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Before You Apply

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Preparing for Graduate School

Consider...

  • What are your personal goals?
  • Is graduate school for you?
  • Will a graduate degree advance your career or increase your earning potential?
  • When do you want to begin your graduate study?
  • What graduate major is best for you? 
  • Would you prefer a traditional or online graduate program?

Explore...

  • Are you interested in a thesis or non-thesis graduate program? 
  • What faculty or programs are conducting research you're interested in pursuing?
  • What are the entrance requirements and application materials needed? 
  • Does your program of interest provide funding support?
  • What is the application deadline of the graduate program you are insterested in pursuing?

Where Do I Start?

 

Get more information about your graduate application timeline.

 

View Timeline

Transcript Requirements for Admitted Students

 

What official transcripts do I need to submit?

 

View Requirements

Eligibility for Graduate School

 

Am I eligible for graduate school?

 

View Eligibility

Degree and Non-Degree Students

 

What are the degree and non-degree seeking categories?

 

View options

 

 

Graduate Application Basics

 

What do I need to submit with my application?

 

View Basics

 

Funding Opportunities

 

Get more information about graduate assistantships and other kinds of funding. 

 

 

View Options

Lifecycle of a Graduate Application

Admission to graduate programs at the University of Oklahoma is a collaborative effort between the academic units and OU Graduate College Admissions. Admission is based on an evaluation of an applicant’s overall education record, experience, personal qualifications, proposed specialization, and an assessment of the likelihood that an applicant will succeed in, and benefit from, a particular academic program.

The OU Graduate College Dean governs admission and enrollment in the Graduate College, utilizing the recommendations of the academic units. It is the responsibility of  Graduate College Admissions to admit students to the university who meet standards and who are recommended for admission by the graduate departments. 

 

  1. OU Graduate College Admissions receives the application and academic credentials.
  2. Your Graduate College admissions counselor evaluates and verifies the academic credentials, then forwards the application and materials to the graduate academic unit.
  3. The graduate application and credentials are evaluated and reviewed by the graduate academic unit (the program you applied to).
  4. The graduate academic unit returns the recommendation to OU Graduate College Admissions for review and approval. 
  5. Your Graduate College admissions counselor processes the decision through the authority of the Graduate College Dean, and notifies the applicant.

Eligibility for Graduate School

Minimum Requirements to Apply for Graduate Study


Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

    OR                                

Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree from a school that is accredited by a national accreditation agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

 

International applicants must have received the equivalent of a US bachelor's degree, typically four years in length, from an accredited college or university in the country where the degree was earned. 

 

 

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education (see U.S. Applicants).

     OR

Applicants must have earned a degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's from an accredited college/university (see International Applicants).

Applicants must provide a copy of their U.S. Permanent Residency card. This document may be uploaded to the graduate application.

Acceptable Degree Accreditation

All institutions of higher education should have some form of accreditation. Regional accreditation is the most prestigous form of accreditation in the United States and is required to apply for graduate study at OU. There are multiple regional accreditation agencies currently recognized by the Council of Higher Education (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education.

 

In addition, the OU Graduate College accepts accreditation of colleges or universities that are accredited by national accreditation agencies that are recognized by the Council of Higher Eduacation Accreditation (CHEA).

OU accepts international credits/degrees from institutions recognized by the Ministry of Education or government-approved authority in the country where the degree was earned. For degrees to be accepted, the degree must be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher,and the institution must be approved to offer bachelor's degree equivalent or higher.

Application Timeline

18 to 24 months before starting graduate school

  • Identify your areas of interest, then research various institutions, specific programs, degrees, and faculty.
  • Review eligibility and admission requirements.
  • Determine the college features you value, such as size, location, type of institution, extracurricular activities, costs, potential for financial aid, social opportunities, political climate, and cultural environment, in addition to the strength of their academic programs.
  • Research the surrounding community including housing options, transportation, and other services that may be important to you.
  • Investigate financial aid opportunities including assistantships, scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans. 
  • Visit the campuses of your top programs. Meet with faculty and students.

15 months before starting graduate school

  • Begin preparing for graduate admissions tests (such as the GRE or GMAT).
  • Familiarize yourself with all applications and deadlines for graduate schools to which you will apply. Note: Funding deadlines and application deadlines may be different.
  • Check on application deadlines and rolling admissions policies. Deadlines range from August (before your senior year) to late spring or summer (after your senior year). Most deadlines for fall enrollment are between January and March.
  • For medical, dental, osteopathy, or law school, you may need to register for the national application or data assembly service.
  • Narrow your list of potential programs to 3-5.

