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Graduate Studies Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Studies Admissions

1. Where can I find the admissions requirements?
All admissions requirements are presented on the Graduate Studies Application page and on the individual graduate program webpages.  This information is also found in the Shepherd University catalog.

2. What are the types of admissions statuses and what do they mean?
Shepherd University grants full, conditional, and provisional admission status for graduate students.

Full Admission
Full admission status, upon the recommendation of the academic program admissions committee, in consultation with the graduate dean, may be granted to an applicant who meets the minimum admission requirements of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. It should be noted that some programs may have higher and/or other admission requirements. For full admission status in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, an applicant must, as a minimum:

Conditional Admission
Conditional admission is intended for those students whose undergraduate record does not reflect their current capacity to successfully complete graduate work. In those circumstances conditional admission status, upon the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator, admissions committee, and graduate dean, may be granted. It should be noted that some academic units may have higher or other admission requirements. Conditional admission has a maximum time limit of one academic year. Applicants admitted on a conditional basis must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 while enrolled. A final admission decision shall be reserved by the academic unit until an applicant’s performance has been evaluated after one academic year of enrollment. For conditional admission status, an applicant must, as a minimum:

Provisional Admission
Provisional admission is intended for students meeting regular or conditional admission requirements who are missing admissions materials other than an application and application fee. Provisional admission status may be granted upon the recommendation of the graduate program coordinator, admissions committee, and/or Graduate Dean. Final decision on an applicant admitted on a provisional basis shall be reserved until all missing documents are received. The time period for provisional admission may not exceed one semester. For provisional admission status, an applicant must, as a minimum:

*Please note that all provisionally admitted students must provide final official transcripts before beginning a program as a graduate student.

Deferred Admission
Applicants who cannot enroll in the term for which admission was offered may request to have their admission deferred for up to one year. Such requests must be in writing and will be considered only once. Because enrollments are limited and competition for admission may vary from year to year, such requests may not be granted. Applicants who have received approved deferment of their admission cannot register for graduate coursework at the University during the period of deferment.

Applicants Not Admitted
Applicants who are denied admission may have their applications reconsidered if they furnish additional material that was not available at the time of the original decision, such as evidence of further academic achievement or more recent and improved standardized test scores.

3. Do I need the GRE, GMAT, MAT or MFAT?
The Graduate Studies Frequently Asked Questions page above outlines the three types of admissions status:  full, conditional and provisional.  Some students who fall below the range of cumulative GPA in provisional or conditional status may be required to take a standardized test.  Individual programs that lead to licensure may also require a standardized test as an indicator of potential to complete a graduate program.

4. Are there prerequisite courses required prior to graduate studies?
Each graduate program may request or require prerequisite courses be taken prior to starting or in conjunction with graduate courses. Please contact the respective graduate coordinator for specific prerequisite course requirements.  Additionally, all admissions requirements are presented on the Graduate Studies Application page and on the individual graduate program web pages.  This information is also found in the Shepherd University catalog.

5. I completed the GRE, GMAT, MAT or MFAT more than five years ago–how do I get the scores when the ETS or other standardized testing organizations will only provide them for the past five years?
If you have standardized scores that are between 5-10 years old, Graduate Studies will accept the scores on a transcript from any accredited college or university submitted as part of application.

6. I am an International Student and need help with admissions, where do I go?
The following links from International Affairs and on the Graduate Studies apply page offer information for international applicants and students:

Graduate Studies Completion Questions

1. How are graduate courses structured?
All courses are provided in either a traditional seated format or online or hybrid. Most instructors use SAKAI, our learning management system to post class syllabi, resources, assignments, notes, and discussion forums. When hybrid courses are used, they are provided as complements to the seated instruction and never as a substitute for the faculty-student interaction.

2. What is the size of a typical graduate course?
All graduate courses are limited in the number of graduate students, with an exceptional 9:1 average ratio of graduate students to faculty member. Only a few graduate courses have more than 20 graduate students, with the majority in the 9-14 graduate student range, the ideal for student learning with a degree of diversity of thought and depth of education.

3. Are faculty available on campus as well as off-campus via online?
All graduate faculty members have been carefully chosen to represent both academic excellence and previous respective experience. Therefore, all faculty members are available during their on-campus hours as well as online via email and possible other forms of communication such as phone/skype/zoom/etc.. If you are unable to access your specific graduate faculty and need immediate attention, please see the Graduate Program Coordinator for your degree or the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies  via the Graduate Studies Staff page or through the contacts page in the Shepherd University catalog.

Graduation and Alumni Experiences

1. Do I have to go through Commencement?
All graduate students are encouraged to attend the Commencement.  A separate graduate ceremony is held in the morning before the undergraduate ceremony.

2. What are my prospects with a new graduate degree?
All graduate faculty members have networks for individuals who are new to their profession. You will develop a strong rapport with your faculty that will help find that “right” position in your profession.  In addition to the career information page on each of the graduate degree program web pages.