Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.



Application Instructions
The RIPTIDES application period opens on
October 15, 2017 for Fall 2018 Admission.  
The application period closes February 1, 2018. 

**Contact potential RIPTIDES program mentors by e-mail now.**

The application process has two steps.

STEP 1: Apply to SFSU Online. (complete instructions)

  • In CSU Mentor, select:
          • Term Applying for: Fall 2018 (applications open October 15, 2017)
          • Major/Program: (Marine Science RIPTIDES) Interdisciplinary Studies [MS]


  • You will receive an email after you complete your CSU Mentor application with an SFSU ID number. Use this ID# to complete the RIPTIDES Application described below.

STEP 2: Apply to the RIPTIDES program

  • Submit hardcopies of the following 6 application materials as a single complete packet to arrive on or before the posted February 1, 2018 deadline to:

Graduate Coordinator, RIPTIDES
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies
San Francisco State University

3150 Paradise Dr., Bldg. 36
Tiburon, CA, 94920

Application materials:

  1. Application Cover Sheet - download HERE during open application period.
  2. Statement of Purpose - This should be a 2-3 page essay discussing your background and preparation for graduate study, why you have chosen to apply to the RIPTIDES program specifically, and your career or professional goals.  We are especially interested in learning why you think an interdisciplinary graduate program that combines study of global change, urban coastal areas and related social issues (e.g., coastal economies, sustainable business practices, environmental equity) is a good match for your goals. This statement is an opportunity to highlight your academic and professional achievements and to describe challenges you may have faced while pursuing your education.
  3. Resume / Curriculum Vitae
  4. Letters of recommendation (2) - List the contact information for two letter writers.  Referees/recommenders should email their letters directly to  Letters should specifically address applicant's preparation for graduate research in an interdisciplinary training program. These should be from people you have worked with in an academic or professional context (including volunteer or internship  work). They must be signed and on official institutional or professional letterhead.
  5. Official transcript(s) - Transcripts should be submitted to SF State in a sealed and institutionally signed envelope. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for application review but the official transcript will be needed before admissions decisions can be made.
  6. GRE score report - Please submit GRE scores electronically to SF State using our school code 4684.  We can use an unofficial GRE score report for application review but the official report is required for admission decisions. Applicants will not be considered for admittance without the GRE score report; plan accordingly when choosing an exam date.

During the Application Process we Recommend Applicants to:

  • Email us at with any program questions.
  • Contact potential RIPTIDES program mentors by e-mail.
  • Conduct a Skype or phone interview with a graduate advisor and potential faculty mentors. 
  • Visit the Romberg Tiburon Center, to see our facilities and meet potential mentors and graduate students in person.
  • Speak with current graduate students who are working with potential faculty mentors


    The RIP TIDES Admission Committee will evaluate completed applications beginning after the February application deadline.  Only applications complete by the deadline will be reviewed.

    Admission decisions for Fall 2018 will occur by March 31st, 2018.  You will receive notification of admission to the RIP TIDES program via email and/or phone. The University will also send you official notification of admission, along with registration information.   Please alert us to any changes in your street address, phone number, or email address that occur during the application and admission period.

    If offered admission to the RIPTIDES program, you will have three weeks to respond to the offer.  Please contact the Graduate Coordinator within that time window to confirm your intent to enroll. 

    More Questions?
    Contact the RIPTIDES Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Ellen Hines.

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