Academic Catalog

Admission: Graduate School


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Detroit MI 48202
Telephone: 313-577-4723; Fax: 313-577-0131

Admission: Graduate

To be considered for graduate admission, an applicant must hold or be completing an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing and have adequate preparation with discernible ability to pursue graduate studies in the major field elected. These criteria are subject to standards set by the individual Colleges and Schools, which reserve the right to revise or amend their  entrance requirements beyond  the minimal requirements of the University. Note: Proof of the earned bachelor's degree must be submitted before regular admission will be granted.

Before any student can be considered for admission to graduate study, the following must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions or an approved Centralized Application Service: a completed online application and an official transcript from any college or university at which a bachelor's degree was earned. A transcript is considered official only if it is sent directly from the institution where the course work was completed and bears an official seal. International applicants are expected to submit additional documentation for regular admission. Note: The applicant is also responsible for arranging to take any examinations that may be specified by the Office of Graduate Admissions, the College, or the Department in which the student intends matriculation.

Some academic programs may require an additional departmental application for admission. Students are advised to contact the department to which they are applying and request  full particulars on admission procedures.

In most departments (see the departmental sections of this bulletin for variants), a regular admission may be authorized for the domestic master's degree applicant upon the department's recommendation, if the applicant's grade point average is 2.75 ('C'=2.00) or above for the upper division (approximately the last sixty semester credits) of his/ her undergraduate course work and if he/she holds a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

All baccalaureate graduates of unaccredited institutions must present a 3.00 ('B') or better upper-division grade point average to be considered for graduate admission. Course work completed after the baccalaureate which is presented as the qualifying basis for graduate admission cannot be applied toward a graduate degree at Wayne State University.

Doctoral applicants must present higher entrance qualifications than those required of master's degree applicants. A doctoral applicant is required to have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 ('B'=3) or above for the upper division of the undergraduate, bachelor's degree course work and must have completed an undergraduate major or substantial specialized work in his/her proposed doctoral major field. Certain departments require the completion of a master's degree with superior scholarship before considering acceptance of a student as a doctoral applicant. Applicants with less than a 3.0 grade point average in undergraduate course work may be eligible for admission to doctoral study if they have subsequently achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or better in substantial graduate course work in the proposed doctoral field.

The individual colleges reserve the right to refuse a non-resident admission if such admission prevents registration of a qualified Michigan resident. This ruling may not be invoked to secure admission to a Michigan resident if his/her grade point average entitles him/her to qualified status only.

Admission: Qualified Graduate

In most Departments, qualified admission to a master's or certificate program may be authorized if an applicant's grade point average is between 2.50 and 2.74 or if his/her degree is from a non-accredited institution, provided the major Department and the Graduate Officer of the appropriate School or College have reviewed the applicant's academic experience, extra-scholastic qualifications and reasons for pursuing graduate study and have recommended his/her admission to the Graduate School.

Upon recommendation of the Department and the Graduate Officer of the appropriate College or School, qualified status may be granted to an applicant whose grade point average is below 2.5, if, since the time his/her baccalaureate degree was conferred, he/she has shown substantial evidence of academic or extra-scholastic qualifications of such merit as to warrant special consideration.

Applications from students who have completed substantial course work at, and/or graduated from, institutions which were not accredited by one of the six regional U. S. accrediting institutions (MSCHE, NEASC, HLC, NWCCU, SACS, or WSCUC) at the time studies were undertaken, will have a special review. If requested, the applicant will be required to furnish documentation of the nature and level of the credit obtained, the bases on which the credit was awarded, institutional operating practices, library holdings, physical facilities, faculty qualifications, and any other matters that may be relevant to an evaluation of credit. 

All graduate admission procedures and regulations are subject to revision by the University's Graduate Council, the President, or the President's Designee at any time.

