Graduate Admission

Applications should be submitted through the University of Minnesota Graduate School website.

Important application deadlines for Fall are:

  • December 1: for full consideration of all fellowship and assistantship opportunities.
  • May 1: for department graduate assistantships

Applications may be submitted at any time, but the above deadlines are for maximizing funding opportunities. Prospective graduate students should examine the Faculty/Staff and Departmental Research web pages to become familiar with the ongoing activities of the Department and select an area of study for their thesis.

Writing a Strong Diversity Statement

A diversity statement can be very useful for the review committee and for potential scholarships. It's an opportunity to showcase your distinct experiences and commitment you are bringing to the University concerning diversity and equity. Here are some quick tips if you are writing a diversity statement: 

  • Tell your story. Reviewers are looking for authentic understanding of your actual experience. Don't try to stretch or make it about someone else. 
  • Focus on commonly accepted understandings of diversity and equity. Don't tone down your statement by trying to write about how hard it is to be a Kansan in Missouri, for example. 
  • Avoid false parallels. For example, if you do not have experiential knowledge of racism, then do not claim it. Forus on writing about what you do know. 
  • Write about specific things you have done to help others. In addition to explaining your own background and story, write about how you have helped others and your committment to the larger community. 
  • Highlight any programs for underrepresented people you've participated in. This is another great way to show your commitment and empathy. 
  • Write about your commitment to working toward achieving equity and enhancing diversity. Describe why this is important to you. 
  • Write specifically for this program. Take into consideration the specific challenges this field and community faces and why your experiences here would increase/benefit diversity and equity efforts. 

These tips are pulled from an article written by Tanya Golash-Boza. Read the full article here > 

Requirements for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. Major degree in LAAS

All students need to have a total of at least six of the following courses for admission into the program. Students admitted with deficiencies would be provided with a list of courses they are required to take before the completion of their degree. This list would be developed by the Directors of Graduate Studies Program in consultation with the student's faculty advisor.

Basic Sciences

Students are expected to have taken a minimum of four of the following courses (or their equivalent):

  • Calculus I (MATH 1271 or MATH 1142)
  • Linear Algebra (MATH 2243)
  • Physics I (PHYS 1011) and II (PHYS 1012 or ES 3131)
  • Intro Biology (BIOL 1009)
  • Chemistry I (CHEM 1061/1065) and II (CHEM 1062/1066)
  • Intro Statistics (STAT 3011)

Environmental Sciences

Students are expected to have taken a minimum of two of the following (or similar) courses:

  • Issues in Environment (ESPM 1011)
  • The Atmosphere (ESPM 1425)
  • Intro Soils (SOIL 2125)
  • Earth and Its Environments (ESCI 1001)
  • Intro to Microbiology (ESPM 3612 or MICB 3301) or Intro Ecology (BIOL 3407)

The admission process in LAAS is a holistic review of your entire complete application. Please find instructions and submit your application electronically through the University's online application system.

Applicants seeking admission to the LAAS Program must:

  1. Complete the Departmental Summary Form (PDF or Google Doc) and upload it under Graduate Program Additional Application in the Program Supplementary Information section in ApplyYourself.
  2. List Recommendation Provider information for three letters of recommendation and your recommendation provider will be sent instructions regarding completion and submission of this form to the program.
  3. Applicants for whom English is a second language should have completed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Twin Cities TOEFL institutional code is 6874. Unofficial scores should be entered in the Test Information-Self-Reported field in ApplyYourself. Have your official scores sent to the University of Minnesota.
  4. Complete the Graduate School Application Form electronically.
  5. Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English.Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.
  6. If applicable: Upload your publications and articles into the Other Information portion on the Graduate Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself online application.

Of note, 1) LAAS no longer requires the GRE and scores, if submitted, will not be used in determining admission selection; and 2) the graduate school will not forward your documents to us until they have received all relevant transcripts and registration fees. You could also send copies directly to us as this may alert us to fellowship opportunities and/or provide us with an early idea of a likely match with particular professors.

If you have already applied and want to check if our office has received your official scores, click here.

Since Graduate School Fellowship applications must be received by the department by December 1, and because we receive many more requests for graduate assistantships then we can possibly support, you will have the greatest chance of receiving a fellowship or assistantship if you apply by December 1. Applications may, however, be submitted at any time in the year and will be reviewed December 1 and May 1.

If you are having trouble electronically applying, you may send your materials to Kari Jarcho at