How to Apply: PhD

Application Deadline

Postmarked by December 1


All applicants to the PhD in Public Affairs will automatically be considered for financial support. Students admitted to the doctoral program will receive financial support in the form of tuition fellowships, stipends, or research or teaching assistantships or will be supported through innovative partnerships with research collaborators. Because the financial support pool is limited, admission to the PhD program is selective and highly competitive. Continuation of funding will be dependent on annual progress towards the doctoral degree.

Graduate School Application

An online application to the Graduate School is required. Graduate School application fee is $75 for domestic applications, $95 for international applications.

Statement of Purpose and Research Interests

Upload this statement into "Statement #1" in the "Applicant Statements" section of the Graduate School application. Provide a detailed description of research interests and reasons for seeking the PhD Discuss educational and professional experiences and goals.

Resume or CV

Upload Resume or CV into the appropriate area on the page called "Program Supplementary Information." Include awards and leadership, service, or volunteer activities in your resume.

GPA and Transcripts

Scan a copy of your unofficial transcripts and upload them into the “Educational Background” section of the Graduate School application. Include transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. Official transcripts will be required and requested if you are admitted. At the end of the "Educational Background" section, you must fully complete the GPA section before your application will be considered complete for review.

GRE Scores

You must self-report your scores in the on-line application and have your official score report sent from ETS to have your application considered complete for review. Scores must be available by the application deadline. The school code for the University of Minnesota is 6874; it is not necessary or advised to enter a program code. An official score report must be received directly from ETS before an official admissions notification will be made.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required and are requested through the on-line application system. Follow directions for “Recommendations” in the “Important Links” section of the application. Letters should address your capacity for advanced study, motivation and purpose, and strengths and weaknesses that might affect performance as a graduate student.

Diversity Statement

The diversity statement is optional, yet recommended for all students. It is required for students seeking the DOVE (Diversity of Views and Experiences) fellowship. Upload this statement into “Statement #2” in the “Applicant Statements” section of the Graduate School application. The statement should discuss how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the University's goal of promoting excellence through diversity. If applicable, nominees should mention hardships or obstacles that they have overcome to complete previous studies (e.g. low-income and first-generation college students).

English Language Proficiency Requirement

The TOEFL or IELTS examination to assess English language proficiency is required for non-native English speakers except those who will have completed 24 quarter/16 semester credits (within the past 24 months) in residence at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States before entering the University of Minnesota. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores must be received before an official admission notification will be made. You must self-report your scores online before your application will be considered complete for review.

TOEFL: Required minimum scores are 600 (paper test), 250 (computer test), or 100 (internet test). When submitting official TOEFL scores, use the University of Minnesota school code 6874.IELTS: Required minimum score is 7.0. Official IELTS scores must be sent directly from the test center to the office of Graduate Admissions, 309 Johnston Hall, 101 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.


225 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455