Prospective Students FAQ

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Application and Admission

When will my application go to the graduate program?

Once all elements of your application are complete, your application file will be sent to the graduate program for review by the faculty. You will receive one notice from the Graduate School Admissions Office if something is missing. You will automatically receive email notification when your application is complete and under review by the faculty. The amount of time required for processing your application materials depends on the time of year and whether your materials are complete upon receipt. If your application is complete at the time of submission, it will be sent to the faculty for review in 10 business days. If your application is not complete, the length of time for processing it will increase.

How do I get an application for admission?

You must complete the Graduate School application online. When you submit the online application for admission, it is very important that you contact the major graduate program to learn about additional program requirements necessary to complete the application process.

Can I begin processing an application for admission before I submit the application fee?

The Graduate School Admissions Office is not able to process an application without the fee under any circumstances. It is not possible to submit an online application without credit card payment.

What are the admission requirements?

Any student with a U.S. bachelor's degree or a comparable foreign degree from a recognized college or university may apply to the Graduate School Office of Admissions. Applicants with the necessary background for their chosen major field, an excellent scholastic record from an approved college or university, and appropriate professional qualifications may be admitted for graduate work on recommendation of the graduate faculty in the proposed major field and approval of the director of graduate studies. The Graduate School operational standard for admission is an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00. Many programs prefer a higher GPA. Applicants should consult the program to which they are applying for more specific information about admission standards.

What are the requirements for submitting transcripts?        

You must list on your online application each institution of higher learning from which you have earned credit. You must also submit transcripts or academic records for each of these institutions. This includes partial or incomplete transcripts.

Transcripts or academic records must be uploaded directly to the ApplyYourself online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not submit paper or fax copies of this material because it will cause delays in your application processing. Click here for more detailed instructions.

All transcripts and academic records uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial. You will only be asked to submit official transcripts or academic records if you are admitted. These must be submitted before you register and enroll at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have attended universities that issue official transcripts on request, you must have these materials sent to the Graduate School Admissions Office directly from the institution. An official, certified (signature and seal) English translation should be attached if the transcript is not in English.

Applicants who have been previously enrolled at the University of Minnesota (any campus) can obtain free electronic copies of their transcripts from UMD OneStop student services. Applicants will upload these directly into AY. However, if they are admitted, these applicants do not have to pay for an official transcript. The Graduate School Admissions Office will retrieve official copies for them.

Who makes the admission decision?

The final admission decision is made by the graduate program. The Graduate School Admissions Office processes your application materials and when complete sends them to the program for review by the faculty. The Admissions Office also is responsible for sending you official notice of the faculty decision.

How long until I get a decision letter from the Graduate School?

When you receive the official decision letter is dependent upon a number of factors. If you are applying to a program that reviews applications continually, you may receive a decision in 4-6 weeks. However, you should factor in semester breaks and summer vacation, which may limit the number of faculty available to review applications.

If you apply to a program that has an early deadline and then reviews all applications at one time, even if you apply early you may not receive a decision letter from the Admissions Office for several months. The highest volume of decision letters are sent out in February-April.

Can I appeal if my application is rejected?

If you wish to appeal the decision on your application for admission, please contact your graduate program directly.

What are the Graduate School and graduate program application deadlines?

Many programs and departments have deadline dates as early as December or January, so it is extremely important to know the application deadline for your program of interest. Applicants who submit after deadlines might NOT be considered for admission. To avoid delays, it is strongly recommended that you complete your application several weeks before the deadline.

Please note that the ApplyYourself (AY) online application will have a closing date as well. These dates are:
Fall semester - July 15
Spring semester - November 15
Summer session - March 15

In most cases, deadlines that occur on a holiday or weekend will be extended through the next regular workday.
Some programs do not consider applications during the spring or summer. While applicants are encouraged to apply for admission well in advance of the term in which they wish to begin their graduate study, please do not apply more than one year in advance of the proposed entry date.

Can I apply to more than one graduate program at the same time?

You may apply for admission to as many graduate programs as you wish. However, you must apply online separately for each graduate program, pay the application fee for each application, and submit a complete set of application transcripts/credentials for each separate application.

