Feb 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Admissions



The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for the admission of all graduate students. All students taking graduate courses must make formal application to the Graduate School prior to enrolling in any graduate course work. All materials submitted, including transcripts, become the property of Appalachian State University and cannot be forwarded or returned. All application materials and inquiries should be addressed to:

Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies
P O Box 32068
Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608

street address for FedEx, UPS: 287 Rivers Street #232
voice: 828.262.2130; fax: 828.262.2709
gradadmissions@appstate.edu

Location and Mode of Instruction for Graduate Programs

The location of instruction for graduate programs depends upon demand; most of Appalachian’s graduate programs are open for enrollment on the main campus in Boone. When demand is sufficient, graduate programs in education, health care, business and professional studies are offered at a distance either in addition to or instead of the on-campus program.

While “distance” means “online” in most cases, some of Appalachian’s off-campus programming is taught face-to-face at site-based locations in western NC. Generally, the online and off-campus programs are cohort-based, meaning an identified group of students begin their programs of study together and continue to graduation. Beginning dates of cohort programs vary. For more information about distance education programs visit the distance education website at distance.appstate.edu.

Admission Requirements

Requirements described in this Bulletin are minimum requirements for consideration and do not guarantee acceptance. Programs are selective, and admission decisions are based on consideration of all materials submitted. A limited number of students who do not meet the minimum standards may be allowed to enroll with provisional status.

Academic Preparation: Enrollment in a degree or certificate program or as a graduate non-degree student requires, without exception, a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a college or university of recognized standing. International applicants must have earned the equivalent of an American four-year baccalaureate degree. Individual programs may have specific course or major requirements for admission. See the program listing in this Bulletin for specific information. Students from under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Entrance Test Scores: Official standardized exam scores are required for admission into all degree programs unless a program has waived the exam requirement by applying alternative standards for admission consideration. (Most programs now offer alternative criteria to standardized exam scores. Please see individual programs of study for details.) If required, the standardized admission exam scores must be less than five years old and submitted directly to the Graduate School from the testing organization.

  • GRE: The doctoral programs and other degree programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Beaver College of Health Sciences, the Hayes School of Music, and the Department of Human Development & Psychological Counseling require the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), unless waived. No programs require GRE subject tests for admission. The MHA and MPA programs will also consider the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) in lieu of the GRE.
  • GMAT: The MS in Accounting in the Walker College of Business requires the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), unless waived. The MBA and MS in Applied Data Analytics will accept either the GMAT or the GRE, unless waived.
  • MAT: Many programs in the Reich College of Education accept the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) in lieu of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test, unless waived. The MSN program will consider the MAT in lieu of the GRE but prefers the GRE, unless waived.

Appalachian’s Office of Testing Services administers the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the Graduate Record General Exam (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and other examinations. Fees are charged in accordance with the schedule of fees maintained in the Testing Center testing.appstate.edu.

Alternative Admission Requirements in Lieu of the Standardized Exam: To be considered for any program’s standardized exam waiver, applicants must hold a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher OR meet one of the following conditions:

  1. Applicants currently in an Appalachian Accelerated Master’s program, with a grade of “B” (3.0) or higher in every graduate-level course completed.
  2. Applicants who within the last five years have successfully completed (with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher) at least 9 credit hours of courses in an Appalachian State graduate certificate program that has been predetermined as appropriate for the degree.
  3. Applicants who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

It is strongly suggested that applicants contact the director of the program to which they are applying to discuss their eligibility for a waiver. Applications missing a standardized exam score and without an approved waiver will not be considered for admission. The Graduate School performs the formal evaluation and gives final approval for a test waiver. Pre-approval of entrance exam waivers will be performed upon submission of official or unofficial transcripts and other requirements for waiver eligibility, as established by the selected program. Pre-approved waivers are subject to final approval once official transcript(s) is/are received. An approved exam waiver application does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Recommendations: All degree programs and selected certificate programs require recommendations in support of the application for admission, and applicants will be prompted for reference contact information in the online application. The references will be contacted via email with instructions for submitted their recommendations online.

When possible, applicants are encouraged to seek recommendations from academic or professional references rather than personal or character references. Some programs require recommendations from individuals who know the applicant in specific ways, such as a work supervisor. See the program listing in this Bulletin for specific information.

Proof of Licensure for Teacher Education Programs: Applicants to teacher-education degree programs in all disciplines must hold, or be eligible to hold, a North Carolina “A” teaching license, or a comparable initial teaching license in another state.

Program-Specific Information: Each program specifies any additional materials required (e.g., writing samples, letters of intent, questionnaires, etc.). See the individual program of study listings  in this Bulletin for specific information.

Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance

The Graduate School offers an accelerated program by which undergraduate students can accelerate their admission to and/or completion of a master’s degree program at Appalachian. Early acceptance guarantees admission to the graduate degree program assuming the student still meets all graduate admission criteria upon completion of the undergraduate degree. Some programs may allow accelerated admission students to double count up to twelve (12) hours of graduate coursework to fulfill program of study requirements for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Accelerated admission status is only available to students intending to pursue a graduate degree (not certificate)
program.

An eligible student:

  • Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at Appalachian.
  • Must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade-point average in at least 24 hours of undergraduate coursework completed at Appalachian. (Some programs have higher minimum GPA requirements.)
  • Is ready to start the final year of enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at Appalachian (must have completed 90 hours by the time they begin taking graduate coursework).

Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance Guidelines:

  • Prospective Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance students should meet with the director of the desired graduate program to confirm their eligibility and to discuss potential graduate coursework.
  • Students must complete the Accelerated Master’s application through the Graduate School application portal.
  • Standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, MAT) will be waived for Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance applicants.
  • Undergraduate students may NOT take graduate hours in Thesis, Independent/Individual Study, or Internship.
  • Only graduate courses in which the student has earned a grade of B or better may be applied to a graduate program of study.
  • Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance students who do not complete the baccalaureate degree with at least a 3.2 GPA (or higher, if required by the program), or those earning an F or U in a graduate course, will be dismissed from the Accelerated program and will be subject to all admission requirements applied to regular applicants to be admitted to the graduate program. 

Refer to the Accelerated Master’s/Early Acceptance website for additional details regarding the application process, application deadlines, and participating programs.

Additional Admission Requirements for International Students

International students must further demonstrate their ability to succeed in graduate school through evidence of prior degree attainment, English language proficiency, and financial means.

Transcript Evaluation: International applicants must submit transcript(s) from all colleges or universities from which they earned a degree. Some programs may also require transcripts for prerequisite coursework completed, even if a degree was not earned. Transcripts must be evaluated by a NACES accredited evaluation service.

English Proficiency for International Students: Applicants from outside of the United States, unless they meet one of the test score waiver options below, must submit official scores from a test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or IELTS) as early as possible. These test scores must be no more than 2 years old.

Minimum Scores: For the internet based TOEFL, 79 with no subsection under 11. The IELTS minimum score is 6.5.

Test Score Waiver Options: An English proficiency test requirement may be waived for applicants who meet one or more of the following:

  • Are from a country where English is recognized as the primary, official language (contact Graduate Admissions to determine if your home country qualifies).
  • Are, or will be, a graduate of a degree or certificate program from a U.S. regionally accredited university.
  • Are, or will be, a graduate of a non-U.S. college/university where English is the primary language of instruction.
  • Have full-time work experience (generally 3+ years) in the United States in a position where English is used extensively in writing and speaking.
  • Have successfully completed an undergraduate study abroad semester with full-time enrollment at Appalachian State University.

Proof of Financial Ability for International Students: Upon admission to the Graduate School, international students must show evidence of financial ability to pay out-of-state tuition and fees and cost of living. For information on cost of attendance, contact the Office of International Education and Development international.appstate.edu/isss/students.

Application Procedures

Application Procedures for Degree Programs (Master’s, Specialist or Doctoral)

Applicants seeking admission to a degree program must apply to the Graduate School and be reviewed both within the Graduate School and within the Department housing the degree program. Applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application form (grad.appstate.edu/apply/)
  • A resume, to be uploaded as a MS Word or PDF document (.doc, .docx, .pdf)
  • The names and contact information for either two or three references, depending on the program to which you are applying. Instructions will be provided in the application portal.
  • The application fee.
  • Official test scores as required for the program selected, unless applicant is eligible for a waiver. To be official, test scores must be sent to the Graduate School directly from the testing agency.
  • Official transcripts showing any completed degrees (bachelor’s or higher) and transcripts showing coursework toward your current degree if the degree is not yet conferred. Please note that some programs may require additional official undergraduate transcripts or transcripts older than five years to verify coursework for licensure purposes, completion of course prerequisites, etc. In addition, applicants may submit transcripts for any other coursework they would like to have considered. Former students of Appalachian do not need to submit official transcripts for their Appalachian coursework, but transcripts from which a degree has been earned must be submitted.
  • Any additional information required by the program, such as a questionnaire, writing sample, statement of purpose, proof of teacher licensure, etc. See the program listings  in this Bulletin for specific information.

Official transcripts must be requested and sent directly from the university or college where the degree was earned. These may be sent electronically (to gradadmissions@appstate.edu) or via U.S. Mail. If mailed, the official transcript(s) must be sent to Appalachian State University, School of Graduate Studies, 232 John E. Thomas Building, 287 Rivers Street, Boone, NC 28608-2068. Paper transcripts that do not arrive at the Graduate School in envelopes sealed by the issuing institution will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for admission purposes.

