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?
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 theImportant 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.
Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate work completed in the United States must be uploaded to evaluate your application. Ensure all pages of your transcript are included and can be easily read. Your official transcripts, sent from the issuing institution directly to NAU, will be required upon admittance to your graduate program for GPA and degree conferral verification.
NAU students do not need to submit official transcripts for NAU coursework. NAU students may access unofficial transcripts via LOUIE. NAU alumni must have an NAU Google account to access their LOUIE files. You may create a Google account by following the instructions under Alumni at
Academic program requirements
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:
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
letters of recommendation
For these specific requirements, contact the specific academic program or refer to the
Admission decisions for graduate study
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.
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.
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:
Residency classification and establishing domicile
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 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 Arizona taxes
- 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 exception approved by the Arizona Board of Regents 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.
For more information, review residency classification policy, forms, and deadlines.
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.