Apply to OLPD graduate degree programs

Application Instructions: Doctoral / Master's Programs

Click here to access the online application.

[Printable PDF versions of instructions listed below: PhD | MA | MEd]

Required fields:

  • The following fields in the online applicaton are required: Personal information, Application information, Educational background, Languages, Awards & activities, Employment / residence information, Financial support, Applicant Statements #1 and #2 (see below for details), Recommendation letters (limit 2), and Resume / CV. All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

Application Fee:


  • Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review. If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material. Click here for more information about transcripts and credentials.

GRE scores:

  • GRE scores are waived and will not be considered.

Statement #1: Personal Statement (Limit: two pages)

  • Please provide a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to your chosen field. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, please give that person’s name and explain why you want to study with that person. You may also wish to include other information, such as any undergraduate research experience, internships, or other experiences you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in your chosen field. Note: If you are applying for either the CIDE LIIE cohort or the EPL executive cohort PhD program, indicate this in your statement as well. Paper copies are not accepted. Upload via the online application using “Applicant Statements.”

Statement #2: Diversity (Limit: one page)

  • Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota’s mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to your graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.

Optional Statement #3: Extenuating Circumstances (limit: 1200 characters)

  • If your grades and/or test scores are not strong, and you would like to provide an explanation, please do so.

Two letters of recommendation:

  • 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. Upload via the online application using either the “Recommendation” section or the “Program Supplementary Information” section as “upload 2.”)

Additional requirements for international applicants:

  • Click here for more information about english language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.). International students who will have completed 16 semester credits (within the past 24 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 are exempt from the testing requirement, but may be asked to take locally administered English tests after arrival on campus.


  • If you wish to be considered for a Common Ground Consortium fellowship, indicate this by uploading your statement in the Program Supplementary Information "Upload #1" section. The statement should briefly address the following: Given that the UMN is a public land grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefit personally from their membership in the program as well as further the university’s founding mission to contribute to scholarship that benefits the local and greater communities. Please describe how your participation as a CGC scholar would do the following: (a) enhance your graduate student experience, (b) prepare you for your chosen career, and (c) benefit the public.

Next Application Deadlines

Comparative and International Development Education

Education Policy and Leadership

Evaluation Studies

Higher Education

Human Resource Development