Graduate School Admissions
Idaho State University invites applications for admission to Graduate School from students holding baccalaureate degrees from any regionally accredited college or university in the United States or with equivalent preparation acquired in another country.
Prospective students may apply as degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking students.
Non-degree-seeking students include those seeking certification, professional growth, or strengthened backgrounds for various professional and industrial occupations.
Admission to doctoral programs varies depending upon the program of study. Potential applicants are encouraged to read the appropriate sections of the Graduate Catalog for individual program variations.
Generally, students applying for admission to a doctoral program must hold a master’s degree and must have achieved at least the 50th percentile in one or more of the aptitude sections (Verbal, Quantitative, or Analytical) of the Graduate Record Examination. Doctor of Arts applicants must have an average total GRE placing them in the 50th percentile or above.
Please see individual department sections for GPA requirements for doctoral programs.
Some areas may also require essays or statements.
1. Baccalaureate degree or equivalent
Degree-seeking students must hold a baccalaureate degree from a college or university regionally accredited in the United States or its equivalent from a school in another country.
2. Standardized Test or GPA requirements
The minimum Master's level standards for admission using the GPA Standardized Test (last 60 credits) are as follows:
- 3.5 to 4.000: No standardized test (GRE/MAT) required
- 3.0 to 3.499: 40th Percentile on at least one area of the GRE or 40th Percent tile on the MAT
- 2.5 to 2.999: Combined Verbal and Quantitative (V+Q) score of 300 on GRE or 45th Percentile on the MAT
- Below 2.499: No admission
The method of calculating an Admission GPA is based on the last 60+/- semester undergraduate credits (90+/- quarter credits), using complete semesters (quarters).
Individual programs or departments may have additional or increased requirements.
In the case of those students who have not completed the baccalaureate degree, the grade point average will be calculated on the last 60 credits at the time of application.
In instances where a standardized test is required, to register for the GRE, contact either:
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000
ISU Counseling and Testing Center
To register for the GMAT/MAT, contact the Idaho State University Counseling and Testing Center.
GRE/GMAT/MAT scores are used for other purposes in addition to admission. Most departments/colleges also use these scores as part of the criteria for awarding graduate assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships. Other parts of the campus may also use these scores in the process of awarding scholarships.
Special study sessions are available at the University in the Center for Teaching and Learning (208) 282-3662 to aid the student in preparing for the GRE/GMAT.
3. Recommendation and approval for admission
Recommendation for admission by the department or college offering the desired degree program is required. Please see individual department sections of the Graduate Catalog for additional requirements.
Approval for admission by the Dean of the Graduate School is also required.
Please note some programs or departments may also have essay requirements.
The admission process is initiated as follows:
- The application for admissions is available online.
- Applicants applying as degree-seeking students must request that each institution at which they have taken any post-secondary work submit one official transcript directly to the Graduate School. Idaho State University undergraduate transcripts are available to the Graduate School and need not be forwarded by the applicant. Non-degree seeking applicants must provide a transcript (official or copy) showing proof of degree.
- Applicants must include a $60 nonrefundable processing fee with each application form. The files of students who do not pay the required application fee will not be processed for admission.
- Some programs require additional information (e.g., letters of recommendation); please contact the specific department and review individual departmental sections of this catalog for additional requirements.
- Applicants must clearly indicate the desired graduate program on the application form, or if a non-degree-seeking student, the college and department in which the student intends to take courses.
- GRE/GMAT/MAT may be required for degree-seeking applicants at the discretion of the department.
- Additional requirements for degree-seeking last semester seniors, and international students are described under those headings on the following pages.
The Graduate School offers application fee waivers for McNair Scholars applying to graduate degree programs at Idaho State University.
Applicants must complete the Idaho State University Graduate Application (either electronically or in hardcopy) indicating that they are applying for the McNair Program fee waiver. A verification letter must be sent to the Graduate School.
McNair Scholars Verification Letters:
The McNair Program Director or Coordinator should write a letter that verifies the student's participation in the program at the undergraduate institution in which the student participated in the McNair Program.
All verification letters must be written on program/university letterhead and should contain the following information:
- student's name
- undergraduate major
- name of the graduate degree program to which the student is seeking admission
Verification letters may be sent to the Graduate School by mail, fax, or email attachment.
Please note that some programs have earlier or later deadlines than those listed; please contact the program director or department chair for specific details.
