Above photo courtesy of current CONS student Annette Spivy. 



Application Timeline

 *Please note: The CONS Program is currently undergoing a review.  Information on when new students will be accepted will be posted here as the information becomes available. 

U.S. Applicants

PPCN applicants should also heed the deadlines established by the Maryland School of Public Policy, as listed on its website.

International Applicants

PPCN applicants should also heed the deadlines established by the Maryland School of Public Policy, as listed on its website.

CONS will begin to send out admission decisions in early March. Admitted students are encouraged to inform CONS of their decision to attend as soon as possible, but must inform CONS of their decision no later than April 15th.

NOTE: CONS is interdisciplinary, and students do not have individual advisors. Applicants do NOT identify a particular professor with whom they want to work as part of the application process.   

Application Materials

  1.  UM Graduate School Online Application Form.  Information on the general graduate application procedure can be found at the UM Graduate School website
  2. A brief (1,000-2,000 word) statement addressing the following two questions:
    • What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland, specifically the CONS program?  You may wish to discuss past work related to the CONS program, your plans for a professional career, or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of sustainable development and conservation biology
    • What life experiences have you had that you feel have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large, diverse institution such as the University of Maryland in the CONS program?  Among the things you might care to include would be your financial, community, and family background, whether you are the first person in your family to pursue a graduate degree, or any other factors that you feel would contribute to the diversity of our academic community.  You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to pursue your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and/or your capacity for working through problems independently.
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation. Online submission of recommendations is strongly encouraged.  The electronic submission of your letters streamlines the review and admissions decision process, while sending paper copies of recommendation letters will increase processing and review times for your application. On your Application Supplemental Form (ASF), you will be asked to enter the names and email addresses of your recommenders.  Each recommender will then be sent an email with instructions on how to complete an online recommendation for you.  If you need to submit a paper recommendation, have your recommender mail the letters to the application mailing address listed below. 
  4. Official transcripts from undergraduate and any post-graduate programs
  5. GRE General Test results, as reported from ETS (institution code: 5814)
  6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  7. International academic credentials, evidence of English proficiency, financial certification, and visa documentation (for international applicants only; please see the University's International Education Services website for further details)

We recommend that applicants check on the status of their materials online.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the Graduate School receives all application components.

Application Codes

  • Applicants to the single-degree M.S. program should submit their online application under the program code CONS.
  • Applicants to the dual-degree M.S./M.P.P. program should submit their online application under the program code PPCN, upon which all application materials will be automatically available for review by both the CONS program and the MPP program.  Decisions for each program are rendered independently; an applicant may be admitted to both, neither, or only one of the two programs and decide which degree(s) to pursue from there.
  • All applicants should submit their GRE General Test scores under institution code 5814, which  will suffice for delivery of scores to all relevant departments viewing your application at the University of Maryland.  If you wish, you may also indicate department code 0299, though this will not affect the status of your application.

Application Mailing Address (for official transcripts and test scores only)

The Graduate School
2123 Lee Building
University of Maryland, College Park 
College Park, MD 20742

Important Reminders

The CONS program does not receive or process hard copy application materials directly. Please do not email copies of your GRE scores, transcripts, or letters of recommendation to the CONS Office. These materials must be mailed to the Graduate School (see address above). Application materials are then uploaded to the online application system by the Graduate School staff for the CONS program to review. If you have questions about whether your hard copy materials (GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation) have been received and processed, please contact the Graduate School directly: (301) 405-0376. 

There is often a substantial lag time between when the Graduate Schools receives application materials and when they are scanned and posted for the individual graduate programs to review. It is the responsibility of the applicant to manage the process for this lag time. Ensuring that materials such as GRE scores and transcripts are sent to the Graduate School well in advance of the application deadline is critical.  Please note that the CONS program is an interdisciplinary, non-thesis Masters program. Prospective students do NOT have to identify a faculty advisor before applying to the CONS program.