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. We admit graduate students for fall semester. Seldom are applicants considered for the spring semester. 

Campus Preference - 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.

Faculty Advisers

Individual faculty make the final selection of their graduate students. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to communicate directly with faculty members whose research interests match your own. Admission is based on the quality of an individual’s application, and the successful placement with a faculty adviser. This means that a very strong applicant could be denied admission simply because there is not a match with a faculty adviser who has an opening for a new graduate student. Some faculty may be agreeable to advise an unfunded student.

Note: Make sure to indicate your preferred faculty adviser in your Personal Statement (see below).

Required Experience

  • 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

  • At least two courses each in calculus, chemistry, and physics, and at least one course in the biological sciences.
  • Some experience or background 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.

Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Materials: How to submit:


Required fields:

  • Personal Information
  • Application Information
  • Educational Background
  • Languages
  • Awards & Activities
  • Employment/Residence Information
  • Financial Support
  • Applicant Statements #1 (Personal Statement), Applicant Statement #2 (Diversity Statement), and recommendations.
    • Personal Statement- 2 pages - include your general and specific research interests, career goals, faculty you are interested in working with, and identify faculty you have been in contact with.
    • Diversity Statement- 1-2 pages

Application Fee

Click here for more information about fees.


Students are required to submit unofficial academic transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges or universities. This may include any transfer coursework from other institutions. Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application.

International students should upload a translated version in English. If the transcript is not in English, W.E.S (World Education Services), offers this service.

Please do not mail paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for the initial review.

If you are admitted, the Graduate School will then request official copies of this material.

GRE Scores

GRE scores are no longer required for this program.  If you include them, they will not be reviewed.

3 Letters of

Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. 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.

Recommender information is added electronically to your application. They will be notified via email to complete and upload their recommendation after you submit your completed application. You may at any time enter your application and send them an automated reminder email.

Resume or CV

Consider listing the following items on your Resume or CV:

  • Research projects
  • Teaching positions you have held
  • Past employment
  • Leadership roles on your previous campus (sports, clubs, committees)
  • Courses you have taught and their level
  • Publications, reports, presentations, and relevant awards or honors
  • Volunteering or community engagement

Additional Information for WRS Assistantships

Click here to complete Additional Information for Water Resources Assistantships form.docx and upload it to the Graduate Program Additional Application in the Program Supplementary Information section in the online application system.

This form assists with the determination of some areas of financial support and adviser placement. You may upload this to your application.

NOTE:  The application deadline is December 1st.  This form still has the old deadline of Dec. 15th on it and is wrong.

English Language test scores
(TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Click here for more information about TOEFL Scores.

WRS does not require document uploads for the Writing Sample, Description of Research/Work Experience, or Other Credentials.

Application Deadline

Fall 2021 - We are still accepting applications for the coming fall semester.  Students are strongly encouraged to have conversations with faculty doing research of interest to them before applying.  Contact Tracy for any admission questions (

Fall 2022 - The priority deadline for Fall 2022 is December 1st.  This is in part due to deadlines for certain fellowships.  All applications, no matter when submitted, will be reviewed and are eligible for assistantships.


If you have any additional questions, please contact:

Tracy Fallon, WRS Graduate Program Coordinator
Voicemail: (612) 624-7456