Priority deadlines for application forms to be completed and returned to the Graduate School are:
- April 1 for summer semester enrollment
- April 1 for fall semester enrollment
- November 1 for spring semester enrollment
Deadlines will be the following Monday should these dates fall on a weekend.
Applicants will receive a notification letter from the Graduate School regarding their admission status.
Admission to Graduate School allows a student to enroll in graduate courses in the specified department and college. It does not imply admission to courses in other departments. Only those admitted as degree-seeking students may assume that they are permitted to seek an advanced degree in the discipline/department that approved the admission.
Non-degree-seeking students who are admitted are permitted to take graduate courses, but this admission does not imply they will later be approved for admission as a degree-seeking student.
Graduate students who have been admitted to Graduate School may enroll for graduate or undergraduate classes by preregistration or registration without further application activity if they enroll within 2 years from the beginning of the term for which they were accepted. Graduate students who fail to enroll during the two year period, or more restrictive period of the department, must reapply for admission, and pay a processing fee.
Students who were not enrolled in the previous term may register for the current term. However, some departments may have more restrictive requirements and admission may be valid for only a particular semester or year. Students should contact departments to determine these more restrictive requirements.
All applicants who have received notice of admission into Graduate School may pre-register during the appropriate pre-registration periods or during the regular registration times prior to each semester.
Online registration is available to admitted students.
To expedite completion of the registration procedure, all recipients of graduate teaching assistantships, graduate fellowships, and/or scholarships to be applied toward tuition and fees must pre-register.
Any graduate student receiving a grade of C+ or below in two graduate courses on his or her program of study, or whose GPA falls below 3.0, will automatically be blocked from registering for additional courses.
For the block to be removed, the student’s department or college must communicate to the Graduate School in writing its wish to allow the student to continue in the program.
Please note that some programs vary in their restrictions with regard to this policy; contact the graduate program director or department chair for specific details.
Graduate students who have registered for one or more credits of master's project, master's paper, master's thesis, or doctoral thesis or dissertation (usually, courses numbered 6650, 6651, 6699, 7750, or 8850) must be registered for at least one graduate credit during subsequent semesters, including each summer semester, until they have completed their degrees. Students who, for compelling reasons, wish to interrupt their work on projects, theses, or dissertations may request, in writing, a leave of absence from the Graduate School.
Graduate students who fail to meet the continuing registration requirement will be judged to have dropped out of their programs and will no longer enjoy access to university resources, including the library and computer facilities. In order to regain access to university resources, students will be required to reapply to the Graduate School and be readmitted. A corollary of this requirement is that a graduate student must be registered for at least one graduate credit in order to take a final oral examination or be processed for graduation. Any student who registers for the required credit and then subsequently drops the credit, will be considered in violation of this policy.
Students who register for graduate courses in violation of any restriction printed in the Graduate Catalog or written on their Admission notification, or who register for graduate courses after receiving a letter of dismissal from the department or college that admitted them, will be dropped from these graduate course(s) as soon as the violation is discovered.
Graduates of regionally accredited institutions who have earned grade point averages of 2.5 or higher for the last 60 credits taken at the undergraduate level, are eligible, upon submission of official GRE/GMAT/MAT scores if appropriate, to be admitted to Classified status in graduate master's programs. Doctoral students must meet individual department GPA and standardized test requirements. See department sections of this catalog for complete information.
The College of Business requires the GMAT. The Department of Counseling and the College of Education accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE. Please see the department sections for this information.
Classified (with Performance Requirements) [i.e., Classified (w/PR)] status is a transitional status, and is not a valid status for a student to graduate. In order to graduate, a student must have Classified status (see the following section "Change from Classified (w/PR) to Classified Status").
A department/college may, at its discretion, recommend admission for graduate students in a degree program with Classified (w/PR) status to ascertain their ability to do graduate work within a particular curriculum. Students admitted to Classified (w/PR) status are those who may not have satisfactorily met all admission requirements.
Classified (w/PR) status also may be recommended by a department for students whose credentials do not meet specific departmental requirements.
NOTE: Students admitted to Classified (w/PR) status should ascertain their eligibility for federal financial aid. Such students are not eligible to receive Idaho State University graduate assistantships or Non-resident Tuition Waivers (NRTW).
The following criteria must be met by the student before Classified (w/PR) status can be changed to Classified:
- The student must complete at least nine graduate credits and maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher;
- If the GRE/GMAT/MAT was not taken by the student prior to admission to Classified (w/PR) status, the student must take the GRE/GMAT/MAT specified in the Admission notification.
