Admission Status

Marquette University admits graduate students under five different categories: degree, non-degree, temporary, lifelong learner, and visiting scholar status.

Degree Status

When applicants are admitted to a program leading to a certificate, master’s or doctoral degree, they are said to be in “degree status.” This designation is made after the department and the Graduate School have accepted an application. Students are eligible for tuition scholarships, graduate assistantships and fellowships, as available.

In order to be considered for admission to degree status, all applicants are required to submit an application, the application fee, certified copies of transcripts, and other information as requested by the department.

Non-Degree Status

This status designates any student taking graduate-level classes who is not seeking a certificate, a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree. Non-degree students are not eligible to receive financial aid from the Graduate School except for Catholic Schools Personnel Scholarships and the Milwaukee Area Teachers Scholarships. Non-degree students are typically not eligible to receive federally subsidized loans and should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for exceptions.

All non-degree applicants are required to submit an application, the application fee, and certified copies of transcripts. Non-degree applicants seeking admission to degree status must meet the same admission standards as other applicants to a degree program.

Completion of any number of non-degree credits does not guarantee acceptance into a degree program, and, if a non-degree student is subsequently admitted to a degree program, there is no guarantee that credits earned while in non-degree status will count toward the degree. Most degree programs accept between 9 and 15 transfer credits, depending on the number of credits needed for the degree (see Transfer of Credit). Non-degree students will not be permitted to take more than 9 credits until they certify in writing that they are aware of the policies and limits regarding the transfer of credits into the degree program.

Credits earned as a non-degree student may be considered as graduate credits and certified as such to school boards or other authorities. Non-degree students may register for any course (with the exception of courses in dentistry) if they have met the prerequisites and have department permission. Non-degree students interested in taking courses in dentistry must have special permission from the Graduate School and the School of Dentistry.

TEMPORARY ADMISSION STATUS

This status designates any applicant who: has applied to a degree or a non-degree program, meets the minimum admission requirements, but has not submitted all of the necessary documents.  

All temporary applicants are required to submit an application, the application fee, and certified copies of transcripts. Applicants seeking temporary admission status must meet the same admission standards as applicants to a degree program. Temporary students are not eligible to receive financial aid from the Graduate School and are typically not eligible to receive federally subsidized loans; students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for exceptions.

Admission with temporary status is valid for only one term. Students must apply for and be admitted as a degree or non-degree student before being allowed to register for additional terms. 

Credits earned as a student with temporary status may be considered as graduate credits and certified as such to school boards or other authorities. Students with temporary status may register for any course (with the exception of courses in dentistry) if they have met the prerequisites and have department permission. 

Lifelong Learner Status

Most students who begin in a non-degree status fully intend to ultimately pursue a degree, and will request admission to degree status at some point in the future. However, some students would like to take courses in a variety of subjects just for personal enrichment, without ever intending to pursue a graduate degree. The lifelong learner status is intended for these types of students.

Lifelong learner status is a specialization within the general Graduate School non-degree category. Admission decisions are made by the associate dean of the Graduate School. Students are not required to maintain continuous enrollment.

Lifelong learner status is not intended as a gateway to a certificate, master’s degree, or doctoral degree program. Lifelong learners may not take courses for credit. Rather, they will audit all courses that they take while they are lifelong learners. Tuition will be charged the regular audit rate. Enrollment in all courses for students in the lifelong learner status will require the consent of the department offering the course.

If a lifelong learner should decide that he/she wants to pursue a graduate degree, the student must apply for admission in a degree status for the program that they would like to pursue. Once admitted to a regular program, the student may begin to accumulate credits and earn grades just as any other student.

Visiting Scholar Status

This status designates a student, seeking a degree at another institution, who takes one or more classes at Marquette University with the intention of transferring the earned credits. Evidence of the student’s status and academic performance at the other institution will be required.

Visiting scholars may apply for federal financial aid through the student’s home school or through Marquette. Students applying for aid through Marquette must request a Consortium Agreement from the Office of Student Financial Aid. When the completed form is returned to Marquette, the student will become eligible for federal financial aid and the Office of Student Financial Aid will process the student’s FAFSA. Students applying for federal aid through their home institutions should consult their home institutions for their application policies and procedures.

General Admission Requirements

Only applicants whose total record indicates that they can do independent, original and high quality academic work will be admitted. Departments reserve the right to limit the number of students accepted within a given time period.