Graduate Application Dates

The Office of Graduate Admission will make every effort to process applications in time for the semester of the student's choice. However, only complete applications received by the last recommended dates shown below are ensured academic review before the semester starts. Unless an application and all supporting materials are received by the date indicated, there may not be adequate time for the desired program to review the application and make the admission decision.

Fall Term — Classes begin Late August: apply by June 1
Term — Classes begin Early January: apply by October 1
Spring Term
— Classes begin Early May: apply by February 1

For international students, the application form and all transcripts and documents must be on file in the Office of Graduate Admission at least four months prior to the start of the term in which the applicant plans to begin graduate studies.

Several Colleges and Departments have earlier deadlines. Doctoral programs  also have  earlier application  deadlines. Students should consult the School/College and Department sections of this bulletin, the program’s website, or the Office of Graduate Admissions for complete information.

Change of Graduate Status

A Change of Graduate Status is a type of admission only for those students who have previously been admitted to and registered as regular graduate students at WSU. For such students, a Change of Graduate Status is used to request:

  1. to change from one graduate program or level to another graduate program or level; or
  2. to add a second graduate program to the one in which the student is already enrolled.

A department's normal admission criteria apply to Change of Graduate Status applicants. The application form is downloadable from the Graduate School.

Students should submit the form and transcripts, if needed, to the Graduate Office of the School/College of the new program. Other admission documents required by the department should be submitted directly to the department. The School/College Graduate Office prepares and sends the application and documents to the department for decision. The Graduate Office notifies the student of the admission decision, and, if admission was approved, notifies the Records Office of the change to be made to the student's record. The department's regular admission deadlines apply. No fees are charged for a Change of Status application.

The Change of Graduate Status application should NOT be used by the following students: those who have never been admitted through the Office of Graduate Admissions, those who were admitted but did not register, those who were admitted on a Permit to Register or as Guest students, and those who have been registered in graduate classes only as Non-Matriculated students through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Graduate Non-Degree Admission

An applicant who wishes to take graduate courses but does not wish to be in a degree program may request admission on a non-degree basis. The eligible applicant will be admitted to a particular College but not to an individual major program. In most instances, a non-degree student may, with the Department's approval, register for any courses for which he/she has the necessary preparation.

The applicant for a non-degree graduate classification is cautioned that only one semester of full-time graduate study, or part-time registrations not to exceed nine credits, is normally permitted in this classification. Beyond these limits, registration as a non-degree student requires the approval of the Graduate Officer of the student's College. Not more than nine credits, subject to the approval of the Graduate Officer, may be applied at a later date toward the residency and credit requirements for either the master's or Ph.D. degree. For the Ed.D. degree, credit earned beyond the nine-credit limitation will be reviewed by the appropriate Division and the Education Graduate Officer for possible application toward the degree.

If a student in non-degree status decides to seek admission to a graduate degree program, he/she should apply to the appropriate College Graduate Office for a Change of Status before completing nine credits. There is no assurance that credits earned while holding a non-degree classification will be acceptable in a degree program, or that prerequisites may not have to be specified if the student later becomes a degree applicant. Also, financial aid is not available to students in Non-Degree status.

Graduate Guest Admission

Graduate students actively pursuing degrees and who are in good standing at other accredited colleges and universities may be admitted to elect a limited number of credits at Wayne State University. Interested students may obtain a Graduate Guest Application from the Office of Graduate Admissions. This must be signed by their home institution before it can be accepted for consideration. A guest admission is valid for only one semester and must be renewed with each subsequent registration. A maximum of twelve semester credits may be earned as a Graduate Guest Student. Admission as a Graduate Guest student does not constitute permission to register as a degree applicant.

