Criteria for Admission
Prospective students may apply for admission during or after the final year of undergraduate study, but must submit the official baccalaureate degree transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies before the end of the first year of enrollment.
International students with a three-year degree are referred to the program in which they wish to pursue graduate studies to determine possible additional coursework. They can be considered for graduate admission, but admission is at the discretion of the individual departments/schools.
Criteria for Admission
The decision to admit an applicant to a program is based primarily on a combination of the following criteria according to the requirements of the specific program.
Quality of previous undergraduate and graduate work. The Graduate College requires a minimum “B” average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), in a program of study resulting in the award of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale can be considered for provisional admission. If an applicant has studied at the graduate level and performed satisfactorily, less weight may, but not necessarily, be placed on the quality of the undergraduate academic record. Some programs require a higher minimum grade point average for admission.
Strength of letters of recommendation from persons competent to judge the applicant’s probable success in graduate school. These letters are usually from the applicant’s former professors who are able to give an in-depth evaluation of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. Additional recommendations may come from employers or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant’s work experience.
Official scores on required aptitude or advanced knowledge examination(s).
All applicants to Graduate Studies at UNO whose language of nurture is not English must present a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
- Automatic waivers from this policy are granted for persons who have received a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from an institution in the United States.
- The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement will also be waived for applicants who have received or will be receiving a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list.
- While individual programs may require a higher score, the UNO Graduate Council has set a minimum score for admission to graduate studies of 550 paper-based (pBT) TOEFL, 80 internet-based (iBT) TOEFL, 6.5 IELTS, or 53 PTE, with no exceptions to this policy.
Statement by the applicant of academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. These statements help the department/school identify students whose goals are consistent with its objectives.
Other evidence of graduate potential. Some programs require other evidence of graduate potential, such as a portfolio of creative work, completion of specialized examinations, or personal interviews.
Special Note: If a currently enrolled graduate student is admitted to a graduate program prior to receipt of their final grades for the current semester, the program may re-evaluate its admission decision if the student receives a grade of “C-“ or lower in any coursework (undergraduate or graduate) for that semester.
Admission to the Graduate College
Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the dean for Graduate Studies. Academic departments/schools review admission applications and credentials and make admission recommendations to the dean.
The standards maintained by the Graduate College and individual departments/schools are applied to ensure that applicants admitted to the university are well qualified for graduate study and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program.
Standards for admission to doctoral degree programs are generally higher than those for admission to master’s degree programs. In many degree programs, the number of applications received from qualified applicants for graduate study exceeds the number of applicants who can be accommodated. In such cases, only the most highly qualified are offered admission.
The number of spaces available in various departments/schools is limited according to the availability of faculty and resources.