Admissions Policies


Deadlines and Processing Times

Application deadlines are department or program specific. Applicants should be aware of all deadlines and plan accordingly.

Applications are not typically processed and referred to departments or programs until they are complete and all required items (e.g., transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation) are received. The time it takes to process and refer an application for department review is primarily dependent on the speed with which the School of Graduate Studies receives letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores. This process may take six to eight weeks.


Edits to an application can be made before an application is sent to the department for review. To make changes, applicants can send an email to with their date of birth, the name they applied with, and a complete list of changes they would like made. Once the application has been passed to the department, the School of Graduate Studies is no longer able to make changes to the application.


Admission to the Utah State University School of Graduate Studies requires:

  1. A bachelor’s degree (or, for some doctoral programs, a master’s degree) that is or will be completed before the student matriculates in the degree program.
  2. A 3.0 or higher grade-point average* according to outlines below.
  3. Official score or scores at or above the 40th percentile on all parts of the appropriate admissions test. Some graduate programs accept a portfolio in place of scores on an admissions test. See individual department websites or contact the department for more information.
  4. Three satisfactory letters of recommendation.
  5. International applicants are required to submit proof of proficiency in the English language.
    Some degree programs have additional admission requirements.

*The School of Graduate Studies calculates GPAs as follows:

  • From the 60 credits of the most recently earned undergraduate degree taken directly from official transcripts.
  • The most recent 60 undergraduate credits of a degree in progress. In these situations, the Admissions Officers will use as many semesters as necessary to reach a minimum of 60 credits. Calculations are done by semesters and may exceed 60 credits.
  • 30 graduate credits will be taken from an earned post-baccalaureate degree or degree in progress.

All credits calculated must be for degree yielding coursework. Pre-requisites and extracurricular coursework will not be calculated towards the School of Graduate Studies GPA requirement.

Closing Inactive Applications

Applications that have had no activity for 90 days (approximately three months) after the application due date are considered inactive and will be closed. Once an application is closed, it cannot be reopened or considered for future application seasons. If for any reason your application will not be complete within the three-month period, please contact graduate admissions and ask for a deferment of your application.

Payment Policies

The School of Graduate Studies requires a $55 nonrefundable application fee that must be paid electronically via debit/credit card at the time of application submission. Individuals who have paid the application fee after unintentionally submitting a duplicate application or have accidentally applied to the graduate school instead of general undergraduate admissions can contact the graduate admissions officers for assistance.

Application fees will be waived for McNair Scholars and active USU Honors students. Applicants who qualify for one of these application waivers should contact for further action.

Some departments offer financial hardship fee waivers for those who may require assistance. Applicants should contact the department to which they are applying for more information.

Supplemental Application Items

Letters of Recommendation

Each letter should address the applicant’s potential for success in the proposed graduate degree program.

If the applicant has been enrolled in school during the last five years, at least two of the letters must come from individuals who are familiar with and can make an authoritative assessment of the applicant’s recent academic performance.

Once a prospective student has completed the online application and paid the application fee, the School of Graduate Studies will request that the applicant’s recommenders submit their letters directly to the graduate school.

Recommender names and e-mail addresses are required on the application.

The School of Graduate Studies cannot fill out or edit a letter of recommendation request form. The graduate school must receive letters of recommendation from the recommender directly and cannot accept copies submitted by the applicant.

Test Scores

Most applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test. The School of Graduate Studies does not require the Analytical Writing Score; however, the Analytical Writing Score may be required by some departments or programs.

Some departments accept the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for master’s degree applications.

Applicants to the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Management Information Systems are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Applicants should request their test report be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies by the testing agency.

  • GRE: Send scores using the institution code 4857.
  • MAT: Send scores using the institution code 2273.

To prevent delays in test score processing, applicants should ensure the personal information on their test scores (i.e., first name, last name, email address, and physical address) match what’s listed on their USU application.

Expired test scores will not be accepted.


For admission, the School of Graduate Studies requires an official transcript from each previously attended college and/or university (except Utah State University), which must be sent directly from each institution to the School of Graduate Studies.

Transcripts must be submitted for all coursework above the high-school level and all prior degrees.

