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Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Studies Admissions

1. What are the admissions requirements “really” like?
All admissions requirements are presented on the graduate studies apply page and on the individual graduate program webpages.  This information is also found in the Shepherd University catalog.

2. Do I need the GRE, GMAT, MAT or MFAT?
The apply page 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.

3. 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 apply page and on the individual graduate program webpages.  This information is also found in the Shepherd University catalog.

4. 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 more than five years old to a maximum of 10 years old, we will accept the scores on a transcript from a bona fide college or university that we are accepting for either transfer credits or to verify undergraduate degree completion.

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

Graduate Degree Completion Questions

1. How are graduate courses structured?
All courses are provided in either a traditional seated format or in a seated/online or seated/teleconference format (hybrid). Most instructors use SAKAI, our learning management system (LMS) to post class 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. There are a limited number of 100 percent online courses in most of the graduate programs.

2. What are the “size” of the graduate courses?
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–in other words, just enough and not too many!)

3. If my program has a thesis/capstone and I choose that option, what is the thesis really like?
The thesis is typically a document in the range of 30-50 pages (or more!), with more if required by the type of research. It builds on previous papers in your coursework and is conducted with your faculty advisor or a graduate faculty member who can chair a thesis. All individuals must complete the thesis using either a quantitative means (statistics involved) or in a qualitative means (showing a trend of some form). The thesis must present recommendations for improvement in the topic issue chosen. Most programs use the APA style guide for submitted documents.

4. What is the typical course “load” in terms of papers or labs?
Almost all graduate courses have a paper ranging from 20 to 30 pages. The courses without a paper have a significant amount of lab work to indicate proficiency in a particular skill set. Most students spend at least a minimum of 10-20 hours of studying per week per course to maintain a successful progression toward their graduate degree completion (at least a 3.0 GPA).

5. 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. If you are unable to access your specific graduate faculty and need immediate attention, please see the respective graduate coordinator or the dean of graduate studies and continuing education 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.  Beginning in May 2017 a separate graduate ceremony was 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, graduate students may also seek assistance through the Office of Career Services.

3. What can I do as an alum of Shepherd University once I graduate with my graduate degree?
Please visit the Shepherd Alumni page through ShepConnect at: