Printed on: 08/22/2017. Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY

Admission for Master's and Doctoral Degrees

Responsible University Officer(s):

  • Executive Vice President and Provost

Policy Owner(s):

  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education

Policy contact(s):

Date Revised:

June 2017

Effective Date:

May 2012

POLICY STATEMENT

The University establishes minimum admission requirements for master’s and doctoral degrees. Colleges and graduate programs may set additional or more stringent requirements (e.g., an undergraduate GPA standard). Colleges and graduate programs must publish and maintain their admission requirements.

Graduate programs make all admission decisions. All applicants must be informed of admission decisions. The central graduate admissions system is used to deliver the official confirmation of admission decisions to applicants on behalf of the graduate program.

I. General Admission Requirements for Degree Seeking Students

  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country by the time of their matriculation in their graduate program.
    1. Students may be admitted and may matriculate in a graduate program at the discretion of the program while simultaneously completing their baccalaureate work, with the program’s permission, if they have no more than seven semester credits or two courses remaining to complete their bachelor’s degree.

      If the student does not complete the work for the baccalaureate degree by the end of the first term of enrollment in the graduate program, a hold is placed on the student’s graduate registration until the graduate program determines that the student has completed the baccalaureate degree.

      At the discretion of the program, current University students in officially approved integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree programs may be admitted to the master’s program prior to the award of the bachelor’s degree if allowed under the admission requirements of the integrated program.

  2. International applicants must meet the minimum standards for English language proficiency of the University as maintained and published by the central graduate admissions office. Colleges and programs may set higher minimum standards for English language proficiency.
  3. Applicants must provide unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. If they are admitted, applicants must provide official transcripts before they register and enroll at the University.
  4. Applicants may be admitted on a trial basis, contingent upon satisfying specific requirements. Graduate programs that choose to admit applicants on a trial basis must ensure that these requirements are communicated in the notification of admission. A timeframe for satisfying the requirements must be specified. If the specified requirements are not satisfied before the expiration of the timeframe, the student may be terminated from the program.

II. Admission for Graduate Professional Development

Colleges and graduate programs may offer admission for Graduate Professional Development to applicants who wish to enroll in a graduate program but who may not wish to complete a graduate degree. Applicants for Graduate Professional Development must apply and be admitted to the college and program in which they plan to pursue coursework. Applicants for Graduate Professional Development must meet the admission requirements specified in I.a, b, c, and d.

III. Concurrent or Sequential Graduate Degrees

Applicants who wish to pursue degrees concurrently in different graduate programs and/or different colleges must apply and be admitted to each college and program in which they plan to pursue a degree.

Applicants who have already been awarded a University graduate degree or a post-baccalaureate certificate and are seeking to obtain an additional degree must apply and meet the admissions criteria for their new graduate program and/or degree objective.

IV. Deferred Admission

Admitted applicants may request, from the graduate program, a deferral of their admission to graduate study for up to one full academic year without re-applying. If the deferral is approved and matriculation does not occur within the one-year period, the applicant must re-apply.

V. Acceptance of Financial Support

In the event that a college or graduate program offers an applicant admitted for fall semester financial support, the student may not be compelled by the college or graduate program to accept the financial support offer prior to April 15 of the year of admission. [Council of Graduate Schools’ Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants]

VI. University Employees

In order to protect against potential conflict of interest, University employees holding academic appointments above the rank of instructor or research fellow must obtain permission from their college and supervisor or department chair to accept an offer of admission to pursue a University master’s or doctoral degree in the same field, or a closely related field, in which they are also employed.

VII. Exceptions

  1. This policy does not apply to the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M. and M.B.A. (Twin Cities) degrees.
  2. Programs may request from their collegiate dean or unit’s chief academic officer (or designee), an exception to the requirement that admitted students hold a U.S. Bachelor’s or comparable degree.
  3. Programs may request from their collegiate dean or unit’s chief academic officer (or designee) an exception to the required use of the University’s central graduate admissions application system for admission, readmission, and changes to master’s and doctoral degree objectives.

REASON FOR POLICY

The University’s admission standards are highly selective and competitive, and reflect the institution’s identity as a leading public and land grant research university. Decisions on admission should ensure that students admitted to a program have appropriate preparation for graduate work in a particular discipline and at the intended degree level.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-625-1303

DEFINITIONS

Recognized college or university
A college or university in another country that is comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. This information is available through the University’s central graduate admissions office.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Colleges
  • Publish and maintain admission requirements.
  • Ensure that all information relevant to enrollment (e.g., legal, terms of financial support, if awarded) is communicated to the student in the collegiate confirmation of admission.
  • Review letters generated by the University’s central graduate admission application system and letters sent by graduate programs to ensure conformity with collegiate policy and University policy governing financial support.
  • Request exceptions from the Executive Vice President and Provost (or designee) to the requirement to use the University’s central graduate admission application system.
Programs/Departments
  • Publish and maintain admission requirements.
  • Provide timely communication with applicants throughout the admissions process.
  • Request exceptions from their collegiate dean, or the unit’s chief academic officer (or designee) to the requirement that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent degree from a recognized college or university in another country.
  • Request from their collegiate dean, or unit’s chief academic officer (or designee) an exception to the required use of the University’s central graduate admissions application system for admission, readmission, and changes to master’s and doctoral degree objectives.
Central Graduate Admissions Office
  • Authenticate and review domestic and international transcripts and credentials.
  • Advise programs on comparability of non-U.S. colleges and universities with regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities.
  • Advise programs regarding admission of students not meeting the University’s minimum standards for English language proficiency.
  • Issue the official confirmation of admission decisions on behalf of the program using the central graduate admissions application system.
  • Issue the student visa form I-20.
  • Create the official University student record for admitted applicants.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
June 2017 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. 1. Clarifies the language specifying the role of colleges, programs, and central graduate admissions system in making admission decisions. 2. Specifies the standards for minimum English language proficiency for international applicants. 3. Clarifies the requirements for admission without a baccalaureate degree to specify access for all applicants, not just U of MN undergraduates, and associated completion timeline for outstanding requirements. 4. Specifies the responsibilities related to conditional admission programs, and clarifies “admitted on a trial basis” language.
Effective:
May 2012 - New Policy, Comprehensive Review.
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