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How to Apply

Apply from September 10 - December 15

Our program is designed for scholars who intend to pursue careers in university-level research. For prospective students interested in Spanish or Portuguese interpreting or language instruction, please consider the graduate programs in the College of Education and Human Development.


All application materials must be submitted electronically through the online application system (unless indicated otherwise) by the deadline, December 15. Please refer to the application checklist below for important details. Applicants are accepted for admission fall semester only.

For more information pertaining to the Graduate School and the University of Minnesota, visit the Graduate School's page for prospective students.

All materials EXCEPT the voice sample must be submitted via our online application. Please send your voice sample to
To request a waiver to the application fee, please fill out this short form.


Required Materials:

  1. University of Minnesota Application & Fee
  2. Department Application
  3. Transcripts
  4. TOEFL Test Scores
  5. Personal Statement
  6. Diversity Statement
  7. Resume/CV
  8. Writing Sample
  9. Letters of Recommendation x3
  10. Five Minute Voice Sample
University of Minnesota Application & Fee

Required fields

  • Program Selection
  • Term Selection
  • Biographical Information
  • Personal Background
  • Academic History
  • Test Scores
  • Materials (described below)
  • Recommendations
  • Signature

Employment information, GRE scores and Description of Research are not neededMore information about fees. To request a fee waiver, please fill out this short form.

Department Application

Complete the Department Application. Upload in the "Materials" tab under Graduate Program Additional Material.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application under the "Academic History" tab. International transcripts must be translated into English by accredited/certified translation service. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts; 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. Important information about uploading your transcripts and credentials.


The TOEFL is only required for non-native English speakers who have not attended or received a degree from a recognized institution of higher learning in the US. Test date must be within 2 years of the program start date. The University standards are:

  • TOEFL: Internet based test, 79 or above with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading

    Official TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Minnesota. The ETS institution code for the Twin Cities campus is 6874.

  • MELAB: minimum score of 80

    Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address:

    Graduate School Admissions Office
    University of Minnesota
    309 Johnston Hall
    101 Pleasant Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN  55455

  • IELTS: minimum score of 6.5

    Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address:

    Graduate School Admissions Office
    University of Minnesota
    309 Johnston Hall
    101 Pleasant Street SE
    Minneapolis, MN  55455

Personal Statement

A 1–3 page statement describing your background and interests, the area in which you intend to specialize, why you are interested in our program, previous research experience, faculty with whom you want to work, and your future plans (in and beyond graduate study). This may be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Upload in the "Materials" tab under Personal Statement. 

Diversity Statement

In the "Materials" tab, there is a section to upload a Diveristy Statement. This is not required unless you believe you qualify for the DOVE (Diversity of Views & Experiences) Fellowship, please submit a statement explaining your candidacy. Please label it Diversity Fellowship Statement. This must be written in English.


Please include:

  1. If you have had teaching or research experience, a list of courses you have taught and at what level and/or a description of research projects to which you have contributed.
  2. A list of original works, if any, including published papers, theses or unpublished materials, or other pertinent materials. Upload in the "Materials" tab under Resume/CV
Writing Sample

A research paper written for a course that best represents your interests and skills in relation to the field in which you are applying. May be written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, and can be of any length. Upload in the "Materials" tab under Writing Sample.

Letters of Recommendation

Three references/letters are required written by professors with whom you have had close academic association and who can judge your promise as a graduate student and scholar. It is highly preferred that all recommendations are sent via the application recommendation submission system; however, if a reviewer is unable, they may send a paper copy to the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. Please note that you are responsible for reminding reviewers to send recommendations by the deadline.

Five Minute Voice Sample

The objective of the voice sample is to demonstrate your speaking skills in Spanish or Portuguese if you are a native speaker of English. If you are a native speaker of Spanish or Portuguese, please demonstrate your speaking skills in English. On the voice sample: Identify yourself and the degree for which you are applying. You may talk about your studies, future plans, or share an interesting anecdote. Applicants are encouraged to use as wide a range of grammatical structures as possible and a diverse range of vocabulary. Please use a Windows compatible format (Mp3 preferred) and attach the file to an email that includes your first and last name. Do not email your voice sample to the Graduate School. It should ONLY be submitted to the following email: