Applying to Plant Pathology

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Plant Pathology graduate program. All materials are submitted electronically through the online application system through the University of Minnesota's Graduate School website. Admission decisions are communicated to applicants using this system. A decision for admission notice will be sent to you once your application is reviewed by our Admission Committee. General information about the University of Minnesota Graduate School and other application information can be found here.

While we do, on occasion, accept students for a Spring semester start date, the nature of our funding cycle makes this a rare occurrence. All applications submitted for a Spring start date will automatically be considered for a Fall start date as well.

All offers of admission are dependent on available funding in individual faculty budgets. Due to the timing of grant and fellowship cycles, Faculty members often do not know if they will have funding available until after the Office of Admissions deadline to apply. You will be matched with a Faculty member after acceptance into the Plant Pathology program. However, we do consider in our process if you disclose in your written application materials if you would like to work with someone in particular.

Application Process


While we accept applications throughout the year, completed applications must be received by December 1st for Fall Semester admission. This deadline ensures that qualifying applicants receive full consideration for university fellowships and assistantships. Applications received after December 1st will not be guaranteed consideration for admission or fellowships. Incomplete applications will not be processed. 



Apply for fall semester 2024 at the graduate admissions site.

  • International and domestic applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS English Language Proficiency exam scores. The Office of Admissions is firm on their proficiency exam exemption requirements. Please read here for more information. 
  • The GRE exam score is no longer required for admission to the plant pathology graduate program, and submitted scores will not be reviewed. 

Important: You will not be able to upload additional documents (resume, personal statement, diversity statement, transcripts, etc.) after you have submitted your application. Please make sure all materials are uploaded in the online application system before submitting. 

Exception: You are able to submit your online application even if all of your recommendation providers have not yet uploaded their recommendations.

MaterialsHow to Submit


Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History (transcripts), Test Scores, Employment, Personal Statement, Diversity Statement, Recommendations, Confirmation, and Signature.

Personal Statement

In the Personal Statement, you are asked to give a statement explaining your immediate and long-range career objectives in relation to your major field, being specific about your areas of interest. If there are particular faculty members with whom you wish to study, please list their names and explain why you would like to study with those individuals. Also, if known, indicate a proposed minor field or emphasis.

Diversity Statement

The Department of Plant Pathology and the University of Minnesota are committed to supporting and embracing diversity in our graduate student population. Thus, we require that each applicant writes a diversity statement that enables the Department to understand some of the diversity in background and experience that each applicant could bring to the Department and University. Please write a statement identifying the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to our graduate program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. Include examples that address how your& background, experiences and achievements will contribute to the University’s goal of promoting excellence through diversity. Describe your experience, or commitment to, serving or working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations, in addition to how you may have achieved academic success while overcoming substantial educational or economic obstacles. Please review the Department of Plant Pathology Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.

Applicant's Diversity Statements are an important consideration in selection DOVE Fellowship and CFANS Diversity Scholars - Graduate Student Fellowship

Application Fee

The application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents is $75; for international applicants, the fee is $95. This application fee cannot be waived or deferred and is not refundable. Payment of the fee does not assure admission unless all the necessary requirements are met.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records are required to be uploaded directly to the online application. Please do not directly send our staff copies of your transcripts.

Should you become an accepted student, final, official transcripts will be required by the Office of Admissions. Instructions for submission will be sent by the Office of Admissions after acceptance.

Letters of Recommendation

You also are required to have three letters of recommendation from instructors or professional associates who have had an opportunity to observe you in an academic or work environment and assess your potential for graduate work. The Department of Plant Pathology will only accept recommendations submitted through the online application system.

To request recommendation letters from your references, click on the “Recommendations” link in the online application and provide the requested information for each of your references, i.e. name, address, e-mail address, etc. These individuals will be notified by e-mail of your request and be given the website for the online recommendation form. An e-mail acknowledgment will be sent to you and your references once they have submitted recommendations.

Review detailed information on students' rights to access their recommendations, then indicate whether you would like to waive your right. Your response will be shared with your recommendation provider. You can NOT change your waiver response after sending this form to your recommender.

You can submit your application before letters of recommendation have been uploaded.

Official GRE scores

GRE Scores are not required, and will not be reviewed.

English Language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Required for applicants whose native language is not English.

The University of Minnesota TOEFL institutional code is 6874.

To Submit IELTS, MELAB, or other English exam scores
Request official score reports from the appropriate testing center using the following mailing address (no institution code is required.)

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of Minnesota
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Please see the Graduate School's COVID-19 English Proficiency Testing Options for 2022 Admissions Requirements.


Upload your Resume/CV into the "Other Material" section of the online application under "Resume/CV"


Optional - Upload your publications and articles into the "Other Materials" section of the online application under "Writing Sample"
 If you have any additional questions, please contact [email protected]

Admission Requirements

Prospective graduate students in plant pathology should have a sound college background in the basic biological and physical sciences and mathematics and have completed at least one course each in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete their prerequisites prior to admission to the graduate program. While it is not unusual for students to have one or two prerequisites outstanding upon admission, greater numbers of outstanding prerequisites may hamper a student's progress in the graduate program and lower the probability that a student will be awarded fellowship funds.

  • University policy requires international applicants (and domestic applicants whose native language is not English) to provide proof of English language proficiency as a condition of admission. Please note that test scores may not be available for 4-6 weeks after you take the test, and plan accordingly. All English language test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken.
  • More information and details of English language requirements are available here: English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Recommended and required minimum scores for the program are:

  • Required TOEFL score:  Total Score: 79  Writing Subscore: 21  Reading Subscore: 19 
  • Required IELTS score: Total Score: 6.5  Writing Subscore: 6.5  Reading Subscore:  6.5
  • Recommended Undergraduate GPA (United States students only): 3.5

Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the post-submission application process.