The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UMD has active research programs in basin analysis, economic geology, glacial geology, hydrology, isotope geochemistry, geophysics, limnology, paleoclimatology, petrology, planetary geology, sedimentology, structural geology, and tectonics. UMD is admirably situated for a wide variety of geologic interests. We have active programs around the globe and on the terrestrial planets. In addition, Duluth has an outstanding natural environment in which to live, with great cultural and recreational opportunities.

The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.

Research and Discovery

Generate and preserve knowledge, understanding, and creativity by conducting high-quality research, scholarship, and artistic activity that benefit students, scholars, and communities across the state, the nation, and the world.

Teaching and Learning

Share that knowledge, understanding, and creativity by providing a broad range of educational programs in a strong and diverse community of learners and teachers, and prepare graduate, professional, and undergraduate students, as well as non-degree-seeking students interested in continuing education and lifelong learning, for active roles in a multiracial and multicultural world.

The master of science degree is offered under Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis). Courses are selected with approval of the student's adviser and the director of graduate studies. For Plan A, a candidacy exam that involves oral defense of written thesis research proposal during the second semester of residency is required. Plan A requires 31 credits, including (14 course credits in the major, 6 course credits in a minor or related field , a 1 credit course, and 10 thesis credits. For Plan B, A written candidacy exam during the second semester is required. Plan B requires (31 credits in approved courses, including three Plan B papers. Almost all our students have taken Plan A.

USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.

University requirements

Program requirements

Application for AdmissionApplication FeeDepartment Application for Financial AidTranscriptsGRE ScoresLetters of Recommendation (3) English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 79


The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and a member of the North Central Association.

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