Academic Catalog


Graduate Admission

Office of Admissions

The mission of the Office of Admissions is to recruit, admit, and enroll students from throughout the United States and abroad who will contribute to the overall collegiate experience. Old Dominion University is open to all qualified students regardless of race, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy), age, national origin, veteran status, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or genetic information.

General Requirements for Admission

An earned baccalaureate degree from institutions of higher education accredited by accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV purposes ( or international equivalent.  An applicant must have earned at least a 2.80 cumulative grade point average (4.00 scale) for admission to a master’s program and at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average for admission to a doctoral program. Additional requirements are imposed by individual graduate programs. For specific program requirements, prospective students should consult the appropriate section of this catalog and contact the appropriate graduate program directors.

Students who apply before completion of undergraduate work may be admitted on the condition that the bachelor’s degree is received before the beginning of actual graduate studies.

Students whose backgrounds are judged to be deficient in any specific area of study or whose undergraduate grades or test scores are below the required average may be admitted provisionally and asked to make up the deficiency by taking one or more courses at the undergraduate level. Graduate credit will not be awarded for these courses.

Standardized Tests

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are normally required for admission. Test scores are considered valid for five years. Students with test scores older than five years should contact the program director for guidance.

Required by some programs, the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is administered by appointment through the University Testing Center. Applicants should contact that office to make arrangements for taking the MAT.

Some programs require that students take the Exit Examination of Writing Proficiency, administered by the University’s Writing Center, prior to completion of nine graduate hours of study. Graduate students in additional programs must take the Graduate Writing Proficiency Examination administered and evaluated by the College of Education.

Academic Testing

The University Testing Center is part of University College and is located in the Student Success Center. Personnel from the Testing Center administer University placement tests, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, DANTES, the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and correspondence tests, and coordinate entrance and certification test administrations. For information on testing, please see the web site at

Submission of Transcripts

All transcripts and academic records uploaded to the online application system are considered unofficial.

If admitted, official transcripts from all colleges or universities from which a bachelor’s degree has been earned and official transcripts of all subsequent coursework must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions from the institution at which the student took classes. Some programs may require additional official transcripts.

Old Dominion University reserves the right to require the submission of all official transcripts or credentials any time during the admission review process.   

Application Procedures

Individuals interested in graduate work at Old Dominion University should apply online at or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to obtain the forms and information. The applicant must first complete the online Admissions application (including the application fee, when applicable), and submit all supporting documents required by the graduate program to which the student is applying. The completed application and supporting documents should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadlines established by the programs to ensure complete processing of an application.

Several programs of a highly competitive nature have early deadlines. Failure to submit a complete application by the program’s established deadline date will result in removal of the application from consideration for admission. Applications that remain incomplete for 6 months after the initial deadline will be purged unless the student requests deferment to a subsequent semester.

Applicants should refer to for program application deadlines.

Old Dominion University reserves the right to require the submission of all official transcripts or credentials any time during the admission review process.   

The Admission Decision

A written notice from the Office of Admissions or International Admissions, not letters from departments or faculty members, is certification of admission. Admission to graduate study may be limited by the number of places available in the various programs, colleges, schools, and departments of the University. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The application process may span six to eight weeks depending on timely receipt of documents. After supporting credentials have been received and reviewed, applicants for admission are usually notified within 30 days of the action taken on their application.

International Student Admission

International students should apply only through the Office of International Admissions.  U.S. Permanent Residents and Green Card holders should apply only through the Office of Admissions.  The primary method of application is web-based; however, a paper application is available upon request.  Along with the application and fee, officially issued academic records (transcripts) and evidence of English language proficiency are required.  As a service to applicants, the Office of International Admissions evaluates all foreign academic credentials. 

Application Process and Dates

Applicants must strictly adhere to international admission and specific program deadlines to allow for the evaluation of academic and financial credentials.  Additional timeline considerations include the student visa application process and required attendance at various orientation programs conducted during the week prior to the beginning of classes.  Admission deferments are granted for up to one calendar year (two semesters); beyond this allotted time, a new application, fee and academic credentials are required.  Along with the application, fee and program specific requirements, all academic transcripts, translations and standardized tests must be official, sealed, stamped by the institution or testing agency and sent directly to the Office of International Admissions at Old Dominion University (CEEB code 005126). Officiating authorities include an institution’s Registrar or Principle/Controller of Exams.  When English is not the language of instruction, academic transcripts and course descriptions are required in one's native language and officially translated into English.  Photocopies, notarized copies, or faxed copies of required official documents will not be accepted. Certified translations by a licensed or professional translator must accompany academic documents not written in English. Translations of official documents completed by the student will not be accepted. Credentials submitted during the application process become the property of Old Dominion University and cannot be returned.

F-1 & J-1 Student Visas

Students seeking an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant student visa must demonstrate to both Old Dominion University and the U.S. consulate the financial ability to cover all expenses related to study and living in the U.S. Funding requirements include tuition, health insurance, living and personal expenses for the first year of study, in addition to a reasonable expectation of funding for the remaining years of study.  Old Dominion University issues forms I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) for the nine-month academic year with the submission of Old Dominion University’s Financial Affidavit of Support, along with any corresponding original, bank issued financial statements or financial sponsorship guarantees. 

English Proficiency Requirements for Non-Native Speakers of English

Admission to the University is contingent upon successful completion of English language proficiency requirements. Non-native speakers of English can provide evidence of English language proficiency through a variety of options. Admission to the English Language Center (ELC) and subsequent enrollment in non-credit English language courses at the ELC does not imply admission to the University.  Further information for non-native speakers of English is available from the Office of Admissions (permanent residents and naturalized citizens) and from the Office of International Admissions (all non-immigrants).

