Admission

Admission Requirements

General requirements for admission to the Graduate School are

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution. The Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) will determine eligibility for admission in consultation with prospective graduate programs.
  2. A grade point average of at least 3.00 in upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed.
  3. An official score for the Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE), unless otherwise specified by the graduate program to which the student is applying. The McCombs School of Business requires master’s and doctoral degree applicants to submit a satisfactory score for either the GRE or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Applicants to dual or combined degree programs with the School of Law must submit a satisfactory score for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as well as for the GRE or GMAT.  
    International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For more information on which countries qualify for a waiver of this requirement, as well as programs that do not waive the requirement, please visit the Graduate School's website. Applicants should consult the graduate adviser for the program of interest to learn which test the program requires.
  4. Adequate subject preparation for the proposed major. Evidence of adequate preparation varies by program, but examples include letters of reference, auditions, samples of work, and personal statements.
  5. A recommendation for acceptance by the Graduate Studies Committee for the proposed major area.

Applicants may apply simultaneously to more than one graduate program, but they may enroll in only one program, with the exception of applicants admitted to dual degree programs. All complete applications are forwarded to the Graduate Studies Committee(s) for the proposed area(s). Admission decisions are based on a careful review of all aspects of the applicant’s file including standardized tests, undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation, research and teaching experience, etc. Scores on standardized tests such as the GRE are not the sole criterion for making an admission decision or ending consideration of the application. Information about admission criteria for each graduate program is available from the graduate adviser.

An applicant already holding a master's degree may apply for a second master's degree in a different field. Those seeking permission to pursue a second master's degree in the same or a closely related field must have the permission of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) for the proposed area. Holders of a doctorate degree seeking an additional graduate degree must have the permission of the GSC for the proposed area. When there are more qualified applicants than can adequately be instructed by the faculty or accommodated in the facilities, the GSC for the proposed area may deny admission to students who have met prescribed requirements. GSC admissions recommendations to the graduate dean are final; there is no appeal. All admissions must be approved by the graduate dean.

Applicants who feel that their grade point averages or test scores are not valid indicators of ability should explain their concerns in a letter to the graduate adviser of the program to which they are applying.

Admission Tests

The Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are offered at testing centers throughout North America and at selected international sites. Current information about GRE and TOEFL test dates, locations, and registration procedures is published by the Educational Testing Service. Similar information about the GMAT is published by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is administered in more than 120 countries and is available off-site in additional countries. Information about IELTS test dates, locations, and procedures is published online.

Applicants to dual or combined programs with the School of Law must also take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), administered by the Law School Admission Council. Information about the LSAT is published by the council online.

Graduate School Select Admission Program

The Graduate School Select Admission Program allows graduate programs to recommend academically outstanding University undergraduates for admission to seek a graduate degree in a State formula-funded degree program. Students are normally nominated in the junior year, and programs are encouraged to limit their nominations each year to one or two outstanding undergraduates.

Nominations are forwarded to the Graduate School by the program’s graduate adviser or graduate admissions office with the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee. Undergraduate candidates may be extended an offer of admission and financial aid as early as the junior year, conditional upon completion of the baccalaureate degree. Application and transcript fees are waived; some graduate programs may waive submission of GRE scores. Admitted students may enroll in graduate courses at undergraduate tuition rates during the senior year and reserve the courses for graduate credit.

Admission with Conditions

Almost all of the students who are admitted to the Graduate School have qualifications equal to or better than the minimum standards outlined in Admission Requirements.

However, a Graduate Studies Committee may recommend, with the consent of the graduate dean, that a student be admitted to the Graduate School with conditions. The Graduate Studies Committee may require the student to maintain a certain grade point average or to take a certain number of semester hours of coursework. A conditionally admitted student may also be required to remedy deficiencies in undergraduate preparation by taking upper-division or graduate courses. The graduate adviser notifies the student of these conditions at the time of admission. The Graduate Studies Committee petitions the graduate dean for removal of conditions once the conditions have been met. A student who does not fulfill the conditions within the specified time may be barred from subsequent registration in the Graduate School. If the student changes his or her major before the conditions have been fulfilled, the conditions remain in effect unless the graduate adviser for the new program, on behalf of the Graduate Studies Committee, petitions the graduate dean and receives approval for them to be changed.

