Certificate & MS Application

Application deadline for summer start: April 1st
Application deadline for fall start: July 1st
Application deadline for spring start: November 1st

To help you prepare to apply, we invite you to:

Before You Apply

We invite you to learn more about the MS and Certificate programs by exploring the Professional Programs section of the Department of Writing Studies’ website. General information about graduate admissions at the University of Minnesota is also available in the Graduate School’s Prospective Student Toolkit.  

We strive to offer transparency in our admissions requirements and process. If anything is unclear, if you have questions about our programs or how to apply, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please email writgpc@umn.edu and jhall@umn.edu. Admissions and applications consultations are also available to prospective students through the Graduate School Diversity Office (email gsdo@umn.edu to schedule).

Please review the tuition rates (scroll down to College of Liberal Arts’ college-specific post-baccalaureate tuition rates for the certificate; the MS is offered at the general graduate and professional rate) and fees information. Prospective students considering student loans are strongly advised to contact One Stop Student Services to learn about the differences in the financial aid eligibility of our two programs prior to applying.

Our courses offer many opportunities for collaboration and leverage Google Workspace to coordinate team projects. Previous students suggest that incoming students have proficiency in Google Workspace (e.g., Gmail, Drive, Slides, etc.) prior to their program start. Please contact us with any questions.

Application Review Criteria

In reflection of our commitment to an equitable and inclusive admissions process, we neither require nor consider GRE scores. Nor is there a minimum required GPA. Instead, your application materials are considered holistically. Key considerations during application review include:

  • alignment between your expressed interests and focus of the program;
  • demonstrated understanding of the field of technical communication; and
  • preparedness for success in graduate-level study. 

Application Instructions and Timeline

The Graduate School must receive all of the following materials before your application will be considered. All application materials must be submitted electronically via the online admissions system. 


Apply for Admission

To ensure that the application review process is consistent and fair, we only review the materials listed. Any unsolicited or extra materials will be redacted from the application packet reviewed by faculty.
Applications will be reviewed by program faculty after the deadline for the admission term selected on the application. Applicants can anticipate receiving a decision on their application 2 to 3 weeks after the application deadline at the email address provided in the admission system. We ask that applicants who receive an offer of admission plan to complete the form to accept or decline the offer within 2 weeks of receipt.
Please contact our graduate programs coordinator at 612-624-4761 or writgpc@umn.edu if you have any questions.

Questions or Access Requests

Please contact Allie Cooperman, Graduate Programs Coordinator at writgpc@umn.edu with any questions or requests.


Application Requirements

Application parts How to submit
Graduate School Application

Please read the Graduate School’s application instructions and apply online. All materials should be submitted through the Graduate School’s online admissions system.

MS in Scientific & Technical Communication
Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History, Employment, Recommendations, and Materials. GRE scores are not required for the MS.

Certificate in Technical Communication
Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical  Information, Personal Background, Academic History, Employment, and Materials. Letters of Recommendation and GRE scores are not required for the certificate program.

Academic History
Required for MS & Certificate
Upload unofficial transcripts or academic records from each undergraduate and graduate institution you attended to the Academic History section of the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English.
Please do not mail paper copies of your transcripts; you do not need official transcripts or academic records for the initial review. If you are admitted, the University will request official copies.

Test Scores and English Language Proficiency

GRE scores are neither required nor considered for the MS or the certificate programs.
The Graduate School has specific English language proficiency requirements for submitting a graduate program application.

Materials: Statements
Required for MS & Certificate

Statement of Purpose: In no more than 500 words, articulate your academic and career goals. The goal of this statement is to give the program faculty and staff a clear sense of who you are, what your goals are, and why you think the University of Minnesota is the best place for you to pursue your graduate education. Consider the following questions (note: you do not need to answer all):

  • Why do you want to study technical communication at a graduate level?
  • Why have you chosen to apply to the University of Minnesota? What about our program is exciting to you and why?
  • What interests you most about the field of technical communication?
  • What experiences, training, or education have prepared you to succeed in graduate-level work in technical communication?
  • What are your long-term professional goals and how will our graduate program help you pursue those goals?


The primary audience of this statement is the MS/Certificate graduate faculty and staff.

Diversity Statement: The Department of Writing Studies, in alignment with the broader University of Minnesota-Twin Cities community, recognizes that equity, diversity, and inclusion must be addressed at the individual, community, and systemic levels. Encouraging equity, diversity, and inclusion happens in representation, development of personal awareness, practice, and policy. The department actively seeks to engage in creating socially just learning and workplace environments and opportunities. We encourage applicants to review the Department of Writing Studies’ Equity and Diversity Statement.

In no more than 500 words, explain how you are prepared to engage in our program’s commitment to equity, diversity, access, inclusion, and justice. Consider the following questions (note: you do not need to answer all):

  • What does enacting diversity, equity, inclusion, and access look like for you? How might those commitments show up in the work that you’ll do as a graduate student and member of the University of Minnesota community?
  • In what ways are you prepared to advance equity, access, inclusion, justice, and diversity in your graduate studies?
  • How might your perspective, experiences, training, and/or skills contribute to the diversity of the university's graduate student body?


The primary audience of this statement is the MS/Certificate graduate faculty and staff.

Extenuating Circumstances Statement: This statement is optional but will be taken into consideration if submitted.
Materials: Writing samples (2)
Required for MS & Certificate
Upload two (2) writing samples into the “Other Materials” portion of the Materials section of the online admissions system.
At least one sample must demonstrate your writing proficiency. We recommend submitting published works; however, undergraduate work is also acceptable. To demonstrate your verbal and visual proficiency, the second sample may include link(s) to other media such as graphics, photographs, slides, artwork, or audio or videotape.
Recommendations (3)
Required for MS Only
Letters of Recommendation (3 letters) are requested and submitted via the Graduate School's online application system. One or more of your recommendations should come from current/former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable.
Note: You are encouraged to communicate submission deadlines directly to recommenders. The automated email request message will not communicate that information.
Application Fee As specified by the Graduate School. Information about fees.
Application Status
Check your application status.