Graduate Admission

university centerApplicants for admission to a graduate program at Northern Michigan University must submit complete application forms, send all official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all institutions attended, test scores, and other required supportive papers.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis unless restricted by departmental guidelines. Check your specific program requirements for admission deadlines.

Recommended submission deadlines are listed below. International students should apply one year prior to their expected enrollment date to ensure sufficient time for application processing. A full list of international student requirements is available in the Graduate Bulletin.

  • Fall semester - July 1
  • Winter semester - November 15
  • Summer session - March 15

Applications submitted after the recommended dates above will still be accepted.  Eligible applications submitted after departmental deadlines will be reviewed by the departments only if the program is still accepting candidates.

A graduate student's record remains open for three years from the date of last enrollment unless the student graduates, withdraws, or is dismissed. Graduate students who no longer have active student status must reactivate their files by completing another admission application before enrolling in graduate courses.

Applications from undergraduate students who have yet to complete course work for their bachelor's degree will only be processed if the student is in his/her final semester of undergraduate course work. Transcripts from the university that he/she currently attends should not be sent until that time. Admission to graduate programs for these students will be on a conditional basis, and the student will be required to furnish a final transcript for their undergraduate work once their final grades and bachelor's degree is conferred and listed on that transcript. The final transcript will be reviewed by the NMU academic department in which the student has conditionally been admitted, and if acceptable, the student's admission status will be changed to regular status.

Admission Procedures

  1. Submit a completed Application for Admission.
  2. Determine from the Graduate Bulletin the degree sought and the curriculum and major (area of concentration) to be studied.
  3. All new degree-seeking applicants must send a $50 application fee. Non-degree/Professional Development students do not need to submit an application fee. However, when changing status from non-degree to degree-seeking, the $50 application fee will be assessed. Applicants who were McNair Scholars also do not need to submit an application fee, but must send a letter from their undergraduate institution verifying their McNair status.
  4. Request the registrar of each college previously attended, with the exception of Northern Michigan University, to send official transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Education. If you have not yet earned your bachelor's degree, do not request transcripts until you are in your final semester and your previous semester's grades have posted.
  5. Have other supportive papers, such as entrance examination scores, letters of recommendation or teaching certificates, as required by the specific department and program sent to the Office of Graduate Education. Some documents can be uploaded at the end of the online application.
  6. International students must provide additional information and meet international admission requirements.

Admission Requirements

students at babycakesStudents seeking admission to a graduate level program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution or an equivalent foreign institution and satisfy the admission requirements listed below. The admission policies presented here are the minimum requirements. Specific graduate programs may have requirements that exceed these minimum levels. These additional requirements may include tests, valid teaching certificates, letters of recommendation, personal interviews, specific course preparation or a grade-point average above the minimum established by the Office of Graduate Education. Applicants should consult the departmental listings under the program description section of the Graduate Bulletin for additional requirements.

Admission to graduate level coursework does not imply admission to candidacy for a graduate degree in a specific program.  The requirements and procedures for admission to candidacy are described following this section.

Applications for admission to graduate programs are reviewed by the department responsible for the program to which the applicant seeks admission.

Admission to graduate studies is granted in one of the following categories based on the qualifications and educational objectives of the applicant. Eligibility for enrollment is based solely on the applicant’s academic qualifications without regard to gender, race, marital status, color, age, religion, handicap or national origin.

  1. Regular Degree Admission is granted to the student who wishes to pursue a master’s degree and who has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (A=4.0). For regular admission, a student must meet all of the admission requirements of the Office of Graduate Education, as well as any additional requirements for the program of their choice.

  2. Conditional Admission may be authorized, based upon a recommendation from the department or by the Assistant Provost of Graduate Education and Research, for students who do not meet the requirements of regular admission. Conditional admission can be granted to students in their final semester or session of enrollment in an undergraduate program if the academic record is satisfactory, based on the final transcript sent by the student. The conditions for regular admission are recorded on the letter of admission that is sent to the applicant. Students who fail to meet the conditions of their admission by the completion of 12 semester hours of graduate credit are denied further registration. The determining factors for the conditions of admission are the responsibility of the assigned adviser with the endorsement of the appropriate department head and the Assistant Provost of Graduate Education and Research. Students will not be granted regular admission status until all the requirements and conditions for regular admission have been met.

  3. Non-Degree Admission is granted to students who do not wish to obtain a graduate degree, but have an interest in work beyond the baccalaureate degree, or who graduated from a non-accredited undergraduate program. Included in this category are those students selecting special workshops or those who wish to pursue additional study for educational benefits. Students who are non-degree can later elect to change to a degree seeking program by petitioning for regular admission with a Request for Change of Curriculum form, available on-line. All admission requirements of the department and the Office of Graduate Education must also be met.

  4. Certification or Endorsements Admission is granted to education students seeking professional teacher certification, professional development, or endorsements but not wishing to pursue a master’s degree. Students must meet all admission requirements of the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and the Office of Graduate Education. Admission for certification or endorsement in no way assures subsequent admission to a degree program. A student who wishes to later apply for regular admission to a degree program must file a Request for Change of Curriculum form with the Office of Graduate Education for review by the appropriate department. All admission requirements of the school and the Office of Graduate Education must also be met.

  5. Guest Student. A student enrolled in another accredited graduate school in Michigan may register for a limited number of graduate credits at Northern Michigan University under the Guest Student status. The Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) Program is a cooperative program established by a group of Michigan Universities to provide an opportunity for "guest" graduate students to participate in unique educational opportunities throughout the state without changing their status of enrollment at their present university. For more information on this program see the Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) application.