Admissions FAQ

Frequently asked questions about admissions have been organized into subtopics. Click on a question to reveal the answer.

Application Materials

How do I get an application for admission?

All applicants should apply online. You must pay the admissions processing fee at the time of submitting the application and can make payment by credit card or electronic check. Applications received online receive the fastest turnaround in processing and are available to the academic departments immediately upon downloading from the admissions system. If, after repeated attempts, you have difficulty applying online, please contact

Can I apply now and submit the application fee later?

No. Online applications must be accompanied by an application fee, which may be paid by credit card or electronic check. Please note that electronic check payments submitted through the online application system take several days longer to be officially received by Graduate Admissions than do credit card payments. The “e-check” must clear the participating bank before the application is released to us to process.

What is the deadline to apply?

Answers to this question are often confusing because there are different deadlines depending upon academic program and whether you want to be considered for a graduate assistantship. Some programs also limit admission to specific semesters. Fore more information, please visit our deadlines page.

International applicants must meet Graduate School deadline to allow for adequate time to review credentials and obtain additional visa paperwork for accepted students.

Applications submitted after the Graduate School admissions deadlines will be marked for the following semester.

How do I check on the status of my application?

An admissions counselor in Graduate Admissions will review your application for initial completeness and send you an email message to confirm that it has been reviewed. Depending upon the time of the year and how busy the admissions office, the initial review may take from 5 – 21 days from the date that you received our application confirmation message. The Graduate Admissions Office will contact you by e-mail to confirm receipt of any documents supporting your application (transcripts, test scores). If you need clarification about departmental requirements, please contact the academic department’s graduate coordinator.

Where do I send the admissions application materials?

Many of your admissions application materials will be submitted online to Graduate Admissions (e.g. application for admission, transcripts, resume and statement of purpose). If offered admission, official transcripts should be sent electronically from your institution or mailed to the following address. Supplemental departmental requirements such as a writing sample should be sent directly to the academic department. You can find the address by selecting the program link on our Degree Programs website.
How do I apply to more than one program?

After you have submitted your first application and application fee, you may add a second application for $40 and a third application for $30. You may only have three active applications at any time, and they cannot pursue the same degree in different terms. You will be given the option to add additional applications after submitting the first application.

Please remember to submit departmental requirements to each department. A resume, statement of intent or other departmental requirements cannot be sent by our office to all departments, as these items are not kept on file in Graduate Admissions. Please furnish new copies of those items directly to each department.

How do I change my application to a different semester?

Applicants are eligible for a one-time move without filing a new application and application fee. Requests should be made in writing to Please contact Graduate Admissions no earlier than 13 to 14 months before the month that your anticipated new semester of enrollment is to begin. For example, if you want to change your application to Fall 2011, you may make the request as early as May 1, 2010. Also, your request for a change must be made before the drop-add period of the semester that you originally applied for has ended.

Admissions Requirements

What are the admissions requirements to pursue a degree program?

You must hold at least a baccalaureate degree accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association or its international equivalent prior to the expected semester of enrollment. The Graduate School and the department to which you are applying have additional requirements.

Degree-seeking students must submit the following materials:

To Graduate Admissions in the Graduate School:

  • Online application and application-processing fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from each institution attended. (If UGA, you do not need to submit.)  Official transcripts are only required if offered admission.
  • Three (3) letters of reference submitted online when you submit the application.
  • Request official entrance test scores to be sent directly to Graduate Admissions.

To the Academic Department:

  • Additional supplemental information (check with the program coordinator in the academic department)

What are the admissions requirements if I do not want to obtain a degree?

You must hold at least a baccalaureate degree accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association or its international equivalent prior to the expected semester of enrollment. The Graduate School and the department to which you are applying have additional requirements.

UGA has two classifications of students who are enrolled for graduate study but do not want to pursue a degree program: transient students (students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program at another institution and want to attend UGA for one semester) and nondegree students (students who wish to take courses for certification, licensure, or personal interest).

If you wish to be a transient student or nondegree student, you should first confirm with the academic department that the department will consider admission in these categories, before submitting your application for admission. (The application processing fee is non-refundable.)

