FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about CEGE graduate programs admission

Expand all

What can I do to prepare for applying to the University of Minnesota?

We encourage you to begin early and prepare all materials needed to support your application. 

Contact three of your recommendation providers regarding your letters of recommdation. 

The GRE is not required, so please don't submit it as it will not be looked at when making a decision on your application. 

It is the University of Minnesota policy that non-native speakers of English must have an English Language Proficiency (ELP) score in order to get issued an I-20. To see the methods to demonstrate this go here.

What is the cost of tuition and fees for graduate school?

To find the tuiton cost and fees for graduate school, you will need to look at the Finances tab on the One Stop Student Services, Twin Cities website. 

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.

*Please note although application fees can't be waived, applicants may request that their application fee be paid by the CEGE Department. 

All requests will be evaluated using competative and needs-based criteria. To ensure equitable access, additional consideration will prioritize students who have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, including individuals who have faced adversity, such as societal, economic, or academic disadvantages. 

Applicants must meet or exceed our Admission Prerequisites and upload all application materials into the application. 
Qualifying applicants are invited to complete this form to request that their application fee be paid by the CEGE Department.
Your request must be submitted by 9:00 am CT on November 1st to allow time for processing.
Requests must be made and approved prior to submission of an application. The department is not able to pay an application fee if you have already submitted your application and paid the fee directly.
Applicants who receive confirmation that their fee request has been approved will be advised by November 20th on submission steps to enable the department to pay the application fee directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Questions about this form or the fee payment process can be sent to: Tiffany Ralston, Graduate Program Coordinator at cegesps@umn.edu

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.

Can I have my materials or application evaluated without paying the application fee?

No, we can't review any materials through email and the fee must be paid before an application will be processed and reviewed. 

What are my chances of being admitted into the Civil Engineering MS/PhD program or Geoengineering MS program?

Due to the amount of applications and inquiries we receive during our admissions cycle, we can't evaluate the potential success of each applicant. Admission decisions are made by the admissions committee after an application is complete (submitted, fee paid, all materials turned in). Once the application is submitted, it is considered complete. No changes, additions, or updates will be accepted after submission. 

How do I submit my English Language Scores?

TOEFL: Official TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from ETS to the University of Minnesota. The ETS institution code for the Twin Cities campus is 6874. 

IELTS: Official IELTS scores can be sent electronically to the Graduate Admissions Office. When prompted, please select University of Minnesota Graduate Admissions All Campuses from the drop down menu. Official IELTS can also be sent by physical mail the Graduate Admissions Office. When prompted, please enter the following address: University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate Admissions 309 Johnston Hall 101 Pleasant Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455. 

Duolingo: Refer to the Dulingo Instructions for submitting your scores to the University of Minnesota. 

PTE Academic Score: Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address: University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate Admissions 309 Johnston Hall 101 Pleasant Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

Cambridge C1 Advanced: Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address: University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate Admissions 309 Johnston Hall 101 Pleasant Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

Do you accept photocopies of the English language proficiency test?

Yes, photocopies of the 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 TOEFL score for admission?

The Graduate School requires a minimum score of 79 for the TOEFL IBT. TOEFL scores expire two years after the test is taken. The department requires the same as the Graduate School.

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.

Does the department require a minimum GRE score for admission?

GRE scores are not required. 

How can I add or upload documents to my application after I have already submitted it?

Once your applications is submitted, it is considered final. No further changes, additions, or updates will be accepted after submission.

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 by an email notification. You'll access and download a PDF copy of your I-20 from your application portal. 

International Student Resources

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.

Information on Recommendation Letters

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.

Official Transcripts and Credentials

Unofficial Transcripts and Credentials 

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-April. 

Decisions for spring admissions are generally made between October and November.

How do I accept or decline your offer of admission?

Applicants receiving an offer of admission will receive from the Graduate School Admissions Office a request to complete an enrollment form. 

Applicants who were offered financial assistance have until April 15 to accept or decline the offer and to complete the enrollment form. 

Applicants who received an offer of admission without financial assistance should fill out the enrollment form by June 1. 

I have been admitted to the CEGE Graduate program, but I need to defer. What do I do now?

We understand that plans may change and you may decide to attend the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering (CEGE) for a semester othere than the one for which you were admitted. Common reasons for deferral are for work, travel, military service, religious observance, medical reasons, not being offered funding, or some other opportunity. If you wish to join CEGE in a future term, please read the following. 

You may defer your enrollment for up to one academic year, if requested before the start of the term for which you originally applied. For example: You were admitted Fall 2023. You may defer to spring 2024 or fall 2024. If you need to defer your entry term beyond one year, you must reaply at that time and submit all materials all over again. Please note, any financial offers you receive with your initial admission offer may not carry over. 

Deferral Procedures

To request a deferral the student must: 

  1. Email the graduate program coordinator at  that they would like to defer their admission. cegesps@umn.edu
  2. Let them know which term to defer to.  Remember, you can only defer up to one year. 
  3. This email should be sent 3-4 weeks before the semester starts for processing and planning.  

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

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 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. 

Non-Degree Student

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

Your first point of contact is the Graduate Program Coordinator 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.

Contact information