FAQs

Interested in a graduate program or certificate at Purdue University Northwest? See answers to graduate FAQs.

Admission

Each graduate program determines its application deadline, so deadlines vary. Please refer to the Graduate Program Requirements web page to determine the deadline for your program of interest.

In general, it is recommended that you apply early in your senior year of college. Applying early has its advantages; more funding opportunities are typically available and more spaces may be available for admission, particularly in competitive programs.

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Some programs accept applications for spring or summer admission. Please refer to the Graduate Program Requirements Web page to determine if your program of interest accepts applications for the spring or summer term.

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The Graduate School welcomes applications from Bologna bachelor’s degree recipients. Bologna bachelor’s degrees are conferred in European countries listed on the following website.

Applicants with three-year baccalaureate degrees from countries that are not part of the Bologna Process may also be considered for admission, on a case-by-case basis, using holistic review.  Departments may recommend applicants from these countries with three-year baccalaureate degrees with or without conditions, depending upon the outcome of the holistic review of the candidate.  Conditions for admission should be clearly communicated to students at the time of their admission.

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This figure varies from year to year and by program. Typically, the selectivity across all programs is approximately 30%.

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Predicting how likely you are to be admitted to Purdue Northwest is difficult. Many factors affect admission decisions, such as the qualifications of other applicants, the number of new students that can be accommodated, and the number of professors that share your research and scholarly interests. All components of the application package, including the application, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, academic record (i.e., transcripts), test scores, resume/curriculum vitae (CV), and other items required by the graduate program are considered.

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Available Programs

Purdue Northwest offers a wide range of departmental and interdisciplinary graduate programs for you to choose from, including degree, non-degree, and certificate programs. A list of programs can be found through our Program Finder.

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English Proficiency, Examinations, and Score Requirements

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores for Purdue University Graduate School admission. For minimum score requirements, please visit the Graduate Program Requirements web page.

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TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for only two years (at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School).

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We do not accept photocopies of TOEFL or IELTS score reports.

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The Graduate School routinely waives the English proficiency examination for applicants who have received a baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree from a U.S. institution within the past 36 months (at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School). Applicants who qualify for a waiver of the English proficiency examination should bring this to the attention of the program to which they are applying. Some programs may still require you to submit proof of English proficiency.

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If the instruction is in one of the recognized countries, then the Graduate School will routinely waive the English proficiency. Note: If you have not done so already, request that ETS send your scores electronically to the Graduate School using the appropriate code for the campus to which you are applying.

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No. Citizens of Puerto Rico are U.S. Citizens and do not need to provide proof of English proficiency.

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Your application must be submitted and paid for ETS computer-based official scores to match to your application. Score reports are sent to Purdue University electronically, approximately 10 to 15 days after your test date. Once ETS has sent your score report, it may take an additional 2 to 3 weeks or longer for your application checklist to update and show received.

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Financial Information and Funding

Yes. Approximately 70% of Purdue’s graduate students receive funding by or through the University. Most financial support is in the form of graduate teaching, graduate appointments, or graduate research assistantships.

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Graduate assistantships typically involve approximately 20 hours of work per week for a professor. In return, you receive remission of most fees and a monthly stipend (i.e., salary). If you work all year on a 12 month appointment, you also receive paid time off. Medical insurance is also offered, if you hold an assistantship of at least half-time (i.e., 20 hours per week).

Assistantships are generally awarded by your program of interest or a specific professor. However, you may also be able to secure an assistantship outside of your academic department.

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A graduate appointment is effectively a part-time position. In return, you receive remission of most fees and a monthly stipend (i.e., salary). Visit our Graduate Staff Appointment webpage further details.

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Assistantship benefits generally include fee remission, although there is a small graduate staff fee.

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Because the majority of Purdue’s graduate students receive funding, such as a scholarship or from a graduate appointment, most students do not have to pay out-of-state tuition. Estimate your tuition by checking on the graduate tab of current estimates, or use the Office of the Bursar’s net price calculator.

