Graduate Program Admissions

Important Notes:

  • Department application deadline is DECEMBER 15 for admission in fall the following year. All application materials must be submitted by December 15th.
  • Application and all supplementary materials are submitted online through the Graduate Admissions Office. The department will not see your materials until after you have officially submitted your application.
  • Do NOT submit GRE scores. The department does require nor review GRE scores for admission.
  • If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact Jennifer Petrie,


Admission into the program requires that a faculty member agrees to be your advisor.  So, before you begin the application process, please review review the research areas and faculty members in the department, then contact the faculty member(s) directly with whom you wish to work.

Application Instructions


Contact potential advisor.  All ESci Faculty can serve as advisor; Graduate Faculty members outside the department may have limited advising capabilities.


Upload Transcripts - required

  • Under the Academic History section in the online application.
  • Legible copies of unofficial transcripts can and should be uploaded.
  • The department reserves the right to ask for more official transcripts if the unofficial copies are illegible.
  • Students who are offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Upload Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose - required

  • Under Materials section in the online application.

Statement #2 - Diversity - optional

  • Under Materials section in the online application.
  • Diversity statement is not required, however if you feel you can contribute to the diversity of the University's graduate student body, please feel free to submit a statement.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation - required


Additional Materials - optional

  • Under Materials section in the online application.
  • Examples: CV, abstracts, lists of teaching/research experience, publications.

English Language Proficiency - required*

  • International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency.
  • Review English Language Proficiency on Graduate Admissions website.
  • TOEFL Scores - electronic upload through ETS using institution code 6874.
    • Total Score: 79
    • Writing sub-score: 21
    • Reading sub-score: 19

Submit application and pay the application fee.

  • Once application has been submitted, applicants can not make changes. If additional or corrected materials need to be submitted, please contact
    Jennifer Petrie.
  • A waiver of the application fee may be available for some U.S. applicants (click here for details; this is not available to international applicants). 

Department Admissions Policies

  • Relocations funds will be provided to admitted students who accept our offer.
  • Do NOT submit GRE scores. The department does require GRE scores for admission.
  • Most candidates for advanced degrees have completed a Bachelor's degree in geology, geophysics or in the broad field of earth and material sciences.  However, applications from students in fields such as chemistry, physics, biology, or environmental science are strongly encouraged.
  • In general, an outstanding academic record is expected.
  • In all cases, a faculty member must agree to act as advisor before admission can be recommended to the Graduate School.  Therefore, when you find a particular area of research that interests you, it is highly recommended that you contact the professor(s) directly. (Areas of Study and Research).
  • The Statement of Purpose and letters of recommendation also play an important role in the admission process.
    • The needs and wishes of the applicant are considered. However, sometimes we do not offer the desired specialty in this department, or the faculty member in that specialty cannot accept additional students.  Applications are reviewed individually with due consideration for any special circumstances.
  • Application for admission will be considered at any time, but most applications for fall semester admission are received during the preceding September through December.  Applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid must have all application materials for both admission and financial aid submitted by the December 15 deadline.

(copied from the Graduate Admissions web site)

  • The TOEFL or IELTS is generally required of all applicants whose native language is not English, regardless of U.S. Citizenship status.* The operational standards for admission to the University of Minnesota are listed below.
  • The Twin Cities and Rochester campus TOEFL institutional code is 6874.
  • The Duluth campus TOEFL institutional code is 6873.
  • Please note that test scores may not be available for 4-6 weeks after you take the test, and plan accordingly.
  • Official scores will be required prior to enrollment or before we issue visa documents. 
  • All English language test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken. 


Operational Standard


Internet based test 79 or above with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading



*Applicants who have completed 24 quarter credits/16 semester credits (within the past 24 months) in residence as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States or other English-speaking country before entering the University of Minnesota are generally exempted from this requirement.