How can I defer admission?

If you are accepted into a program and would like to request postponing your admission, you should contact the program directly.

Should U of M students upload their own unofficial transcripts?

Yes. Applicants who have been previously enrolled at the University of Minnesota (any campus) can obtain free electronic copies of their transcripts through their MyU portal, or from UMD OneStop student services. Applicants will upload these directly into AY. However, if admitted, these applicants do not have to pay for an official transcript. The Graduate School Admissions Office will retrieve official copies for them.

Financial Aid and Fees

How can I apply for financial assistance, and what types are available?

The University offers a variety of ways for graduate students to receive financial assistance. The most common method is through graduate assistantships that are awarded by individual graduate programs. Application must be made directly to the program to be considered for an assistantship. Assistantships are usually 50% or 25% positions that require doing teaching or research under the direction of a faculty member. In addition to the assistantship salary, tuition is covered at the rate of twice the percentage of the appointment. For example, a 50% assistant is given 100% of tuition. The University also covers a portion of an assistant's health insurance costs; 95% of a 50% assistant's health insurance costs are paid by the University, and a 25% assistant receives 47.5% of health insurance costs. Dependent coverage is also available. You should consult your program for information and assistantship application materials.

Fellowships at the Graduate School and program level are also available as financial aid. The Graduate School Fellowship requires nomination by your major program. Contact your program for information about program fellowships.

What does it cost to attend UMD?

The current tuition rates can be viewed on the OneStop Costs, Tuition, and Fees page.


What are the institution codes for standardized tests such as GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL? Should I use my program/department code instead?

The Duluth campus GRE institutional code is 6873. Your academic program or department may have its own GRE code which can likely be found on its website. However, if you are not sure, the 6873 code will suffice.

What is the GRE Subject Test? Do I need to take it?

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores may be required by your program of interest. To check program-specific GRE requirements, visit the program's admissions instructions page.

The GRE General Test is administered through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). It is recommended that applicants complete the GRE test in the senior year of undergraduate work or several months before submitting an application for admission. Please note that ETS will not forward GRE scores that are more than five years old to institutions. Some graduate programs or departments may accept examinee's reports provided by applicants that are more than five years old, but you should check with your program of interest regarding its policy.

How do I check on the status of my official GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL scores?

If you would like to check the status of your test scores (e.g. TOEFL, GRE, etc.) you will need to check the applicant copy of your online application. Please note that it may take several days after you submit your online application for your official scores to be uploaded electronically and appear on this document. Keep in mind it will take a few weeks for ETS to send your scores to our institution after you take your test, so if you do not see any information in the official scores section you may want to check again on a future date. However, any information you entered in the Test Information - Self Reported section of your online application will appear on this PDF. Graduate programs may use this information if your official scores have not yet arrived, so you may want to contact your program of interest directly to check if they can do this.

What are the TOEFL operational standards for admission?

The TOEFL, MELAB, 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. Please note that individual programs may have higher TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS requirements, so you should check with your program of interest for any specific scores that might be listed.

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. If you have already applied and want to check if our office has received your official TOEFL scores, check the applicant copy of your online application.

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.

English Language Proficiency Operational Standards

  • TOEFL Internet based test - 79 or above with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading
  • Paper based test - 550 or above
  • IELTS 6.5 with 6.5 section scores for both writing and reading
  • MELAB 80

*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.

Student Life

How can I get connected with or contact current students?

The best source of information for getting connected with current students is the graduate program to which you are applying. International Student Services (ISS) also provides a mentoring program for international students.

What is the weather in Duluth like?

  • Annual precipitation: 30.0 inches.
  • Annual snowfall: 77.6 inches.
  • Average January low temp.: -2.2°F.
  • Average July high temp.: 77.1°F.

Where can I get housing information?

Kirby Student Center maintains a list of off-campus housing for informational purposes only. There are also unofficial Facebook sites for Duluth student housing, as well as classified listings. The University does not endorse any particular off-campus housing provider, and students are expected to thoroughly inspect any housing situation before signing a contract. Individual graduate programs may also have information on housing options.