Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Professor looking over student while working with microscope.

Applying as a graduate student

What you need to know

Advance your knowledge—and increase your earnings potential—when you apply for graduate study at NAU. 

With a wealth of master’s and doctoral degrees to choose from, along with many graduate certificate options, you’ll find a program that will help you reach your goals.

We’ll make it easy for you to find eligibility for graduate study, application deadlines, and NAU admissions policies and procedures so you can take your next step toward influencing the future.

Are you eligible for graduate study?

Student working on her laptop outside on a sunny day at Flagstaff campus.

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 NAU as a graduate student.

NAU admission requirements are the same whether you apply to the main campus in Flagstaff, an online graduate program, or any of our statewide locations.

Deadlines for graduate study

Find the application deadline for your program.

Important dates & deadlines

Admissions requirements for graduate study

The NAU Graduate College requires that applicants have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 out of a 4.00 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 NAU.

Admission decisions for graduate study

Students working together on group project.

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 you that they have recommended your 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.

Regular admission

If you meet all admission criteria, have been evaluated and recommended for admission by the academic program, and have been evaluated and approved by the Graduate College, you may be granted regular admission, barring any extenuating circumstances.

Non-degree-seeking applicants

Consider a non-degree-seeking option if you’re not ready to apply for a full program of study.

Conditional admission

Students holding a cumulative GPA below 3.00 may be considered for conditional admission with a recommendation and rationale from the admitting academic program.

Reasons for an applicant’s 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

  • beginning a graduate program as a pre-plan student

Only certain graduate degrees are considered pre-plan programs. Students who apply for a pre-plan 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.

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.

Residency classification and establishing domicile

Residency classification for tuition purposes is based on policies set by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Student looking out the window while walking through building.


Students chatting outside near cacti at an NAU statewide campus.


Admission and program changes

Change of enrollment term

If a student is offered admission by the NAU Graduate College 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 Admissions office, and the admission term may be updated. Students may request a deferral of admission only once after an initial admission. If they wish to defer admission again, they may be required to reapply to the program.

Change of graduate program

If you wish to switch to a different graduate program, please contact the Admissions office to determine what steps are needed to facilitate this change. Students who switch graduate programs usually have to reapply to the new program.