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Before You Apply

Two O-U tour guides giving a tour to prospective students and their family members

Before You Apply

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 application deadline of the graduate program you are insterested in pursuing?

Where Do I Start?


Getting started. Find out what steps you can take to prepare for graduate school by using our timeline.


View Timeline

Funding Opportunities


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


View Options



It's important to know what transcripts are required for your grad school application.


View Requirements

Eligibility for Graduate School

U.S. applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or 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. 

U.S.Permanent Residents must provide a copy of their Permanent Resident card. This document can be uploaded to the application.

All applicants:
  • Must complete The University of Oklahoma graduate application.
  • Must submit or upload a transcript from your last degree-granting institution with the graduate school application. Note: If you are admitted, you must submit official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions.


Degree Accreditation

Institutions of higher education should have some form of accreditation. Regional accreditation is the most prestigious form of accreditation in the U.S and required to apply for graduate study at OU.

There are multiple regional accreditation agencies currently recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education. Approved regional accrediting agencies are: 

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
  • WASC Senior College and Universty Commission (WSCUC)

In addition, the Graduate College accepts accreditation of colleges or universities that are accredited by national accreditation agencies that are recognized by the Council of Higher Education 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 instiution must be approved to offer degrees (bachelor's degree equivalent or higher).

Submitting Transcripts, Test Scores, and Other Credentials

Applicants must disclose all colleges or universities previously attended on their graduate application. Failure to list any college or university attendance on the application may be grounds for expulsion from The University of Oklahoma.

The Graduate College requires that applicants submit a transcript from the institution where they earned their most recent degree in order to be considered for admission. However, some graduate programs require that an applicant submit transcripts from all college/universities previously attended. Please check with your graduate program for more information.

Both unofficial and official transcripts are acceptable for application review.



  • Uploading your latest degree transcript with your application will minimize your application's review time. 
  • We do not accept "advisory" or "student portal" unofficial transcripts. 
  • If you have more than one degree bachelor's degree, please upload all degree transcripts.
  • If you are currently in a degree program and will complete that degree before you intend to start your graduate program at OU, please upload your most transcript from that school. 
    • The transcript should only be lacking no more than 1-2 semesters (i.e. one year of coursework).

Test Scores and Other Application Matrials:

  • Upload your unofficial GRE, IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL score reports and other applicaiton materials to the your graduate application, and submit your application.

After your have submitted your graduate application, you can upload unofficial transcripts and other credentials to your application status page.

If GRE or English proficiency test scores are required as part of the application review process, an applicant must submit their official test scores to Graduate College Admissions after application submission.

To submit official electronic GRE, IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic score reports

  • For GRE and TOEFL - use Institution Code: 6879 for University of Oklahoma
  • For IELTS and PTE send to University of Oklahoma - Graduate College Admissions

Official Transcripts:

If you are admitted, you must submit official academic transcripts from all institutions where you earned a degree (bachelor's or higher). The final transcript must show all grades earned and the degree conferred. Students should request their degree schools mail an official transcript directly to Graduate College Admissions. 

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

  • To submit official transcripts
    • You may send your official transcripts by mail to the above-listed address or 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.

Official Transcripts vs. Unofficial Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts are uploaded as part of the application process.

  • Both the official and the unofficial transcript contain the same information about a student’s academic record: a chronological list of classes, grades, and credits. However, photocopies or scans of original documents are unofficial transcripts.
  • Any transcript you (the applicant) upload to the application or email to Graduate Admissions is considered unofficial.

Official transcripts are the original documents issued by the institution.

  • An official paper transcript is delivered in a sealed envelope which should not be opened by anyone except the Graduate College Admissions.
  • 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 Graduate College Admissions at


Helpful Transcript FAQs

In-progress degrees
  • If you are in the process of completing a degree, please upload a copy of your most up to date transcript with your application. If admitted, you must submit your official transcript after your degree is posted. 
WES Evaluations
  • If you have received a degree (bachelor’s or higher) from a country outside of the United States, note that the WES evaluation is not sufficient. OU Graduate Admissions will require a copy of the original transcript (with translation) at the time of application.
Applicants from India
  • Applicants from India must submit individual semester mark sheets that show all fails and repeats at the time of application (if applicable).

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

Graduate Student Tours

student on their laptop, sitting under a tree in front of the bizzell library


At this time, the OU Graduate College tours are not available on campus. We encourage interested prospective graduate students to take a look at our beautiful campus virtually via the button below.

If you have questions about touring specific graduate academic departments, please contact us at



Lifecycle of a Graduate Application

Admission to graduate programs at The University of Oklahoma is a collaborative effort between the academic units and 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 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 Graduate College standards and who are recommended for admission by the graduate departments. 


  1. Graduate College Admissions receives application and academic credentials.
  2. Graduate College Admissions evaluates and verifies academic credentials, then forwards application and materials to the graduate academic unit.
  3. An application and credential evaluation are reviewed by graduate academic unit.
  4. Graduate academic unit returns recommendation to Graduate College Admissions for review and approval. 
  5. Graduate College processes decision through the authority of the Graduate College Dean, and notifies the applicant.

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.

How to Submit a New Application 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

Upload a copy of your most recent degree transcript (bachelor's or higher).

  • Current in-progress transcripts are acceptable
  • If you earned a degree (bachelor’s or higher) from The University of Oklahoma, you do not need to upload this transcript. 
  • “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.

Upload copies of test scores, if applicable, to the application. 


  • Some academic units require GRE test scores. You may upload those scores in your application. 
  • You should have your official GRE scores sent to Graduate College Admissions.
  • Use ETS code 6879 for the University of Oklahoma.


  • International students are required to provide proof of English proficency. TOEFL, IELTS or PTE socre reports may be uploaded with your application. 
  • If you are uploading TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores, you should have an official score report sent to Graduate College Admissions.
  • The official test score must be received by our office directly from ETS. 
  • For TOEFL, use ETS code 6879 for the University of Oklahoma. 

Upload all supplemental documents to the application that are required by the academic unit.

  • These documents will differ by academic unit. 
  • You can review program requirements on the Programs page or contact the program to which you are applying.

Submit the application.

Pay the application fee.

  • $50.00 for US citizens and US permanent residents
  • $100.00 for international applicants

If your are one of the following scholars, you wil be promted to upload verification in the application and your application fee will be waived. 

  • McNair Scholars 
  • Fulbright Scholar
  • GEM Fellow 
  • Louis Stokes Alliances 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..

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for each academic program can be found on the  the Graduate College Programs page. Many programs have deadlines earlier than those listed below. In that case, the earlier deadline takes precedence.

If your academic program either does not have a deadline or has one that is later than those listed below, then the date listed below is your deadline. 

Fall Semester (starting in August): April 1

Spring Semester (starting in January): September 1

Summer Semester (starting in May): February 1

The above application deadlines apply only to international students who reside outside the United States. If you are currently studying in the U.S., then your academic program's U.S. deadline applies.

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.

OU Graduating Seniors

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

Previous OU Students

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 are 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.  

  • Applicantsmust 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 apropriate 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.



  • 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.