FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about CEGE graduate programs admission

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Can I submit paper applications in lieu of the online applications?

No, you can only apply online

Can I receive a waiver for the Application Fee?

No, the application fee cannot be waived.

Exception: If you are an active duty member of the United States military deployed overseas, you can get a waiver. Active duty applicants should contact the Graduate School regarding waiver of the application fee when your application is ready for submission.

Can I defer payment of the application fee until the Department makes a decision?

No, the application fee cannot be deferred. All offers of financial support depend upon completion of your application for admission, including payment.

What is the Institution Code for the GRE and TOEFL?

The Institutional Code for the University of Minnesota is 6874.

What is the Department Code for the TOEFL?


(Note: No department code is required for the GRE.)

Do you accept photocopies of the GRE or TOEFL?

Yes, photocopies of the GRE and TOEFL are acceptable. You must upload a PDF of your score reports or a PDF of a screen shot from the ETS website into the application system. 

Does the department require a minimum GRE score for admission?

No, the department does not specify a minimally acceptable score. The GRE is one important tool that the admissions committee uses in evaluating your application, but there is no minimum score requirement. A GRE score is required of all applicants.

Please note that you should register to take the GRE test well in advance so your scores can be uploaded into the application system by the application deadline. GRE scores expire after 5 years.

Average GRE scores of admitted students have been as follows:

  • Verbal: 153
  • Quantitative: 161
  • Analytical Writing: 4

Does the department require a minimum TOEFL score for admission?

The Graduate School requires a minimum score of 79 for the TOEFL IBT and 550 for the paper TOEFL. TOEFL scores expire two years after the test is taken.

Exception: You are exempt from this requirement if you have taken 16 credits as a full-time student at a recognized institution in the U.S. within 24 months of entering the Graduate School. More information can be found on the Graduate School web site.

I am an international student; how do I complete Financial Certification Statement for my I-20 document?

Financial Certification Form: If you are offered admission to the program and accept it, you will then be required to complete the Financial Certification Statement for your I-20 document. Once your I-20 is issued, the Graduate School Admissions Office will notify you that the I-20 is ready, and you have the option to pay for express mailing. If you chose the express shipping option, your email will be added to the shipment so you will receive a receipt and have the ability to track the shipment.

Advantages of sending the I-20 through express shipping:

  • Special DOD government shipping rates that are less than half the normal shipping rate to most countries
  • Speed and accuracy of express mail service
  • Documentation that you have received the I-20
  • Authorization for shipping to Iran has been granted

Any questions about the I-20 should be directed to Jim Rowan (j-rowa@umn.edu) at the Graduate School Admissions Office.

Can recommendation letters be mailed if reference writer(s) are not able to submit letters electronically?

To avoid delays in processing your application, recommendation letters MUST be submitted online through the application system. If you or your referee have any questions please email cegesps@umn.edu.

Should I mail a transcript to both the Department and the Graduate School?

No, do not mail materials to the department. Hard copies are no longer accepted for initial review. Transcripts or academic records must be uploaded directly to the application system in the Educational Background section of the application. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material. The transcript must include your full name.

Is there a separate application for financial support?

No. The only application required is the online application in the application system. Financial support will be considered as the application is reviewed.

How long until a decision is made on my application?

Depending on the time of year, it could take several months for a decision to be made. Decisions for fall admission with financial aid are generally made between mid-February and mid-March. Decisions for spring admissions are generally made between October and November.

Where can I find information on tuition and fees? The class schedule? Course descriptions?

The One Stop and Graduate School sites are excellent resources. In addition, you will also find maps, information on financial aid, important deadlines, and the University directory are located at these sites.

Can I take courses if I have not been admitted to a degree program?

Yes. Anyone who is not admitted to a school or college at the University of Minnesota can register through the College of Continuing Education as a non-degree seeking student. If you want to take courses that can later be transferred into a civil engineering graduate program and you are willing to pay Graduate School tuition rates, you can request graduate credit for the course by completing the Registration Request for Graduate Credit Form. Include a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) and copies of your transcripts. No more than 40 percent of credits required for the PhD degree program (8-10 credits for MS degree) can be transferred into the program from courses taken at other universities or courses taken at the University of Minnesota as a non-degree seeking student.

Who should I contact if I have any questions about the application process?

Your first point of contact is the Secretary of Graduate Studies in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering. If necessary, your questions may also be directed to the department's Director of Graduate Studies or the Graduate School. For specific questions concerning one of our five research areas, contact the relevant graduate studies committee member.

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