Nondegree applicants must submit:

To Graduate Admissions in the Graduate School:

  • Online application and application-processing fee
  • Unofficial transcripts of the highest degree earned.  Official transcripts will be required if offered admission.

To the Academic Department:

  • Additional supplemental information as required by the department (check with the program coordinator in the academic department.)

Transient applicants must submit:

To Graduate Admissions in the Graduate School:

  • Online application and application-processing fee
  • Transient Form (letter of good standing) sent to us directly from the Dean or graduate officer at your current institution.

To the Academic Department:

  • Additional supplemental information as required by the department (check with the program coordinator in the academic department.)

When will I receive a notification of the admissions decision?

Each department establishes its own timeline and procedures for making admissions recommendations. Once departments forward their recommendation to the Graduate Admissions Office, a final review is made. The admissions decision is made by the Graduate School and will be mailed to you in an official letter.

Are there additional requirements for international applicants?

Information, resources, and general tip sheets found via our Supplemental Information for International Applicants will facilitate your admissions processing. This page will help you determine appropriate credentials to submit and steps to follow. You will find specifics requirements for academic records, proof of degree, US degree equivalencies and English language proficiency. The tip sheets suggest what Graduate Admissions looks for to complete your file.


How can I get classified as a Georgia resident for tuition purposes?

You must be eligible based on the University System of Georgia Board of policy. The residency requirements are described under section 403.02. You can also access the petition for in-state classification online.

If you feel that you qualify, complete the residency petition and return it with supporting documentation as identified on the instructions page to Graduate Admissions.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Requests for financial aid in the form of assistantships and waivers of non-resident tuition should be made to the academic department to which you are applying. To be eligible for departmental nomination for the UGA Graduate School assistantships (offered by the Graduate School), all general application materials must be received in the Office of Graduate Admissions by January 1 or by the departmental admissions deadline, if earlier than January 1.

Academic departments have additional resources to offer departmental assistantships. Please note, that each academic department establishes its own deadlines and criteria for the departmental assistantship awards.

A limited number of waivers of the out-of-state tuition portion of the tuition are available from the Graduate School. The academic departments must make nominations, so requests should be submitted to the department. The deadline for initial waiver decisions is usually in early April.

Finally, graduate students can apply for student loans through the UGA financial aid office.

What is the current graduate tuition?

The most current information on tuition rates at UGA is posted at the Bursar’s Office website.

Letters of Recommendation

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

Most departments require three letters of recommendation for degree-seeking applicants. Non-degree and transient applicants are not usually required to submit letters of recommendation. Check with the academic department for the most up to date requirements.

How do my recommenders submit letters of recommendation?

The application for admission has mandatory fields for recommender information. These must be filled in and you should verify the entered details for accuracy. When your paid applicatiion is submitted and acknowledged, your recommenders receive an email with a secure link and a pin and password to complete your recommendation. The letter is then downloaded to the Graduate School via a secure web database where the department to which you applied can view and print the letters.

Can my recommenders send paper letters instead of completing the electronic form?

Some departments allow recommenders to submit letters in different formats than the one the application uses. You should check with your academic department to see if they allow this. Do not tell recommenders to submit paper or email letters to the Graduate Admissions Office. Since these are for department faculty to review, they need to go directly to the department and the Graduate School does not need to review them.


If refused, how do I appeal the decision?

University of Georgia applicants have the right to appeal admissions decisions. The appeal must first be filed with the academic department responsible for the admissions decision. The department will reconsider your application and inform you of their decision on your request for reconsideration. An unfavorable ruling at the department level may be appealed to the Graduate School within 30 days of the date on the correspondence that you received from the academic department’s decision on the initial appeal.

What are the driving directions to campus and to the Graduate School?

General directions to the University of Georgia are available on the UGA Visitors Center website.

Graduate Admissions is located at 310 Herty Drive, accessible either from Broad St. or Baldwin St.

You can also download maps of the UGA campus.

How can I contact you with additional questions that are not answered by the information on your website?

First, be sure you have closely reviewed the website and appropriate links. Graduate Admissions staff have worked to ensure that all pertinent information is available online. Second, if your question deals mainly with departmental issues (e.g. assistantships, decision timeline, etc.), please contact the department directly. A listing of departmental contacts is available on our Degree Programs website.

