Pre-Screening of Applications

We request that all applicants have their documents pre-screened before submitting a formal application. We guarantee that your application will be fully considered if you submit your documents for pre-screening before the application deadline (January 31 for fall enrollment or September 30 for spring). After your documents are reviewed, we will give you a recommendation on whether you are likely to receive an offer of admission if you formally apply. There is no cost involved in having your application pre-screened.

To prepare your documents for pre-screening, please complete the following checklist:

  • Familiarize yourself with the research areas available for graduate studies in our department and decide whether you can identify your primary and optional secondary areas of interest. It is OK if you are not ready to make this determination.
  • Review the research work of our faculty members in your preferred areas of interest and identify up to four with whom you might be interested in working with.
  • We recognize that the expense of taking GRE tests is a hardship for many applicants. We also recognize the results of published studies showing that these tests do not accurately predict success in graduate school. Therefore, the submission of all GRE tests (both GRE General and GRE Physics) is now optional. If you believe that any of these scores will strengthen your application, you are invited to provide them. Conversely, the absence of any of these scores will not adversely affect your materials for the review process. If none of the other graduate schools you are considering requires GRE scores, we recommend that you save yourself some time and money and do not take these tests.
  • If English is not your native language, and you do not qualify for a waiver based on having completed a B.S. or more advanced degree at a university where English is the official language of instruction, you will be required to demonstrate your English proficiency by having obtained a score of 80 or above on the TOEFL or 6.5 or above on the IELTS test. If this requirement applies to you and you haven't taken either of these tests, please register to take a test at the earliest available opportunity.
  • Prepare unofficial copies of academic transcripts for all institutions of higher education (colleges and universities) that you have attended, regardless of whether you have earned a degree there or not. Make sure that each transcript is clearly legible. If a transcript is not in English, you will also need to provide an English translation. If a transcript displays sensitive personal data other than your name, such as a photograph, date of birth, social security number, university ID number, and other such information, please redact it.
  • Be prepared to provide names and contact information for your references. We strongly recommend securing at least three references. Two may be acceptable, but we reserve the right to request a third reference. If you have participated in research, we strongly recommend that you include your research supervisor as one of the references. We will contact your references directly by email. No hardcopies are necessary.
  • Prepare a Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages) explaining your relevant education, research experience, and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree at UNL.
  • Prepare an up-to-date version of your curriculum vitae.
  • Decide whether you wish to submit additional documents, such as copies of your research papers or theses. If your papers have been published and are readily available, it is sufficient to include full citations and URLs in the list of publications within your CV.

To request pre-screening, click the button below to fill out a simple pre-screening request form. Questions about pre-screening should be addressed to