Senior Rule

In their last undergraduate semester, Wayne State students with a 3.0 (or above) upper division grade point average have the option of taking a limited number of graduate credits. Graduate credit is awarded only for those courses taken in excess of baccalaureate degree requirements. Undergraduate and graduate courses combined may not exceed sixteen credits for the final semester of baccalaureate degree course work. A Senior Rule student must register for at least one credit which is required for the undergraduate degree in order to be eligible for this status. Students who have completed all required registrations for the baccalaureate may not obtain Senior Rule status. Completion of the Application for Graduate Admission is required, and students are advised to consult their advisors and the Office of Graduate Admissions. Application deadlines for Senior Rule admission are the same as for regular graduate admission. Students who qualify and are recommended by the Department or College will be admitted for one semester. Graduate admission will be regularized upon evidence that the student has completed all requirements for the bachelor's degree; it is the student's responsibility to provide this transcript.

As a courtesy, the University permits a student to pay undergraduate fees for the graduate courses elected in a Senior Rule status. It is recommended that students elect only courses numbered 5000-6999 in their Senior Rule semester. Senior Rule may not be used in conjunction with AGRADE.

AGRADE: Accelerated Graduate Enrollment

Several Colleges have established an accelerated combined undergraduate and graduate program (AGRADE) in which highly qualified seniors in the college may enroll simultaneously in some undergraduate and graduate programs of the College. A maximum of sixteen credits may be applied towards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a student’s major field if that program is an AGRADE participant. Those who elect the AGRADE program may expect to complete the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in five years of full-time study. AGRADE may not be used in conjunction with Senior Rule.

AGRADE Credits: Students may elect a minimum of three and a maximum of sixteen AGRADE credits. These will be used to complete the baccalaureate degree as well as to serve as the beginning of graduate study. Upon formal admission to a master’s program, AGRADE credits are transferred as if they were graduate credits transferred from a graduate program at another university.  The remaining graduate credits required for the master’s degree will be earned in the conventional manner following formal admission to the graduate program.

Eligibility: AGRADE applicants must have an outstanding overall g.p.a. and have performed at a superior level in their major, as determined by the major department. The earliest date by which a student may apply for the AGRADE program is during the semester in which he/she completes ninety credits toward the undergraduate degree.

Application: A student seeking AGRADE status should present to the Graduate Admissions Committee of his/her major department all of the materials which that department requires for normal admission (except the GRE; where required, the GRE scores should be forwarded at the normal point in the formal graduate admission process).

Admission and program requirements are described in the respective School and College sections of this bulletin, the Undergraduate Bulletin, and department advising offices.

Permit to Register Status

This is a one-term-only admission status which may be granted to applicants with incomplete applications for graduate admission, at the discretion of the academic department, and upon presentation of evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree with an acceptable grade point average and the application fee. Registration beyond the initial semester requires the submission of a regular graduate admission application, official transcripts and other required documentation as determined by the university and department. Admission as a graduate Permit-to-Register student does not obligate Wayne State University to accept the applicant in the future for a graduate degree, nor is there any assurance that credit earned in this status will be accepted toward a graduate degree.

This option is not available in all University Schools and Colleges. Applicants are encouraged to discuss admission options with the staff of the Office of Graduate Admissions. In addition, financial aid is not available to students in Permit to Register status.

Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) Program

The Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) Program enables graduate students of Michigan public institutions to take advantage of educational opportunities at other Michigan public institutions offering graduate degrees. Any graduate student in good standing in a master's, specialist, or doctoral program at a member institution is eligible to participate with approval of the appropriate academic unit. Students on a MIGS enrollment pay tuition and other fees at the host institution. All credits earned under a MIGS enrollment are accepted by a student's home institution as if offered by that institution. This type of enrollment is limited to one term for master's or specialist degree students, or two terms for doctoral degree students. Students interested in this program should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further information.

University of Windsor — WSU Exchange Program Agreement

Wayne State University and the University of Windsor have entered into an exchange agreement whereby students from each institution may enroll in selected courses at the other institution. Courses available are limited to those not offered at the student's home institution. Limitations also apply to the number of courses and credits a student may take under this agreement. Wayne State University and the University of Windsor students who wish to participate in the program must be in good standing at their home institution and must have prior approval of the appropriate academic unit that the course(s) will be accepted as part of the student's course of study. Students who participate in the Wayne State University/University of Windsor program pay tuition and fees at the home institution and receive credit for the course(s) only at the home institution. Students should consult the Director of the Office of Study Abroad for further information.