Finally, if your reading of the Graduate Admissions website does not yield the answers you need, please email your question to

Do I have to submit an immunization or health history form?

Yes, all accepted applicants who are new to the University of Georgia must fill out an immunization and health history form prior to their first registration. This is submitted to University Health Services. More information is available on the UHS website.


Is the GRE or other standardized entrance test required?

All applicants to a degree program, with the exception of a few programs, must request official test scores to be reported to Graduate Admissions. Most programs require the GRE. Some require GMAT. All doctoral programs with the exception of the Ph.D. in Business Administration require the GRE examination. See the list below for degree programs that will accept more than one entrance test score.

Request test scores through the testing agency’s website.

  • GRE: (ETS school code for UGA: 5813.)
  • GMAT: (GMAT codes are program specific and found on the GMAC website)
  • MAT:

No entrance test scores are required for the following programs:

  • Art, MFA
  • Law, LLM
  • Music, MM and DMA
  • Public Health, DrPH
  • Higher Education, EDD
  • Narrative Media Writing, MFA
  • Theatre and Film Studies, MFA

GRE or GMAT may be submitted for these degree programs:

  • Business Administration, MA, MBA, or PHD
  • Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics, MS, MS Non-Thesis, PhD
  • Internet Technology, MIT
  • Journalism and Mass Communication, MA
  • Marketing Research, MMR
  • Mass Communication, PhD
  • Physical Education and Sports Studies, MEd
  • Special Education, MED or MAT

GRE or MAT may be submitted for degree programs:

  • Art Education, MAEd
  • College Student Affairs Administration, MEd
  • Early Childhood Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Educational Administration and Policy, MEd, or EdS
  • Educational Psychology, MEd, or EdS
  • English Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Professional Counseling, MEd, or EdS
  • Human Resources & Organizational Development, MEd
  • Mathematics Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Middle School Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Music Education, MMEd, or EdS
  • Workforce Education, MAT, MEd, or EdS
  • Reading Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Science Education, MEd, or EdS
  • Social Work, MSW
  • Teaching Additional Languages, MEd, or EdS

Must I submit official TOEFL scores?

Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores that are not more than two years old. Applicants who have received degrees from accredited institutions in the U.S. or from institutions in countries where English is the primary language (e.g., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand) usually are not required to submit the TOEFL (or IELTS) scores. If such an applicant received the degree more than two years prior to application to the Graduate School and has been residing/working in a country where the primary language is not English, he or she must submit current scores. Students who are currently enrolled and have been enrolled at least one year at a regionally accredited U.S. institution, may have the English language proficiency requirement waived, if their work shows a strong quality of performance. Some departments may require the TOEFL (or IELTS) regardless of previous educational experience.

The University of Georgia will accept satisfactory scores on either the TOEFL or IELTS language proficiency examinations for admission to graduate programs. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency and must be received before the academic department makes a recommendation for admission.


What are the requirements for submitting transcripts?

Applicants should submit unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended as part of the online application.  Unofficial transcripts not submitted as part of the online application can be emailed to  Official transcripts are not required during the review process and will only be required for applicants who are offered admission.  Do not mail official transcripts until offered admission. For information about international credentials and what is considered by us to be official, please visit our Country-Specific Academic Credentials and Requirements page.

Applicants must submit the following materials:

To Graduate Admissions in the Graduate School:

  • Unofficial transcripts from each institution attended. (If UGA, you do not need to submit).

My academic records/transcripts are not listed on the status page. Why?

If you are an international applicant, your records are generally not listed on the status page until the department makes a recommendation for admission. At that time, the counselor will review your materials and inform you of academic documents that are still needed to finalize your application.

If information in the “blue section” of the status page is blank, you should contact the academic department for this information. They are responsible for updating information in the “blue section”.

My school can’t send my official transcript right away. Can I send you a copy of my transcript and register for my classes now?

No, the Graduate School and the academic department must have an official copy (as defined in No. 7) to be fully admitted to the Graduate School. If your transcript has not been received by the first day of classes for your admission term, email No, the Graduate School and the academic department must have an official copy (as defined in No. 7) to be fully admitted to the Graduate School. If your transcript has not been received by the first day of classes for your admission term, email

New Student FAQ

Frequently asked questions for new students have been organized into subtopics. Click on a question to reveal the answer.


