Admissions Information

Thank you for your interest in the Water Resources Science (WRS) graduate program!

The admission process is a holistic review of your entire complete application. All application materials, including transcripts, must be submitted electronically through the online application system (see below). We admit graduate students for fall semester. Rarely are applicants considered for the spring semester. 

Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships

Admission is based on the quality of an individual’s application and the successful placement with a faculty advisor. Individual faculty make the final selection of the ideal student for their projects. Those admitted students are fully-funded by their faculty advisor through research assistantships and/or teaching assistantships. Because of this, we strongly encourage you to communicate directly with faculty members whose research interests match your own. It is imperative that you indicate your preferred faculty adviser in your Personal Statement (see below). Review our list of faculty.

In rare cases, faculty may agree to advise a self-funded student for a Plan B Masters. Review Alternative Funding Opportunities if this is an option for you.

Research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, and grants are available on a competitive basis. Graduate assistants receive tuition waiver coverage at double their appointment percentage; this means that a 50% research or teaching assistantship results in a 100% waiver of tuition. In addition, graduate assistants receive stipends and subsidized health insurance fees.

Required Experience for Admission

  • A Bachelor's degree, preferably in a physical, chemical, biological, or environmental science or engineering program
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 grading scale). However, consideration will be given to competitive applications with a lower GPA when student circumstances warrant.
  • International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. Students are required to submit scores from one of the following proficiency exams. Please note that the exam date should be within two years of graduate program start date.
    • TOEFL – minimum: 79 (Writing Subscore: 21 and Reading Subscore: 19)
    • IELTS – minimum: 6.5 (Writing Subscore: 6.5 and Reading Subscore: 6.5)
    • MELAB – minimum: 80

Recommended Experience

To be successful in the required graduate courses, applicants should have at least:

  • two courses each in calculus, chemistry, and physics
  • one course in the biological sciences
  • some experience in statistics

Stronger preparation in certain subjects as required for the student's area of research. For example, students wishing to focus on quantitative hydrology should have a math background that includes differential equations.

The academic background of entering students are reviewed by a faculty admissions committee and the Directors of Graduate Studies, who may recommend additional coursework for students deemed admissible, but having deficiencies in specific subjects.

Application Process and Materials

All application materials must be submitted directly to the online application system. A complete application includes ALL of the following.

  1. Create an application, upload your transcripts and credentials, and pay the application fee. Thoroughly review Your Guide to Graduate School Admissions for instructions and a link to the application.
    • Our program can not waive the application fee for you.
  2. GRE scores are not required and will not be reviewed if submitted.
  3. International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency.
  4. Personal Statement should be a maximum of 2 pages and include your general and specific research interests, career goals, and the faculty you are interested in working with (having as an advisor).
  5. Diversity Statement should be 1-2 pages and highlight your distinct experiences concerning diversity and equity. This statement is useful for potential scholarships.
  6. Letters of recommendation should come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. We require 3 letters.  Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable. Paper copies are not accepted. Recommenders should address the following points:
    • Your academic aptitude and past record;
    • The capacity in which they know you -- as teacher, research advisor, work supervisor, etc.
    • Their prognosis for your ability to succeed in graduate-level coursework and research.
  7. Resume or CV should include a list of:
    • Research projects
    • Past employment and teaching positions you have held
    • Leadership roles on your previous campus (sports, clubs, committees)
    • Publications, reports, presentations, and relevant awards or honors
    • Volunteering or community engagement
  8. WRS does not require document uploads for the Writing Sample, Description of Research/Work Experience, or Other Credentials.

There is only one application to Water Resources Science, no matter which campus (Twin Cities or Duluth) you wish to attend (if indeed you have a preference). To find the Water Resources Science program on the list, please select "Not Sure" as the campus. Denote in your Personal Statement your campus preference.

Application Questions?

All applicants are encouraged to connect with Tracy Fallon, the graduate program coordinator, during the application process.

Email: [email protected]
Voicemails: 612.624.7456