All applicants should have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university, or the equivalent foreign degree.
  • At least a B average (3.000 grade point average on a 4.000 scale).
  • Course work suitable for the desired graduate program (applicants with a bachelor’s degree but not the necessary course work should consult the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, [414] 288-7302 or [800] 222-6544, or the Undergraduate Bulletin, for information about special student status).
  • Some programs require professional experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree. See the Graduate School Programs section of this bulletin for more information.

In addition, no application for admission will be considered for any applicant with an outstanding balance of $3,000 or more owed to the university.

Submitting an Application

All applications for admission must be submitted online. A link to our online application can be found at the Graduate School website; however, prospective nursing students must apply and submit all application requirements via NursingCAS.

Program Information

An applicant’s program may have special requirements of background, tests, personal statements, other materials, and application deadlines. Check the Graduate School Programs section of this bulletin for information and requirements specific to each program or see requirements on the Graduate School website. Applicants are responsible for meeting and submitting all of their program’s application requirements. Prospective nursing students should note they must apply and submit all application requirements via NursingCAS.

Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

Applicants are admitted to the Graduate School on the recommendation of the intended department and the approval of the dean of the Graduate School.

Applications for admission to programs that have no deadlines listed in the Graduate School Programs section of this bulletin must be received in the Graduate School by Aug. 1 for fall admission (June 1 for international applicants), by Dec. 15 for spring admission (Nov. 1 for international applicants), and by May 1 for summer admission. If the program has a listed application deadline, all application materials must arrive before that date. Admission to the program is valid only for the term specified on the application, unless a deferral is requested from the Graduate School before the start of that term. Deferral of admission may be requested by completing and submitting the Request for Deferral of Admission form available on the Graduate School forms website. Note that deferral is for admission only, and not for financial aid. Applicants should check the Graduate School Programs section for more information.

Students applying to more than one program must submit a separate application and application fee for each program.

The deadline for applying for merit-based Graduate School financial aid (assistantships and scholarships) is Feb. 15 for the following fall term, Nov. 15 for the following spring term and April 15 for the summer sessions. Deadlines falling on weekends or holidays will be extended to the close of the following business day. Some programs may have deadlines for fall admission that are earlier than the financial aid application deadlines. New applicants for financial aid in those programs must adhere to the earlier department deadlines that are listed in the Graduate School Programs section of this bulletin.

Inactive Files

Incomplete and inactive admission files are discarded after one year.

International Student Requirements

Definition of an International Student

An international student is defined as an applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Application Instructions

As described in the Application Instructions section later in this bulletin, international applicants are required to submit an application form, a non-refundable application fee, official transcripts with certified English translations, three letters of recommendation, test data, evidence of English proficiency (such as TOEFL), and other materials as required by the program to which they are applying.

English Language Assistance

All non-native English speaking teaching assistants will be required to take a language placement examination upon their arrival on campus. Based on the results of the exam, students may be required to enroll in one or more English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in addition to their required course work. (This requirement is in addition to the TOEFL requirement described in the Application Instructions section.) All international students with teaching assistantships (TAs) are also required to attend a one-week orientation program, where they are evaluated individually in language and communication skills before beginning course work.

Financial Verification and Visa Regulations

Upon acceptance to the Graduate School, F-1 students must adequately document their financial resources for the duration of the academic program before a visa will be issued. Financial verification, in the form of an appropriate sponsorship statement and an advance deposit (in U.S. currency), must be sent to Marquette before the certificate of eligibility for a visa will be issued. Students wishing to have their I-20 express mailed to them must put their request in writing and submit it along with the required advance deposits and financial verification paperwork. The added cost for express mail requests will be subtracted from the advance deposit. The express mail charge is non-refundable. The premium for the first term of health and repatriation insurance, required of all F-1 and J-1 students, will be deducted from the advance deposit. Students must be prepared to pay any remaining balance of the first term’s tuition when they arrive on campus. The advance deposit will be waived if the student receives a scholarship or other academic award that covers the cost of the first term’s tuition. If a student chooses not to attend Marquette University after the I-20 has been issued, all but $10 (U.S. currency) will be refunded. A written request for a refund must be sent back to the Graduate School with the original I-20.

