Overview of The Graduate School Admissions Process
UNCP welcomes applications from qualified persons who have earned a baccalaureate degree and whose academic preparation and aptitude predict success in graduate school. To be considered for admission to The Graduate School, an applicant must have an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Degrees earned at colleges/universities accredited by other US Department of Education recognized national accreditors may also be considered. Applicants whose undergraduate degrees are still in progress may apply for provisional admission. Information on accredited institutions is available from The Graduate School. Exceptions on standard accreditation may be granted for applicants with international degrees, including applicants with three-year degrees from institutions in Europe participating in the Bologna Process. Information about the Bologna Process can be found at http://www.ehea.info/.
The Graduate School website (www.uncp.edu/grad) provides important information for prospective students, including application forms and requirements, submission guidelines, application deadlines, and timeframes for admission. Additional information is available on the website of the specific degree program.
Any student who supplies false or misleading information or conceals pertinent facts in order to secure admission to UNCP may be denied admission or, if admitted, may be immediately dismissed from the University. Such a student may be ineligible to receive any credit from the UNCP Graduate School.
Admission Deadlines for Early Consideration
Interested applicants should check the information on the website for admission terms and deadlines, noting that some graduate programs admit students every term, but others admit students only once or twice a year and often the beginning term is summer I. Similarly, the deadline for applications vary by program, but for those program not specifying an application deadline, students may be admitted until the term begins. If a deadline a program is not specified, application materials and all supporting documentation should be submitted to The Graduate School at least one month prior to the projected enrollment date (at least six months prior to the projected enrollment date for international students). Additionally, some programs will reach admission capacity early. When capacity is met, subsequent applicants will be considered for the next term of admission, which may be a year later. Check program websites for details.
The Admissions Decision
The Dean of The Graduate School (or designee) and the director of the appropriate graduate degree program evaluate all applications that meet the basic eligibility criteria (see admission requirements below). Meeting the minimum qualifications for general admission to The Graduate School does not guarantee admission to a specific program.
The admissions decision is made by the Dean of The Graduate School upon recommendation from the appropriate director of a graduate degree program. No single consideration dictates decisions on applications; instead, numerous factors and their relationships to one another enter into such decisions. The program director's recommendation and the Dean's official admission decision are based upon an analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data submitted by the applicant.
Categories of Admission
All students seeking to enroll in any graduate class must be admitted to The Graduate School, or they must have specific permission from the Dean of The Graduate School. The Graduate School admits graduate students in one of the following categories:
- full admission to a program,
- provisional admission to a program,
- special admission to The Graduate School,
- enrichment students, and
- visiting graduate students.
In addition, UNCP undergraduate students who have at least 75 hours of course credit (at least 24 credit hours at UNCP), have at least a 3.0 GPA, and gain permission may participate in Undergraduate Privilege. Undergraduate Privilege allows students to take up to twelve (12) semester hours of graduate credit, which may also count towards an appropriate graduate degree.
Admissions categories, admission requirements, and undergraduate enrollment are further explained in the sections below.
Full Admission to a Program
To be eligible for consideration for full or provisional admission to a degree program, an applicant must:
- submit a completed online application;
- pay a $55 non‑refundable application fee ($60.00 for international applicants);
- submit an official transcript(s) to The Graduate School;
- submit an official report of satisfactory scores on an entrance examination (required for some programs);
- have three academic and/or professional recommendations submitted on her/his behalf (NOTE: MBA no longer requires recommendations); and
- submit a copy of a current license, if applicable.
Some programs may have additional application requirements, such as an essay, personal interview, or background check. See the program-specific requirements and reference stipulations that are posted on The Graduate School website (www.uncp.edu/grad) and/or on the individual program websites.
Information about the admissions requirements for international students can be found in a separate section below and on The Graduate School website.
Applicants are to have an official transcript sent to The Graduate School from:
- all colleges/universities in which a bachelor's degree or higher was earned or is in progress. One transcript must indicate a baccalaureate degree was earned from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants may submit additional transcripts.
- any colleges/universities in which course work was completed within 5 years of the date of application, and
- any institution showing relevant courses for a program's prerequisite courses or for transfer credit consideration (if master's level). See Program Specific Requirements.
- Applicants who attend or previously attended UNCP do not need to provide UNCP transcripts nor a transcript from an institution appearing on the UNCP transcript.
- Students provisionally admitted into a graduate program pending degree completion are to submit an official, degree-dated transcript within the first two months enrollment.