12 months before starting graduate school

  • Request transcripts from your current or most recent institution/school(s).
  • Obtain letters of recommendation well in advance of application deadline dates. Provide the instructions for submitting letters to your recommenders.
  • Take graduate admissions tests if you haven't already done so. Remember that it can take several weeks for your scores to be sent to institutions, so it’s best to take tests well in advance of the application deadline.
  • Finalize your statement of purpose or personal statement (if needed). You can utilize the OU Writing Center for feedback on these documents.
  • Prepare other materials (e.g., resume, writing sample).
  • Submit completed applications. Submit applications early when possible.
  • Apply for national graduate fellowships.
  • Check with all institutions before the deadline to ensure your file is complete. 

3 to 6 months before starting graduate school

  • Communicate with department faculty at the graduate schools to which you have applied. 
  • Inquire about the status of your graduate application.
  • Visit the institutions that accept you. 
  • Meet with faculty and students. 
  • Learn about housing, transportation, and community amenities.
  • Notify all colleges and universities that accepted you of your decision.
  • Notify other colleges and financial aid providers if you are declining their offers.
  • Make plans to move to your new school: housing, banking, etc.
  • Register for Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service (GAPSFAS), if required.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by academic program. Information about program deadlines can be found on the OU Graduate College Explore Programs page. It is importat that you submit your application and supporting materials by your academic unit's application deadline. While some programs may continue to review applications after their deadline, priority is given to applications submitted by the deadline.

If your academic unit lists a rolling deadline that means there is not a specific application deadline, but OU Graduate Admissions encourages applicants to apply early.

International students who reside outside the U.S. are subject to university set application deadlines to allow student enough time to obtain a student visa. 

 

Fall semester - August 1

Spring semester - September 1

Summer semester - February 1

 

If your academic program has an earlier deadline than one listed above, then the academic unit deadline takes precedence.

How to Submit a New Application

New students to OU, current OU undergraduate students, and former OU graduate students who have been inactive for more than 12 months should complete a new application.

  • Create a new account using an email address and password of your choosing.
  • All communication regarding your application will be sent to this email address.
  • If you have already created an account, do not create a new account.
  • If you need help accessing an existing account, see technical help
  • Carefully review all instrucations listed in each section of the graduate application.
  • Failure to comply with the instructions in the application will delay your application review.

 

  • In the Academic History section of the application, YOU MUST LIST ALL SCHOOLS THAT YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY ATTENDED
  • You should upload a copy of your most recent degree transcript (bachelor's or higher). 
    • However, you are also encouraged to upload copies of all degree transcripts with your application.
  • Submitting a current in-progress transcript is acceptable.
  • If you earned a degree (bachelor’s or higher) from the University of Oklahoma, you do not need to upload this transcript. 
  • Unofficial transcripts are acceptable at the time of application.
    • “Advisory” transcripts or web printouts from your student portal are not acceptable and insufficient for the review of your application.

Note: If you are recommended for admission, your official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions (bachelor’s or higher) will be required.

GRE

  • Some academic units require GRE test scores as part of the application. Refer to the Explore Programs page to see if the graduate program you are applying to requires the GRE. 
  • You should enter your GRE scores when prompted and upload your score report in the application.
  • You should have your official GRE scores sent to OU Graduate College Admissions.
  • Use ETS code 6879 for the University of Oklahoma.

TOEFL / IELTS / PTE

  • International students are required to provide proof of English proficiency. 
  • TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores may be entered in the applicatiion when prompted and your score report may be uploaded as part of your application. 
  • If you are uploading TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores, please have an official score report sent to OU Graduate College Admissions.
  • Official test scores must be received by our office directly from ETS (for TOEFL), the British Council (for IELTS) and PTE (for Pearson's English Test).. 
  • For TOEFL, use ETS code 6879 for the University of Oklahoma. 
  • Supplemental materials will differ by academic unit. 
  • Examples of supplemental materials include: personal statement/statement of purpose, writing sample, resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV), employment history, portfolio, etc.
  • Refer to  the Explore Programs page or contact the program to which you are applying for supplemental material requirements.
  • Upload ALL supplemental materials requied by your academic unit.
  • Review your application.
  • Ensure all required materials and supplemental materials are uploaded.
  • Click the submit button.

 

  • U.S. Citizen and U.S. Permanent Resident applicants - $50.00 (non-refundable)
  • International applicants - $100.00 (non-refundable)

If you are a participant in one of the following programs, you will be prompted to upload verifcation of your participation in these programs, and your application fee will be waived.

  • McNair Scholar
  • GEM Fellow
  • Louis Stokes Allliances for  Minority Population (LSAMP) Scholar
  • National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP) participant

Note: International applicants are not eligible for the McNair, GEM, and  LSAMP programs.

Graduate Application Basics

Application, Transcripts, and Supplemental Materials

 

Applicants must disclose all colleges or universities previously attended and degrees earned in their graduate application. 