Students admitted with conditions are not eligible to be graduate student academic employees except under rare and unusual circumstances and with the approval of the graduate dean.

Admission as a Nondegree Student

A person who would like to take graduate coursework without becoming a candidate for an advanced degree may apply for admission to a graduate program as a nondegree student. Admission as a nondegree student is not available in all graduate programs. Enrollment as a nondegree student is normally limited to one year. Nondegree students are not eligible to be teaching assistants, assistant instructors, graduate research assistants, academic assistants, assistants (graduate), or tutors (graduate).

The applicant must submit an application and transcripts of all college coursework to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC); Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores are not required unless otherwise specified by the graduate program. International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless otherwise exempt. Admission must be recommended by the Graduate Studies Committee for the program and approved by the graduate dean.

A graduate nondegree student who later wishes to seek a graduate degree must meet the requirements for admission listed above, submit the material described in “Applying for Admission” below by the program’s deadline and must pay the usual application fee. A degree-seeking student may petition to have applied to the master’s degree up to six semester hours of graduate credit earned while he or she was a graduate nondegree student.

Exchange students. A graduate student who is admitted to the University through a reciprocal exchange program is classified as a nondegree student.  An exchange student may not register for more than two long-session semesters and one summer session. The transferability of academic credit to the student's home institution is determined by the home institution.

An exchange student who wishes to take a graduate course must obtain the approval of the instructor and of the graduate adviser for the program that offers the course, must meet all course prerequisites, and must meet any other requirements affecting nondegree students.  An exchange student may later apply for admission to the University as a degree-seeking graduate student.  To do so, he or she must submit the usual test scores, application fee, and other required material by the graduate program's deadline.

Exchange students admitted as a graduate nondegree students.  If a graduate nondegree exchange student is later admitted to the Graduate School as a degree seeker, the Graduate Studies Committee may ask for the graduate dean's approval to include on the student's master's degree Program of Work up to six hours of graduate coursework that he or she completed as a graduate nondegree exchange student.  All requirements related to courses that may be counted towards graduate degrees apply, including rules concerning courses counted towards another degree.

Exchange students admitted as undergraduate nondegree students.  If an undergraduate nondegree exchange student is later admitted to the Graduate School, graduate courses that he or she took as an undergraduate nondegree exchange student may not be counted toward a graduate degree.

Applying for Admission

Application for admission to the Graduate School consists of submitting the official online application form, transcripts, test scores, and processing fees to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC). Instructions and forms are available at the Graduate School’s admissions website. Students may also indicate their interest in assistantships and fellowships on the application form.

Each graduate program may require the submission of additional materials. These materials vary by program, but examples include letters of reference, auditions, samples of the student’s work, and personal statements. Information about required materials is available from the graduate adviser of each program.

Because graduate programs set their own application deadlines, the applicant must be sure to inquire about the deadline for the program to which he or she is applying. Many programs have deadlines as early as December 1 for the following summer session or fall semester, but some programs set different dates. Few graduate programs admit new students for the spring semester; those that do generally have deadlines no later than October 1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to meet the deadline set by the graduate program. A list of program deadlines is given at the Graduate School’s admissions website.

Deadlines for those seeking financial aid. Information about financial aid and financial aid deadlines is given on the Financial Aid page.

International Students

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate sufficient competence in English to study effectively at the University. These applicants are required to submit scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to the Graduate School. Information about TOEFL and IELTS is published online.

Because transcripts from foreign universities require special evaluation, prospective international students are advised to submit their application forms, test scores, and upload transcripts well in advance of deadlines. Early submission gives the University enough time to process the application and gives the applicant enough time to obtain visas and make travel arrangements if admission is granted. A nonrefundable processing fee is required with each application for admission to the Graduate School, the McCombs School of Business, or the School of Law. All payments must be in US dollars and drawn on US banks. Current fee amounts are given in Application Processing Fees.

International students must maintain approved comprehensive health insurance or coverage. The student’s registration bill includes the premium for the University health insurance policy, unless approval to substitute alternate, comparable coverage has been given by the International Office.