NAU graduate admissions
When you’re ready to elevate your future, we’re ready to help you climb. Get information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.
Do I have eligibility for graduate study?
If you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by an appropriate regional accrediting association, you are eligible to apply for admission to Northern Arizona University as a graduate student.
Graduate college requirementsAccordion Closed
Applicants must have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale for their bachelor’s degree to be considered for regular admission. Admitted students are expected to have undergraduate educational experiences, including general education studies, that are similar to those required for a baccalaureate at Northern Arizona University. Students holding a cumulative GPA below a 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission with a recommendation and rationale from the admitting academic program.
Academic program requirementsAccordion Closed
Academic programs, departments, or colleges may have admission requirements in addition to those of the Graduate College. These may include, but are not limited to: the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a portfolio, scholarly papers, letters of recommendation, or a personal statement. For these specific requirements, contact the specific academic program and/or refer to the academic catalog.
Almost ready to apply? Find information about application deadlines, admission decisions, and admission classifications below.
Application review and deadlines
Applications are processed by the Graduate College as they are received. Please be aware that many academic units have specific deadlines and the program’s review of applications varies by unit. Please contact the academic unit for questions about their application review timeline.
If your program does not have a deadline, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible and a minimum of six weeks before the term in which you wish to enroll.
Only the Graduate College can make formal offers of admission. Academic programs make admission recommendations to the Graduate College based on their review of all required application materials. While departments and programs may notify applicants that they have recommended their admission, the Graduate College notifies all applicants in writing of any official admission decision.
Admission to many academic programs is on a competitive basis, and those programs frequently set higher standards and evaluation criteria than the Graduate College. Therefore, meeting the minimum Graduate College requirements does not ensure admission to a graduate program.
Admission classifications & residency
Regular admissionAccordion Closed
If an applicant meets all admission criteria, have been evaluated and recommended for admission by the academic program, and have been evaluated and approved by the Graduate College, the applicant may be granted regular admission, barring any extenuating circumstances.
Conditional admissionAccordion Closed
If an applicant is not qualified for regular admission status, they may be granted conditional admission. Reasons for conditional admission vary and may include, but are not limited to:
- The Bachelor’s degree is expected to be completed before the commencement of graduate work, but has not yet posted to an official transcript;
- Minimum admission standards were not met, but the applicant demonstrates a potential to meet the requirements of the degree;
- Programmatic or discipline-specific requirements are deficient or the applicant lacks certain prerequisites;
- Begins a graduate program as a “Preplan” student*.
To change from conditional status to regular status, the student must complete all admission requirements and remove all deficiencies noted in the admission letter. Students who fail to meet conditional admission requirements may be denied regular admission upon department and Graduate College review and will not be allowed to progress in the degree. For more information, please see NAU Policy 100319: Academic Continuation, Probation, Dismissal, and Readmission – Graduate.
* Only certain graduate degrees are considered “Preplan” programs. Students who apply for a “Preplan” degree program are given the opportunity to take courses soon after the submission of their application. Students who fail to meet Graduate College or programmatic admission requirements may be denied regular admission and will not be allowed to progress in the degree, despite any courses that may have been completed.
Non-degree admissionAccordion Closed
Individuals interested in personal enrichment or not ready to apply to a degree program, may apply for admission as a non-degree student. The application process is streamlined and does not require a submission of transcripts or test scores.
Graduate non-degree seeking students are allowed to apply up to a maximum of 12 units of appropriate and approved course work toward a graduate degree upon admission to a graduate program.
Residency classificationAccordion Closed
Residency Classification for tuition purposes is based on policies set by the Arizona Board of Regents. Students arriving to Arizona from another state, enrolled in an institution of higher education in Arizona, and are maintaining continuous enrollment are presumed to be presiding in Arizona primarily as a student, and are not present to establish domicile. Therefore, they are not eligible for the Arizona resident tuition rate.
Typically, for a student to be independently classified as a resident for tuition purposes, they must be physically present in Arizona 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment, employed and paying AZ taxes, and able to document up to 24 months of financial independence. This presence must be coupled with clear and convincing evidence of intent to establish a domicile in Arizona beyond the circumstances of being a student. Mere presence of a person in this state does not, by itself, constitute domicile. There is a presumption that no adult student or emancipated minor has established a domicile in this state while attending any educational institution in this state.
Students may qualify for an Arizona Board of Regents approved exception to the 12-month residency rule. Enrolled students may submit Exception and Change of Residency Status petitions for which they qualify within established deadlines for each term. We recommend reviewing residency classification policy, forms, and deadlines at www.nau.edu/azresidency.
Admission and program changes
Change of enrollment term
If a student is offered admission to a graduate program at Northern Arizona University, and decides not to attend in the term in which they are admitted, they must contact the admitting academic department to request a change to the term of enrollment. If approved, the department will notify the Graduate College, and your admission term may be updated. Students may only request a deferral of admission once after an initial admission. If they wish to defer admission again, they may be required to reapply to their program.
Change of graduate program/plan
If you wish to switch to a different graduate program, please contact the Graduate College to determine what steps are needed to facilitate this change. Students who switch graduate programs usually have to reapply to the new program.