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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 4A: General Admission Policies

1. Inquiries. The Graduate School staff responds to all inquiries and forwards information to the appropriate program.

2. Application ProcessThe Graduate School uses an online application and payment system. Paper applications and checks are generally not accepted. Prospective students must complete the online application for admission to the Graduate School. The application link can be found at: For applications to be considered, all required sections must be completed.

Each application for admission is subject to an application fee, which is required at the time of application.This fee is not refundable and may not be credited against any other fees charged by Washington State University. Application fee waivers are granted on a limited basis at the discretion of the Graduate School. For the online application, WSU only accepts Visa and MasterCard credit cards or online Pay by Check through U.S. bank accounts. Checks sent by mail are not accepted.

3. Priority Deadlines.
Applications and supporting documents should be submitted as soon as possible to the Graduate School, but no later than January 10for fall admission, and July 1 for spring admission. Students whose applications are not complete by these priority deadlines will be considered for admission upon request of the program. Programs may have earlier deadlines; applicants are responsible for checking with the relevant programs to verify deadlines.

4. Application Requirements.
Application requirements and procedures for meeting those requirements are listed on the Graduate School’s website. Programs may have additional requirements, such as GRE or GMAT scores; statements of professional interest; letters of recommendation, or supplemental applications. Students are responsible for checking with the specific program or department to which they are applying for additional application requirements. In addition, the application must be completed in its entirety, including listing all colleges and universities ever attended.

5. Transcript Requirements.
Official transcripts are those mailed directly to the Graduate School from the registrar of the institutions attended; transcripts not sent directly from the registrar are not acceptable. The Graduate School will also accept electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions via the official electronic transcript process of the registrar’s office of the institution.One set of official transcripts is required. All transcripts sent to the Graduate School as part of the application process become part of the Graduate School’s official application file and cannot be returned or transferred. Programs are free to request additional transcripts as deemed appropriate. The following transcripts are required for admission to the Graduate School at Washington State University.

Applicants who attended school in the United States or Canada must submit:

  • transcripts from all accredited colleges or universities attended for any undergraduate coursework (including undergraduate coursework taken after the bachelor’s degree);
  • transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities from which any bachelor’s degrees and/or graduate degrees have been granted or are expected; and
  • transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities showing any graded graduate level (including doctoral) coursework taken after the bachelor’s degree.

Applicants who attended school outside the United States or Canada must submit:
All official transcripts, mark sheets, grade reports, examination results, and degree certificates from all higher education institutions attended.The applicant may be required to order a course-by-course evaluation report of the applicant’s foreign credentials, including copies of official transcripts, from the WSU-approved Credential Evaluation Service (if required, the WSU Graduate School will provide specific information to the applicant). When using a credential evaluation service, applicants must have all official transcripts, mark sheets, grade reports, examination results, and degree certificates from all higher education institutions attended sent directly to the service. The Credential Evaluation Service will decide on whether the applicant’s degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The final decision about the equivalency of any bachelor’s degree rests with the dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate School reserves the right to determine whether a credential evaluation report is needed, or whether the applicant may have official transcripts and degree documents sent directly to the Graduate School from the institution attended.

6. Transfer Credits.
Students intending to request transfer credit for their Program of Study will need to submit official transcripts from colleges or universities showing such credit. See Chapter 6.G, Program of Study, for additional policy information on transfer credit.

7. General Admission Criteria.
Applicants who have submitted complete application materials are considered for admission based on the following:

Coursework Requirements

  • A cumulative grade point a verage of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system) of graded undergraduate coursework, or a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system) from graded graduate coursework when there are six or more semester hours of graded graduate coursework taken after the bachelor’s degree. (Note: International transcript evaluation to determine a 3.0 GPA will depend on transcript format.)
  • At the minimum, applicants must have or anticipate receiving a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school before the start of the semester for which they have applied to graduate school.
  • A recognized accreditation association must accredit schools.
  • Credits earned in a professional degree program (such as DVM, JD, MD or PharmD) are not considered as graduate credits in the admission decision.
  • The dean of the Graduate School is the final authority in determining what constitutes accredited courses or schools, and in determining exceptions to this policy.

English Proficiency Requirements. All international applicants must demonstrate a basic proficiency in English by submitting official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) test scores. Applicants from Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Guyana, Kenya, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zambia are exempt from the English proficiency requirement.

The date of the scores must be within two years of the expected semester of enrollment and sent directly to the Graduate School from the Educational Testing Service.International students who have or will have graduated with a baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited four-year U.S. or Canadian college or university within two years of the expected semester of enrollment at the WSU Graduate School are not required to submit English proficiency test scores. Student copies of scores, or photocopies, are not official and will not be used in the admission evaluation process.International applicants who are currently working in the U.S. under an H-1B visa may be recommended by the WSU program chair/director for exemption from the English proficiency requirement if they can provide official documentation that they have been working/studying in the U.S. for a minimum of four years directly prior to the expected semester of enrollment.

The ETS institutional code for WSU and the minimum acceptable TOEFL/IELTS/MELAB scores can be found on the Graduate School website for International applicants:

8. Approval of AdmissionDegree-seeking applicants who have met all admission requirements of the Graduate School and the program requirements, and are recommended by a program, generally are admitted to the Graduate School. The dean of the Graduate School grants final approval of admission, assuming general admission requirements have been met and when evidence indicates a high probability of success in the prospective degree program. Applicants may not be considered regardless of a previous institution’s credentials if their application is deemed inadequate, incomplete, or insufficient.

All prospective students must be accepted by the program in which they seek a degree or graduate study.If the prospective student has not met all the admissions requirements, but the program supports the student’s admission, the program may request a Provisional Admission to the program (see below). Provisional admission has conditions that the student must meet within a specified time period. Contingencies are noted on the admission certificate that is sent to the student.

Programs and the Graduate School have the right to deny admission to any student, regardless of whether they meet the minimum admission requirements, and are not required to provide a reason for denial

9. Notice of Admission to ApplicantThe Graduate School issues an admission certificate when the applicant has been accepted for graduate study at Washington State University. Applicants who attend Washington State University before complete credentials have been submitted and approved do so at their own risk; they may be subject to dismissal if final credentials do not meet the conditions of the admissions certificate.

10. Admission is Valid for One Term Only. The admitted student must enroll and complete the first semester of study to be considered a graduate student in active status. If the first semester of study is not completed for any reason (e.g., withdrawal due to medical reasons), the student must reapply to the Graduate School in order to return to the program to which the student was originally admitted. Admission is not guaranteed. Students who do not complete their first semester of study are not eligible for a graduate leave of absence.

11. Admission to a Program for which Applicant Currently Holds a Degree. An applicant may not be admitted to a degree program if the applicant currently holds a degree in that program.For example, an applicant who holds a Master of Science in Computer Science degree from another university may not be admitted to the Master of Science degree in Computer Science at WSU.An exception to policy may be submitted to the dean of the Graduate School if the program can substantiate that the WSU degree sought by the applicant is significantly different from the degree the applicant currently holds. For example, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (with a major focus on Transportation) may be justified as a different degree than a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (with a major focus on Waste Water Treatment).


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