  • Failure to list any college or university attendance on the application may be grounds for expulsion from the University of Oklahoma.
  • Former OU students should list OU as a school previously attended in the application.

Applications will not be reviewed by OU Graduate Admissions until your latest degree transcript is received and your application fee is paid.

  • We highly recommend that you upload your latest degree transcript with your  application. 
  • Failure to upload your transcript delays your application review.
  • General appllication fee waivers are not available.

Supplemental material requirements (i.e., statement of purpose, resume/CV, letters of recommendation, etc.) vary by program.

  • Please review the Explore Programs page to see the supplemental materials required by the program you are applying to.

INITIAL APPLICATION REVIEW

Application Materials Needed for a Decision

 

Transcripts Required with Your Application

Upload your latest degree transcript with your application.

  • It's the quickest way to  submit your transcript and expedites your review process.
  • Former and current OU students do not need to upload or submit a transcript with their application. 

Unofficial transcipts are acceptable at this point in the review process.

  • Transcripts uploaded with your application are considered unofficial, but they are sufficient for the initial application review
  • We do not accept "advisory" or "student portal" unofficial transcripts that do not clearly identify the issuing college or university.
  • If you have earned more than one degree, we recommend that you upload all degree transcripts with your application.

If you are currently finishing your bachleor's degree and will complete that degree before you start your graduate program at OU, please upload your most recent transcript from that school. 

  • The transcript should be lacking no more than 1-3 semesters (i.e. one year of coursework).

If you are unable to upload your transcript with your application at the time of submission,  you may upload your transcript post submission by logging into your Application Status Page.  

GRE or GMAT (if required by your graduate program)

GRE and GMAT

The GRE and GMAT tests are not required by the OU Graduate College, but some graduate academic units do require GRE or GMAT tests as part of their application requirements. Please refer to your graduate program Explore Programs page for more information.

 

If the GRE and GMAT is required by your graduate program:

  • You will be prompted to enter your scores and test date in the application. You will also need to upload a copy of your score report.
  • Applicants must submit their official GRE and GMAT scores before admission can be granted.
    • For GRE - select Institution Code 6879 - University of Oklahoma
    • For GMAT - official scores should be submitted to the Price College of Business.

TOEFL, IELTS or PTE (for English Proficiency)

TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE

For international students and U.S. Permanent Residents whose bachelor's degree was not earned in the U.S. or in an OU approved English-speaking country, the TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE exams are accepted as methods of English proficiency satisfaction. For more information about OU's English proficiency requirements,  refer to our International Students page. 

 

If you intend to use TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test scores:

  • You will be prompted to enter your scores and test date in the application. You will also need to upload a copy of your score report.
  • Applicants MUST submit  their official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores to the OU Graduate College Admissions before admission can be granted.
    • For TOEFL  - select Institution Code 6879 - University of Oklahoma.
    • For IELTS and PTE - select the University of Oklahoma - Graduate College Admissions.

Supplmental Application Materials Required with Your Application

Supplemental application materials vary by academic unit. Examples of supplemental application materials are:  statement of purpose or personal statement, resume/CV, writing sample, letters of recommendation, porfolio, or video recordings of audition materials, etc. Whenever possible, these materials should be uploaded with your application at the time of submission. 

  • However, you may upload supplemental materials post submission by logging into your Application Status page. 
  • Failure to upload supporting materials may delay your application review.

Transcript Requirements for Admitted Students

Admitted students must submit official academic transcripts from all institutions where they have earned a degree (bachelor's or higher).

  • Official transcripts must be received by OU Graduate College Admissions during the students' first semester at OU.
  • The final transcript must show all grades earned and the degree conferred. 
  • Students should request their degree schools send an official transcript directly to OU Graduate College Admissions. 

How to submit official transcripts:

  • You may request that your former school send your official transcripts by mail to:

OU Graduate College Admissions
Robertson Hall, Room 213
731 Elm Avenue
Norman, OK 73019

  • You may request that your former school send your official transcipt electronically via e-Script, National Clearinghouse or Parchment transcript services. 
    • Select University of Oklahoma-Graduate Admissions
  • All admitted students who do not have access to the electronic transcript services, particularly international students, should send their official transcripts and degree certificates to our office by mail.
    • In addition to regular U.S. mail, you may have your official transcripts sent via a global mail services (i.e. DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc.). 
  • International students who only have one student-issued official transcript and degree certificate should contact their assigned admissions counselor to schedule an appointment to review their credentials.

Failure to submit all official degree transcripts will result in an enrollment hold which will prohibit enrollment in your second semester at OU.

If You Do Not Complete Your Bachelor's Degree

All graduate students MUST have earned their bachelor's degree or equivalent degree before they begin their graduate studies at OU.

 

If you applied for admission with an in-progress degree, but did not complete your bachelor's degree by your entry term (i.e., the term you applied for), you MUST notify your admissions counselor as soon as possible.

