Admissions Process

Before You Begin
  • Students apply to our Medicinal Chemistry PhD program rather than to individual professors’ labs. The first semester of graduate school, students rotate through three different labs to experience the work in which our different professors are engaged in. After this, students are matched with professors depending on which professors have space/resources and mutual interest.
  • While we look forward to reviewing your application, none of our professors are allowed or able to promise a spot in their particular lab should a student matriculate.
  • We only accept applicants for fall term admission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. A complete application contains all required materials, as well as paying the Graduate School application fee. We only accept applicants into our Ph.D. program. Applications must be submitted by January 3rd.
  • All applicants are considered for financial assistance and there are no additional forms needed beyond the application.
  • We no longer require GRE scores. If submitted, they help further emphasize other areas of your application. Your application is not given an advantage for submitting GRE scores, and likewise, an application is not negatively impacted for not submitting GRE scores.
  • For international students, please review the information regarding demonstration of English Proficiency as required by our Graduate School.
  • The Medicinal Chemistry program welcomes applications from students with pharmacy, chemistry, or biology degrees, and students majoring in other degree programs that encompass chemical, biochemical, or biological fields of study are also encouraged to apply.
  • A grade point average indicative of a strong undergraduate academic performance is required of all applicants.
  • Students from non-English speaking countries must submit either a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. See Graduate School information about minimum performance levels. Competitive international applicants to the Medicinal Chemistry program have typically had TOEFL scores of 100 or higher or IELTS scores of 7 or higher.
  • Please note that the University of Minnesota's institution code 6874 should be used for the TOEFL submissions.
  • Please note that the Department of Medicinal Chemistry no longer requires GRE scores.
Application Checklist
  • A written statement explaining your interest in Medicinal Chemistry and why the graduate program at the University of Minnesota is a good fit for you.
  • A brief summary of any prior work or research experience that has influenced your decision to pursue a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry with us.
  • Your Resume or CV.
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • Three letters of recommendations. You will be asked to provide contact information for your references, and they will be asked to submit their letter electronically through the online application system.
  • An application fee ($75 domestic, $95 foreign students).
  • Applications are only accepted for fall term admission. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. You must fulfill all application requirements, including payment of the application fee, before your application is considered complete. Any inquiries about the application fee should be directed to the Graduate School.
  • Applications for fall admission must be submitted by January 3rd.

Admissions FAQs

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How does financial assistance work?

Students who have been accepted into the program with the assurance of financial assistance receive such support in the form of either teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships.

All students on assistantships and fellowships receive a tuition waiver and a comprehensive health care benefits package.  Students do not need to fill out any additional forms when applying to be considered for financial support. 

Students are fully supported throughout the 5 years of their studies as long as satisfactory progress is being made toward a degree.

Do prospective students visit campus?

Prospective students will be invited to our recruitment weekend. Here, you will have an opportunity to interact with faculty and students, tour our facilities, see the campus, and explore the Twin Cities.

Generally this occurs the first weekend in March.

What about student diversity?

The Department of Medicinal Chemistry is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment that values and celebrates the unique perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds of all students. We recognize that diversity enriches our educational and research experiences, as it brings together individuals with unique viewpoints and life experiences.

Please visit the Graduate School Diversity Office for more information.

I still have questions - who do I contact?

Please contact us via email at:

Department of Medicinal Chemistry
8-101 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 SE Harvard Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455