Apply to GDPE

Applicants must apply to both the Graduate School (fee applied) and to GDPE (no charge).

  1. Apply to the CSU Graduate School
    • The CSU Graduate School online application requests Program of Study (Ecology).
    • For the Graduate School application, there is a Statement of Purpose requirement. Because this response box has a restriction on the amount of text (characters) allowed, and does not allow an attachment, type 'Sent directly to GDPE.' This requirement can be completed directly with GDPE through the GDPE Personal Statement explained below.
  2. Apply to GDPE through the on-line application.
  3. GDPE Personal Statement

    A Personal Statement is one of the most important components of your application and is critical in matching an applicant with an advisor. Please type a well-organized and concise personal statement. Email the Statement of Purpose (which is the same as the GDPE Personal Statement) as a .PDF attachment to

    A personal statement should:

    • describe clearly your experience and research interests in ecology
    • articulate academic interests and career plans
    • mention if any potential advisor(s) have been identified and communicated with; indicate how your interests overlap with the faculty's research being conducted at CSU
    • highlight your experience conducting independent research
    • address your familiarity with field and laboratory methods and instrumentation.
    • identify work and / or field experience
    • cite publications or presentations from past research (if applicable)
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation

    To be considered for admission, three letters of recommendation are required, but more may be submitted. Letters shall articulate an applicant's qualifications to complete graduate studies in ecology successfully. Reviewers seek insight on an applicant's academic achievements, work experience, research, or any combination thereof. There are no special forms to accompany letters of recommendation. Please note that applicants must contact references directly to request letters of recommendation--GDPE does not request letters of recommendation on behalf of applicants.

    • Letters of recommendation can be addressed to "GDPE Committee" and sent directly from the reference on official letterhead as .pdf documents electronically to
    • Alternatively, signed letters may also be sent on letterhead directly to GDPE or may be forwarded (in originally sealed envelopes) by the applicant.
  5. One Set of Original Transcripts
    • All transcripts are sent GDPE first.
    • They are then forwarded to the Office of Admissions when a student is recommended for admission.
    • The Office of Admissions verifies transcripts.
    • The Graduate School reviews transcripts only after they have been verified by the Office of Admissions.

    CSU requires one set of original transcripts from ALL universities where course work has been completed that has counted toward an earned degree, even if it is only one credit that transferred. Transcripts verify that you have completed the entrance requirements. Any missing transcripts will delay an applicant's acceptance. The Office of Admissions verifies transcripts. The Graduate School reviews transcripts only after they have been verified by the Office of Admissions.

    Official transcripts from Colorado State University may not be required. Check with the Office of Admissions about your specific situation.

  6. GRE Scores

    GRE scores should be reported directly to Colorado State University by Educational Testing Service. Use only the Institutional Code (R4075). The Department Code is Ecology (0207). No subject test is required.

Review Process for Complete Applications

January 1 is the deadline for applicants to receive full consideration for acceptance for fall admissions. Application materials do not have to be sent all together. A record is created for each applicant and GDPE accepts and organizes materials as they arrive.

If students wish to apply for admission in the spring semester, they need to have secured a faculty advisor who will inform the GDPE program office that the student has applied and that the faculty member has agreed to serve as advisor starting in the spring semester. The GDPE program office recruitment services and level of support that is offered to faculty and prospective students for fall admissions are not available for spring (or summer) admissions.

The GDPE program operates on rolling admissions--there is not a specific date by which students receive a letter of recommendation for admission. Once an application is complete, it will be reviewed by the GDPE Director and the Academic Committee. Qualified applicants' information is then made available to GDPE faculty.

Final acceptance to the GDPE program is based on acceptance as an advisee by a member of the faculty of GDPE. When a faculty member is seriously interested in taking an applicant as an advisee, the faculty will offer a position to the applicant and communicate that to the GDPE administration. The process for admission recommendation will begin after that confirmation.

GDPE begins to close applicant files in late April for those who have not been offered a position in the program.