FIRM Application Deadlines (All application materials must be submitted by the following deadline dates for consideration of funding. Applications received after the deadline dates will not be considered for Purdue Graduate School, College of Agriculture, or FNR funding.)
- Fall Admission: January 15th
- Spring Admission: September 15th
Graduate School at Purdue University does not accept paper applications. You may apply on-line at
How To ApplyApplication Documentation
- Application and $60 domestic/$75 international application fee submitted electronically to the University.
- Statement of Purpose
- Five FNR questions
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
- Cumulative GPA of 3.2
Official English Proficiency scores* (international applicants only)*
* All English Proficiency (IELTS, TOFEL, and PTE) scores must be transmitted electronically from Educational Testing Services (ETS). Please code Purdue University West Lafayette (RA 1631).
Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose should be approximately 500 words concerning your purpose for undertaking or continuing graduate study, your reasons for wanting to study at Purdue, and your research interests, professional plans, and career goals. You also may explain any special circumstances applicable to your background and elaborate on your scholarly publications, awards, achievements, abilities, and/or professional history.
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Questions
In addition to the Statement of Purpose, all applicants are required to provide responses to the following questions (limit of 250 words per response).
- Describe a situation that demonstrates your work ethic and ability to complete complex tasks in a timely manner.
- Provide an example of a work/academic situation that typifies how you handle adversity when striving to attain a goal.
- What motivates you to pursue your proposed graduate studies, and how will completion of these studies prepare you to achieve your career goals?
- Please describe a specific example from your work/academic experience that demonstrates your curiosity and creativity.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses with regard to achieving goals individually and in collaboration with others?
Letters of Recommendation
The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) will accept letters of recommendation submitted electronically through the Graduate School’s electronic application system, including the
Recommendation Form. Receipt of the recommendation letters is very important. In order to ensure that the application process is not delayed, the applicant needs to monitor the submission of the letters and contact recommenders who do not submit their recommendations in a timely manner.
IMPORTANT: All application materials must be received by the application deadline date (11:59 p.m.) or the applicant will NOT be considered for funding and subsequent admission for the fall or spring admission date that corresponds with the deadline date.
Paper-based transcripts should be sent directly to the FNR department at the following address:
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
715 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061
A minimum BA/BS or MA/MS grade index of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale is required for consideration for Department of Forestry and Natural Resources funding and subsequent admission. Applicants with an overall GPA below 3.2 may be considered for admission if all other rating factors are above the minimum levels adopted by the Department and specified faculty offer external funding. The index for an applicant with previous graduate training will be computed as a weighted average of undergraduate and graduate, but the undergraduate index generally must be 3.0 or above.
Minimum Course Requirements for Graduate Applicants
Minimum background courses are required for admission by fields of study within the Department. Applicants in all subject areas must have as minimum preparatory work a baccalaureate degree that includes appropriate courses as specified by the faculty in the major area of interest. Courses may be as follows:
- Forest Biology and Silviculture (ecology, soils, tree physiology)
- Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (aquaculture, fisheries biology and management, limnology)
- Natural Resource Social Science
- Forest Information and Assessment/Geographic Information Systems
- Wildlife Science (community ecology, conservation biology, physiology)
- Wood Science and Technology
English Proficiency Requirement
Applicants with five or more required course deficiencies (about 15 credits) may not be admitted as regular graduate students until deficiencies are corrected. Course deficiencies must be corrected before arrival at Purdue or included as "other requirements" on the Plan of Study form.
A student whose first language is not English may meet the English proficiency requirement by submitting a TOFEL total score of 550 or higher (paper version) or 213 or higher (computer version). For information, visit
The TOEFL Test.
The minimum Internet-based test scores required for admission are the following:
- Writing 18
- Speaking 18
- Listening 14
- Reading 19
- Total 80
Note that in addition to required minimum scores for writing, speaking, listening, and reading, the Graduate School also requires a minimum overall score that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores (listed above) for admission to the Graduate School.
The Graduate School accepts International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores. An overall band score of 6.5 is required for admission.
- Reading 6.5
- Listening 6.0
- Speaking 6.0
- Writing 5.5
The Graduate School also accepts the Pearson Test of English (PTE). An overall score of 58 is required for admission. For more information, visit the
Pearson PTE Academics
English Speaking Countries
The Graduate School will routinely waive the English Proficiency testing requirements for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 24 months, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language. Some graduate programs may still require a test of English proficiency for admission; please confirm with your department whether they will also grant this waiver. If you are admitted under this waiver and are still finishing your degree, you must satisfactorily complete your degree and submit a final official transcript showing that this degree has been awarded BEFORE the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) can produce your US immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019).
Official English-speaking countries/locations, in addition to the U.S., include:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cook Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Norfolk Island
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Republic of Ireland
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- St. Helena
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and Grenadines
- The Gambia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Kingdom
If you are admitted under this waiver and are still finishing your degree, you must satisfactorily complete your degree and submit a final official transcript showing that this degree has been awarded BEFORE the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) can produce your US immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019).
The Graduate School will routinely waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 24 months, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language. Some graduate programs may still require a test of English proficiency for admission; please confirm with your department whether they will also grant this waiver.
The FNR department Graduate Committee and the prospective/specified faculty advisor(s) will screen application materials and recommend admission or denial to the Department Head, based on the criteria listed below (roughly in order of importance). It is vitally important that you communicate with one or more FNR specified faculty member(s) via email, Skype, telephone, and/or in person prior to submitting your application. Information regarding faculty program and research interests is located visit our
Graduate Majors page.
- English Proficiency scores (if applicable)
- Evaluations by references
- Research/Professional experience
- Personal statement of interests & goals
- Quality of previous program
- Relevancy of prior coursework
- Responses to five FNR questions
Approximate Notification Timeline
Applications for summer-fall admission are reviewed two to three weeks after the January 15th application deadline date with notification the end of March or first of April. Applications for spring admission are reviewed two to three weeks after the September 15th application deadline date with notification the end of October or first of November.
If you have additional questions, please contact the FNR Office of Student Services at (765) 494-3591.