Admission to Graduate School

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1906 College Heights Blvd.  #11010
Wetherby Administration Building 207
Bowling Green, KY  42101-1010
(270) 745-2446 Phone | (270) 745-6950 Fax

Students seeking a graduate degree, graduate certificate, or enrollment as a non-degree student must apply for admission by completing the online graduate application and paying a non-refundable application fee.  Graduate program application requirements and deadlines vary by program. Admission to or completion of a graduate certificate does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree program. Admission to the Graduate School is based on a recommendation from the graduate program. Final admission decisions are made by the Graduate School. Application to the Graduate School is required before program admission can be considered.

Admission Requirements

  1. U.S. baccalaureate degree or higher, or equivalent international degree, from an accredited institution
  2. Baccalaureate degree cumulative GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.75 or greater on a 4.0 scale
  3. Evidence of English proficiency (international students only)

Individual graduate programs may have more stringent and/or additional requirements.  Applicants should consult individual graduate program pages in this catalog for specific admission requirements. Contact the program coordinator for applicable deadline information.

Application Process

  1. Complete the online graduate application.
  2. Submit an official, course-by-course transcript(s) in English from educational institutions reflecting all undergraduate and/or post-baccalaureate study. Transcripts will not be accepted from the student; WKU transcripts are on file and no submission is necessary.
  3. Submit required admission documents as defined by the individual academic program.

    Additional criteria required for International Student admission:  
  4. Submit an official degree certificate from each college or university from which a degree was received with English translation.  
  5. Non-native English speakers must submit evidence of English proficiency by one of the following:
    1. official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 79 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based) taken within the past two years; or
    2. official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score of 6.5 taken within the past two years; or
    3. successful completion of the English Language Services Program at Level 112; or
    4. successful completion of English as a Second Language International (ESLI) at WKU.
    5. evidence of English proficiency is not required for graduates of an accredited United States undergraduate or graduate institution or other institutions approved by the Graduate Dean.

NOTE: Graduate admission is independent of the immigration process.  For further information regarding immigration please contact the International Student Office

Admission Decision

The Graduate School will notify applicants of the admission decision which will include one of four types: 

  • Good standing - admitted
  • Conditional -  admitted with conditions
  • Denied - not admitted
  • Program full - not admitted due to program capacity

Conditional Admission

If a student does not meet all university and program admission requirements, and if the academic program’s review of the student’s record indicates the likelihood of success, the student may be granted conditional admission by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the program. 

The conditions of admission will be specified in the admission notification. All conditions of admission must be fulfilled upon the completion of twelve hours of coursework. Programs are responsible for monitoring the progress of students admitted conditionally and will notify the Graduate School when conditions have been met. Students who do not meet conditions of admission upon earning twelve hours will be dismissed. 

Academic Common Market

Kentucky, along with 14 other southern states, participates in the Academic Common Market -- an interstate agreement for sharing non-duplicate academic programs. A resident of an Academic Common Market state who has gained admission into a qualifying program can enroll and pay Kentucky resident tuition upon certification by their state's Academic Common Market coordinator. 

Alternate Admission

Applicants who do not meet admission requirements may request alternate admission whereby additional academic or experiential learning is considered by the academic program and Graduate School. Academic departments may have more specific guidelines on alternate admission materials.

Change of Program

Students who wish to change programs must complete a new graduate application. The advisor assigned at the time of admission to the new program will evaluate any prior coursework for applicability to the new program.

Concurrent Enrollment

Students who wish to enroll in two or more programs concurrently must apply for admission to each program individually.  Doctoral students may not pursue more than one degree program at a time.


A graduate application is active for one year. Students who do not enroll three terms after the initial admission term will be required to reapply.

Standardized Examinations

The Graduate School does not require any standardized examination for admission to the University; however, standardized examinations (such as the GRE, GMAT, etc.) may be required for admission to specific degree or certificate programs. Applicants should review the requirements for each graduate program before submitting an application. If required, standardized test scores must be received by the Graduate School as part of the application.

Visiting Students

Students who wish to enroll at WKU as a visiting student must be enrolled in a degree program at another institution.  They must complete the admission process at WKU but are not required to submit transcripts.  In lieu of transcripts, students must submit a letter from the graduate dean of the degree-granting institution verifying good standing status to the Graduate School at WKU prior to enrollment.