How to Apply to the ISyE Ph.D. Program

Admission Prerequisites

  1. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale is the preferred standard for admission.
  2. English language test scores from either the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE Academic, or Cambridge C1 Advanced proficiency examination are required for applicants whose native language is not English. Information about minimum score requirements can be found at the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency page.

Application Deadlines

Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program should submit their applications by December 15 of the previous year in order to receive full consideration, including consideration for financial aid. All applications received after the December 15 deadline may be reviewed for admission if space is available, however, review is not guaranteed.

Start Your Application

Required Materials

All application materials should be submitted directly to the Online Admissions System. Please do not send us any materials in the mail. We cannot review your application until all of the required materials have been submitted successfully.

Please note: GRE Scores will not be required for applications. All of the following materials are required unless otherwise stated:


Submit your application once you have gathered all of the required materials by following the link above.


Application Fees

You will pay your application fee as the final step in the submission of your application. A separate application fee must accompany each program admission application. Application fees cannot be waived or deferred, and are non-refundable.


Personal Statement

"The Personal Statement should be uploaded in the "Materials" tab of the Online Admissions System. Please see the application itself for guidelines on what to include in your Personal Statement. 



Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application through the "Academic History" tab. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.


Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required to apply to the ISyE PhD program. Please submit letters via the Online Admissions System.


English Language Test Scores

Required for applicants whose native language is not English (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE Academic, or Cambridge C1 Advanced).
Scores should be entered in the "Test Scores" tab in the Online Admissions System. Your scoresheet should be uploaded directly to the Online Admissions System under this same tab "Test Scores." Please do not mail in paper copies of your scoresheet. ETS does not send copies of the scores to the program. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies.


Optional Materials

The following materials are optional and can be uploaded under the "Materials" tab of the Online Admissions System: 

  • Diversity Statement
  • Extenuating Circumstances Statement
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing Sample

You do not need to include these documents in your application in order to apply.

Graduate Application FAQs

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What funding opportunities exist within the ISyE Department for graduate students?

Typically, all of our Ph.D. students receive financial support in the form of graduate assistantships (RA or TA appointments). Assistantship appointments include a stipend and also cover tuition costs as well as provide eligibility to enroll in the Graduate Assistant Health Plan. All admitted Ph.D. students are automatically considered for these positions; there is no separate application required. 

We do not typically have internal department fellowship or scholarship opportunities for ISyE Master's students at this time, though there may be other University or external fellowships that you could seek out at the M.S. level ( You could also seek out on-campus employment outside of the department:

Do I need to submit TOEFL/English language test scores?

English language test scores are typically required for international applicants, as well as for domestic applicants whose first language is not English. Test scores are not required for those who have completed at least 16 semester credits of post-secondary coursework (not including ESL coursework) within the past two years in the United States and/or select other English-speaking countries. For the full explanation of the Graduate School’s English language proficiency requirement, please see their webpage here (the “Coursework” tab lists coursework requirements):

Is it possible to complete the Ph.D. program as a part-time student (for example, working full time while attending as a Ph.D. student)?

In most cases, no. Our Ph.D. program is designed for full-time students, but we have had the occasional student in the past complete it part-time. The time and effort required for research and courses is typically not compatible with also working outside the university. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Director of Graduate Studies Dr. Kevin Leder ( who can provide more information.

I attached unofficial copies of my transcripts/GRE/TOEFL score reports to my application, but the application status still shows “Awaiting” for the scores. What should I do?

As long as an applicant attaches the unofficial copies of their transcripts/GRE/TOEFL scores to their application, that is all that our department needs in order to assess the application. If an applicant is accepted into the program, then we will need to make sure that the official copies get uploaded. Until then, no need to worry about the "Awaiting" status or the “X” in your application checklist for transcripts/scores.

Can the application fee be waived?

Unfortunately, we are unable to waive the application fee. We look forward to receiving your application.

When can I expect a decision on my application?

If applying for admission to our MS programs for the spring semester, you can expect a decision in late October or early November.

If applying for admission to any of our MS programs for the fall semester, you can expect a decision in early March.

If applying for admission to our PhD program for the fall semester, you can expect a decision between early February and mid-April. 

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, please avoid asking for status updates on your application. We will contact you once the committee has reviewed your application and has made a decision.

If you submitted your application far in advance of the application deadline, we may not begin reviewing your application until after the application deadline has passed. On occasion, we will begin reviewing applications prior to the deadline, but this is not guaranteed. Please be patient.

Do I need to reach out to faculty members to secure an advisor prior to applying?

No, you do not need to make connections with faculty members in the department prior to applying. All of our PhD students are admitted with our Director of Graduate Studies as their advisor. After taking courses and getting to know the faculty better during their first year, students can switch advisors in subsequent years if they choose to. 

Questions? We’re here to help.

For assistance with applying or questions about the PhD program, please contact Graduate Program Coordinator Amy Bolis at  or (612) 625-4909.


Questions relating to the admission process should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions through their Request Information portal or by calling (612) 625-3014.


More information about the admissions process can be found by visiting:

Office of Graduate Admissions website