What is the bus schedule? What is the cost of riding the bus? What is the difference between the UGA bus and city bus?

The UGA bus schedule differs based on location and semester. Specific times and routes can be found at Campus Transit. The cost of riding the bus is covered through student fees. You can also download the UGA App for bus information.

Your UGAcard allows you to ride The Bus (Athens Transit) for free. City bus routes are operated on a different schedule and generally observe federal holidays. Additionally, some routes are not serviced when UGA is not in session. Specific information can be found at Athens Transit.

How do I get a Georgia driver’s license?

If you need to transfer an out of state license to Georgia or obtain a new license, Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) maintains a “New to Georgia” website that lists instructions on requirements for obtaining a Georgia driver’s license. The Athens Customer Service Center is located at 505 Highway 29 North. Their phone number is 706-542-9928.

What services does the University Health Center provide? Where is it located? When is it open?

The University Health Center provides a variety of medical and counseling services, including urgent care, a dental clinic, physical therapy, and an allergy clinic, in addition to other medical services. Students are also assigned to a primary care provider on a medical team to ensure each patient can return to the same group of clinicians for their continuity of care. Log into the UHC Portal with your MyID to find out your PCP or to schedule an appointment online.

Where can I learn more about Athens and the surrounding community?

The UGA libraries have collected a vast amount of online resources about Athens for UGA students. The links provide information about Athens’ history, culture, local entertainment, surrounding environment, and public services.

How do I find a place to live?

UGA Family & Graduate Housing has a 578 unfurnished apartment units available each year to rent. If you would prefer to live off campus or unable to secure an apartment through them, consider using online classifieds, such as the Athens Banner-Herald or Flagpole, to identify potential properties or property management companies.

How do I set up utilities after I find a place to live?

If the property you rent does not include utilities and you need to set up new accounts, the following links may be useful.


What is required for an assistantship? How do I go about getting one? How much do assistantships pay?

Assistantships require a graduate student to work anywhere from 13-20 hours per week, depending on semester and type of assignment. Applications for assistantships are made to your graduate coordinator’s office in the spring semester to begin work in the following fall semester. Assistantships carry a tuition waiver, reducing tuition to $25/semester. However, all activity fees and health insurance must be paid for by students. Assistantships also provide a monthly stipend. Assistantships vary by department, assignment, type of work, and award. For more information, consult your academic department or the Graduate School Financial Assistance page.

Is my stipend taxed?

Depending upon the type of financial award you receive, you may have to pay state and/or federal tax. For more information, contact the Bursar’s Office. International students should also contact the International Student Life Office for details regarding their annual tax sessions. Additionally, the State of Georgia maintains a Tax Guide for Georgia Citizens.
How do I find student employment on campus?

Handshake is the University of Georgia Career Center’s online job/internship posting and campus recruiting system. It contains listings posted by prospective employers both on- and off-campus. A student employment fair is held every semester at the Tate Center for students seeking part time jobs both on and off campus.


What library resources are available? Where are they? What are the hours?

The University of Georgia Libraries include three principal facilities on the UGA campus in Athens: the Main Library, the Science Library, and the Miller Learning Center. The Libraries also has primary responsibility for a number of smaller on-campus libraries, reading rooms, and materials centers, and collaborates with several UGA research facilities throughout the state.
What is the MLC? Where is it located? What is the difference between the MLC and the Library?

MLC stands for Miller Learning Center and it is located at the end of Baxter Street (next to the Tate Student Center). The MLC has a number of computers and group study rooms for students to use. There is also a more relaxed policy regarding food, drink, and noise at the MLC versus the library.

Does UGA offer reduced-price software for students?

Yes! SRS Personal Use Software is the way for students, faculty and staff to purchase affordable software for use on their personal computers. For a complete list of available software and current prices, log-on to SRS with your UGA myID.
How do I know what books are required for my courses?

At any time after you have completed registration, you may log in to ATHENA and use the bookstore link located at the bottom of the registration screen to load a list of required textbooks for your courses. For more information or more specific instructions, look for the Online Bookstore Information link on the ATHENA access page.