Graduate applicants who are non-native speakers of English must provide evidence of English language proficiency through fulfillment of one of the following:

  1. Submission of one of the following English proficiency test scores: TOEFL iBT of 79 (550 paper based); IELTS overall band of 6.5; PTE score of 53; GRE Verbal Reasoning of 152, a GCSE or GCE score of "O" level pass in English; CPE grade of A, B, C.
  2. Possession of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree equivalent from an accredited institution located in a country where English is the native language.
  3. Successful completion of two university- or college-level English courses at a regionally accredited U.S. institution. Successful completion is defined as obtaining a minimum grade of C (2.00) in each of these courses. These courses must be equivalent to the University’s English composition course(s) (see General Education Requirements, Lower-Division Written Communication section) and any other advanced composition or technical writing course. In addition, matriculated Old Dominion University / English Language Center students must receive prior approval from the Office of International Admissions to take English composition courses at another institution for the purpose of satisfying the English Proficiency Requirement.
  4. Successful completion of the Old Dominion University’s English Language Center (ELC) Monarch English Transition Program (formerly the ELC Bridge Program). Successful completion is defined as satisfying the following two criteria: a.) Securing a minimum grade of B and demonstrating 85% attendance in each English Language Center class; and b.) Securing a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in academic courses taken during the Monarch English Transition Program.

Graduate students who choose to satisfy English language proficiency requirements through the on-campus English Language Center will be placed according to the following criteria:

  1. Students with a TOEFL iBT score below 61 (below 500 paper-based) are automatically eligible to enroll in the ELC's Intensive English Program (IEP).  Conditional admission to most graduate programs is available.
  2. Students with a TOEFL iBT score between 61 - 78 (500 - 550 paper-based) will be placed in the graduate level Monarch English Transition Program (formerly the ELC Bridge Program), which includes one graduate academic course and semi-intensive English Language Center course work.

English Language Center - IEP students may enter the Monarch English Transition Program directly without TOEFL test scores after satisfying the following requirements: a.) Successful completion of level 5 in the IEP program with a ‘B’ grade or higher; and b.) Receive passing scores on level exit assessments. This option is only available to students that have progressively enrolled in the Intensive English Program.

Non-native speakers of English who anticipate holding a teaching assistantship position must provide evidence of oral English proficiency. They may take the Test of Spoken English (TSE), given by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at sites around the world, or the ETS SPEAK Test, administered by the English Language Center at Old Dominion University. Graduate teaching assistants who fail to pass either of these tests will not be eligible to assume an instructional position.

Distance Learning

The mission of the Office of Admissions is to recruit, admit, and enroll students from throughout the United States and abroad who will contribute to the overall collegiate experience. Old Dominion University is open to all qualified students regardless of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, veteran status, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or genetic information.


Students who are applying for a distance learning program are encouraged to apply online and include their essay and resume. Students may request letters of recommendation within the on-line application and the recommendation letters can either be mailed or sent electronically to the Office of Admissions. Additional requirements are imposed by individual graduate programs. For specific program requirements, prospective students should consult the appropriate section of this catalog and contact the appropriate graduate program directors. All graduate applications are processed according to the University policies and procedures contained in this catalog.

Types of Admission Status

Degree Seeking Applicants


Students who have fully met the requirements for admission to a program.


An applicant who does not fully meet the requirements for admission as a regular graduate student may, at the discretion of the graduate program director, be allowed to enroll in a graduate program as a provisional graduate student. 

The Graduate Continuance Policy applies to all students, including  provisionally admitted  students.

Deferred Enrollment

With approval of the graduate program director, enrollment into a graduate program can be deferred for no more than one calendar year beyond the start of the original semester for which admission was offered. For example, students offered admission for fall may request to defer their enrollment to the next fall semester. The records of students who have not enrolled after 1 calendar year will be purged and students will have to reapply for admission.

Nondegree Seeking Applicants

Nondegree Entry

Nondegree entry is available to students who do not choose to apply for admission to a degree program at the time but wish to enroll in course work at the institution. Some reasons to enter as a nondegree student are:

Visiting student – A student who takes course work at Old Dominion University and then transfers the course credit to the home (degree-granting) institution.

Applying for a certificate program.

Expanding academic background or teacher certification.

Taking courses for personal and/or academic growth.

Missed the application deadline, but intends to apply as a degree-seeking student for a successive term.

Taking prerequisites (undergraduate, second degree, or graduate) for a degree-seeking program.

Nondegree Entry Procedures

Applicants for nondegree status are required to complete the online application form on the Admissions Office web page. For the student’s convenience, official credentials may not be required at the time of registration; however, unofficial records or a personal interview may be requested for admission purposes. It is understood that all student information stated on the application is truthful. Deliberate falsification of application information will result in immediate withdrawal and a potential forfeiture of credits. Students should be familiar with policies and procedures for nondegree enrollment listed on the application form.

Directions for Certificate Program Registration

Please contact the department offering the certificate program for specific registration information and procedures.

Additional Information

All students should seek the approval of the academic department before registering for course work as a nondegree student.

Financial aid is not available for nondegree students, except those in approved teacher certification programs.

Students under suspension from another college or university are not eligible to attend as nondegree.

Academic advising is not available to nondegree students, but students are strongly encouraged to contact their academic department before registering for courses.

All students, degree and nondegree alike, must meet the continuance requirements as stated in the current Graduate Catalog. Failure to meet these requirements will subject students to probation or suspension.

Continuing Student Admission

Continuing applicants are students who have previously attended Old Dominion University on a degree-seeking basis and left the University, but would like to return. A student who has left the University in good academic standing is required to complete a reactivation/readmission form. If the separation from the University was longer than five years, the applicant will be required to reapply and resubmit all official transcripts and necessary credentials.  The graduate program directory must approve reactivation/readmission requests.