Prospective Applicants

An online Application for Graduate Admission must be filed with Graduate Studies for students who:

  • Desire a graduate degree or graduate certificate
  • Desire graduate credit for renewal of a teaching certificate or professional development
  • Desire to transfer graduate credit to another university
  • Desire to fulfill prerequisites for a future degree-seeking program
  • Students who wish to change programs must complete a new graduate application and submit a non-refundable graduate application fee and other required documents. Admission to a new program is not automatically granted.
  • Students applying for a second master’s degree, graduate certificate, or taking additional graduate courses must complete a new graduate application and submit an application fee and other required documents.

Special Note:

  • All students must complete a graduate application in order to receive graduate credit for any graduate-level courses taken at UNO. Special permission is required for UNO junior-or senior-level undergraduate students to register for graduate courses. Additionally, students admitted to graduate programs at other University of Nebraska campuses may complete the intercampus registration form.  For additional information, please see Enrollment

Application Process

  • The Application for Graduate Admission must be completed online. The online application will specify all of the required documentation for the specific program prior to the program application deadline. 
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50.00 (U.S. dollars) is required for all degree-seeking applications (master's, educational specialist, and doctoral). A non-refundable application fee of $25.00 (U.S. dollars) is required for all non-degree, unclassified, and certificate applications. This includes undergraduates within the University of Nebraska system, and students who have been previously admitted as graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, or the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  
    • The application fee will be waived for:
      • McNair Scholars who provide the McNair Certification of Participation Form
      • Military and Veteran Applicants: The application fee is waived for all Military and Veteran applicants and dependents with proof of military status. Please provide one of the following documents as proof of military status:
        • Military orders
        • Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE)
        • DD214
        • All military includes: Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and Veterans
  • To expedite the processing of your application, unofficial transcripts/course-by-course transcript evaluations and exam scores can be uploaded to your application. If you are offered admission, official transcripts/course-by-course transcript evaluations and exam scores are required prior to enrolling in courses. Special note for international students in need of a student visa: All official course-by-course transcript evaluations, exam scores, and a completed financial affidavit are required before Visa (I-20) documents are issued.
  • International Transcripts: Applicants who have completed any undergraduate or graduate coursework at an international higher education institution are required to submit a course-by-course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), or Educational Perspectives.   

Students applying for a master’s degree with a double major can pursue their professional/scholastic goals by acquiring more knowledge in a second field than provided by the option of earning a minor, yet not be required to complete a dual degree program (e.g., specifically approved combination of two master's degrees in separate majors, typically 60 hours). Students are allowed to pursue a double major within the same degree (e.g., a MA in two different majors). For instance, a student may be permitted, with proper approvals, to pursue a MA degree in the majors of history and English because these majors lead only to the MA degree. One cannot attain a double major in history and biology because these majors lead to a MA and MS degree, respectively.

To apply:

  • Students must submit two separate applications and only one application fee.  Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies if you plan to apply for this option. An email must then be sent to, clearly specifying that you are seeking a double major, which department/school is to consider the application first, and if support from both of the departments/schools is being sought.
  • The graduate committee of the first department/school will pass the application to the second graduate committee with the result of its decision (recommendation for acceptance with support, recommendation for acceptance without support, refusal of admission). The decision to recommend admission by one of the graduate committees does not affect the decision of the other. The criteria for admission for acceptance may differ between programs; admission to one or both of the department’s/school’s programs does not guarantee acceptance for a double major master's degree. Final approval of all applicants rests with the Dean for Graduate Studies.
  • If one program is approved and one denied, the student must submit another application with an additional application fee to apply to another program.

Readmission to Graduate Studies

A student who has not been enrolled as a graduate student at UNO for four years or more must apply as a new graduate student and submit the graduate application, the required non-refundable application fee, and all other required credentials. Applicants cannot apply to the same degree/certificate program once the degree/certificate has been awarded.

Admission Criteria

Applicants who have earned, or will have earned, a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or the equivalent of such degrees in another country, will be considered for admission. Prospective students may apply for admission during or after the final year of undergraduate study, but must submit the official baccalaureate degree transcript/course-by-course transcript evaluation to the Office of Graduate Studies before the end of the first year of enrollment.