International students must abide by the regulations of their legal status in the United States regarding their defined educational objectives, academic load, and employment. Most international applicants are eligible only for regular degree status. Those seeking admission for non-degree status must obtain a statement of their legal eligibility from Marquette’s Office of International Education.

Application Procedures

The Graduate School requires all applicants to submit a complete application, a $50 application fee, and official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Additional requirements are required for admission to most programs. Supplemental documents may be submitted to gradadmit@marquette.edu. Applications will not be reviewed for admission until all materials, including those requested by the proposed graduate program, have been received.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain information about all admission prerequisites and application requirements from the Programs section of this bulletin, from the Graduate School or department websites, or from the director of graduate studies in the proposed program. It is to the applicant’s advantage to make sure that the application package is complete well in advance of published deadlines.

Submit all application materials online*, or if needed by mail to: Marquette University Graduate School, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881; or by courier to: Marquette University Graduate School, 1324 W. Wisconsin Ave., Room 305, Milwaukee, WI 53233. Although the department will make recommendations on admission, and may notify the application of the recommendation, official notification of the decision regarding admission and merit-based financial aid will come only from the Graduate School. 

*Prospective nursing students must apply and submit all application requirements via NursingCAS.

Official transcripts must come directly from all universities or colleges attended, including junior/community colleges, or delivered electronically directly to the Graduate School from the university/college or via a secured third party method that has been verified by the sending institution. Official test scores must also come directly from the applicable testing service.

Students are strongly advised to submit the application for admission before having other application materials sent. Receipt of the application in the Graduate School before other application materials ensures that all documents will be matched to the application quickly and accurately. If supporting documents are submitted to the Graduate School before the application has been received, processing of the documents and review of the application file can be delayed. It is to the applicants' advantage to ensure that the application is submitted before any additional documents.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • A completed online application form.
  • A non-refundable application processing fee (U.S. currency only) of $50.00. (Note: The application fee is waived for current Marquette University undergraduate students and alumni of the Marquette University Graduate School, including graduates or students who have taken courses in the past without graduating. In order to receive the waiver, applicants must have previously taken courses while classified as a graduate student in one of the programs under the umbrella of the Graduate School, and does not include the Graduate School of Management, Law School, College of Health Sciences, or School of Dentistry.)
  • Official Transcripts: The Graduate School requires official transcripts detailing previous academic study from all universities or colleges attended. Transcripts are not considered official unless they are sent directly to the Graduate School from the institution attended, or delivered electronically directly to the Graduate School via a secured third party method that has been verified by the sending institution. Transcripts will be considered unofficial if routed through the applicant. Applicants with course work in progress toward the fulfillment of a degree are required to submit an official final transcript verifying receipt of their degree after completing the course work. All applicants who have transcripts in a language other than English must provide official transcripts in addition to certified English translations.
    Applicants who previously attended Marquette University need not request Marquette transcripts but are required to furnish transcripts from other schools they attended.
    Applicants must notify the Graduate School if the last (family) name is different from the name on the Graduate School application.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Applicants should check the Programs section of this bulletin for information about the number of letters of recommendation needed, if any. Letters of recommendation from former professors are preferred and should comment on the applicant’s past academic record and potential for future success. The clinical mental health counseling, counseling psychology, nursing, and school counseling programs require special forms for recommendation submission. Letters of recommendation should normally be submitted online as part of the online application system. Letters of recommendation, if not submitted online, may be sent as an email attachment to gradadmit@marquette.edu.
    Applicants applying for financial aid through the Graduate School must submit three letters of recommendation and check the financial aid boxes on the application (see the Financial Aid section of this bulletin).
  • Permission to discuss the applicant’s file with a third party (optional): Applicants who are unable to speak directly with an admissions counselor (due to distance, expense, etc.) may give the Graduate School permission to communicate with a third party. Marquette University requires that this request be made in writing, be signed by the applicant, and specify the name(s) of the third party.
  • Additional application materials as requested by the program: It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain information about any additional requirements from the Programs section of this bulletin, from the Graduate School or department websites, or from the director of graduate studies in the proposed program.
  • Test Data: One or more tests may be required as part of the admission process. Consult the Programs section of this bulletin or the program requirements on the Graduate School forms website for information specific to the applicant’s proposed program. Regardless of the test, all scores will be considered unofficial until the Graduate School receives the official scores from the testing agency. Copies of test scores issued to the applicant are considered unofficial.

