ICS Admissions


The challenge of addressing an interdisciplinary area of study requires a solid academic foundation, typically based in the arts and sciences and enriched through personal experience. Moreover, participation in the ICS Ph.D. requires commitment, motivation, and excellent academic preparation. Applicants do not need to have a coastal science background prior to application or admission into the program. Since the ICS is a research-intensive Ph.D. program however, students should have a firm understanding and appreciation for the scientific method and experimentation. Applicants must meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School of East Carolina University. January 15 is the priority deadline for fall semester admission. Generally, we do not accept applicants for the spring semester, though there is an October 15th deadline for the spring. Early applications are encouraged.

Admission to the ICS Ph.D. program is based on several criteria, considered together in a holistic manner. These include GPAs, writing samples (e.g. first-authored or co-authored manuscripts or publications), letters of reference, and statement of purpose indicating how having an interdisciplinary degree integrating coastal natural and social sciences will help them achieve their career goals. Applicants are expected to have previously obtained a bachelor’s degree or successfully completed a master’s degree or equivalent professional degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0. A TOEFL exam is expected of non-English speaking international students. International student applicants – please note that ECU requires that foreign institution transcripts go through a course-by-course credential evaluation. ECU’s list of approved evaluators include WES (World Education Services), IEE (International Education Evaluations, Inc.), ECE (Education Credential Evaluators), Transcript Research, and SpanTran. Such an evaluation will take extra time which should be considered in light of the priority application deadline of January 15th.

The ICS Ph.D. Admissions Committee has broad campus representation. The Committee has six members, with three active members in natural sciences and three active members in social and health sciences. Two members of the committee are from within the Department of Coastal Studies.

Campus Interviews: There is no formal campus interview process. However, prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the East Carolina University campuses prior to applying, meet faculty members and students in the ICS program, and explore broad areas of mutual interest with faculty members in their likely field of concentration prior to formal application. The ICS office (252-328-9406) will be pleased to host and schedule these visits. In the event such a visit is not possible, the program will be pleased to arrange telephone or virtual interviews with the ICS program director, its affiliated faculty, and graduate students.