- Applicant may be asked to submit additional transcripts for admission consideration.
- Community college transcripts (even if a degree was earned) do not have to be submitted.
- Applicants who earned a degree from an institution outside the United States must submit an evaluation of their transcripts by NACES accredited credential evaluation service (WES preferred).
Entrance Examination Requirement for Admission
Some programs require applicants to submit an official report of satisfactory scores on an appropriate standardized entrance examination as described below (some programs waive entrance exam requirements for applicants with an advanced degree):
- Mathematics Education, Middle Grades Education (except science), and Reading Education applicants submit test scores for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
- English program (MA and MAT) applicants submit Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or PRAXIS II test scores qualifying for English 9-12 licensure (ELA: Content Knowledge test 5038 and Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 test 5624 at time of posting).
- Business Administration (MBA) applicants submit GRE or Graduate Management Admissions (GMAT) test scores. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA over 3.0 (4.0 scale) do NOT have to submit test scores.
- Master of Public Administration (MPA) applicants submit GRE test scores. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher or a 3.5 or higher in their undergraduate major do not have to submit test scores.
- Master of Social Work (MSW) applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 for the 60 hour program (less than 3.2 for the Advanced Standing program) must submit GRE or MAT test scores.
Specific Exam Information:
- The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is an hour-long test of analytical ability consisting of 120 analogy problems. The MAT is offered by the Office for Regional Initiatives, located at The Carolina Commerce and Technology Center (COMTech) on Livermore Drive. To schedule a sitting for the MAT, applicants may call (910.775.4000); additional information is available at The Testing Center.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) assesses analytical writing, critical thinking, and verbal and quantitative reasoning skills and is offered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton, NJ. Additional information is available at the ETS website (www.gre.org). The GRE is administered locally by the Office for Regional Initiatives, located at The Carolina Commerce and Technology Center (COMTech) on Livermore Drive. To schedule a sitting for the GRE, applicants may call (910.775.4000). Additional information is available at The Testing Center.
- The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) assesses quantitative, verbal, and reasoning skills and is offered by the ETS Graduate Management Admissions Council. Additional information is available at the ETS website (www.mba.com and a student's guide for taking the GMAT).
If an applicant already holds a master's degree or above (e.g., master's, doctorate, J.D.), the entrance test requirement may be waived.
Most programs require applicants to submit contact information for three academic and/or professional recommenders in the online application. Typically, at least one recommendation should come from a college/university faculty member in the undergraduate major of the applicant. The other references should come from the applicant's employers/supervisors, if applicable. Applicants should check for Program Specific Requirements and note that MBA program does not require recommendations.
Licensure Requirement for Admission to Education Programs
Applicants for graduate programs leading to licensure by the North Carolina State Board of Education, (M.S.A., M.A., or an M.A.Ed. programs) must submit a copy of any current licenses held. This is not a requirement for applicants for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Professional School Counseling, or Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degrees.
In some programs, students without current licensure may be admitted to a non-licensure track and are required to sign a waiver of North Carolina Standard Professional I and M level licensure. It is the individual's responsibility to determine the requirements of any licensure reciprocity agreement that may exist between North Carolina and another state. Reciprocity does not guarantee that all areas of licensure will transfer directly from one state to another. The applicant is encouraged to contact the School of Education Licensure Office and/or the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction concerning licensure requirements and reciprocity agreements with other states.
International Graduate Students
The Graduate School of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke welcomes applications from potential graduate students from other nations. To be eligible for consideration for admission as an international student, an applicant must:
- submit a completed application;
- pay the non-refundable application fee of $60.00;
- submit an official transcript evaluation report by a NACES-accredited evaluation service (World Education Services, WES, preferred). Transcripts are not required - only an official evaluation reports by is needed.
- submit an official report of satisfactory scores on an entrance exam, if required by program of interest;
- submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), if English is not the native language
- The minimum TOEFL score is 79 on Internet-based (iBT) or 550 on paper-based (PBT) test.
- The minimum IELTS overall score is 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 on each of the four bands.
- Exceptions to the English standardized exams are available for the three categories of international applicants:
- International applicants who have received or will receive a degree from a regionally-accredited university in the United States.
- International applicants who have received or will receive a degree from an accredited university abroad, where English is the sole language of instruction. Applicants in this category must provide an official letter of verification from that university that English is the sole language of instruction, along with the applicant's date of graduation (or anticipated date of graduation for those who are still working on their bachelor's degree). Failure to provide an official letter of verification will mean that the standardized English exam scores will be required for admission.
