Stem Cell Biology Master's program Admission

Welcome to all students

The Stem Cell Institute embraces the University of Minnesota’s position that promoting and supporting diversity is central to the academic mission of the University. Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota’s mission.  The UMN Graduate School provides the following definition of diversity:  The “inclusion of individuals with differing backgrounds and experiences derived from, e.g., different ethnicities, gender identities, nationalities, socioeconomic backgrounds, veteran status, and/or disabilities.” The Stem Cell Biology Graduate Program is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities through recruitment, admission, and support programs that promote diversity, foster successful academic experiences, and cultivate the leaders of the next generation.

Thank you for your interest in the Stem Cell Biology Master's program!  

The Stem Cell Biology Master's program has two plans although the majority of students will complete Plan A in a minimum of 16 months.  The master’s degree under Plan A, requires a thesis; Plan B requires additional coursework and completion of a literature based research paper and seminar.  

Note that the program admits students only for Fall Semester. All application materials (including recommendations and supplementary materials) must be submitted online.  In the "Materials" area of the online application, the Extenuating Circumstances Statement are optioinal.  Please don't upload anything to the Writing Sample and Description of Research fields.  Do not submit materials via email. 

Applications are due by April 30.  Completed applications will be reviewed and offers of admission will be extended on a rolling basis.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Stem Cell Biology Master's program will depend on the following requirements:

  • B.S., B.A., or foreign equivalent in biological sciences or a related field.
  • An operational standard of 3.20 GPA or better (on a 4-point scale) at the undergraduate level.

Requirements for international applicants:

  • English language proficiency: 
    TOEFL score (obtained within two (2) years), with a minimum of 22 on each of the reading and listening sections, 26 on the speaking, and 24 on the writing is preferred.
  • IELTS is an acceptable alternative with a preferred score of 7.0 over all (with not less than 6.5 in each of the four components).

Using the online application form (see the APPLY NOW button to the right of this information), you will need to provide only the following:

1. A personal statement (500 words or less) outlining previous research experience, research interests, and long-short-term goals.

2. A diversity statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to the Stem Cell Biology Graduate Program and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include a description of experiences when you overcame obstacles to achievement, and/or helped others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.

3. A curriculum vitae or resume.

4. The names and contact information of 3 individuals whom you have asked to write a letter of recommendation addressing your previous research experience and ability to pursue graduate study.

5. Transcripts - unofficial transcripts can be uploaded; official transcripts will be requested by the Graduate Admissions Office upon enrollment.

6. TOEFL or IELTS (international applicants only) (ETS Code for University of Minnesota: 6874).


The Stem Cell Biology Graduate program cannot currently provide financial support for M.S. students, but offers the following suggestions:

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students (US citizens only) in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend and an education allowance for tuition and fees.  NSF encourages undergraduate seniors to apply. Applications are due by at the end of October of each year. Check the NSF website for exact dates.

Find more possible funding sources

Estimate your cost of attendance

On the Onestop site where you estimate your costs, the general graduate tuition rate applies to students in the Stem Cell Biology Master's Program. 

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Important Dates

January  - We begin making offers - places can fill up quickly.

April 30 - Application deadline 

May 31 - Last day of admission notification

June 30 - Commitment by student due

Last 2 weeks in August - SCB Training Course begins

Tuesday after Labor Day - Classes begin (Fall semester)