Graduate Admissions

Admission

All degree, certificate, or non-degree-seeking students (including new students, University employees, and UNCG students applying for a graduate program after completing a previous degree) must submit a nonrefundable application fee to the University before the application is processed. The Admissions section of the Graduate School’s website lists current application fees and supplemental documents by program.

Only the Graduate School may admit students to the University. Faculty in the graduate programs recommend students for admission to the Graduate School after they have assessed each prospective graduate student’s potential. Applications are evaluated by faculty of each program. Programs have significant discretion in determining admission standards and class size based on factors such as availability of academic mentors, financial support, laboratory space, and student distribution within interest areas. Each graduate program maintains a graduate program handbook that describes admissions expectations specific to that program.

Neither an academic record exceeding minimum requirements, nor satisfactory scores on standardized tests, nor professional expertise alone will assure an applicant’s admission in this competitive environment. Rather, the overall record must indicate the strong likelihood that a prospective student will complete graduate study successfully.

Each application to the Graduate School will result in one admission decision. Offers of admission are not official until approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Official admission decisions are communicated to applicants by email from the Dean of the Graduate School. Prospective students can view the status of the admission application online at the application portal. Click “Manage Your Account” and then “View All Forms.”

Successful applicants are offered admission for a specific program in a specific term.

Application Requirements for All Graduate Programs

All applicants must have obtained the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or appropriately evaluated credentials from non-U.S. schools.
  • Satisfactory academic standing in an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate program.
  • Approval of the academic department in which the graduate student will major.

Graduate applicants must submit a completed online application and a nonrefundable application fee.  To be considered for an assistantship, students must check the box on the application. (See Financial Support.)

Required Credentials

All applicants must submit one official transcript from every institution in which a degree was earned. If an applicant is currently enrolled in a degree program and will not graduate prior to an admission deadline, applicants must submit transcripts reflecting courses in progress. (Many departments require additional transcripts. See the Guide to Graduate Admissions.)

Unofficial transcripts may be used to make admissions decisions, and students may register for the first semester. However, a registration hold will be placed on the student record until final official transcripts showing degree awarded has been received. International applicants are encouraged to submit a course-by-course evaluation from a NACES approved evaluation service. (ex: EP, JS&A, Spantran, ECE, WES). If using Spantran, click on SPANTRAN for the specific UNCG Graduate School form.

Disposition of Application Materials

Credentials or supporting materials submitted for admission to the Graduate School become the property of the University and are not returned. No copies will be provided to third parties outside the University except when compelled by legal authority. Copies will, however, be provided to appropriate offices at the University in the interest of academic matters or financial awards relative to the applicant. Applications and supporting documents are retained according to the retention policies of the state of North Carolina.

Department/Program Requirements

  • Departments/Programs may require additional transcript information.
  • Letters of Recommendation. The Graduate School does not require letters of recommendation. However, a department/program may require at least one.
  • Programs have complete discretion concerning whether they require standardized test scores. Where standardized test scores are considered as one factor in the admissions process, programs may not use cutoff or minimum scores as an initial screening tool or as a requirement.
  • If a program requires a standardized test score (e.g., GMAT or GRE), that score must be submitted to UNCG’s Office of Graduate Admission directly from the administering agency. Scores are valid for five years from the time originally taken.
  • Most Departments and/or Programs have additional application requirements that pertain specifically to the intended field of study. Additional materials required by the program or department, such as audition, interview, portfolio, resume, writing sample, personal statement, etc., may be required to complete an application.
  • Students whose programs require specific undergraduate requirements that are not documented on the official transcript, may be required to take pre-requisite coursework before enrolling in graduate-level courses. In these cases, the department must document pre-requisite requirements in the student’s Plan of Study.

For further information on department and program requirements, see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

Completing Pre-Requisite Academic Requirements

Students whose programs require specific undergraduate requirements that are not documented on the official transcript may be required to take pre-requisite coursework before enrolling in graduate-level courses. In these cases, the department must document pre-requisite requirements in the student’s Plan of Study.

International Applicants

International applicants include citizens or permanent residents of a country other than the United States. International applicants may be in the United States on an educational, worker, or visitor visa, or be residing in their home country.

International applicants must submit all application materials as described above. (See the Guide to Graduate Admissions.)

International applicants may send paper recommendations if required by the specific department/program.

All supporting credentials must be in English, and transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School. International applicants on, or intending to be on, an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to certify that they have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of tuition and fees, accommodation and meals, insurance, and other living expenses. Financial forms and supporting bank/sponsor documents may be downloaded here.