Application Procedures for Certificate Programs

Applicants seeking admission to a certificate program must apply to the Graduate School and be reviewed both within the Graduate School and within the Department housing the certificate program. Applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application form (grad.appstate.edu/apply/), including a resume to be uploaded as a MS word or PDF document (.doc, .docx, .pdf).
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts showing any completed degrees (bachelor’s or higher) and transcripts showing coursework toward your current degree if the degree is not yet conferred. Please note that some programs may require additional official undergraduate transcripts or transcripts older than five years to verify coursework for licensure purposes, completion of course prerequisites, etc. In addition, applicants may submit transcripts for any other coursework they would like to have considered. Former students of Appalachian do not need to submit official transcripts for their Appalachian coursework, but transcripts from which a degree has been earned must be submitted.
  • Any additional information required by the program, such as references, official test scores, a questionnaire, writing sample, statement of purpose, proof of teacher licensure, etc. See the program listing  in this Bulletin for specific information.

Official transcripts must be requested and sent directly from the university or college where the degree was earned. These may be sent electronically (to gradadmissions@appstate.edu) or via U.S. Mail. If mailed, the official transcript(s) must be sent to Appalachian State University, School of Graduate Studies, 232 John E. Thomas Building, 287 Rivers Street, Boone, NC 28608-2068. Paper transcripts that do not arrive at the Graduate School in envelopes sealed by the issuing institution will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for admission purposes.

Application Procedures for Students Wishing to Enroll as Non-Degree Seeking or School-Licensure-Only

Persons seeking to take a course as a visiting graduate student, as a teacher seeking licensure or renewal licensure, for professional development, or while preparing an application for admission to a degree or certificate program may request to enroll as a non-degree graduate student.

Applicants seeking to enroll for the first time as non-degree graduate students must apply to the Graduate School. Applicants must submit:

  • A completed online application form (graduate.appstate.edu/prospective-students/application-types), including a resume to be uploaded as a MS word or PDF document.
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts showing a completed baccalaureate degree. Please note that some programs may require additional official transcripts to verify coursework for licensure purposes, completion of course prerequisites, etc. In addition, you may submit transcripts for any other coursework you would like to have considered. Former students of Appalachian do not need to submit official transcripts for their Appalachian coursework if degrees were earned at Appalachian.
  • Some licensure programs require additional information such as references, proof of teacher licensure, etc. Contact the academic department for more information.

Official transcripts should be secured from the university or college, embossed with the school seal, enclosed in a sealed envelope, and sent to Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies, 232 John E. Thomas Building, 287 Rivers Street, ASU Box 32068, Boone, NC 28608. Some universities will send official transcripts electronically, and this method may be used when available. Paper transcripts that do not arrive in the Graduate School in sealed envelopes will be considered unofficial and cannot be used for admission purposes.

Admission as a non-degree student does not guarantee permission to enroll in specific courses, and some departments may reserve courses for degree-seeking students only. Permission to enroll in a graduate course must be obtained through completion of the appropriate form. The form (Non-Degree enrollment) can be obtained from the Graduate School web site (www.graduate.appstate.edu). Non-degree graduate students seeking licensure who have been evaluated through the Licensure Office in the Reich College of Education are exempt from the non-degree approval form requirement.

Coursework taken as a non-degree student is not normally counted toward a graduate degree or certificate. If a student is accepted into a graduate degree program after taking non-degree coursework, the student’s advisory committee can petition for no more than 9 semester hours of coursework taken before the admit term to be included in the program of study.

Requesting a Paper Application

Applicants who are unable to complete the online form due to physical limitations may request a paper application from the Graduate School (gradadmissions@appstate.edu).

Deadlines for Admission Applications

Deadlines vary by program and by location of offering. The most up to date information is available online: www.graduate.appstate.edu/programs. Some things to keep in mind when applying:

Semesters of Admission: The University operates with four possible terms of admission: Fall, Spring, Summer Session I, and Summer Session II. Each program determines its open terms of admission, and some programs do not admit students in every possible term (e.g., the psychology programs only admit in the Fall). A term of admission must be specified when applying, and to be considered for a different term once the application is submitted applicants must notify the graduate admissions staff in writing or via email (gradadmissions@appstate.edu).

Priority Screening Dates: Applicants should pay special attention to the early screening dates that some programs have established for priority consideration for admission and financial aid. These early dates can be found on the website at www.graduate.appstate.edu/programs. Applicants applying after the early screening date should contact the program to verify that there is still space available for new students.