Upon completion of the above two criteria, a request to change the student’s status to Classified may be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School. The following steps must be followed to accomplish this change:
- At any time after meeting the above criteria, a student may initiate an Approval for Change of Student Status in the Graduate School. The department/college may also initiate the change and should do so by written request when the student has met the required criteria.
- The change from Classified (w/PR) to Classified status must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.
If a student admitted to Classified (w/PR) status fails to meet the conditions for admission stated on the Admission notification the student's admission may be revoked.
Applications for admission to Graduate School are processed in the Graduate School. Applications will not be processed until the processing fee has been received.
In addition to the admission requirements listed previously, international students must meet the following conditions:
- As a step toward obtaining a U.S. visa, international students must submit a financial statement to the Graduate School verifying that they will be able to support themselves financially for a minimum of one year while attending Idaho State University. This document must consist of a statement or letter from a bank indicating that funds are available and accessible. The amount of money available to the student must be listed on the financial statement. A graduate assistantship or fellowship awarded by a department or college may be used as part of this amount.
- International students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the United States and whose native language is not English, normally must achieve satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Satisfactory TOEFL requirements for Classified admission are: (1) Internet-based test (iBT): a total score of 80 with a score of at least 20 on each Section (graduate assistants who teach courses must score 23 or above on the Speaking Section) on the iBT; or (2) Computer-based test: a total score of 213 with a score of at least 21 on Section 1 (Listening Comprehension) on the computer test; or (3) Paper-based test: a total score of 550 with a score of at least 55 on Section l (Listening Comprehension) on the paper test. Information about the TOEFL, including test dates and locations in international countries, can be obtained from Educational Testing Service (ETS) at www.ets.org. Satisfactory IELTS performance for Classified admission include scoring 6.5 or higher on the total band score. Graduate assistants who teach courses must score 6.5 or above on the speaking test component. An international student may also meet the English language proficiency requirement by achieving a Level 112 from an ELS Language Center. PHOTOCOPIES OF TOEFL OR IELTS SCORES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
- International students may not enter the United States for graduate study without a U.S. Immigration (I-20) form. This form will be issued by the International Program Office after the student is approved for admission by the Dean of the Graduate School. International students are urged to remain in their own countries until they receive notice of acceptance.
- International students transferring from a school within the United States must be “IN STATUS” with Immigration and Naturalization Services to be issued an I-20 form from Idaho State University. A transfer form will be sent after the application has been received, to be completed as verification of acceptable immigration status.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Graduate School at (208)282-2270, FAX number (208)282-4847.
Individuals holding a bachelor's degree who desire to take courses for graduate credit for personal or professional enrichment but who do not want to pursue a graduate degree are eligible to apply for admission to Unclassified (non-degree seeking) status. Students who are admitted to Unclassified status are allowed to register for a maximum of 9 graduate credits per semester. Since an Unclassified status student is not seeking a degree, course and/or program advising, except on an informal basis if requested, will not be provided.
Individuals who apply for Unclassified status admission must submit the following information and meet the following requirements:
- A baccalaureate degree, or higher, from a regionally accredited educational institution in the United States, or the equivalent from an educational institution in another country.
- A copy of a transcript indicating that a baccalaureate degree, or higher, was awarded, including the date the degree was awarded.
- Meet the following Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement: An earned grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 or higher on all undergraduate courses taken during the last 60 ± undergraduate semester credits (90 ± quarter credits), regardless of the institution at which the credits were earned. This GPA may be different from the final transcript GPA and/or different from the GPA on all upper-division credits. In the case of those students who have not completed the baccalaureate degree, the GPA will be calculated on the last 60 credits at the time of application.
- A properly completed application form.
- A $30.00 non-refundable application fee that will not be waived.
Academic departments may have additional requirements and/or may restrict enrollment of Unclassified graduate students to specific courses. Unclassified graduate students must meet all prerequisites for each class in which they want to enroll.
If an Unclassified student wishes to pursue a graduate degree at Idaho State University, the student must
(1) meet the requirements for admission as a Classified student, and
(2) complete all aspects of the Classified status application procedure for a specific degree program, detailed under "Admission" in the first part of the Graduate Catalog, including submission of official transcript(s) and payment of the Classified application processing fee (the amount paid for Unclassified application will not apply for Classified application).