    The Graduate School urges applicants to take higher education assessment tests well in advance of the date the scores are needed. It usually takes at least six weeks for scores to reach the Graduate School office after the exam. Assessment test scores should be relatively recent; scores more than five years old (two years for English proficiency exams) may not be accepted.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Most graduate programs request a GRE (General Test) score. Departments may require applicants to take a “Subject” (advanced) GRE Test. Consult the Programs section of this bulletin for specific information.

Test takers applying to the Graduate School must enter the code 1448 in the Score Report Recipient section of the GRE registration form. It is not sufficient to list Marquette as the institution. Failure to enter the correct code will delay the admission decision.

Proof of English Proficiency—International Students Only

International students whose language of instruction for their bachelor’s degree education (or master’s, if applicable) was not English must provide proof of English proficiency, displaying an adequate command of both written and spoken English. Programs through TOEFL, WESLI, ELS, and IELTS satisfy this requirement.

Minimum requirements:

  • TOEFL: Score of at least 550 on the paper-based version. The Internet-based, or iBT, version of TOEFL tests students in four areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. In general, a minimum score of 20 is required for each of the four sections, with an overall minimum score of 80.
  • WESLI: Level 700 is required.
  • ELS: Level 112 with a grade point average of 3.000 or higher is required.
  • IELTS: Total overall score of 6.5 or higher is required, with no less than 6.5 in each of the four sections.

Applicants should consult the Graduate School Programs section of this bulletin for any specific information, as some graduate departments may require scores higher than these minimums. Test scores may not be more than two years old.

Students already holding a Marquette master’s degree may earn a second Marquette master’s degree in another discipline by applying for and receiving admission, and by completing all of the requirements necessary for the second master’s degree.

During the first term of study of the second master’s degree, students must complete a Master’s Program Plan Form, have it approved, and submit it to the Graduate School. Additionally, if students intend to request and transfer credits from their first master’s degree, they must complete the Master’s Degree Transfer of Credit Request form, available online on the Graduate School forms website.  Between 9 and 15 credits may be transferred from the first master’s degree, depending on the total number of credits required to complete the second master’s degree. Normal transfer credit policy will apply. Credits to be transferred in must normally have been earned within six years prior to admission into the second master’s degree. For more information, see Transfer of Credit under Academic Regulations.

Readmission

Students who have been discontinued due to failure to enroll for one or more semesters and who otherwise were performing in a satisfactory manner may apply for readmission by email to the department. The director of graduate studies or chair of the department will endorse the request either positively or negatively, and will then forward the request to the Graduate School for processing. To be readmitted, students must receive a positive departmental endorsement.

Students who have withdrawn from the university, were dismissed from their program, or who were suspended for any reason must be formally readmitted to the Graduate School before resuming their studies. To be readmitted, students must receive a positive departmental endorsement. Furthermore, no application for readmission will be considered for any former Marquette student with an outstanding balance owed to the university. The dean of the Graduate School and the major department jointly decide if a student will be readmitted.

In either case, no application for readmission will be considered for any former Marquette student with an outstanding balance of $3,000 or more owed to the university. In addition, a student must pay a fee to the Graduate School for back-continuous enrollment for each unregistered fall and spring term since discontinuation. Once the back-continuous enrollment fee is paid, students will be readmitted to the next available term, provided the time to complete the degree has not expired.

The request for readmission from students who have been Required to Withdraw for Academic Reasons (academically dismissed) must include the Appeal Academic Dismissal/Satisfactory Academic Progress form located on the Marquette Central academic forms website.

Students who are dismissed for failure to register must request readmission in writing to the Graduate School via their home departments. The request must include an explanation as to why they failed to register.

The request for readmission from students who have been dismissed or suspended for reasons other than academic dismissal must include a statement by the student addressing previous weaknesses, steps taken to correct the weaknesses, and an explanation of why the student feels he or she has the ability to succeed in graduate studies. No student may be readmitted to a program that is no longer active at the time of readmission.

In being readmitted, students face the possibility that previously completed work might not be accepted with the readmission decision, even if taken within the same program. The major department and dean of the Graduate School may also set readmission conditions on the student’s resumption of work toward a degree, such as registering for additional course work, retaking examinations, completing the degree within a specified time period, or other appropriate terms.