English Proficiency

Non-native speakers of English must validate proficiency in the English language by one of three means:

  1. Submit a satisfactory score on a language proficiency test.
    • TOEFL     79 (paper-based 550)
    • IELTS       6.5 Band Score
    • PTE          67
    • ELS          112
  2. The applicant is from a country where English is recognized as the official language or where the primary course of instruction is in English. Faculty or students who wish to verify information may visit the CIA World Factbook by clicking here.
  3. Successful completion of one of the following English language intensive programs:

Any waiver of language proficiency requirements must be requested by the department via email, with an explanation as to why a waiver is requested and must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Conditional Admission for International Students

International students who do not meet the English language proficiency, may apply for conditional admission to a graduate program prior to establishing proficiency. Students offered conditional admission will be enrolled in the School of Education Global Pathway program. Students in the SOE Pathway will be able to earn some graduate credit while enrolled in the Pathway and may fully-matriculate only upon meeting the UNCG proficiency requirement. Certification of completion of the program must be submitted to the Graduate School to move from conditionally to fully admitted.

For more information on the School of Education Pathway Program, click here. To apply, click here.

English Prerequisite to Registration

All new conditionally admitted international students will undergo a UNCG administered English assessment. Fully admitted international students with proficiency scores between the equivalent of TOEFL 79 and 85, will also be expected to take this same assessment exam. Results will be shared with Graduate Program Directors who may then require some students to register for ESL courses in reading, speaking, or writing. International Teaching Associates and Instructional Assistants may be asked to take ESL 631 Communication and Presentation before they may be assigned as an Instructor of Record.

Transcript(s)

  • All admitted international students are required to submit a final and official transcript evaluation demonstrating the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree requested from a NACES approved credit evaluation service. If using Spantran, click on SPANTRAN for the specific UNCG Graduate School form.
  • For a transcript or diploma to be final and official, it must show no coursework in progress and must contain the name of the degree and date on which it was awarded. The course-by-course credit evaluation must determine the institution’s accreditation, degree, credits and course equivalents earned. The evaluation should be sent directly to the Graduate School from the evaluation service.
  • This requirement must be completed before October of the first semester of their graduate program. Failure to do so will result in placing a hold on the ability to register for continuing study and may result in termination from the Graduate School.
  • Credential evaluations are not required for short-term study abroad experiences sponsored and transcripted through a regionally accredited U.S. institution.
  • Department of State Agency applicants (i.e. Fulbright, AMIDEAST, Laspau, or USAID) may upload an unofficial copy of their transcripts in English into the online application. Agencies will submit original transcripts if an offer of acceptance is extended.

Applicants must arrange for The Graduate School to receive official or certified copies of an undergraduate degree transcript. (Departments/programs may require additional transcripts. Please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.)

Pursuing Multiple Degree Programs

Students are prohibited from pursuing multiple degree programs at the same time.

Non-credential-seeking (Visiting) Students

Non-degree students who wish to take graduate-level courses (courses numbered 500 – 749*) must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and must apply through the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not admit an individual as a non-degree student (as if they were in a program). Instead, approved non-degree students will receive notice from the Graduate School that they may register for classes. Visiting students are restricted from registering for any course that is not on a program’s list of approved courses.

Non-degree students who wish to take undergraduate-level courses (courses numbered 100-499) must apply through undergraduate admissions, even if having previously earned an undergraduate degree

Non-degree seeking students must apply for each semester in which they wish to enroll. A non-refundable fee is charged each time a non-degree seeking application is submitted. An undergraduate transcript(s) from the degree-granting institution required with an initial application; this is waived in subsequent applications.

Non-degree students who are permitted to enroll for graduate courses may take courses numbered 500 –749 that have not been restricted by the departments (see Non-degree Seeking Applicants.) With the instructor’s approval, non-degree seeking students may submit a written petition to the Graduate Program Director or the Department Head to enroll in a restricted course; however, independent study is reserved for only degree seeking students.

To pursue a degree at any time, a non-degree student must formally apply for admission to the Graduate School. If the student meets all Graduate School and program standards and is granted admission, a maximum of nine (9) credits earned while in non-degree status may be applied to the academic program. Credit earned must fall within the timeline for completing the degree or certificate.

Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid.

Public School Personnel

Public school teachers and administrators who wish to take courses solely for licensure renewal credit may do so as non-degree seeking students. Students who meet all requirements for admission as a graduate degree student will also receive the licensure renewal credit.

If credit is to be applied to a graduate degree, the student must submit an application to the Graduate School before the completion of the course.

Deferral of Admission

With permission from the Graduate Program Director, students admitted to a degree or certificate program may defer matriculation for a maximum of one year from the initial term of admission. Deferral is not possible for many degree programs.