If the applicant was awarded a degree from one institution and the transcript from that institution includes courses taken at a second college or university, and if the transcript includes the course title(s), credits, grade(s), and dates, then applicants do not have to submit a separate transcript from the second college or university.

Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a notarized translation. Transcripts will not be copied for or returned to the applicant.

USU requires official degree verification for each student’s highest previous degree. This is a USU graduation requirement. If the student’s degree verification was not listed on their official transcript at the time of application, they will be contacted and asked to provide this after admittance. If the degree verification is not received, a hold will be placed on the student’s account, preventing registration for the next semester. This hold will be removed when the School of Graduate Studies receives the student’s official transcript with the degree verification.

Once an official transcript is received, it can take the graduate school 10-14 business days to process the transcript on the application.

Applicants should have their undergraduate institutions submit their official transcripts at least 1 month prior to the application deadline.

Using Old Application Materials

The School of Graduate Studies requires all applicants to submit new application materials for each application submitted. This includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores.

For more information on the School of Graduate Studies' admission requirements and other policies, view the School of Graduate Studies Catalog.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants who have completed two years of college in one of the countries listed below, and the primary language of instruction is in English, are considered proficient in the English language and will not be required to provide additional evidence of English language proficiency. 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec Province)
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mauritius
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • The Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Singapore
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales)
  • United States
  • Zimbabwe

For applicants that did not attend a minimum of two years in one of the above-listed countries, the English proficiency requirement can be fulfilled in a few ways. 

Applicants that attended schools in countries outside of the above list that have English as the official Language of Instruction may request an official letter from their previous institution’s registrar’s office and have it sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies. This requirement can also be fulfilled if English is clearly listed as the Language of Instruction on an official transcript. 

Applicants can take one of the approved English Proficiency exams listed below. Applicants should request the testing agency send official exam scores directly to Utah State University. 

  • TOEFL internet-based (iBT) exam score of 79 or paper-based exam score of 550. The institution school code for Utah State University is 4857.*°
  • IELTS score of 6.5 overall band score with a minimum of 5.0 on each subscale.*°
  • The Michigan EnglsihTest (MET) score of 55.
  • Cambridge English Exam results of B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency score of 176. 

*Departments may require a higher score.

°Scores more than 2 years old are not accepted.

**An applicant who does not provide proof of English language proficiency through one of the options above must take the English Language Placement Exam, given by Utah State University’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI). The placement exam may be taken upon arriving at Utah State University and will determine if students meet the university English language proficiency requirement or place in one of four class levels of English language instruction. Students will be required to complete any required intensive English language courses before beginning other academic course work.

***The School of Graduate Studies does not accept Duolingo English test scores.

How Applications are Processed

The School of Graduate Studies tracks applications from submission to completion. This includes processing GPAs, transcripts, and test scores on applications and sending completed applications to departments for review. The graduate school also troubleshoots errors an applicant might encounter, such as duplicated items, missing items, or incorrect information on applications.

Once all supplemental items have been submitted, the School of Graduate Studies refers applications to the appropriate departments. Once an application is reviewed by the department or program, the School of Graduate Studies is notified with the final recommendation. Recommendations to accept or deny admission are then reviewed and approved by the School of Graduate Studies. No notification of acceptance or rejection other than that from the School of Graduate Studies is official.

Applicants who have a question about why they were denied can reach out to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for more information.

Accepted applicants must decide whether to accept or reject the offer and inform the graduate admissions officers of their decision.


Deferments are available for students who 1) need to delay their admission to the university or for 2) those who need to extend their application period.

  1. Students who have accepted their offer of admission and have been admitted to the university have the option to defer their start date. Start-date deferrals and lengths are determined by each department. To obtain a start-date deferral, students must contact their graduate program coordinator. If approved, the graduate program coordinator will contact the School of Graduate Studies to complete the process. Students have until the end of the semester of their entry term to defer their start date. If they don’t take classes or request a deferral before this date, they will have to reapply in the next application cycle for a USU graduate program.
  2. Unfinished applications are closed 90 days after the end of the desired entry term. Applicants who would like their application to remain open past this deadline must request an application deferral through graduate admissions. Once an application has been closed, applicants are required to reapply.

Notifications of leave are also available for students who have already completed classes at USU but need to take a break from their graduate program.