Admissions and Applications

1. Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering. The PhD degree requires 36 course credits at the 5xxx and 8xxx levels, and 24 thesis credits (research credits). The PhD degree also requires completion of an oral qualifying examination (1st year), a written preliminary examination, an oral preliminary examination, completion of a written dissertation, and an oral dissertation, and an oral dissertation defense.
  • MSME Thesis Based (A). 20 course credits at the 5xxx and 8xxx levels, and 10 thesis credits with a final thesis presentation.
  • MSME Course Based (C). 30 course credits at the 5xxx and 8xxx level.


2. Application Requirements & Deadlines


  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering. - The PhD application requires submission of an unofficial transcript, 3 letters of recommendation, TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers, a single personal/research statement noting specific areas of research interest, diversity statement and a resume/C.V. Applicants are also required to report their GPA using the scale provided by their university (or universities); international applicants should not convert their GPA to the US 4.0 scale. International applicants are also strongly encouraged to list their class rank as part of their resume/C.V., and to append official documentation from their University noting this class rank.
  • MSME Thesis (Plan A) - Similar to PhD applications, MSME Plan A applications require submission of an unofficial transcript, TOEFL or IELTS for non-native English speakers,  and a single personal/research statement noting specific areas of research interest. Submission of a resume/C.V. is optional, and applicants are encouraged to have 3 recommenders submit letters on their behalf, but may have less (at least one is required). All materials are required by the Dec. 15 deadline to be considered for financial support.
  • MSME Course Based Degree (Plan C) - Applicants interested specifically in the Plan C, course based MSME degree, should see the application instructions here.


Please note, for applicants whose native language is not English, the University of Minnesota has the following required minimums:


Minimum Score


550 Paper based, 79 internet based






More details on TOEFL speaking section score requirements for teaching assistants are noted in our department’s application FAQ.


3. Application Process

Deadlines: We admit graduate students for the fall semester only. The priority deadline for financial aid consideration is December 15. Applications received after December 15 will be considered on a space available basis. Applications will no longer be accepted after June 15. 

Required Materials: All application materials should be submitted directly via the Office of Graduate Admissions online application. We will review your application once all of the required materials listed below are submitted successfully. Again, please see our department FAQ for more details on the application process.

A complete application file must include the following:
*GRE Scores are not required and will not be considered.

Required Materials Submission Instructions


All materials and application information are submitted via the Office of Graduate Admissions online application system. Complete all sections of the application. Applications with missing materials may not be considered for admission. Please do NOT send any application materials directly to the department.
Click here to access the online application.

Application fee

Unfortunately we are not able to waive application fees.
Click here for more information about application fees.


Upload unofficial transcripts or academic records directly to the online application Educational Background section. Do not send paper copies of your transcripts. If you are admitted, the University will request official copies of your transcripts.
Click here for more information about transcripts and credentials.

Letters of Recommendation

Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who were the instructor for a course you completed or who served as your research supervisor. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. All letters must be submitted via the online application. The letter of recommendation request is sent directly to the recommender via e-mail. Only letters submitted from official University/employer e-mail addresses will be considered; letters submitted from personal e-mail address (e.g. @gmail) will not be considered.

English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Non-native English speakers must provide ESL test scores.

  • Enter your scores in the “Test Information-Self Reported” section of the online application.
  • Upload your score report with your transcripts. Please do not send paper copies of your score sheet.

You must provide official scores to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Click here for more information about ESL exam scores.

Personal Statement

Upload your Personal Statement as “Statement #1” in the “Applicant Statements” section of the online application. Your personal statement should include your top three areas of interest. 

Diversity Statement Upload your Diversity Statement as “Statement #2” in the “Applicant Statements” section of the online application. Your diversity statement should include your distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences that show your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 


Resume/CV is optional for MSME programs, but required for the PhD application. Upload your Resume/CV in the “Program Supplementary Information” section. Your resume/cv should list publications and awards; do NOT upload publications and awards separately. International applicants are encouraged to include their class rank (if known) in their CV, and to append official documentation noting this class rank.