Where can I buy tickets for UGA Athletic events?

Student Tickets are available on the UGA Athletics website. Full season ticket packages can be purchased for most sports. However, football tickets are allocated based on number of credit hours.
Where can I find student organizations? How do I join?

Student organizations are listed in The Involvement Network Database. Refer to specific organization websites for information on how to join.
Where can I find information about the international student community at UGA?

The International Student Life Office hosts several events and has a lot of information pertaining to international students. To learn more, visit ISL.

How can I join volunteer groups at UGA? What about off campus volunteering?

Volunteer UGA, located in the Center for Leadership and Service, is a great place to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Community Connection of Northeast Georgia connect individuals to volunteer opportunities in the local community through the HandsOn Northeast Georgia program.

Volunteer Match also provides a service that lets users search for organizations in the area that need help.

How do I join intramural teams? What sports programs are available year round?

Information regarding intramural sports can be found on the Recreational Sports website. Many sports are offered ranging from indoor soccer to flag football to racquetball. Each sport has its own specific season.

Where can I workout?

The Fitness and Wellness Center is located in the Ramsey Center on the south side of campus. The center has a wide range of equipment available and offers a variety of classes and wellness assessments. Personal trainers and weight rooms are also located in the Ramsey Center.

Enrolled Student FAQ

Frequently asked questions for currently enrolled students have been organized into subtopics. Click on a question to reveal the answer.


Can I add a class after the semester withdrawal deadline?

You can add a course after the withdrawal deadline for the current term by complete the late add form showing the approval of the instructor, department head, and Dean of the Graduate School, and submitting the following:

  • a letter from the student explaining the request for a late add;
  • a plan of action from the instructor explaining how the student can complete the course by the end of the term;
  • a letter from the major professor, cosigned by the graduate coordinator, that addresses the reason adding the course is necessary for the student’s program of study; and
  • a letter from the Dean of the Graduate School to the Registrar providing an extraordinary justification for supporting the late add.

When can I register for classes?

See the Schedule of Classes and Key dates listing on the Registrar’s website.
Can I register after Drop/Add?

You cannot register after the drop/add period without special permission. No course may be added to a student’s schedule after the first fourteen calendar days of a term without the approval of the instructor of the course, department head and the graduate dean. Also a letter from the student co-signed by his/her major professor and graduate coordinator.
Can I drop a class after Drop/Add?

A student can only drop without penalty during the designated drop/add period. The word “drop” is synonymous with “delete.” It means the course will be removed from the student records and payment for the course will be refunded. If a student “withdraws” from a course after drop/add, there will be no refund. A refund is given only for complete withdrawals from the university after drop/add. You must “withdraw” from the course after the drop/add period is over.

How do I withdraw from a course or all of my courses?

You can request this by going to the main menu of ATHENA. The ATHENA Withdrawal system will instruct you as you go.
Can I “drop (delete)” courses at any time during the semester?

A course can only be deleted after the designated drop/add period if the student has registered for the course as the result of an error for which the university is at fault. The student and instructor of the course must submit a letter of petition explaining the error to the Graduate School. The letter must be co-signed by the student’s major professor and graduate coordinator.

My schedule was dropped for non-payment. How do I add all my classes back?

You must pick up add cards for each course that was dropped for non-payment. You must add all the classes back that were dropped. There will be a $150 re-instatement fee. You pick up the add cards in your departmental graduate coordinator’s office and get signatures from the instructor, department head, and graduate dean of each course. The form must then be carried to the Graduate School for a signature by a representative of the dean. Then the student carries the form to the Bursar’s Office to make payment and to the Registrar’s Office to have the schedule reinstated.

Can I change a class from “audit” to “credit” or from “credit to “audit”?

This can only be done during the designated drop/add period in the schedule of classes.

How do I find the amounts for tuition and fees?

For information about tuition and fees, see here. If you have any questions, please contact the Bursar’s website.

How many hours must I be enrolled for full-time or half-time status?

Students on Assistantship – Fall and Spring: 12-18 hours; Summer: 9-18 hours

Students not on Assistantship – Fall and Spring: 9+ hours (full-time), 5-8 hours (half-time); Summer: 6+ hours (full-time), 3-5 hours (half-time)

Audited courses do not count for purposes of computing assistantship, full or half-time status.