International Applicant Deadlines: In order to allow for sufficient time for credential evaluation and VISA processing, international applicants should apply by the following deadlines:

  • Summer 1, Summer 2, or Fall: February 1
  • Spring: July 1

International applicants who submit transcripts through an evaluation service that is a member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc., www.naces.org) may apply later than the dates specified above provided the program of interest is still taking applications.

Admission Criteria and Status for Degree Students

Individuals who apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies, if accepted, may be admitted in one of two categories: regular admission or provisional admission, as described below. A student must complete degree requirements within seven years of being admitted or the admission expires.

Regular Admission. To be considered for regular admission to a degree program in the School of Graduate Studies at Appalachian, an applicant must have earned a baccalaureate or a master’s degree from an accredited institution and must meet or exceed one of these criteria:

  • 3.0 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores from the appropriate admission test (GRE, GMAT, or MAT), if required by the program; OR
  • 2.5 GPA in the last earned degree and official scores at or above the 25th percentile level from the appropriate admission test(s).

Meeting one of these criteria does NOT guarantee admission to any program; programs also consider other factors, such as recommendation letters, supplemental materials, and size and quality of the applicant pool. The program director may request that a student’s GPA in the most recent 60 hours of graded coursework completed be used in place of the GPA in the last earned degree.

A student whose undergraduate degree is in another discipline but who shows evidence of potential success in the desired program may be required to take additional prerequisite courses. Please see requirements for specific degree programs.

Provisional Admission. With a recommendation from the program director or departmental chairperson of the admitting program, provisional admission to a graduate degree program may be granted to a student whose application materials do not meet the criteria for regular admission, but who has compensating work experience or alternative credentials. Provisionally admitted students are not eligible for university assistantships, fellowships, or tuition scholarships during their first semester of enrollment. Students admitted provisionally are considered probationary and must meet all requirements to earn good academic standing by the end of their first semester to proceed in the program. Students admitted provisionally are not eligible for a second probationary semester.

Tentative Status. Students may be admitted either regularly or provisionally with a tentative status. Tentative status is assigned to any student who must complete a specified requirement prior to registration and enrollment, such as completion of the undergraduate degree.

Admission Criteria and Status for Graduate Certificate Students

Individuals who apply for admission to a graduate certificate program in the School of Graduate Studies, if accepted, may be admitted in one of two categories: regular admission or provisional admission, as described below. A student must complete certificate requirements within seven years of being admitted or the admission expires.

Regular Admission. To be considered for regular admission to a graduate certificate program in the School of Graduate Studies at Appalachian, an applicant must meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • an earned baccalaureate or master’s degree from an accredited institution;
  • a minimum GPA of 2.70 in the last earned degree.

Meeting these criteria does NOT guarantee admission to any graduate certificate program; programs also consider other factors, such as recommendation letters, supplemental materials, and size and quality of the applicant pool. The program director may request that a student’s GPA in the most recent 60 hours of graded coursework completed be used in place of the GPA in the last earned degree.

Provisional Admission. With a recommendation from the program director or the department chairperson of the admitting program, provisional admission to a graduate certificate program may be granted to a student whose application materials do not meet the criteria for regular admission, but who has compensating work experience or alternative credentials. Students admitted provisionally are considered probationary and must meet all requirements to earn good academic standing by the end of their first semester. Students admitted provisionally are not eligible for a second probationary semester.

Graduate certificate students are not eligible for university assistantships, fellowships, or tuition scholarships.

Tentative Status. Students may be admitted either regularly or provisionally with a tentative status. Tentative status is given to any student who must complete a specified requirement prior to registration and enrollment, such as completion of the undergraduate degree.

Leave of Absence and Readmission

A graduate student who has begun work toward a graduate degree but who is not enrolled at Appalachian during a specific Fall or Spring academic term will be officially classified as being on leave. A student who is on leave of absence will have no access to university resources, and cannot schedule and pass a thesis or dissertation defense, nor take comprehensive or qualifying examinations. To return after a leave, students should contact Graduate Records for instructions.

A leave of absence has no effect on the time limit to graduation, i.e., the time limit will remain seven calendar years from the year of admission, including the time spent on leave. All students must be enrolled in at least one hour of graduate credit during the academic term in which they graduate.

Readmission

Students who have withdrawn in good standing from the University or who have been suspended for academic deficiencies or for other reasons should submit their requests for readmission to their program directors, who will, in turn, make an appeal to the Graduate School. Consideration of requests for readmission of students who have been suspended for any reason will be made in light of the applicant’s ability, evidence of growth and maturity, credits earned at another institution, and time elapsed since leaving Appalachian.

Disposition of Application Documents

All documents submitted in support of applications become a part of the permanent records of the University and are not returnable. Documents submitted by applicants who do not enroll will be destroyed after one year.