How to Apply

Before you begin

If you are ready to apply to Penn State but have NOT read the Penn State Graduate School's requirements, please visit that website at before continuing through the steps below.  This website will give you information about the application fee and other general application information. Applications that are submitted without the fee being paid will not be processed.  The application fee is non-refundable.  When you are done reviewing this page, please come back here and follow the steps below. 

Deadlines for application and Department decisions


Transcript tips for your application submission

View frequently asked questions for the submission of transcripts with your application.

TOEFL code that you will need on your application (international students) 

     TOEFL Code:   2660 (Institution Code)   60 (Departmental Code)

In order to apply to the Graduate Program in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science:

  1. Complete the online application through The Penn State Graduate School by visiting  Transcripts, a resume or curriculum vitae, a personal statement, TOEFL scores (if applicable), and three letters of reference are required in the application package (additional details appear below). If you are contemplating pursuing a Ph.D., but plan to get an M.S. along the way, it is best to check the "Ph.D." box on the application where you are asked which program you are applying to.   *The deadline is December 31 for entry in the fall semester of the following year.  This deadline applies to all domestic and international students.  
  2. As part of the online application process, you are required to upload electronically copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g. degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) in the language of instruction, as well as copies of an official English translation, if English is not the language of instruction.  (Note:  Offers of admission will be revoked if original, official documents do not arrive by specified deadlines, or if official documents do not match electronic copies provided prior to the offer of admission.)
  3. Regarding the personal statement that is part of the application package, this is an essay that should describe one's research interests, goals, and reasons for pursuing graduate school.  You might consider these writing prompts: if we called your faculty mentors, what would they say you are really good at?; what are you most proud of accomplishing?; describe an academic challenge you faced, how you handled the situation, and what you learned from it; what will be the biggest challenge for you in graduate school?; why graduate school?; how do you see yourself being able to contribute to Penn State’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  4. All international applicants whose first language is not English, or who have not received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English, must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. A TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test is required for admission.  TOEFL scores can be submitted electronically to Penn State by the administering agency.  If you take the iBT (internet-based TOEFL test), the minimum scores are 80 (total score) and 19 (speaking).

Note that your application will not be considered complete until you have filed your online application AND we have received the TOEFL by official electronic submission to Penn State from the administering agency.  (As of spring 2020, the GRE is no longer required.)   

Reviews of applications take place in January–February, so if you wish to contact the department about your application status, you'll get the best feedback by waiting until late February or March.