Probation & Dismissal
What happens if my graduate GPA (course average) drops below 3.0?

You will be placed on “warning” status for the first semester after your GPA drops below 3.0. This is a warning that you will be placed on probation if your GPA is still below 3.0 at the end of the warning semester. If you are placed on probation, you must maintain a semester GPA of 3.0 for each semester until your overall graduate course average is at least 3.0. If your semester GPA drops below 3.0 for any semester during probation status, you will be dismissed from the Graduate School.

Can I pre-register while on warning or probation?

Students that have received a warning letter can pre-register after they turn in their Graduate School Advisement form. This must be signed by your major professor and graduate coordinator. You cannot pre-register if you are on probation. Students on probation, also have to submit the Graduate School Advisement form prior to registering for the next semester, but these students cannot register until the grades for the current semester have been received.

Student Records

How can I get an official copy of my UGA transcript?

Official transcripts are issued only by the Registrar’s Office.

When can I expect my diploma?

The Registrar prints and mails diplomas. The normal time frame is 6 to 8 weeks after graduation.

How do I change my address, name or ID number?

You may contact the Registrar’s office to request a change in your address or you can make this change through ATHENA. For a change in name or ID number contact the Registrar.


Is a format check required for my thesis or dissertation?

Yes, you must submit your document electronically to the Graduate School by the deadline for a format check in your graduation semester. If you do not submit by the deadline, your graduation date will be changed to the next semester.

How do I submit my thesis or dissertation for a format check?

Check Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines for instructions, templates, and the link to submit. You will receive a confirmation page when it is submitted correctly. Print this page for your records.

Will I know if my format is approved?

Yes, you will receive an email from the Graduate School stating whether you need to make corrections to your document or not. If you submit it on or near the deadline, it can take up to two weeks for us to check it and send you a response. If you have not heard from us after two weeks, you should contact to make sure your submission went through.

I submitted a format check during last semester. Do I need to submit another format check this semester?

If you have already submitted a format check, you do not have to submit it for a format check again. Once you have passed your final defense and have made all of the corrections suggested by the Graduate School as well as your committee members, you then would submit as a final submission. You will receive an e-mail from the Graduate School once your thesis or dissertation has been accepted as the official UGA copy.


How does the Graduate School know that I am ready to graduate?

All graduate students must submit an application for graduation by the deadline posted for the semester that graduation is anticipated. The application is submitted electronically. Be sure to print the confirmation page for your records.

I submitted my paperwork last semester but didn’t graduate. Do I need to submit all of the paperwork again?

If we already have an approved advisory committee form (required only for doctoral and thesis-writing master’s degrees) and a program of study form (required for all degrees) on file, it is not necessary to submit these forms again. If revisions are to be made to these forms, you would submit a recommended change in program of study form and another advisory committee form with “revised” checked at the top of the form. If no changes are needed, do not submit these forms again.

Have I submitted all necessary paperwork to graduate this semester?

It is recommended that students keep copies of all forms submitted and note the date of submission to the Graduate School. All documents must be submitted by the deadline for the semester that graduation is anticipated. If you are not sure you or your department has submitted a required form, email with your full name and the last four digits of your social security number (ID number if you do not have a social security number).

How do I change my graduation date?

Prior to your graduation semester, you can change your graduation date in ATHENA. If you need to change to a later graduation date during the semester you were scheduled to graduate, submit the Graduation Change Form (this form must be printed and submitted in hard copy).

When and where will the commencement ceremony take place?

Formal Graduate School commencement ceremonies are held in May, August, and December. The May ceremony is held at 10:00 am in Stegeman Coliseum, the August ceremony (graduate and undergraduate combined) is held at 9:30 am in Stegeman Coliseum, and the December ceremony is held at 2:30 pm in Stegeman Coliseum. We request that you report to the coliseum at least an hour prior to the start of the ceremony for assembly of the procession. Tickets are not needed for family members and guests. You may order your graduation gown, hood, cap & tassel by visiting the UGA bookstore. Full commencement details include instructions and a map of the coliseum and assembly area.

