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Admission and Financial Aid – Graduate Admission

The Graduate Admission Office processes applications for all graduate programs, including master’s, credential and certificate programs.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Requirements

Admission requirements for all graduate programs include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5. However, it is recommended that you also visit program specific web pages to learn more about additional requirements or varying minimum GPA requirements. For most master’s and credential programs, grades in prerequisite/foundation courses must be “C” (2.0) or higher and two recommendations are required. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and/or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are not institutional requirements for entrance into NDNU graduate programs.

Note: Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The decision of the Admission Committee is a final one with no option for appeal available. NDNU policy prohibits the disclosure of specific reasons for admissions decisions.

Program-specific Requirements

Admission requirements vary by program. Certain graduate programs may require an initial in-person interview and/or test scores. See the relevant Catalog sections for program-specific requirements.

International Students

International student applicants must meet all the admission requirements for the graduate program to which they are applying. All transcripts from universities outside the United States must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service. We accept evaluations from members of NACES ( and recommend World Education Services, Inc. (WES). Please refer to their website ( for an explanation of their services. All graduate applicants must submit a course-by-course evaluation, which includes certification of equivalency to a U.S. bachelor’s degree and a conversion to a U.S. grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. NDNU grants international conditional admission in some cases. Please contact Admissions for more details.

International students whose first language is not English are required to submit proof of English language proficiency. For the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam, the minimum requirement is a score of 550 (paper-based total), 213 (computer-based total), or 80 (Internet-based total). For the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam, the minimum requirement is a score of 6 on the Academic test. For the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP), the minimum requirement is a score of 4.5. For the Pearson Test of English (PTE), the minimum requirement is a score of 53.

An international student who attends an NDNU-approved English as a Second Language School is eligible to opt out of the TOEFL requirement if he/she meets the minimum requirement of the TOEFL waiver agreement. Please consult with the Office of Admission for agreements with specific partner language schools. These international students must take NDNU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment exam prior to enrolling in classes to determine if NDNU’s English for International Students (EIS) course work is appropriate or required.

Admitted students with a TOEFL score below 100 on the Internet-based test or an IELTS score less than 7.5 must also take the English placement examination upon arrival at the University and take an ESL course required by the English department based on the results of this examination. International students with a TOEFL score greater than 100 on the Internet-based test or with an IELTS score above 7.5 are exempt from the ESL test but must take the University’s writing test.

International students must also complete the International Student Certificate of Finances upon acceptance to the University. This form is available from the Office of Admission, or it can be downloaded as a printable document in PDF format. For international students and applicants, the International Student Advisor in the Office of Enrollment processes immigration and intergovernmental documents related to enrollment at NDNU.

Bridge Program for International Students

Students who have completed three-year bachelor’s degree programs at a foreign academic institution of higher learning can qualify for consideration for conditional admission to graduate study at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) by completing the Bridge Program. Because applicants to master’s programs must have completed 124 undergraduate semester units, the postbaccalaureate Bridge Program will allow master’s applicants to complete additional undergraduate semester units to meet the master’s admission 124  

undergraduate semester unit requirement. Based on the equivalent number of undergraduate semester hours previously completed, students admitted to this program are required to complete 1-30 units of undergraduate study at NDNU.

This program of full-time study does not result in a second bachelor’s degree. Entrance to any of the Bridge Programs will require the same minimum general admission, program-specific and any international admittance requirements as outlined in the Catalog for acceptance into a graduate program.

The student is admitted to the Bridge Program and conditionally admitted to the master’s degree program contingent upon successful completion of all bridge course work with an earned 3.0 GPA.

No graduate units may be taken prior to the successful completion of all undergraduate course work.

Depending upon the number of units needed to fulfill the 124 semester unit requirement, up to 12 units will consist of undergraduate upper-division in some or all of the following curriculum areas (no more than 3 units taken in any one):

  • Writing and Communication
  • Mathematics or Statistics
  • History and Sociology
  • Computer applications and/or literacy
  • Visual Arts

The remaining units would consist of undergraduate upper-division courses that are designed to meet program prerequisites. All courses must be preapproved by the Program Chair/Director. The advisor of the Bridge Program is the graduate department chair or program director in collaboration with the undergraduate division and department chairs.

