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Graduate Admissions

An applicant for graduate study is expected to hold the bachelor's degree from a college of recognized standing. The applicant's preparation must be appropriate to the desired program, and must meet the requirements of the specific degree program pursued.

Each prospective graduate student must submit an application to the Graduate School and receive a letter of admission before registering for courses.

A senior at Virginia State University who has a superior scholastic record and is within six hours of qualifying for the bachelor's degree may be admitted to graduate studies; but work applied toward the bachelor's degree may not be used as credit for the master's degree. Enrollment in graduate courses must be approved by the departmental chairman and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach.

Admission requirements for the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration and Supervision are described in the section entitled, “Doctor of Education Degree Program.”


Application Procedures

All prospective graduate students apply for admission either (1) to a program leading to a degree or (2) to a non-degree program for certification, inservice training, or for professional or personal improvement. Each student applying for admission should specify on the application a field to which he/she intends to devote the major portion of his/her study. Each student admitted to graduate study in a specified program will be assigned a faculty advisor by the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach, or the program coordinator of the student's area of specialization.

All applications are expected to be made on the official graduate application form of Virginia State University, which may be obtained from the Graduate School Office. The completed application should be returned to the Graduate School Office. All supporting credentials, scores, and references should be mailed directly from the original source to the Graduate School Office.

It is recommended that applications for admission to graduate study be received by May 1 for the Fall Semester, and by November 1 for the Spring Semester. The University will make every effort to process applications received after these dates, but the student's registration may be delayed, late fees may result, or consideration for the desired term may not be assured.

Application Procedures for Students Seeking a Degree

  1. Submit a completed application form with the fee of $25 (cashier's check or money order made payable to Virginia State University) to the Graduate School Office.
  2. Have two official transcripts from each collegiate institution attended sent to the School of Graduate Studies and Research and Outreach to be considered official, a transcript must be received DIRECTLY from the institution concerned. Graduates of Virginia State must comply with this requirement (with the exception that only one transcript is needed).
  3. Have the Educational Testing Service send recent scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants who can not comply with this request must register for the GRE during the first semester of enrollment at the University.
  4. Requests for transfer credit for graduate courses already completed must be submitted to the student's major professor with evidence that it is a graduate level course; a catalog description for the course is necessary to determine its equivalency to offerings at this University.
  5. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to present a minimum score of 500 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Exceptions are made for transfer students from other U.S. colleges who have completed at least one semester of course work with a grade point average of "C" or better.
  6. Applicants applying for a graduate fellowship should be sure that the Application for a Graduate Fellowship is filled out and returned with their Application for Admission.

Application Procedures for Non-Degree Study

  1. Submit a completed application form with the fee of $25 (cashier's check or money order made payable to Virginia State University) to the Graduate School Office.
  2. Attach a statement of study objectives.
  3. Have two official transcripts of the record leading to the most advanced degree attained sent to the Graduate School Office. To be considered official, a transcript must be received DIRECTLY from the institution. Graduates of Virginia State must comply with this requirement (with the exception that only one transcript is needed).
  4. An applicant who is a candidate for a degree at another institution should also submit a statement from an appropriate official certifying such status and authorizing study here.

Types of Admission

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach as a graduate student is of three types--unconditional, conditional, and special. In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate study at Virginia State University, academic program requirements must be satisfied. The specific requirements for each program are found under the description of the program.

Unconditional Admission

  1. Graduates of a regionally accredited college, with a minimum grade-point average of 2.6 (on a 4-point scale) may be granted unconditional admission provided all other prerequisites have been met. The grade-point average is based on either the last two years of college or the entire undergraduate record, whichever is better, except that the grade-point average of a student who attended more than one college is based on the entire record.
  2. Applicants must meet the requirements for admission to the program of their proposed majors. (See program descriptions.)

Conditional Admission

Three classes of graduate students are granted conditional admission to Graduate School:

  1. A graduate of an institution approved as a four-year college by the State Department of Education in the state where it is located, but not accredited by its regional accrediting agency may be admitted conditionally; however, he/she must have an undergraduate average of at least 2.5.
  2. An applicant who is a graduate of a college fully accredited by its regional accrediting agency but whose academic average is lower than 2.6 may be admitted conditionally.  The requirements for conditional admission vary by program area. 
  3. Applicants who have met the general admission requirements of the Graduate School but who have not cleared program area admissions requirements may be admitted conditionally, pending program area action.

Removal of Conditional Status

The student must remove his/her conditional status and attain unconditional status by (1) earning an average of 3.0 in the first 12 hours of courses in an approved program of study; (2) meeting all program area requirements for unconditional admission; and (3) earning an average of 3.0 in all undergraduate prerequisites listed in the approved program of study. 
Special Admission for Non-Matriculating Students

Students who possess baccalaureate degrees and wish to study for their own personal growth may be allowed to take course work as non-matriculating "special" students.

Students admitted to resident workshops and institutes and to approved off-campus graduate courses but who are not pursuing a program of study, will be considered special students.

A visiting student pursuing graduate work at another institution may, with the approval of the appropriate official(s) of that institution, take courses at Virginia State University for credit to be transferred to the graduate school in which the student is enrolled. Such a student has special status at Virginia State University.

Transfer to a Degree Program

A special student who wishes to become a degree-seeking student may have his/her classification changed by presenting his/her request to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach and submitting all required credentials. Not more than nine (9) semester hours of credit earned by a special student may be credited toward the master's degree.

Offer of Admission to Graduate Study

A written offer of admission is made by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach to an applicant who has been admitted. The offer specifies the effective date of admission (which normally coincides with the semester requested on the application), the category of admission being offered and the name of the faculty advisor assigned to the applicant. The offer of admission is good for one year.

A written acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission should be sent to the Graduate Office as soon as a decision on graduate study has been made by the student.

A student who enrolls at another institution is considered to have rejected the University's offer of admission. An individual whose offer of admission has lapsed must submit a new application and fee to be reconsidered for admission at a later date.

Re-Application

Students who are accepted but do not enroll within a one-year period from the semester date for which they were accepted must obtain new application forms from the Graduate School, initiate the application process the same as new students, and pay all fees as required in the application process.

Reactivation

Records of students who have enrolled previously but have taken no course work during a two-year interval will be deactivated. Once records are deactivated, a student must reapply to the Graduate School, submitting a new application form with required application fees to continue with graduate studies. Transcripts of any course work taken during the two-year interval from any other college or university will also be required.

Registration

Dates of registration are listed in the University Calendar. Registration is done in person at the University. Specific instructions are mailed to matriculating students and are also available on the dates of registration. Prior to registration, graduate students who are already enrolled in a program should consult with their advisors and work out programs for the ensuing term. For this purpose, the students should bring with them their Student Program and Data card and copies of their most recent grade reports. Graduate faculty from program areas and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Outreach are also available in the registration area on the dates of registration.

A late registration fee is charged after the date specified in the University Calendar. The amount charged is listed under "Special Fees." Registration is not completed until all financial obligations pertaining to it are met. 

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