Faculty & Staff FAQ

Frequently asked questions for faculty and staff have been organized into subtopics. Click on a question to reveal the answer.


Can we admit an international applicant with TOEFL scores below the minimum requirements?

No, international applicants must score the minimum required on the TOEFL exam before the acceptance recommendation can be finalized. Students that do not score the minimums required will have difficulty in the classroom. Applicants can take the TOEFL more than once. The Graduate School will use the highest subscores from each test.

Can we waive the TOEFL requirement for an applicant?

Some international applicants will not be required to submit the TOEFL. Be sure to check English language proficiency requirements. If the applicant does not automatically receive a waiver and you feel the applicant should receive a waiver, the Graduate Coordinator must write a letter to the Graduate School with the specific reasons why s/he feels the applicant should not be required to take the TOEFL exam. A decision will be made by the Associate Director. Both the applicant and department will be notified via tracking of the decision.

Is it possible to move an application back to an earlier semester?

This can only be done before the end of add/drop in the term the applicant applied for originally. You must change the admission term when you submit the electronic recommendation. You can enter the correct term in the “change admission term” field. Graduate Admissions will process the change when we finalize the recommendation.

The deadline for submitting fall applications has passed, but I have a prospective applicant that I’d like to admit for Fall Semester. Will you let the applicant apply late?

No applications can be submitted after the deadline. However, it is possible for the department to request admission for the upcoming semester for an applicant who applied for a later term. The department must change the matriculation date on the electronic recommendation screen when submitting the recommendation for admission. All recommendations should be made by the first day of classes for the desired semester. Exceptions will be made on recommendations submitted after the first day of classes on a case by case basis.

Why can’t my new student register?

If the Graduate School flags a student’s registration, the reason will appear on the acceptance letter. The student must submit any required documents to our office before registration. If the student cannot provide the document, s/he must contact our office by email at

An applicant’s file is incomplete on tracking, but I’d like to refuse this person. When can I do so?

In order to ensure that all applicants receive a fair and equitable review, it is the policy of the Graduate School to only allow decisions on complete files prior to the first day of classes for the requested semester. Complete files are defined as follows.

For domestic applicants: receipt of official test scores and official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions (denoted as a “Y” in the “Admissions Awaiting Dept. Recommendation” column on tracking).

For international applicants: receipt of official test scores (denoted as a “T” in the “Admissions Awaiting Dept. Recommendation” column on tracking).

Files which are incomplete at the beginning of the semester for which the applicant has applied may be refused during the “open refusal” period. This is a seven-day period which lasts from the first day of class until the end of ATHENA registration. At this time the Graduate School will accept refusals on any incomplete files for that term.

What is the deadline for submitting a decision for an applicant?

Academic departments may submit decisions on files until the end of the ATHENA registration period for that semester. After ATHENA registration has ended, students may be admitted during an additional 7-day period known as Late Add. Students admitted during this time frame will not be able to register through ATHENA and must complete manual “walk-thru” registration add slips and pay late fees through the Registrar’s Office.

What is the GRE waiver policy?

If an applicant has already earned a PhD or EdD degree from a regionally-accredited institution, the entrance exam may be waived at the discretion of the academic department. The graduate coordinator or assistant should email the Graduate Admissions Office with a statement that faculty are willing to review the applicant’s file without entrance exam scores. Note: A Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and a Medical Doctorate (MD) degree are professional degrees and do not necessarily qualify for any entrance exam waiver.

Can the applicant whose entrance test scores have expired submit scores on file at another institution?

At the department’s discretion, expired GRE scores may be used towards an admissions application as follows: The applicant must furnish a sealed copy of the GRE scores in the issuing institution’s envelope to the Graduate Admissions Office. The score must be an official copy of the original score report and not a statement made on letterhead. The Graduate Admissions Office reserves the right to determine if the score report meets its definition of an “official copy.” Once the score is received, the expired score will be listed on the tracking with a special notation that it is expired. The score is then sent to the academic department for review. The score is not marked received unless the academic department emails the admissions office and indicates that the expired score is acceptable after the score is reviewed.

What are the Graduate School’s minimum test score requirements for admission?