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Please consult the Office of the Registrar. Applications and deadlines can be found online.

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Visit Financial Aid’s Loans page for details.

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How to Apply

All applicants, except those applying to Purdue graduate programs at the Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, must complete the Graduate School’s online application Graduate School’s online application and pay the non-refundable application fee of $60 (U.S. dollars) for domestic applicants and $75 (U.S. dollars) for international applicants. Detailed instructions and requirements are available on the application and on the Graduate Program Requirements Web page. Please apply directly to IUPUI if you are interested in Purdue graduate programs at the Indianapolis campus.

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It is important to select the correct entry term when applying to Graduate School. Choose the graduate application year you wish to begin enrollment in a graduate program. The 2022 Graduate Application, contains entry term choices of Spring 2022 (January start), Summer 2022 (June start), and Fall 2022 (August start). The 2023 Graduate Application, contains entry term choices of Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023. For questions regarding your desired entry session, please contact the graduate program directly. A complete list of graduate contacts can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/prospective/contact/Northwest-contact.html.

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No, you can only apply to the spring, summer, or fall session of a single calendar year, per graduate application. If you are applying for Fall 2022, you will need to create a 2022 graduate application. If you are applying to Spring 2023, you will need to create a 2023 graduate application.

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Yes, the Purdue graduate school offers a variety of graduate majors on three different campuses.  You can apply for up to three* different combinations of graduate major, degree objective, campus and course delivery with one application, for one application fee.  Selections can be ranked in order of preference.  If you are applying to a degree seeking program, only one statement of purpose and set of recommendations letters are required.  Additional supporting documents may be required for each graduate major selected.  See the graduate program requirements pages for details.

*Note: Not all graduate programs offer a third-choice option. (List of available third choice graduate majors.)

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No. If you are a non degree applicant, you are not required to upload a statement of purpose or provide names of recommendation providers. Some programs do like to read your statement of purpose to get to know you better, so this is an optional part of the application. You will not be assessed an application fee if you are applying as a non degree student. (Graduate Certificate applicants are assessed an application fee.)

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After submitting your application, you will be directed to an application payment portal. Either click the link for payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) or follow the link for payment through Western Union.

Your application will not be processed until your nonrefundable application fee has been paid. Our application fee is $60 (U.S. dollars) for domestic applicants and $75 (U.S. dollars) for international applicants.

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In rare instances, the Graduate School consults with World Education Services to understand or verify your transcripts, diplomas, or other application materials.  The Graduate School pays for this evaluation.  To learn more about World Education Services, see http://www.wes.org/.

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If you are a degree-seeking applicant, the Graduate School’s online application will require you to upload a statement of purpose, resume/CV (if required by the graduate program), and the names of your recommendation providers. You will also need to upload a transcript from every institution of higher education which you have attended. Official transcripts will need to be provided if you are admitted and choose to enroll at Purdue. Please read more about transcripts.  An unofficial transcript printed from your current/previous institution(s) student system is not an acceptable document.

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If you are admitted and choose to enroll at Purdue University, you will need to submit official transcripts before you can register for your third session. Once you submit official transcripts to Purdue University, they become property of the University and will not be returned. We recognize, in very rare instances, that students may have access to only one transcript (or an extremely limited number of transcripts) or other academic credentials. In this instance, you may submit a written request (at the time you submit your transcripts) to preserve your original documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

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Once you have submitted your application, you do not have the ability to return to your application to upload a new statement of purpose. If you are applying to more than one graduate program, we encourage you to write an all-inclusive statement of purpose that supports your suitability for all graduate programs listed on your application. If you are interested in submitting a new statement, please contact the graduate program to which you are applying.

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You may submit your application only once. You will not be able to make changes to your application information using the online application system after submission. However, you will be able to upload additional transcripts or documents requested from your graduate program through your application status portal under Upload Materials as a Miscellaneous Supporting Document.