After admission as a Classified student, students may petition the Dean of the Graduate School to transfer course work taken while in Unclassified status to a degree program. This petition must have the written support of the degree program for each course. The total number of such credits transferred shall not be more than 30% of the total credits for the program of study required for the particular degree.
Seniors in residence at Idaho State University may register for no more than 6 graduate credits during the semester or summer session in which they will complete the work for a bachelor’s degree at Idaho State University.
This option is reserved for outstanding seniors who are seriously considering attending Idaho State University for graduate education. This registration must be approved by the course instructor, by the student’s advisor, and the department chairperson. Only courses numbered 5500-5599 may be taken with this option.
If a senior admitted to graduate study under this provision fails to complete graduation requirements for a bachelor’s degree, all graduate credits earned revert to undergraduate credit. The student’s load, including both graduate and undergraduate credit, may not exceed 16 credits, or 9 credits in the case of summer school. A senior selecting this option must file an Application for Admission with the Graduate School when he/she requests permission to take graduate level courses.
Application deadlines for admission of last-semester seniors are the same as those for degree-seeking graduate students.
PharmD students may apply and be admitted to the Graduate School after completing 120 credits if they meet all application requirements.
The Graduate School recognizes the need for K-12 teachers certified in Idaho to improve their professional capabilities. In most cases, the courses are workshops or short courses that can be taken in a compressed time period. These types of courses are “advanced” with respect to the students who enroll, but are not courses that a particular discipline offers to a student with the goal of earning an advanced degree.
Professional development courses are offered by many departments to meet the perceived need of individuals, and are treated differently in the following respects:
- Students may enroll in professional development courses offered under the 5597 number without the necessity of being admitted to Graduate School. However, they must holda baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution at the time they enter the class or receive special permission from the Dean of the Graduate School if they are last semester seniors at Idaho State University.
- The credits earned will not count toward an advanced degree nor may they be petitioned to count at a later date.
- There is no limit to the number of 5597 credits that a student may earn.
- All instructors of 5597 courses must have an advanced degree.
- For each 5597 course in which students enroll, students must certify that they possess a baccalaureate degree and agree to the conditions by which they are permitted to register for the course.
- Students who have not been admitted previously to Graduate School at Idaho State University will be listed as Unclassified, Master’s, Professional Development students. They will not be permitted to register for any graduate level courses except 5597 courses, unless they apply for admission and are accepted into the Graduate School.
- Students who have been admitted into the Graduate School are permitted to take 5597 courses.
- Departments shall determine if and when professional development courses are to be offered with their prefix.
The Graduate School recognizes the need for individuals to improve their professional capabilities. In most cases, the courses can be taken in a compressed time period. These types of courses are “advanced” with respect to the students who enroll, but are not usually courses that a particular discipline offers to a student with the goal of earning an advanced degree. Therefore, professional development courses are offered by many departments to meet the perceived need and are treated differently in the following respects:
- Students may enroll in professional development courses offered under the 5598P number without the necessity of being admitted to Graduate School. However, they must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution at the time they enter the class or receive special permission from the Dean of the Graduate School if they are last semester seniors at Idaho State University.
- The credits earned will not count toward an advanced degree unless a petition is filed within three years of the last day of the course. The petition must have the following documentation: (1) A copy of the instructor's curriculum vita, (2) A copy of the course syllabus (including a list of achievement measures), (3) A copy of the class list (with grades). (The Office of Academic Support, Idaho State University Summer Programs, the Office of Continuing Education, and/or the department or college offering the course will provide materials not otherwise available to the student).
- While there is no limit to the number of 5598P credits that a student may earn, a maximum of three credits may be petitioned for use to satisfy elective credits in the student's program of study. 5598P courses may not be substituted for "required" courses.
- All instructors of 5598P courses must have an advanced degree.
- For each 5598P course in which students enroll, students must certify that they possess a baccalaureate degree and agree to the conditions by which they are permitted to register for the course.
- Students who have not been admitted previously to Graduate School at Idaho State University will be listed as Unclassified, Master’s, Professional Development students. They will not be permitted to register for any graduate level courses except 5598P courses, unless they apply for admission and are accepted into the Graduate School.
- Students who have been admitted into the Graduate School are permitted to take 5598P courses. If they desire to use 5598P credits in their degree program, a petition must be filed for each course in accordance with the procedures described.
- Departments shall determine if and when professional development courses are to be offered with their prefix.