The Graduate School sets suggested guidelines for entrance exam scores, but does not have “concrete” minimums. A list of the guidelines for GRE, MAT, GMAT and TOEFL scores may be obtained by emailing the Graduate Admissions Office.

Graduate Coordinators

How does a department assign a new graduate coordinator for its graduate programs?

The department head must send a letter to the dean of the Graduate School to recommend the new coordinator. The letter must give the start date for the change and contact information for the new coordinator. After the dean has approved the request, the director of Graduate Admissions will provide access to admission systems and appropriate listservs.

How does a new graduate coordinator’s assistant receive access to Graduate Admissions tracking and recommendation systems?

The graduate coordinator must send an e-mail to the director of Graduate Admissions with the following information for the new assistant:

  • Full name
  • TSO userID
  • e-mail address
  • last four digits of SS#
  • level of access to admissions recommendation systems (up-date only or coordinator’s level to make recommendations)

There is a form in the departments tracking system for this purpose. For reasons of security, the Graduate School will not accept this information from anyone except the graduate coordinator or the department head. Once this information is received, the director of admissions will request access to the Electronic Recommendation System (EDR) and the application tracking system.

Enrolled Students

How can I obtain access to clear students in my department for advisement?

Access to the TSO Student Advisement System is provided to appropriate faculty and staff members by the Registrar’s Office.
Will the Graduate School clear graduate students’ advisement so they can register?

No, Graduate School staff cannot clear students for registration. It is recommended that at least two department staff or faculty members have the ability to clear advisement in the event of an unavoidable absence during registration periods.

What is the minimum enrollment requirement for graduate students who do not have assistantships?

Graduate students are required to register for a minimum of 3 hours for at least two semesters of each academic year (fall, spring, summer). This does not supercede other requirements such as those imposed by the Office of International Education, doctoral residency requirements or the requirement that doctoral students must register for 10 hours between admission to candidacy and graduation. For more detail, refer to the enrollment policy.

How can a student add a class after drop/add ends?

Courses should not be added after the ATHENA drop/add period ends. If an error occurred that requires that a course be added after that time, the student must bring a signed “Application to Make Late Schedule Revision-Add Only” form to the Graduate School with a petition letter stating why the course was not added during the legal period and how the student will catch up with the course materials. The graduate coordinator’s office can obtain these forms from the Registrar’s Office. If approved by the Graduate School, the student must then carry the form to the Bursar’s Office and the Registrar’s Office.

How do I notify the Graduate School of a doctoral student’s oral comprehensive preliminary exams or the final oral defense of the dissertation?

These exams can be announced to the Graduate School through the electronic form.

Choose either “Announcement of Doctoral Oral Comprehensive Exam” or “Announcement of Doctoral Defense of the Dissertation.” Be sure to enter information in all fields. Choose “Send Announcement.” You will receive a confirmation number. Once the form is received by our staff, a copy of the notification will be sent to the department via e-mail.

Note that these announcements will be accepted only from the graduate coordinator’s office; they will not be accepted from the student.

Do I need to notify the Graduate School of a master’s oral defense of the thesis?

No, we do not announce thesis defenses to the university community.

Where can I find information regarding advisory committee composition for master of arts, master of science and doctoral degrees?

You can locate this information in the Graduate Coordinators’ Handbook. See pages 28-31 for information pertaining to topics such as co-major professors, adjunct faculty, retired faculty, former graduate faculty, non-affiliated persons on advisory committees and more.

If a student misses the deadline for submitting forms required for graduation (application for graduation, program of study, advisory committee, etc.), is it possible for the student to graduate in the current semester?

The student must submit the missing form(s), complete a late filing form, and pay a $50 late fee. Students have 45 days after the original deadline for submitting all necessary paperwork to our office. After the 45 days, their application for graduation will be processed for the next semester.
What do I do if a student does not make satisfactory progress in a research course or thesis/dissertation writing course?

It is not appropriate to assign an incomplete grade in a research or thesis/dissertation writing course (courses numbered 7000, 9000, 7300 or 9300). If it is known that the student is not able to fulfill the course requirements prior to midpoint, s/he should withdraw from the course. If the student does not withdraw, the instructor should assign a grade of U for that semester and the student should enroll for the course again at a later time.

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