To request a deferral of admission, admitted students must select Deferral in the Intent to Enroll form that will be emailed to them once they have been admitted. The request will be sent to the appropriate department's Graduate Program Director for consideration. The deferral request must be for a specific term and may not exceed one year from the original term of admission.

The department will forward the form request to the Graduate School for processing, and the Graduate School will notify the student of the decision. If the student does not request a deferral, or if the department does not approve the requested deferral, and the student does not enroll for the original term of admission, the student will have to reapply for admission. If the requested deferral is approved and the student does not enroll for the approved deferred term of admission, the student will have to reapply for admission.

Financial awards are not deferred.

Military-affiliated students should contact the Graduate School for individual assistance with extended deferrals.

Readmission & Catalog Policy

The University Catalog is the publication that documents all academic policies, regulations, and program requirements for a given academic year for all students and programs.

A student's catalog year identifies the set of curriculum requirements and regulations for program completion. The catalog year is established for the individual student upon declaration or change of the program.

A student may change a catalog year without a change of program or minor only to a more recent catalog. The student may request this change formally through their department.

Any student who has been inactivated must reapply for admission to the University. If admitted, the student will be assigned to the catalog requirements for the program in effect for the re-admit term.

Readmission after Academic Dismissal

A student who is dismissed for academic reasons will be eligible to submit a new application after two semesters or the equivalent and may be admitted only upon the recommendation of the major department head or Graduate Program Director and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. While on academic dismissal, students are not eligible to take courses as a non-degree seeking student.

Fresh Start Admission for Master’s Degrees

A returning graduate student with a GPA lower than 3.0, who has been dismissed or withdrawn from the Graduate School may request a “fresh start” when changing or returning to a graduate program leading to a master’s degree or certificate at UNCG. A fresh start is defined as beginning a graduate program and having the graduate academic record recalculated to reflect no credits attempted and no graduate grade point average for the new or returned to program; however, all graduate courses previously taken at UNCG will remain on the student’s academic record. The attempted credit hours from all courses will be counted for financial aid eligibility (as applicable).

To be eligible for a fresh start, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • A period of at least two years must have passed since the student withdrew or was dismissed from a UNCG graduate program;
  • The student must be recommended for admission into the program by the appropriate department; and
  • The student must request and be granted a fresh start from the Graduate School.

Courses completed in a previous UNCG graduate program will not transfer nor will they be applied to the requirements of the new or returned to program. The new program must be finished, and the degree must be conferred within five years of the completion of the first new course.

At most, one fresh start will be granted to any one master’s student at UNCG. Final approval for a fresh start application rests with the Dean of the Graduate School.

Accelerated Master’s Programs

An Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) allows a student to begin accumulating credits towards completion of a UNCG graduate degree while still enrolled as an undergraduate. Successful undergraduate applicants are given an early decision on their graduate application pending successful completion of the baccalaureate degree. These graduate-level courses will count towards both the baccalaureate degree and the graduate degree; the grades will be recorded on both transcripts.

No more than 12 graduate credits taken as an undergraduate may be applied toward the undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate students may apply for admission to the AMP as they enter junior status (60 semester hours). Minimal criteria for admission will include an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 in the related major and any additional criteria as determined by the academic unit.  Transfer students may apply if their cumulative GPA from their previous institution was at least a 3.0, or if they have earned a 3.0 (with a 3.5 in courses related to the major) at UNCG during their first semester.

The student must apply for admission to the AMP through the Graduate School. To ensure a timely decision and access to course enrollment, students must apply for admission to an Accelerated Master’s Program by July 1 for Fall AMP course enrollment, November 15 for Spring enrollment, and April 1 for Summer enrollment.

International students who are admitted into an Accelerated Master’s Program should work with the Graduate School and the International Programs Center to apply for a visa extension.

A student enrolled in an AMP program is prohibited from Dual Bachelor’s-Master’s Registration.

Dual Bachelor's-Master's Registration

Students who do not wish to enroll in a UNCG graduate program may register for graduate-level courses if they have no more than twelve (12) credit hours remaining to fulfill the requirements of their bachelor’s degree program. Students must apply for admission to a graduate program before requests for dual registration can be approved, but they do not have to be formally admitted until the end of the semester in which credit is earned. For dual registration status, the approvals of the Graduate School, the University Registrar’s Office, the Graduate Program Director in the appropriate graduate program(s), and the student’s undergraduate major adviser are required.

Total graduate credit obtained in this dual status may not exceed 12 credits. Graduate courses are not applied to the undergraduate degree.

A student enrolled in Dual Bachelor’s Master’s Registration may not be concurrently enrolled in and AMP program.

Faculty as Students

Faculty at UNCG may not pursue a graduate degree or certificate in their home department or degree-offering unit. For exceptions, the unit dean may petition the Dean of the Graduate School.