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If a completed application has been submitted (i.e., you have completed and submitted the Graduate School’s application, uploaded transcripts, paid the application fee, and submitted letters of recommendation, test scores, and any other items required by the program), no additional action is required. Your application status is available through the Graduate School’s online application system.

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You may check the status of your submitted application by visiting the Graduate School’s online application system. The graduate program to which you applied updates your application status. If you have additional questions regarding your application status, please contact your program of interest. If you are applying to more than one campus and/or graduate major, your application status for each graduate program will be listed in your graduate student application portal.

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The graduate program to which you applied should receive all of your supporting documentation for your Graduate School application. If you have questions, please contact the graduate program for information about your supporting documents. For a detailed list of graduate program requirements and contact information, please visit the Graduate Program Requirements web pages.

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You may be able to check receipt of supporting materials, such as test scores, through the Graduate School’s online application system.  Otherwise, the graduate program to which you applied can verify the receipt of test scores. Please contact the graduate program to verify the receipt of your test scores. For a detailed list of graduate program requirements and contact information, please visit the Graduate Program Requirements web pages.

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Please refer to instructions found on the Accepting Admission website

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You can defer your start date for up to one year. If you want to enroll more than one year later, you must reapply and pay another application fee.

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For detailed application instructions and graduate program requirements please visit the Graduate Program Requirements web page. If you have questions regarding your specific graduate program, please contact your program of interest.

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Some graduate programs require submission of the diversity essay as part of the application process.  To determine if your graduate program of interest requires the diversity essay, visit the Graduate Program Requirements web page.

The diversity essay should be 500 words or less responding to the following statement:

Describe your leadership, work experience, service experience, or other significant involvement with racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or educational communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education, and how these experiences would promote a diversity of views, experiences, and ideas in the pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative excellence.

If you have additional questions about the submission of a diversity essay, please contact the graduate program to which you are applying.

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International Students

If you are not a permanent resident or citizen of the United States, you are classified as an international student. If you are in the process of applying for your green card, and your application has not been approved, you are considered an international student.

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Although specific assistantship, graduation appointment, and other award eligibility may vary, funding is generally available for both domestic and international students. More than 70% of Purdue’s full-time international graduate students receive some funding by or through the University.

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Check with your intended program for possible funding opportunities. If you’re a currently admitted student, you may also want to check Handshake.

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International students pay a $75 fee each semester to help fund the unique services the University offers to international students, such as immigration regulation advising, cultural/educational programming, SEVIS reporting (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), and compliance with the United States’ government.

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Letters of Recommendation

If a recommendation provider has not yet submitted the recommendation, you have the ability to return to your application and edit your recommendation provider list. To edit your recommendation provider list, click on the recommendations page link on the left menu of your application.

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If a recommendation provider has not yet submitted the recommendation, you have the ability to return to your application status portal and edit your recommendation provider list. To edit your recommendation provider list, click on the add/edit recommendations button in your application status portal.

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If you waive your right to examine your recommendation, you forfeit your right to request a copy of your recommendation letter. If you do not waive your right, you have the ability to request a copy of your recommendation letter. Some recommendation providers may be reluctant to submit a recommendation on your behalf if you do not waive your right to view the letter.

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If your recommendation provider has not yet submitted a recommendation letter, you can exclude the recommendation provider with the incorrect waiver response, and re-add them with the correct waiver response. For applications that have not yet been submitted, click on the recommendations link on the left-hand navigation menu of your application. For applications that have been submitted, click on the add/edit recommendations button in your application status portal.

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The email notification to your recommendation provider is sent immediately after you enter his/her name into the application.

For applications that have not yet been submitted, to re-send a letter of recommendation request, click on the recommendations link on the left-hand navigation menu of your application. For applications that have been submitted, to re-send a letter of recommendation request, click on the add/edit recommendations button in your application status portal.

