Graduate Minors

Minors must be declared before the oral prelim exam (PhD) or before the final thesis exam (MS). Most programs require that the minor be declared at the time the Graduate Degree Program Plan (GDP) is submitted, but some require declaration after all courses have been completed - so best practice is to contact the director of graduate studies for the minor.


Graduate students IN Earth Sciences have recently declared minors in Museum Studies and Quaternary Paleoecology, but many more options are available.

Explore free-standing or major-related minors:

Graduate students not in Earth Sciences can get a minor in Earth sciences.

The Quaternary Paleoecology Minor is closely linked with our department as well as several disciplines within the University.


The faculty (see list below) of the graduate minor in Quaternary Paleoecology hold appointments in several departments. Students in this unique program benefit from the broad range of expertise and experience available at a large research university. From their course work in the Quaternary Paleoecology (QP) minor, graduate students learn techniques and approaches from other areas that can be applied to their own research. Students largely develop their curricula in consultation with their major advisors and the director of graduate studies in Quaternary Paleoecology. Students must take a series of required courses, but some requirements may be waived depending on the student's background. 

Financial assistance for travel to meetings and fieldwork expenses may be obtained from a number of sources within the University. The Quaternary Paleoecology minor program offers one or two grad student fellowships on a competitive basis. A key eligibility requirement is active participation in the seminar series. The fellowship is unrestricted but must be used to further the thesis research.

To apply for admission to the minor in Quaternary Paleoecology, a student must first be admitted to a graduate program (Masters or PhD) at the University of Minnesota. Application may be made in writing (email accepted) to the Director of Graduate Studies. An endorsement letter from the major advisor should accompany the application.

Classes taken before admission to the minor program may be included in the required course work for the minor. Students in a PhD program need 12 credits of QP courses and those in a Master's program need 6 credits. The courses must be outside the major field to qualify. A list of allowed courses that fulfill the minor requirements can be downloaded at

For additional information please contact Dr. Emi Ito (, Director of Graduate Studies, Quaternary Paleoecology minor program.


List of QP Minor Faculty