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Application Deadlines

MA & PhD programs:
December 15 (fall admission only)

Any materials received after the deadlines
may not be in your file in time for
departmental review.

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program.  Due to the budgetary challenges resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, our admissions process for fall 2021 has changed.

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Society (GES) is now accepting graduate applications from applicants who currently have a guarantee of multi-year, external funding (e.g. Fulbright fellowship covering two or more years). Applicants deciding to apply must be in touch with a GES faculty member with whom they are interested in working and identify the faculty member in the statement of purpose. Additionally, prior to starting the application process, applicants must contact GES Graduate Program Coordinator, Sara Braun, at  It will be necessary for the applicant to provide proof of external funding (e.g. copy of the funding award notification) before beginning an application.  Upon acceptance, applicants will be informed of a funding package from the University of Minnesota to take effect at the completion of their external award. The deadline for receipt of applications is December 15, 2020. 

All materials are submitted electronically through the University of Minnesota's Graduate School Admissions process. Admission decisions are communicated to applicants using this system.

Visit the Graduate School for application instructions and general information.

If you cannot complete your application through the online application, or if you have any questions, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator, Sara Braun (

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Applications are evaluated once per year, in January, for admission the following fall (we do not admit for the spring semester). All application materials must be received by December 15 of the year prior to the year in which admission is sought (e.g., applications for admission in fall 2021 must be received by December 15, 2020).

Students wishing to begin graduate study other than at the beginning of fall semester may take graduate courses as an adult special student through Continuing Education and Extension (CEE) or during summer session. Students may transfer up to forty percent of the degree coursework from such studies.

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 February or early March.

TOEFL English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose native language is not English or who have not previously completed a degree in English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Preference in admission will be given to students who score at least 100 on the internet-based test with a writing score of 24 or better and a reading score of 22 or better.

As official test scores can take longer to report, you have the option to upload score report documents and/or self-report test scores, registration numbers, and test dates in the “Test Information-Self Reported” section of the online application.