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Admission Requirements

The minimum requirement for admission into the PhD program is a four year BA or BS from a regionally accredited institution. Students entering into the PhD program with a MA or MS degree may apply for advanced standing. Degrees do not need to be from a geography program; however, students whose previous work is not in geography may be asked to complete specific courses that do not provide graduate credit.

Applicants should understand that the admissions process is competitive and based on a careful assessment of each applicant’s file. We can only offer admission to a limited number of qualified applicants to ensure high quality advising and accessibility to facilities and other resources.

Prospective international students should visit the Graduate School’s International Student page for more information about graduate studies at the University of Minnesota.

Six information sources on which admission decisions are based:

  • The grade point average from all prior undergraduate and graduate study. For admission to the program, the preferred undergraduate GPA is at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), unless other information suggests that the undergraduate GPA may not be a reliable indicator of the applicant's promise. For students entering with a master's degree, the preferred graduate GPA is at least 3.7 (on a 4.0 scale). Compute your GPA.
  • Scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections.
  • Scores for the TOEFL/MELAB/iELTS, if applicable.
  • Breadth and depth of the past program.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • The applicant's statement.