Admissions & Application

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Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university or a comparable degree from a recognized college or university in another country.
  • Preferred minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A degree in psychology is preferred. Applicants with majors in other areas will be considered if comparable coursework in statistics and research methods has been completed.
  • For international students (whose native language is not English): minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) or 79 with section scores of 21 on writing and 19 on  reading (internet-based); or minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 section scores in both writing and reading. For applicants applying for Fall 2023, there are additional tests to document your English language proficiency.
  • Applicant statement (See details below).
  • A work sample (See details below).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • CV.
  • Note: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for applicants applying for Fall 2023 admissions. Although you will have an opportunity to enter your GRE scores on the application system (Slate), these scores will not be available/visible to the admissions committee.

Meeting or exceeding the above requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. Our admissions committee will take into consideration a number of factors, including (but not limited to): applicant’s research and professional experience and interests, written communication skills, potential for graduate-level work, and match with our program’s goals and objectives. In addition to the above criteria, the final pool of Clinical Counseling (CC) and Industrial Organizational (IO) track applicants will be invited to a virtual interview (using the Zoom platform) before the admission decision. Applicants to the CC track must also demonstrate successful completion of an undergraduate Abnormal Psychology course. Students applying to the Clinical Counseling track should also know, per university policy, criminal background checks will be required before enrolling in internships.

The average GPA of admitted students across all tracks during the last 5 years is 3.60, with a range from 3.10 - 4.0.

Application Information

All materials are submitted electronically through the Slate Application System, administered by the University of Minnesota’s Graduate School.


The deadline for submitting your application is February 15th of the year of admission. Applicants who want to be considered for the DOVE Fellowship should submit their application no later than February 1st. Pending available space, applications submitted after the deadline may be considered. Admitted students must begin in the fall semester.

Visit the Grad School website for information about application fees.  McNair Scholars can apply for an application fee waiver.

Application Process and Materials

All application materials should be submitted directly into the Graduate Application System. Your application will not be reviewed until all of the required materials are submitted successfully. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission.

Because the Slate platform is used across the UM campuses by a variety of programs, there are some sections that may be required by other programs but not for our MAPS application. Please refer to the list below to guide you in knowing which application sections must be completed, as well as any additional information we may require for specific sections. Sections in the online system not specified below are not required for our program. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].

Sections required for our program:

  • Program Selection
    • You will choose which track you are applying for in this section - (Clinical Counseling, Experimental, or Industrial Organizational)
  • Term Selection
    • We only accept students for Fall admission, please select “Fall” of the year you wish to begin.
  • Biographical Information
  • Personal Background - please fill out what is relevant to you.
    • University of Minnesota Affiliation Statement
    • Military Service
    • Gender Preference
    • Residency Information
    • Educational background – secondary information (i.e. - high school diploma, GED, etc.)
    • Languages
    • Legal Agent/Privacy Statement
  • Academic History
    • You must list each institution of higher learning from which you have earned credit.
    • You must also submit unofficial transcripts or academic records for each of these institutions. This includes partial or incomplete transcripts. Transcripts should be uploaded directly into the online application system. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. There is no need for official transcripts for the initial review of your application. Once admitted, students will receive instructions from the Graduate School on where to send official transcripts.
  • Test Scores
  • Employment
  • Materials
    • Personal Statement - Please write a statement (up to 1,000-word) regarding your interest in the MAPS Program in essay format. In your response please describe:
      • Why you are specifically interested in our MAPS Program, and your preferred track.
      • Your long-term professional goals, the routes by which you hope to achieve them, and your reasons for setting these objectives.
      • Your specific research and/or professional interests and how you became interested in this field or research. 
      • Activities or experiences that have contributed toward your interest in, preparation for, and/or understanding of this field or research area.
      • Qualities (e.g., takes initiative, scientific curiosity, self-guided inquiry, openness to supervision) or skills you have acquired so far that might help you succeed in the field of psychology(e.g., writing skills, quantitative and data analysis skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, helping skills) as well as thrive in a rigorous graduate program. Note: Applicants switching from another discipline are encourage to reflect on potentially transferable skills when possible. 
      • MAPS faculty with whom you would like to work, and an explanation for why you want to work with the particular faculty member(s) you indicate.
      • For Clinical-Counseling applicants only: your likely preference for Plan B vs. Plan C option. Both options are welcome and accepted.
    • Writing Sample - Please include a writing sample that demonstrates your ability to succeed in the MAPS Program. Our admissions committee will assess your skills in writing, research, and potential for success in our program. A sample of writing you completed independently is preferred. If submitting a sample that was co-authored, please specify this and which sections of the paper represent your independent contribution. Possibilities include (but are not limited to): a capstone project, an independent research paper or proposal, a published article, a grant proposal.
    • Diversity Statement - Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that  you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. 
    • Extenuating Circumstances Statement (optional) You may upload a statement if there is something you want to clarify. If you feel your GRE scores reflect your academic potential better than your GPA, you could include them in a statement here. You can skip this section if there is nothing you want to clarify or explain.
    • Curriculum Vita (CV) - the Graduate application system requests a Resume or CV, please submit a CV rather than a resume.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Each letter should speak to your potential as a graduate student and professional in psychology.
    • Letters must be submitted electronically (do not mail paper copies). Once you are logged into the online application system, you will be asked to provide the names of your references and their contact information. Your references will then be emailed a link to an online rating form that they need to complete and electronically submit. You may also let your references know we request a narrative statement from them along with the form; there will be an opportunity to upload this statement on that online form.
  • Application Fee
    • After you have completed the online application, click the “submit” button and follow the credit/debit card payment instructions. After you pay, you will be returned to the online application, where you will click submit again. This completes your submission.
    • Application fees are waived for McNair Scholars if application is submitted by December 15th.

Slate allows you to keep track of all parts of your application. It would be a good idea for you to check on the progress of your application periodically to ensure the timely completion and submission of your application before the deadline. The department will NOT notify you when your application is complete.

If you have questions or problems concerning Slate, please contact the UMD Graduate School Office directly at (218) 726-7523 or email [email protected]. All other questions or problems concerning your application can be directed to the UMD Psychology Department at [email protected].

Application Checklist (pdf)

Admission Decisions

Applicants will be notified by the program, via email or phone call, with the program's decision. Official admission decisions are communicated to applicants using the Slate application system, once your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, etc.) are authenticated by Graduate School officials. The email will ask you to log into your application to view your admission decision.

Admitted applicants may request a deferral of their admission to graduate study for up to one year without reapplying. If the deferral is approved and the student does not start within the one year period, the applicant must reapply.