- International applicants from countries where English is the sole official language of instruction (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Quebec, Ghana, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda, and United Kingdom - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales).
- Have successfully completed UNCP's English Language Institute (ELI).
- have three academic and/or professional recommendations submitted on her/his behalf (not required for MBA);
If admitted, international students will need to
- submit official proof of financial support, Financial Certification.
Provisional Admission to a Graduate Program
Students may be provisionally admitted into a program if they do not meet all requirements for a program, but their circumstances warrant provisional admission. Provisions typically require a student to take courses with content needed for success in the program.
Provisionally admitted students who do not complete the provisions and are not fully admitted into a program within one year are no longer eligible for financial aid.
Special Admission to The Graduate School
Students seeking admission into this category are those who, because of extenuating circumstances, may be unable to submit all documents required for full or provisional admission prior to the beginning of a semester or summer term. Students granted this non-matriculated special admission status may register for one semester only and for no more than six (6) semester hours. These students are admitted to The Graduate School; they are not admitted into a degree-granting program of an academic department. Students in this category should seek to convert their admission into full or provisional status as soon as possible. Further enrollment is prohibited without a change of admissions status.
To be eligible for consideration for special admission status to The Graduate School, an applicant must:
- submit a completed online application;
- pay a $55.00, non-refundable application fee ($60.00 for international applicants);
- submit an official transcript(s) to the Graduate School (see transcript requirement details under "Full Admission" section); and
- submit a copy of a current NC teaching license, or a current license from another state, if applicable.
Enrichment Student Admisssion
Applicants who possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, who are not enrolled in degree programs at other institutions, and who wish to complete courses at UNCP for personal or professional enrichment may qualify for admission as enrichment students. Students in this category may enroll in up to six (6) credit hours in a semester. Continuation of enrollment beyond one semester in this category requires the written approval of the Dean of The Graduate School. Six (6) semester hours of credit (if appropriate and within the time limit) earned as a special student may later be applied toward degree requirements (see Transfer Credit section).
Individuals seeking to enroll in enrichment studies must:
- submit a completed online application;
- pay a $55.00, non-refundable application fee ($60.00 for international applicants);
- submit an official transcript(s) to the Graduate School (see transcript requirement details under "Full Admission" section).
Visiting Student Admission
Visiting graduate students enrolled in the graduate schools of accredited institutions of higher learning are welcome at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Qualified visiting graduate students may study for one semester or summer at UNCP and transfer credits back to their home institutions after securing the written approval of the Dean of The Graduate School. To gain admission as a visiting graduate student, an applicant must be in good standing at, and be eligible to return to, the home institution. The decision to admit visiting graduate students rests with the Dean of The Graduate School. Also, visiting graduate students who wish to enroll for an additional semester must secure the written approval of the Dean of The Graduate School.To be eligible for admission consideration as a visiting student, an applicant must:
- submit a completed online application;
- pay the $55.00, non-refundable application fee ($60.00 for international applicants); and
- submit a letter-of-good-standing signed by the graduate dean (or an appropriate official) of her/his home graduate school specifying the course(s) for which transfer credit may be earned.
Enrollment for Additional Graduate Licensure
Applicants who possess graduate (M level) licensure by the North Carolina State Board of Education may enroll in some graduate programs to earn additional graduate licensure. Students who wish to exercise this option must apply to The Graduate School for admission. The School of Education Licensure Officer and the program director will identify the requirements for a recommendation for additional graduate licensure to be forwarded to the Department of Public Instruction by UNCP. This enrollment status does not qualify the student for an additional degree.
Applicants who hold a master's degree from a, 48-credit-hour counseling degree program recognized by an accepted institutional accreditor who wish to obtain licensure as a school counselor and those who possess graduate licensure who wish to obtain a school administration license may apply for admission to a licensure-only program. Accepted institutional accreditors include but are not limited to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Other US Department of Education recognized national accreditors which are not listed above may also be considered acceptable. Admission requirements are identical to those for the degree program. Additional information may be obtained from The Graduate School or from the specific program.
Enrollment for Graduate Certificate
Applicants for Graduate Certificate programs should see the Program Specific Requirements page. In general, graduate certificate applicants must:
- submit a completed online application;
- pay the $55.00, non-refundable application fee ($60.00 for international applicants);
- submit transcripts according to transcript requirements.
Second Master's Degree
Individuals who possess a master's degree and wish to enroll at UNCP to earn a second master's degree must apply for admission to the selected program area and, upon acceptance, complete all program requirements for that degree, including comprehensive examinations, if applicable. Graduate students may transfer up to twelve credit hours (with a grade of B or better) with approval of the Program Director and the Graduate Dean.
Transfer credit hours are subject to the five-year time limit (six years for the Professional School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Social Work programs) applied to all course work credited toward the master's degree, with the exception of reinstated credits sanctioned by the Graduate Appeals Committee (see "Lapsed Credit " and "Appeals " sections of this catalog).
Undergraduate Privilege for Graduate Coursework
Undergraduate students who have successfully completed 75 hours of undergraduate coursework may gain permission to take graduate courses by completing the Undergraduate Privilege form located on the Forms and Resources website. Students may want to note that up to twelve hours (12) of successfully completed (B or better) graduate coursework may count towards their master's degree, depending on program and courses, and may also count towards their undergraduate degree. These students should note that these courses are subject to all Graduate School rules and regulations (time to degree, grading, etc.).
To be eligible, undergraduate student must:
- have successfully completed 75 hours of course credit (at least 24 credit hours at UNCP),
- have at least a 3.0 GPA at UNCP and
- Submit the Undergraduate Privilege form, properly completed and signed, to The Graduate School.
- Graduate course grades do NOT count in one's undergraduate GPA.
- Graduate level coursework may only be applied to both a undergraduate and a graduate degree if the student receives proper prior approval.
- Graduate course grades count in graduate GPA and towards the graduate regulation of three "Cs" or one "F" dismissal.
- Permission to take graduate courses does not guarantee future admission into a graduate program.
- If course/s is/are counting towards completion of undergraduate degree, financial aid may apply.
- Students taking graduate courses may withdraw from the course up to two weeks prior to the last regular class meeting for a regular 15 week course or the equivalent in shorter term courses.
- Undergraduates taking and failing a graduate level course may appeal to the Graduate Appeals Committee for permission to apply for admission into a graduate program following the guidelines under Special Readmission Regulation for Students Dismissed for Academic Reasons.
- Undergraduate students may not take graduate hours in Thesis, Independent/Individual Study, Practicum or Internship courses.
Medical History Forms and Immunizations
North Carolina State law (General Statute 130A 152-157) requires that all students entering college present a certificate of immunization, which documents that the student has received the required immunizations. This law applies to all students except the following: students registered in only off-campus courses; students attending night or weekend classes only; and students taking a course load of (4) credit hours or fewer in on-campus courses. The form and additional information is available on the website of Student Health Services (www.uncp.edu/shs). Students whose medical history forms are not on file by the specified deadline each semester are administratively withdrawn from the University.
Student Health Insurance
Registered students taking six (6) or more credit hours are required to purchase the University of North Carolina system-wide Student Health Insurance Plan, with the following exceptions: distance education students (students taking only off-campus and internet courses) and students who submit evidence of equivalent coverage satisfactory to the policyholder. All students are automatically enrolled in the UNC system-wide plan each semester and are obligated for the cost of the plan for that semester unless the student submits a waiver request at http://studentbluenc.com/#/uncp that is successfully verified as creditable coverage. An overview of the plan is available on the website of Student Health Services (www.uncp.edu/shs).
Residency Status for Tuition Purposes
North Carolina law requires students who are not residents of the State to pay a higher rate of tuition than that charged North Carolina residents. To qualify for in-state tuition, the applicant must generally have lived in North Carolina for a minimum period of twelve months immediately prior to his or her enrollment in an institution of higher learning. More information
Special waivers exist for U.S. military personnel. Military Waiver Forms are available for active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents stationed in North Carolina.
International students (i.e., non-US citizens seeking to attend the UNCP Graduate School) are subject to special regulations with regard to residency status, immigration procedures, and passport and/or visa requirements. Information is available in the UNCP Office of Global Engagement.
NC Residency Determination Service (RDS) is the entity responsible for all new classifications of residency in North Carolina. The Graduate School application prompts applicants to the process and to enter a RDS number.
- To begin the process, visit www.NCresidency.org
- ALL student inquiries about initial determinations, reconsiderations or appeals, should be directed to RDS, the sole authority for residency determinations. You may reach RDS by telephone or email: