Students seeking admission to graduate courses must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year institution or an equivalent foreign institution and satisfy the admission requirements listed below. The admission policies presented here are the minimum requirements. Specific graduate programs may have requirements that exceed those listed here. Applicants should consult the program listings in this Graduate Bulletin for additional requirements.

Admission to graduate courses does not imply admission to candidacy for a specific graduate degree program. The requirements and procedures for admission to candidacy are described following this section.

Applications for admission to graduate programs are reviewed by the College of Graduate Studies and Research and by the department responsible for the program to which the applicant seeks admission.

Admission is granted in one of the following categories based on the qualifications and educational objectives of the applicant:

  1. Regular Degree Admission is granted to students who wish to pursue a master’s degree and who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (A=4.0). For regular admission, students must meet all of the admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, as well as any additional requirements for the program of their choice.
  2. Conditional Admission may be authorized, based upon a recommendation from the department or by the Dean of Graduate Studies, for students who do not meet the requirements of regular admission, who need no more than 8 credits of prerequisite undergraduate coursework*, and who have a minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 2.0 (A = 4.0) from an accredited institution. Conditional admission can be granted to students in their final semester or session of enrollment in an undergraduate program if the academic record is satisfactory, based on the final transcript sent by the student. The conditions for regular admission are recorded on the letter of admission that is sent to the applicant. Students who fail to meet the conditions of their admission by the completion of 8 semester hours of graduate credit are denied further registration. The conditions of admission are the responsibility of the assigned adviser with the endorsement of the appropriate department head and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students will not be granted regular admission status until all the requirements and conditions for regular admission have been met.
  3. Non-Degree Admission is granted to students who do not wish to obtain a graduate degree, but have an interest in work beyond the baccalaureate degree, or who graduated from a non-accredited undergraduate program. Included in this category are those students selecting special workshops or those who wish to pursue additional study for educational benefits. Students who are non-degree can later elect to change to a degree seeking program by completing an application for admission to a specific program. All admission requirements of the department and the College of Graduate Studies also must be met.
  4. Certification or Endorsements Admission is granted to education students seeking professional teacher certification, professional development, or endorsements but not wishing to pursue a master’s degree. Students must meet all admission requirements of the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service and the College of Graduate Studies. Admission for certification or endorsement does not assure subsequent admission to a degree program. A student who wishes to later apply for regular admission to a degree program must complete a degree-seeking application.  All admission requirements of the school and the College of Graduate Studies also must be met.
  5. Guest Student. A student enrolled in another accredited graduate school in Michigan may register for a limited number of graduate credits at Northern Michigan University under the Guest Student status. The Michigan Intercollegiate Graduate Studies (MIGS) Program is a cooperative program established by a group of Michigan Universities to provide an opportunity for "guest" graduate students to participate in unique educational opportunities throughout the state without changing their status of enrollment at their present university. For more information on this program see the Guest Applicants section.

*Required prerequisite courses taken after application to the College of Graduate Studies must be completed with a grade of B or better.