Special Note: International students with a three-year degree are referred to the program in which they wish to pursue graduate studies to determine possible additional coursework. They can be considered for graduate admission, but admission is at the discretion of the individual departments/schools. 

The decision to admit an applicant to a program is based primarily on a combination of the following criteria according to the requirements of the specific program.

  • Quality of previous undergraduate and graduate work. The Graduate College requires a minimum “B” average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in a program of study resulting in the award of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale can be considered for provisional admission.  If an applicant has studied at the graduate level and performed satisfactorily, less weight may, but not necessarily, be placed on the quality of the undergraduate academic record. Some programs require a higher minimum grade point average for admission.
  • Strength of letters of recommendation from persons competent to judge the applicant’s probable success in graduate school. These letters are usually from the applicant’s former professors who are able to give an in-depth evaluation of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. Additional recommendations may come from employers or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant’s work experience.
  • Official scores on required aptitude or advanced knowledge examination(s).
    • All applicants to Graduate Studies at UNO whose language of nurture is not English must present a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).
      • Automatic waivers from this policy are granted for persons who have received a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from an institution in the United States. 
      • The TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement will also be waived for applicants who have received or will be receiving a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list
      • While individual programs may require a higher score, the UNO Graduate Council has set a minimum score for admission to graduate studies of 550 paper-based (pBT) TOEFL, 80 internet-based (iBT) TOEFL, 6.5 IELTS, or 53 PTE,. 
  • Statement by the applicant of academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. These statements help the department/school identify students whose goals are consistent with its objectives.
  • Other evidence of graduate potential. Some programs require other evidence of graduate potential, such as a portfolio of creative work, completion of specialized examinations, or personal interviews.

Special Note: 

  • If a currently enrolled graduate student is admitted to a graduate program prior to receipt of their final grades for the current semester, the program may re-evaluate its admission decision if the student receives a grade of “C-“ or lower in any coursework (undergraduate or graduate) for that semester.
  • Notification of acceptance by a department/school graduate program committee or faculty member is advisory only.  Admission is granted solely by the Dean for Graduate Studies.

Record Maintenance and Disposition

All records, including academic records from other institutions, become part of the official file and can neither be returned nor duplicated for any purpose. Students may wish to obtain an additional copy of their official credentials to keep in their possession for advisory purposes or for other personal requirements. Transcripts provided to the university in support of a graduate application will be maintained for two years if the student does not enroll in to program to which they applied.

Admission to the Graduate College

Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the Dean for Graduate Studies. Academic departments/schools review admission applications and credentials and make admission recommendations to the dean. The standards maintained by the Graduate College and individual departments/schools are applied to ensure that applicants admitted to the university are well qualified for graduate study and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program. Standards for admission to doctoral degree programs are generally higher than those for admission to master’s degree programs. In many degree programs, the number of applications received from qualified applicants for graduate study exceeds the number of applicants who can be accommodated. In such cases, only the most highly qualified are offered admission. The number of spaces available in various departments/schools is limited according to the availability of faculty and resources.

Categories of Admission

Unconditional Admission status may be granted to students considered fully qualified to undertake the program to which they were admitted. A student must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Other qualifications might include, but are not limited to, academic foundation requirements, an interview, area of subject tests, advanced tests, a portfolio or performance, grade point average, and/or letters of recommendation.

Provisional Admission status may be granted to students who have not met all of the conditions for unconditional admission. Departments/schools and/or the Dean for Graduate Studies may impose certain requirements which must be fulfilled by the student in order to maintain this status.

  • Provisional admission may be granted to an applicant who has less than a "B" average (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in the undergraduate work in the proposed graduate major and minor (but in no case less than a 2.7 GPA). This admission may be granted for reasons of maturity, experience, or other circumstances under which the student may be deemed capable of high quality graduate study.
    • Provisional admission remains in effect until the student has earned at least the grade of "B" (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in each course involved in the first 12 hours of graduate study. The provisions are noted in DegreeWorks for reference.
  • Provisional admission may occasionally be granted to an applicant who has graduated from an unaccredited institution. Unconditional status may be attained upon completion of 12 hours of graduate courses with a "B" (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) average, providing all other requirements are met.
  • Provisional admission may occasionally be granted to seniors at UNO needing no more than nine hours of undergraduate credit to complete their baccalaureate degree and wishing to register for graduate credit, subject to their receiving a baccalaureate degree within the 12-month period immediately following such registration. They must, however, apply for admission to graduate studies and, if admitted, they should register as graduate students. Graduate coursework taken prior to receipt of the baccalaureate degree may not always be accepted for transfer to other institutions, as graduate work, or for completion of degree requirements at UNO.
  • Provisional admission may occasionally be granted to an applicant who has not submitted the required aptitude or advanced knowledge test score(s). The student must, however, submit the score prior to second semester registration as a graduate student.

Provisional status will continue until provisions of admission are fulfilled or changed by the recommendation of the graduate program committee and approved by the Dean for Graduate Studies.

Graduate Certificate Programs:

  • Students must be enrolled in a graduate degree-seeking program in addition to a graduate certificate in order to be eligible for financial aid. Being enrolled in only a graduate certificate program does not make you eligible for financial aid. 

Unclassified Admission

Unclassified admission is available in limited departments/schools for students who:

  • Are taking courses for professional growth or personal interest, but do not intend to pursue an advanced degree.
  • Are enrolled in a graduate degree program at another institution and wish to transfer credits earned at UNO.
  • Are working toward certification, additional endorsement, or renewal of certification in professional education.

Students applying for the unclassified category are not automatically entitled to this status upon application. The department/school reviews applications and the student may be turned down for this category, as with other categories of admission. International students on F1 visas, except graduate visiting students, are not eligible to enroll as unclassified students. Students admitted as unclassified are not eligible for financial aid.

Special Note: Successful completion of graduate courses as an unclassified student does not obligate a department/school to accept those courses for credit toward the fulfillment of degree requirements. Students who enroll under the unclassified designation and subsequently decide they wish to pursue a graduate degree must submit a new application, non-refundable application fee, and other required documents.  Students must also consult with their advisor and the chair of the graduate program committee. If admission to the degree program is recommended, the department/school will advise the Office of Graduate Studies of the decision and the credits to be accepted toward the degree.

Non-Degree Admission

Verified Non-Degree Admission Status

Verified non-degree admission status may be available for an individual with an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution who is not seeking a graduate degree from UNO. Applicants applying for the verified non-degree admission status need only submit an application for admission, the required application fee, and official degree transcript. A cumulative GPA of at least a 2.7 is also required.

Limited Express Non-Degree Admission Status

Limited express non-degree admission status allows students to register for classes without waiting for Graduate Studies to receive official transcripts. Applicants applying for the limited express non-degree admission status need only submit an application for admission and the required application fee. Applicants requesting limited express non-degree admission will be eligible to register for one term only. The admission may be extended beyond the one term only upon receipt of an official degree transcript with a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.7 on a 4.0 scale.

Special Notes: UNO does not allow intercampus registration for non-degree students who are admitted under the Limited Express category. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid. Advisors are not assigned to non-degree students.

Non-Degree students are advised to consult with the appropriate department/school concerning class availability and prerequisites before attempting to register. Because of limited class size and resources, certain academic units may limit the enrollment of non-degree students. To determine whether a non-degree student is allowed to enroll in a graduate course, please check the course descriptions listed on the web.

Admission to a degree program, or to unclassified admission from non-degree status is not guaranteed. Graduate-level hours taken as a non-degree graduate student prior to admission to a master's degree program may be included in the program of study at the discretion of the major department/school and the graduate dean. Students changing from non-degree status may also be required to take certain prerequisite courses by the major department/school and the Dean for Graduate Studies.

International students on F1 visas, except graduate visiting students, are not eligible to enroll under non-degree status. Non-degree students must maintain the same academic standards as degree-seeking students or unclassified students.

Students dismissed from a graduate program who then re-apply as non-degree students may only do so if they request and receive permission in accordance with departmental/school graduate program policy to enroll as a non-degree student.