Your recommendation provider may have filters set on his/her email account that may not allow the email to come through correctly. If you believe this is the case, your provider can email our Technical Support team at gradinfo@purdue.edu.

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If a recommendation provider’s email address needs to be corrected or updated, you must exclude the recommendation provider with the incorrect email address, and re-add them with the correct email address. For applications that have not yet been submitted, click on the recommendations link on the left-hand navigation menu of your application. For applications that have been submitted, click on the add/edit recommendations button in your application status portal.

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Application requirements vary by graduate program. You will need to follow-up directly with the graduate program to which you are applying to determine the acceptable timing of submission of your recommendations. A complete list of graduate contacts can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/prospective/contact/Northwest-contact.html.

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No, letters of recommendation can be submitted prior to or after your application is submitted. However, you are required to list the names of your recommenders on your application prior to submitting it. Application submission requirements can vary by program. Contact the graduate program(s) to which you are applying for specific letters of recommendation due dates. A complete list of contacts can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/prospective/contact/Northwest-contact.html.

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The online application only accepts online recommendations.  You will need to follow-up directly with the graduate program to which you are applying to determine the acceptable method of submission of your recommendations. If paper recommendations are accepted, please send the following recommendation form (PDF) to your recommendation provider.

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Yes, recommendation letter delivery (dossier) services, like Interfolio, will provide you with a recommender-specific email address for each recommender. Each recommender-specific email address should be inserted into your application in lieu of each recommender’s actual email address. Note: If you use a recommendation letter delivery (dossier) service, your recommenders will not be submitting the quantitative rating form that typically accompanies the recommendation letter.

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Life at Purdue

There are a variety of affordable housing options available both on campus and in the local area. Visit our Student Housing page for more information.

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Contact your program of interest to inquire about visitation opportunities. If you are unable to attend a formal visitation event, the program may schedule an individual visit for you.

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Only one hour away from Chicago and conveniently close to I-94, Purdue Northwest is located in the absolute northwest corner of Indiana. Hammond boasts a competitive cost of living that is below the national average, giving graduate students more purchasing power.

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Indiana enjoys four distinct seasons each year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. January is typically the coldest month of the year with normal daily maximum temperatures ranging from 31 to 38F. July is the warmest month with daily maximums averaging 80 to 83F. Average annual precipitation ranges from 37-47 inches. For more Indiana climate information, visit the National Climate Data Center.

You can also learn more about the current weather in Hammond.

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Miscellaneous

PNW does not provide health insurance to students. However, PNW does offer health insurance options to students. For further details, visit our Student Health Insurance page.

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PNW holds commencement ceremonies twice a year – one in May, and one in December. The ceremony you may participate depends on when you complete your final classes.

If your final classes end in the first week of May, your graduation term is spring and you may participate in the May commencement at the Hammond campus. If your final classes end in August, your graduation term is summer. Both summer and fall graduates participate in the December commencement held at the Westville campus. If your final classes end in December, your graduation term is fall, you may participate in the December commencement held at Westville campus.

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Official transcripts can be requested both online and in person. Review the Office of the Registrar’s web pages for guidelines and the online request system.

Any incoming transcripts from other universities should be sent to grad@pnw.edu by the issuing university, not the student.

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At this time, we do not offer in-person orientations. Please visit our New Student Orientation page for resources that detail what you need to know!

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Plans of Study

A plan of study is a living document that shows the courses you will take and have taken to earn your degree, along with any other graduation requirements. Plans of study are available through myPNW.

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Electronic plans of study are available to new students after one semester.

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Due to timing differences between campuses, courses may not be loaded, though the information is still present. Information, including grades, will generally be resolved upon the next update at the start of the next semester.

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The finalized plan of study must be submitted on or before the Friday before your final semester of classes begins.

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Proof of English Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English proficiency for admission to degree, certificate, non-degree and teacher-license graduate programs.