Post-Bachelor Admission

The Post-Bachelor status is granted to college/university graduates who wish to take Wayne State University courses through the 6000 level for undergraduate credit only. The status serves two groups of students:

  1. Those who wish to pursue vocational or avocational interests without intending to use Wayne State University credit to earn another degree at Wayne State University;
  2. Those who seek admission to a graduate program but need to raise their undergraduate grade point average and/or fulfill specific undergraduate course requirements for graduate admission consideration.

The following special rules apply to Post-Bachelor Admission:

  1. Under no circumstances will credit earned in this status apply toward a graduate degree program.
  2. The applicant must present evidence of a degree earned from an accredited institution (official transcript or diploma).
  3. Post-Bachelor status students are not eligible for financial aid from Wayne State University, except in certain circumstances depending on the program; students should consult the Office of Student Financial Aid for a list of eligible programs.
  4. Applications for Post-Bachelor status from students new to Wayne State University should be made to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Welcome Center, 42 W. Warren, Wayne State University.
  5. An applicant who earned an undergraduate degree from Wayne State University, or who was previously admitted and registered in a Wayne State graduate program, should contact the Records Office to be re-admitted to the University as a Post-Bachelor student. Post-Bachelor applicants in the Colleges of Education and Nursing must obtain authorization directly from the College.

International Graduate Students

To be considered for graduate admission, international applicants must have completed an appropriate university-level program comparable in subject matter and credits to a program for which a bachelor's degree is awarded at Wayne State University.

The fact that a degree in another country may have a similar name to a degree offered in the United States does not mean the two degrees require similar lengths and content of study or that they should be accepted as equivalents. All graduate applicants must:

  1. present an excellent scholastic record;
  2. have sufficient financial resources for minimum tuition, supplies and living expenses; and
  3. have a sufficient proficiency in English (see the section on English Proficiency Requirement — International Students, below).

FINANCIAL AID: University-sponsored financial assistance for international students is extremely limited and unconfirmed awards should not be included in financial projections.

English Proficiency Requirements

Graduate applicants who graduated from colleges/universities in other countries must demonstrate proficiency in English. To fulfill this requirement an applicant must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  1. Complete baccalaureate degree requirements at an accredited U.S. institution or in a country where English is the native language.
  2. Present an acceptable score on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).
  3. Present an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent tests such as the IELTS or PTE.

Some units may elect to grant qualified graduate admission to academically-talented International Students whose TOEFL scores fall slightly below the University minimum score. Interested students should contact the chairperson or director of their prospective program, to determine whether the program offers such qualified admission. For further information on the English Proficiency policy, please consult the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Faculty Admission

Tenured Wayne State University faculty members holding the rank of Assistant Professor or above may be admitted to Wayne State graduate degree programs outside the faculty member's school/college, under certain specified conditions. Untenured tenure-track faculty members are not eligible to pursue a graduate or professional degree at Wayne State while in University employment. Faculty members who are not tenured and not on the tenure track may enroll in degree programs outside their own unit with the approval of the dean of their college. For further information, contact the Dean of the Graduate School.

Special Status Students

Visiting Doctoral Guest

The Graduate School may issue a Visiting Doctoral Guest certificate to persons with an earned doctorate who come to Wayne State for scholarly study under the sponsorship of a department. Such Guests may obtain University library privileges and attend classes upon invitation of the department. No official record of attendance is kept on such Guests. For further information, contact the Graduate School.

Visiting Scholar

The Graduate School may issue a Visiting Scholar certificate to persons who have an advanced degree, such as an M.D., or are earning a doctoral degree, and who have come to Wayne State for scholarly study under the sponsorship of a department. Scholars may obtain University library privileges and attend classes upon invitation of the department. No official record of attendance is kept on such Scholars. For further information, contact the Graduate School.

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