Information for Prospective Graduate Students
Application deadline for Fall Semester admittance is January 5 of the same year.
Lake Superior from space
We welcome applications from students interested in pursuing graduate degrees at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. The Department of Geological Sciences at UMD has active research programs in basin analysis, economic geology, glacial geology, hydrology, isotope geochemistry, geophysics, limnology, paleoclimatology, petrology, planetary geology, sedimentology, structural geology, and tectonics. UMD is admirably situated for a wide variety of geologic interests. We have active programs around the globe and on the terrestrial planets. In addition, Duluth has an outstanding natural environment in which to live, with great cultural and recreational opportunities.
Grad student Michael Rieser conducting field work in the Mojave Desert
UMD Geological Sciences offers programs leading to the M.S or Ph.D. within the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota. Faculty and students have a close working relationship. Programs are tailored to the area of the student's specialization, in consultation with a faculty advisor. We strive for research that balances field, laboratory, and theoretical studies. Although most candidates for advanced degrees will have completed a bachelor’s degree in geology, geophysics, or related fields, students in other fields of natural science are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have at least one year each of calculus, chemistry, and physics. Field camp and/or undergraduate research experience is recommended.
Shovel Point from Palisade Head, North Shore
The Ph.D. program is a cooperative program with the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Science in the Twin Cities. Students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree with an advisor on the Duluth campus should contact the specific faculty member(s) that you are interested in working with, as well as the Univeristy of Minnesota Duluth Geological Sciences Director of Graduate Studies. (Students must formally apply through our sister department in the Twin Cities, where the Ph.D. program is based, and, in their application they must indicate their desire to be based on the Duluth campus.) For more information on the Ph.D. program, visit the University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences web site.
program is based on the Duluth campus. Faculty and students
have a close working relationship. Programs are tailored to the area
of the student's specialization, in consultation with a faculty advisor.
We strive for research that balances field, laboratory, and theoretical
studies. Our Master's graduates are well prepared for either professional
geological work, in industry, education, government, or for further graduate
Many of our graduate students have financial support in the form of teaching or research assistantships. Students with TA or RA support receive a stipend comparable to those at many universities, a full tuition scholarship, and a health insurance program. Priority for financial support is given to those applications received by January 7th. Once in residence, some support for thesis research and travel to meetings to present the results of one’s research is available. M.S. applicants should expect to complete their degree in two years. Students that are interested in applying for an M.S. degree should browse the department web page and faculty research pages to make sure that UMD is a good fit for their specific research interests. There is also support available with the Graduate Fellows In K-12 Education program for those interested in developing skills in teaching science to non-technical audiences.
A student must formally apply and be accepted through our sister department in the Twin Cities. In your application you must indicate your desire to work with an advisor on the Duluth campus. Therefore, before submitting an application, please contact the UMD faculty member(s) you are interested in working with, and discuss possible research directions and projects with them. Students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree on Duluth campus should also contact the UMD Geological Sciences Director of Graduate Studies. For specific information and application procedures and forms regarding the Ph.D. program, please visit the Department of Earth Sciences website at: http://www.esci.umn.edu/
Application Procedures - M.S.
Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. All materials are submitted electronically through the ApplyYourself application system.Admission decisions are communicated to applicants using this systems.
A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the department's admission committee and your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, diploma copies, etc.) are authenticated by Graduate School officials. You can expect a decision by late March or early April.
A four-year B.S. degree in geology or a related field in engineering, basic science, or mathematics is required with a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for admission.
Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from one of the following English proficiency examinations:
|TOEFL||550 (paper based) or 79 (Internet based)|
Please note that in general we admit graduate students for fall semester only. Only under unusual circumstances will students be allowed to begin their studies at another time during the academic year.
January 7th is the application deadline for applicants who wish to be considered for financial aid. Application received by January 7th will be given priority consideration for admission and financial support. Applications received after January 7th will be considered on a space and funds available basis. March 15th is the final application deadline, though we strongly urge applicants to submit their application well before this deadline.
All application materials should be submitted directly to the ApplyYourself admission system. We cannot review your application until all of the required material listed below are submitted successfully.
Submission of the following indicate a complete application file:
|What:||Where to Submit:||How to Submit:|
Application for Admission
Required fields: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Languages, Awards & Activities, Employment/Residence Information, Financial Support, Applicant Statements #1 & #2, and Recommendations.
Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.
Click here to access the online application.
Department Application for Financial Aid
If you wish to be considered for financial aid from the Geological Sciences program in the form of teaching assistantship, research assistantship, or graduate fellowship, indicate this in the online application. Be sure to identify the Geological Sciences program in the area for potential sources of aid. Also please submit Additional Application information, under Program Supplementary Information, as indicated below.
Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application in the Educational Background section. Do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts. If you cannot obtain electronic copies of your unofficial transcripts directly, you may scan printed copies to create an electronic version (you can scan documents at printing outlets like Kinko's and office supply chains, libraries, friends, academic departments, etc.). 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.
Our department requires official GRE scores for admission. Scores should be entered in the Test Information-Self-Reported field in ApplyYourself, and requests for official score reports should be made to ETS. The University of Minnesota Graduate School institution code is 6873 (MS applicants), and the Duluth campus institution code is 6874 (PhD applicants). Click here for more information about the GRE.
English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)
Letters of Recommendation (3)
Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. Paper copies are not accepted. List individuals you wish to serve as recommenders in the Recommendations section.
Additional Application Information
To help us evaluate students being considered for financial aid, please provide additional pertinent information not included in the application. This may include: (1) teaching experience, including a list of courses you have taught and what level; (2) research experience, including a brief description of your work; (3) relevant work experience; and/or (4) copies of publications, reports or abstracts. Upload this information as a single document into the Graduate Program Additional Application portion on the Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself online application.
In ApplyYourself, you can track the progress of your application, including updates on your files, scores, recommenders list, letters of recommendation, and acceptance.
If you have any additional questions, please see the Graduate School website.
Graduate School Twin Cities Office
University of Minnesota
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0421
Department of Geological Sciences UMD
Director of Graduate Studies
University of Minnesota Duluth
1114 Kirby Drive, 223 Heller Hall
Duluth, MN 55812
Phone: (218) 726-8486