The Graduate School accepts valid* TOEFL scores earned through the paper-delivered test and Internet-based test.  PNW’s TOEFL code is 1638.

The minimum Internet-Based (iBT) scores required are the following:

  • Writing  18
  • Speaking  18
  • Listening  14
  • Reading  19
  • Total  80

The minimum paper-delivered section requirements are the following (overall score is no longer reported):

  • Reading  19
  • Listening  14
  • Writing  18

Please note: in addition to the required iBT minimum scores for writing, listening and reading, the Graduate School also requires a minimum overall iBT score that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores (listed above) for admission to the Graduate School.

Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores.  Please check the Graduate Programs web page for additional requirements.  Only official TOEFL scores received directly from Educational Testing Service are acceptable.  For further information, visit www.toefl.org.

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The Graduate School also accepts valid* International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (Academic Module).

An overall band score of 6.5 is required for admission with the following minimum section requirements:

  • Reading  6.5
  • Listening  6.0
  • Speaking  6.0
  • Writing  5.5

For more information, visit www.ielts.org.  The official test score report can uploaded to the online application under “Miscellaneous Supporting Documents” and a hard copy score report can be mailed directly to the PNW Graduate Studies Office.

*To be valid for admission, English proficiency test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) must be no more than two years old at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School.

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These results must be certified, in writing, by the intensive English program faculty to the Graduate Studies Office before applicants using this method of establishing English proficiency may be admitted to the Graduate School.

Exit Requirement: Achieve a minimum of 80% (Level 4 examination) and pass an Exit Test (consisting of speaking and writing components).

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The Graduate School will routinely waive the English Proficiency testing requirement for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 36 months at the time of recommendation for admission, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language.  Some graduate programs may still require a test of English proficiency for admission; please confirm with your department whether they will also grant this waiver.

If you are admitted under this waiver and are still finishing your degree, you must satisfactorily complete your degree and submit a final official transcript showing that this degree has been awarded BEFORE the Office of Global Engagement can produce your US immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) or before you can enroll in courses at Purdue University Northwest.

Official English-speaking countries/locations, in addition to the U.S., include:

AnguillaGrenadaSierra Leone
Antiqua and BarbudaGuyanaSingapore
AustraliaIsle of ManSouth Sudan
BahamasJamaicaSt. Helena
BarbadosKenyaSt. Kitts and Nevis
BelizeLesothoSt. Lucia
BermudaLiberiaSt. Vincent and Grenadines
BotswanaMalawiSwaziland
British Virgin IslandMicronesiaSouth Africa
CanadaMontserratTanzania
Cayman IslandsNew ZealandThe Gambia
Christmas IslandNigeriaTrinidad and Tobago
Cook IslandsNorfolk IslandTurks and Caicos Islands
DominicaPapua New GuineaUganda
FijiPhilippinesUnited Kingdom
GhanaPitcairn IslandsZambia
GibraltarRepublic of IrelandZimbabwe

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Registration

If you have a tuition or other financial hold, contact Student Accounts at 219-989-2560. If the hold is academic, contact Graduate Dean at 219-989-2560.

 

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You can apply as a non degree graduate student.

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You may be assigned an advisor upon admission to the Graduate School.  If you were not assigned a an advisor, contact the program to which you have been admitted.

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Testing Requirements

Each academic department sets its own admission requirements; therefore, some departments have a minimum GPA requirement and others do not. The Graduate School requires all students to possess a minimum of a 3.0/4.0 GPA (A=4.0) in order to be admitted without conditions. To determine if your program of interest has a GPA requirement above the Graduate School minimum requirement, visit the Graduate Program Requirements web page.

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Some departments require testing. A complete list of admission requirements for your program of interest is on the Graduate Program Requirements web page.

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The Graduate School does not have a minimum requirement for the GRE or GMAT. The selection process considers all components of the application package, including application information, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, academic record (i.e., transcripts, diploma), test scores, resume/curriculum vitae (CV), and other information a graduate program requires.

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