Graduate School Admission Requirements

Master's Degree Admission Criteria

The applicant must meet the following requirements: Please check with the specific program as some programs require a higher GPA:

  1. An undergraduate grade-point average of at least 2.75 on a scale of 4.0, or an average of at least 3.0 for courses taken during the last half of the undergraduate program;
  2. Have a completed baccalaureate degree from an appropriate accredited institution;

If the applicant does not meet the criteria described above, admission to graduate standing on a prescribed program can be considered. A prescribed program of study consists of the completion of one semester (fall, spring or summer) of full- time study in nine credits or 12 credits over two consecutive semesters, with a grade of "B" or better in all courses taken. The courses prescribed may be undergraduate or graduate courses. These courses may or may not apply to the graduate program of study.

The online Prescribed Program Request Form signed by the student and the director of graduate studies for the program must accompany the student's graduate data admissions sheet when forwarded to the Graduate Dean for approval. A student enrolled in a prescribed program is ineligible for a teaching or research assistantship. International students are ineligible for admission via a prescribed program.

Doctoral Degree Admissions Criteria

  1. An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 in both undergraduate and graduate courses. (Grade- point averages are computed separately for both undergraduate and graduate work.)
  2. Satisfactory completion of the necessary prerequisites of credits in a chosen field of study.
  3. For those students with an overall grade-point average less than 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, students may qualify for admission to a doctoral program with sufficient justification and documentation by the program and approval by the Graduate Dean.

NOTE : Students who are considering applying for the doctor of education (Ed.D.), refer to the College of Education section of the catalog for admissions requirements.

International Student Admission Requirements

In addition to the academic criteria required by all students for admission to an advanced degree program, international applicants must have one of the following to be admitted into an advanced degree program:

  1. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL score of at least 500 (paper version), 173 (computer version), or a 61 (internet based version).
    1. Students who have achieved a TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), or 100 (internet based version) are exempt from Intensive English Language Center evaluation.
    2. Students with a TOEFL score of 500 but less than 600 (paper version, 173 but less than 250 (computer version), or 61 but less than 100 (internet based version) must report to the Intensive English Language Center for evaluation and appropriate placement in English language courses.
    3. A TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper version), 216 (computer version), or 79/80 (internet based version) is required for students to hold a teaching assistantship.
  2. The International Language Testing System (IELTS) (must be academic version) with an equivalency score of a 6 (equivalent to 500 TOEFL).
    1. The IELTS score of a 7 (equivalent to 550 TOEFL) is required for students to hold a teaching assistantship.
  3. International students who have received a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited United States university or college are exempt from the requirement to produce a TOEFL score. All International applicants must also satisfy the medical examination and financial responsibility requirements prior to admission.

NOTE: Certain departments may require TOEFL scores in excess of the minimum 500 required by the Graduate School.

Candidates Ineligible for Admission to Graduate Standing

Administrative and Academic faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno are not permitted to apply to graduate standing without written permission of the Provost of the University of Nevada, Reno on the application to pursue a degree, available on-line at the Graduate School website.

Academic Requirements-Regular Graduate Standing

The following criteria must be met to remain in good graduate standing regardless of academic program.

Continuous Enrollment

Graduate students must register for a minimum of 3 graduate credits each fall and spring semester until graduation or obtain online an Approved Leave of Absence Form signed by their program and the Graduate School. Approved leaves of absence do not abrogate the time limitations on course work (6 years for a master's degree program and 8 years for a doctoral program). Exceptions to the time clock on course work accrued during a leave of absence may be granted for valid, compelling reasons by the Graduate School. For students on assistantships, the department /program will make efforts to continue the assistantship upon re-entry into the program, but because of the variations that occur with funding cycles and overall funding availability it cannot be guaranteed. There are no minimum registration requirements during the summer.

GRAD 899 is a registration option for non-thesis master's students who have completed all required course work and have enrolled in sufficient comprehensive exam or professional paper credits but who need to fulfill the continuous enrollment requirement of three (3) graduate credits in their final semester. GRAD 899 is not graded and the credits may not be used to satisfy any degree requirements. It is solely for fulfilling the continuous enrollment requirement for master's students who have no other registration requirements.

Graduate Courses

Courses numbered 600 and above are for graduate credit (see numbering explanation in the Course Offerings Section of the catalog). A dual-numbered (400-600) course completed at the 400 level for undergraduate credit may not be retaken at the 600 level for graduate credit. Courses numbered 500- 599 are post baccalaureate level and not applicable toward a graduate degree.

Academic Standards (Good Standing/ Probation/Dismissal)

Good Standing: Each graduate course must be completed with a grade of "C" or better for the credit to be acceptable toward an advanced degree. Some departments, at their discretion, do not accept any grade lower than "B" for the fulfillment of graduate program requirements.

