upon admission to the program, official versions of all transcripts, to include grades from the final semester, are required and must be forwarded to PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOm5xenZmZnZiYWZAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj5ucXp2ZmZ2YmFmQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4= or sent directly from the university/registrar to the mailing address below. Official transcripts must be forwarded directly from the originating university or college to the University of Arizona or the Department of Planetary Sciences either by regular mail (address below) or as a secure electronic document. Official transcripts may not be uploaded by the student or mailed by students/applicants.


Provide a concise description of your purpose for applying to graduate school in the Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Use these prompts as guidance for the topics you might include in your statement:  

  • Your intended area of study and your reasons for pursuing it. We encourage you to identify relevant faculty members and look at our current research opportunities.
  • Your career goals and how obtaining a graduate degree from LPL will contribute to achieving them.
  • Relevant academic and research experience that aligns with your goals.
  • A discussion of how you have overcome adversity, obstacles, or systemic barriers in your life, if applicable. For guidance, please refer to this short video.
  • A description of instances in which you have served your community or promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion in other ways.
  • Your statement must not exceed 1000 words (~ 2 pages using 8 1/2" x 11" paper).


At least three letters of reference are required; letter writers will receive information about how to upload their recommendations to the online application.


International Students Submit English Proficiency Scores

International students must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), CEPT Full Academic Test, or other English proficiency scores as appropriate. Information regarding English proficiency requirements is online on the UA Graduate College International Applicants page and the UA Graduate College English Speaking Proficiency Evaluation page. The department reserves the right to require higher scores than those required for admission or for serving as an RA or TA.

Financial Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

All students are encouraged to submit a FAFSA. The University of Arizona Federal School Code is 001083. Information about the FAFSA and related deadlines is available on the Federal Student Aid site.

Submitting Materials

You may submit supporting paper materials to:

Graduate Admissions and Advising Coordinator
Department of Planetary Sciences
Kuiper Space Sciences Building
1629 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210092
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721-0092
Phone: 520-621-6954
Fax: 520-621-4933

Apply Now