Common Questions & Answers

Application Fee

Can I receive a waiver for the application fee?

The department is glad to provide need-based application fee waivers to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who cannot afford the application fee.

Fee waivers are also given to McNair Scholars, past participants of the Lando–REU program at the University of Minnesota, and to applicants who have presented at National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), or Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCAMS) conferences or are student members of those organizations.

McNair Scholars, please directly contact the University of Minnesota Graduate School at the McNair Scholar Resources website.

We also encourage applicants to seek external sources of support to cover application fees. For example, the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) FreeApp program offers fee waivers for selected individuals (visit to apply for waiver).

All other requests for an application fee waiver should be sent by email to with a brief statement explaining your situation. Attach to that email a transcript (an unofficial one suffices) and, if applicable, copies of recent financial aid awards or similar evidence for financial need. Any questions about fee waivers are welcome.

Can I defer payment of the application fee until the department makes a decision?

No, the application fee cannot be deferred. All offers of financial support are pending completion of the application. To be eligible for a Graduate School Fellowship, you must submit the application and pay the fee by December 1.

Can I have a friend or relative in the United States pay the application fee for me?

Yes. The payment must be made by credit card.

English Language exams

Is it necessary to for me to take an English language examination?

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required of all international applicants whose native language is not English
    • Except those who will have completed 48 quarter credits/32 semester credits (within the past 48 months) in residence as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States before entering the University of Minnesota.

What is the minimum score accepted for English language examinations?

  • At least 90 on the Internet-based TOEFL with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on reading (550 on the paper based TOEFL), and 23 on speaking
  • 6.5 on the IELTS or
  • 80 on the MELAB examinations

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Is it necessary for me to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores?

  • No, our department no longer considers the general or subject GRE scores in admissions decisions.

Is there a minimum GPA score required for admission to the chemistry graduate program?

  • No. All of the application is taken into consideration.

Educational Testing Service (ETS)

What codes do I give ETS when requesting my TOEFL to be sent?

  • TOEFL: The Institution Code is 6874, and the Department Code is 62.

Letters of Recommendation

Should I send letters of recommendation to the department or the Graduate School?

Only the Graduate School receives those letters.

  • When you apply to the Graduate School, you list your references and their contact information.
  • Letters are submitted electronically.
  • We receive copies of the letters of recommendation from the Graduate School.
  • Do not send hard copies; this creates confusion with duplicate submissions.

Do the letters of recommendation need to be from faculty in my undergraduate institution? What if I am currently enrolled in another graduate program?

  • Yes, letters should be from your faculty at your undergraduate institution, or a combination of both undergraduate and graduate faculty, if you are enrolled in a graduate program.
  • You may also include additional letters from industry.
  • If enrolled in a graduate program, one letter must be from your research adviser.


  • Prospective Graduate Students
    Application Information
    (612) 624-8008
    Fax: 1-612-624-5724

    Stephanie Stathopoulous
    Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies
    135 Smith Hall
    (612) 624-8008

    Current Students
    Nancy Thao
    Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies
    115 Smith Hall
    (612) 624-0313

    • Director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry
    • Professor Aaron Massari
    • Director of Graduate Studies In Chemical Physics
    • Professor Renee Frontiera