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University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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Admission for Master's and Doctoral Degrees

Effective Date: May 2012
Last Update: May 2012
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
Policy Contact:
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Senate, UMD Graduate Council, UMD Administration Office

Printed on: . Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


The University establishes minimum admission requirements for master’s and doctoral degrees. Colleges and graduate programs may set additional or more stringent requirements (e.g., an undergraduate GPA standard).  Colleges and graduate programs must publish and maintain their admission requirements.

Graduate programs make all admission decisions.  Colleges issue the official confirmation of admission decisions to applicants.

  1. General Admission Requirements for Degree Seeking Students
    1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country.
      1. Students from any University undergraduate program may be admitted and may matriculate in a graduate program while simultaneously completing their baccalaureate work, with the program’s permission, if they have no more than seven semester credits or two courses remaining to complete their bachelor’s degree (including liberal education and distribution requirements).

        If the student does not complete the work for the baccalaureate degree by the end of the second term of enrollment in the graduate program, a hold is placed on the student’s graduate registration until the graduate program determines that the student has completed the baccalaureate degree.

      2. Current University students in officially approved integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree programs may be admitted to the master’s program prior to the award of the bachelor’s degree if allowed under the admission requirements of the integrated program.
    2. International applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements specified by each program and college.  Colleges and programs must publish and maintain their requirements.

      International applicants who have completed 24 quarter credits/16 semester credits within the past 24 months in residence as a full-time student at an accredited U.S. college or university or University-approved foreign country or institution are exempt from demonstrating language proficiency or meeting proficiency standards.

    3. Applicants must provide unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. If they are admitted, applicants must provide official transcripts before they register and enroll at the University.
  2. Conditional Admission

    Applicants may be admitted contingent upon satisfying specific requirements (conditional admission).  Graduate programs that choose to admit applicants conditionally must ensure that these requirements are communicated in the notification of admission.  A timeframe for satisfying the requirements must be specified.  If the specified requirements are not satisfied before the expiration of the timeframe, admission is revoked.

  3. Admission for Graduate Professional Development

    Colleges and graduate programs may offer admission for graduate professional development to applicants who wish to enroll in a graduate program but who may not wish to complete a graduate degree.  Applicants for graduate professional development must apply and be admitted to the college and program in which they plan to pursue coursework. Applicants for graduate professional development must meet the admission requirements specified in I.a., b. and c.

  4. Concurrent or Sequential Graduate Degrees

    Applicants who wish to pursue degrees concurrently in different graduate programs and/or different colleges must apply and be admitted to each college and program in which they plan to pursue a degree.

    Applicants who have already been awarded a University graduate degree or a post-baccalaureate certificate and are seeking to obtain an additional degree must apply and meet the admissions criteria for their new graduate program and/or degree objective.

  5. Deferred Admission

    Admitted applicants may request, from the graduate program, a deferral of their admission to graduate study for up to one full academic year without re-applying.  If the deferral is approved and matriculation does not occur within the one-year period, the applicant must re-apply.

  6. Acceptance of Financial Support

    In the event that a college or graduate program offers an applicant financial support, the student may not be compelled by the college or graduate program to accept the financial support offer prior to April 15 of the year of admission.  [Council of Graduate Schools’ Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants]

  7.  University Employees

    In order to protect against potential conflict of interest, University employees holding academic appointments above the rank of instructor or research fellow must obtain permission from their college and supervisor or department chair to accept an offer of admission to pursue a University master’s or doctoral degree in the same field, or a closely related field, in which they are also employed.

  8. Exceptions
    1. Graduate programs may request exceptions to I.a. from their collegiate dean, or the unit’s chief academic officer (or designee).
    2. This policy does not apply to first professional degrees.  (The first professional degrees are the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, and L.L.M. degrees.)


The University’s admission standards are highly selective and competitive, and reflect the institution’s identity as a leading public and land grant research university. Decisions on admission should ensure that students admitted to a program have appropriate preparation for graduate work in a particular discipline and at the intended degree level.







Primary Contact(s)


Recognized college or university
A college or university in another country that is comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. This information is published and updated by organizations such as NAFSA (National Association for Foreign Student Affairs) and AACRAO (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) and is available through the University’s graduate admissions office.


  • Publish and maintain admission requirements.
  • Issue the official confirmation of admission.
  • Ensure that all information relevant to enrollment (e.g., legal, terms of financial support, if awarded) is communicated to the student in the collegiate confirmation of admission.
  • Review letters generated by the University’s central graduate admission application system and letters sent by graduate programs to ensure conformity with collegiate policy and University policy governing financial support.
  • Request exceptions from the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (or designee) to the requirement to use the University’s central graduate admission application system for reasons such as accreditation requirements or national admissions practices.
  • Publish and maintain admission requirements.
  • Provide timely communication with applicants throughout the admissions process.
  • Request exceptions from their collegiate dean, or the unit’s chief academic officer (or designee) to the requirement that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent degree from a recognized college or university in another country.



May 2012 - New Policy, Comprehensive Review.

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Last modified on November 3, 2014