Application Procedure for Master’s and Credential Programs

Application and Fee

Online option:
Fill out the application for graduate admission online and then mail in supplementary forms such as recommendations. The $60 nonrefundable application fee is paid online.

Traditional method:
Fill out the application forms from Graduate Admissions, or print the forms from the website and mail them or drop them off in person to the Graduate Admissions Office. Include the $60 nonrefundable application fee with your application.


Have one official transcript sent to Graduate Admissions from each college or university attended. One transcript must show a bachelor’s degree granted from a regionally accredited institution.

Note: All official documents submitted for admission consideration become property of the institution and cannot be returned or copied for distribution.


Students who feel they have already completed prerequisites for Master’s, Credential, and Certificate programs should download a PDF version of the Application to Apply Courses to NDNU’s Prerequisites. The student must complete this form and forward it to the Graduate Admissions Office for inclusion with the graduate admissions application material.


Refer to specific program requirements. Most programs require two recommendations be sent to Graduate Admissions, though some programs require more. Forms are available from Graduate Admissions or students may download a PDF version of the personal reference form. These forms are to be completed by persons who are best able to judge the student’s academic and professional qualifications and are to be included with letters of recommendation. If possible, recommendations should be from professors in the student’s major academic department. Applicants who have not been in school for some time should ask professional colleagues or administrators for references.

Application Procedure for Graduate Certificate Programs

Application and Fee

Fill out the application for graduate admission online, or print the application for graduate admission and mail it in. Submit the $60 nonrefundable application fee online or with your application.


Send official transcripts from each college or university attended to the Graduate Admissions Office. Transcripts must show proof of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Note: All official documents submitted for admission consideration become property of the institution and cannot be returned or copied for distribution.

Submission and Acceptance Schedule

Acceptances are issued on a rolling basis. To facilitate the process, we encourage applicants to complete their application file well before the following dates:

Domestic Students:

  • August 1                      Fall Admission
  • December 1                 Spring Admission
  • April 1                         Summer Admission

International Students:

  • July 1                           Fall Admission
  • November 1                Spring Admission
  • March 1                       Summer Admission

Admission Status

Students may be admitted to a graduate program with any of the following statuses:

Full Admission

Full admission may be offered to a student who has met all admission requirements.

Conditional Admission

Students who have not met the formal admission requirements but whose accomplishments have convinced the University Graduate Admissions Committee and their major departments that they have potential for success as advanced degree candidates will be considered for conditional admission. For conditional admission, graduate admission committees will make a holistic judgment on the applicant’s potential for success in the graduate program and for contributing to the mission of the program. For specific conditions, please contact your academic advisor of your program of interest.

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be offered to a student who meets all admission requirements except for a specific requirement such as an official transcript. An admission hold will be placed on a student’s record if all admission requirements are not received within six weeks of the first semester of enrollment. A student will not be allowed to register for the following semester unless all admission requirements are received.

International Conditional Admission

International applicants who have met the academic requirements for admission will be considered for international conditional admission. To be considered for international conditional admission, an applicant must submit evaluated transcripts. Full admission is granted once proof of English language proficiency is submitted and when all requirements are met. For international conditional admission, graduate admission committees will make a judgment on the applicant’s potential for success in the graduate program and for contributing to the mission of the program.

Term of Admission

Admission is offered for a specific year and term. Admitted students are eligible to defer their enrollment by contacting the Graduate Admissions Office. Enrollment can be deferred to a term within one year from the year and term of admission. If an applicant is accepted by NDNU but does not register for that year and term or request a deferral, his/her admission may be cancelled. If a student does not enroll and complete courses within that year, we will dispose of his/her admission file. Admission file documents are retained for one year only.

Unclassified Graduate Status

For admission to Unclassified Graduate status, a student must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university or have the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree. Admission to the Unclassified Graduate status does not guarantee admission to a graduate or certificate program. Students may take a maximum of only 12 units with departmental approval in unclassified Graduate status. Admission to and duration of Unclassified Graduate standing shall be determined by the Chair/Program Director.

International students studying on an F-1 visa are not eligible for unclassified status. Unclassified students are not eligible for financial aid. See the Financial Aid section for further information.

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