  • You will need to request a deferral of your application to a future term AFTER your bachelor's degree is completed.
  • Plesae contact your admission counselor before classes begin.

Official vs. Unoffical Transcripts 

Official

Official transcripts are the original documents issued by the institution and mailed to OU Graduate Admissions.

  • An official paper transcript is delivered in a sealed envelope which should not be opened by anyone except the OU Graduate College Admissions staff.
  • An official transcript is a legal document and includes distinguishing marks such as the Registrar’s signature, the college seal, and the date it was issued.  
  • We do accept official, electronic transcripts from e-Script, National Student Clearinghouse, and Parchment transcript services. 
  • If requesting official electronic transcripts, please send them via email to OU Graduate College Admissions at gradadm@ou.edu.

Unofficial

Unofficial transcripts are copies of official transcripts.

  • Both the official and the unofficial transcripts contain the same information about a student’s academic record: a chronological list of classes, grades, and credits. 
  • Photocopies or scans of original documents are unofficial transcripts.
  • Transcripts  that an applicant uploads to the application portal or emails to OU Graduate Admissions is considered unofficial for admission purposes.

Helpful Transcript FAQS

All transcripts, test scores, correspondence, or any other supplemental material submitted in conjunction with an application for admission become the permanent property of the University of Oklahoma, and will not be returned to the applicant. Should you need copies of your transcripts for other purposes, you must obtain them from the originating institution(s).

As long as your bachelor's degree will be completed before the term you plan to begin your graduate program, you may apply for graduate school.  Please upload a copy of your most up to date transcript with your application. 

Your transcript should not be missing no more than one academic year (Summer, Fall and Spring semesters) of coursework. This means you can apply with three semesters in-progress. If admitted, you must submit your official transcript after your degree is posted. 

The OU Graduate Admisisons does not require an  international credential evaluation for international transcripts. If you have received a degree (bachelor’s or higher) from a country outside of the US, please note that a WES evaluation does not substitute for an official transcript and degree certificate.. OU Graduate Admissions will require a copy of the original transcript (with translation)  and degree certicate, if applicable, at the time of application.

Yes, applicants from India must submit individual semester mark sheets that show all fails and repeats at the time of application along with a consolidated transcript, English translations and degree certificate.


Who Are Degree Seeking Students?


Students Seeking an Advanced Degree

If you want to apply to a masters, doctoral, or graduate certificate program, you are a degree seeking graduate student.

Students Seeking an Advanced Degree

If you are a current undergraduate student completing a bachelor’s degree at OU and you intend to apply to a graduate program immediateley after earning your undergraduate degree, you are a degree seeking graduate student.

Students Seeking an Advanced Degree

If you have previously attended the University of Oklahoma at the undergraduate or graduate level, and now intend to earn a graduate degree, you are a degree seeking graduate student.


Who Are Non-Degree Seeking Students?


Graduate Visitor Students

Graduate visitors are graduate students in good academic standing who are seeking an advanced degree at another accredited institution, and only plan to take coursework at OU in a limited basis. 

 

Graduate Visitor Requirements:

Graduate visitors have all the rights and privileges of other graduate students EXCEPT they are not admitted to a graduate program and are not considered degree-seeking students at OU.  

  • Applicants must be a degree-seeking graduate student in good standing at another accredited university.
  • Graduate visitors are not required to provide transcripts.
  • Graduate visitors are required to submit a letter of good standing from the dean or appropriate designate at the students home institution. 

How to Apply:

  • Go to Apply.
  • Start a new application.
  • When asked to select the type of application you wish to start, choose Graduate Non-Degree.
  • In the Program Selection section, choose Graduate College Visitor.
Unclassified Students

Unclassified students are those who wish to take graduate level courses, not seeking a graduate degree or have not yet chosen an academic field of study. Students in the Unclassified status are not considered degree-seeking students.

 

Unclassified Graduate Requirements:

  • Students must  have earned at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.
  • Students must provide a transcript from their last degree-granting institution, bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Students must have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on their most recent degree transcript.

 

UNLIKE DEGREE-SEEKING STUDENTS, UNCLASSIFIED STUDENTS:

  • are not candidates for a degree
  • are not assured future admission to a degree program
  • are not eligible for conditional admission 
  • are not typically eligible for financial aid
  • are limited to a maximum of 12 hours in unclassified status

International students are not eligible for the unclassified graduate status due to their student visa requirements that they be enrolled in a degree-seeking program.

Application Deadline for unclassified graduate non-degree status is thirty (30) calendar days prior to the beginning of the spring, summer or fall semester.

 

How to Apply:

  • Go to Apply.
  • Start a new application.
  • When asked to select the type of application you wish to start, choose Graduate Non-Degree.
  • In the Program Selection section, choose Unclassified.