Prospective Students

Students interested in pursuing graduate study and professional training within the “water-energy” nexus are encouraged to apply. Students participating in the EMPOWER program complete the same course of study required for their degree program in their home department. They also complete the requirements of the EMPOWER program and have access to the resources provided by the program.

If you are not currently enrolled in a graduate program at Syracuse University and are interested in applying to the EMPOWER program, please follow the instructions below. Review of applications for the EMPOWER program will begin on January 15. Applications submitted after Jan. 15 will be considered on a space available basis.

Step 1

Applicants to the EMPOWER program must apply to and be admitted by a participating department. Apply to home department using the Syracuse University Graduate School Application.

Please see the department webpages listed below for further information about graduate study within the participating departments. Graduate school applications are submitted electronically to the University’s Graduate School. Further information is available at

Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Chemistry

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Step 2

In addition to the standard application materials submitted to the Syracuse University Graduate School, interested students submit an application directly to the EMPOWER Program.

In your application, provide the following information in a single document:

  1. Contact information, including email address
  2. What program you are applying to and what degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) you are pursuing
  3. Anticipated faculty advisor
  4. 500-word statement of interest: In your statement, please describe your research interests, career goals, and how participation in the EMPOWER Program will contribute to your research and long-term career goals.

Email your application as an attachment to Laura Lautz, EMPOWER Program Director (

Step 3

Interested students should additionally solicit a supporting letter from their prospective faculty advisor. The faculty advisor should send the nominating letter directly to Laura Lautz (

Review of applications begins on Jan. 15.