In addition, students must maintain good standing with an overall cumulative graduate credit GPA of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.

Probation: If the graduate grade-point total is one to six grade points below the requisite 3.0 GPA, the student is placed on probation. The student must then raise his/her cumulative graduate GPA to 3.0 by the end of the following semester or the student will be dismissed from graduate standing.

Dismissal: If the graduate grade-point total is seven or more grade points below the requisite 3.0 GPA, the student is dismissed from graduate standing, or if the graduate GPA remains below 3.0 for two (2) consecutive semesters, the student is dismissed from graduate standing.

Course grades will be included in the overall grade point average, even when the required time period to obtain a degree (6 years for a masters, and 8 years for a doctoral) has expired. Grades of "D" or "F" are included in the average. Probation/ dismissal recommendations based on GPA will be determined by the Graduate School. The student will be notified, and, if appropriate, the Office of Admissions and Records will also be notified that the student is dismissed from graduate standing.

A student dismissed from graduate standing because of grade-point deficiencies may only enroll as a graduate special in undergraduate courses. To enroll in graduate-level courses, advance written approval must be obtained from the course instructor, the department concerned and the Graduate School.

Dismissal recommendations other than GPA (i.e. failure to progress) can be forwarded from the program to the Graduate School and if approved by the Graduate Dean, the student will be notified. The Office of Admissions and Records will also be notified that the student is dismissed from graduate standing.

If a student is dismissed from graduate standing for reasons other than grade-point deficiencies, they may register for either graduate or undergraduate courses as a graduate special.

A student may reapply for graduate standing after elimination of the existing grade-point deficiency and achieving an overall cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. The student must re-file an application for admission to the Graduate School.

NOTE: Application materials are scanned and then are shredded.

Student Credit Loads

A full-time graduate student may not register for more than sixteen (16) graduate credits in any semester, or more than six (6) graduate credits in any six-week summer session. Graduate assistants may not register for more than twelve (12) graduate credits per semester.

Students who register for nine (9) graduate credits or more in a semester are considered full-time. For graduate assistants on a 20-hour (half-time) contract, six (6) graduate credits or more constitute full-time. To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, all graduate students, including those on assistantships, must be enrolled in nine (9) graduate credits; to be considered part-time for financial aid reporting purposes, graduate students must be enrolled in five (5) graduate credits. For those graduate students who are required to take Intensive English Language Center Bridge Courses, these courses can be considered part of full registration upon approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Grades and Credit

Courses completed with a grade that is unacceptable to apply to a degree may be retaken. However, the subsequent grade does not replace the first grade; both are computed in the overall cumulative GPA. Course grades are included in the overall average even when the required time period for obtaining the degree has expired. Grades of "D" or "F" are also included in the overall average.

Transfer Credits

Students may request to apply graduate credit earned at another accredited institution toward an advanced degree at the University of Nevada, Reno by fi ling a Credit Transfer Evaluation Request Form, available online. The request must be approved by the student's director of graduate studies and the graduate dean.  The student will receive the evaluation results by mail.  The department may access the evaluation results through NOLIJ. The evaluation results are distributed to the student, advisor, and graduate school for reference in graduate program planning. Only courses with a grade of "C" or better may be transferred to a master's program; only courses with a grade of "B" or better may be transferred to a doctoral program.

For master's degree programs, transferred credits must conform to the time limitation on master's work requiring completion within six (6) calendar years immediately preceding the granting of the degree. Additionally, no more than nine (9) credits completed either prior to admission to a graduate program or transferred from another institution may be applied to a master's degree.

For doctoral programs (other than the College of Education's Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.), a maximum of twenty-four (24) credits from a previously completed master's program or other post-baccalaureate degree program may be applied. Doctoral students who have completed a master's degree in an appropriate discipline from an accredited institution may, with the approval of their graduate director, transfer up to twenty-four (24) credits toward a Ph.D. degree. Students must list each course for which they wish to receive transfer credit on the Credit Transfer Evaluation Request Form. All credits used to satisfy degree requirements for the master's degree, except thesis credits, may be acceptable for transfer. Credits from a completed master's degree are exempt from the eight (8) year time limit on course work for a doctoral degree.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive examination (XXX 795) is a variable, one (1) to three (3) credit course for which students may register when completing final oral or written examinations or pre-dissertation qualifying examinations. If the student does not complete the examination and no grade is filed, the Office of Admissions and Records will enter an "X" on the student's transcript in place of a grade. If the examination is completed within the next regular semester, the grade will be changed. However, if a final grade is not submitted by the end of the following semester, the student must register again for the comprehensive examination to receive credit for the exam.

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