Academic Catalog

Application and Admission to the Graduate School

EKU Campus

Application to the Graduate School

Students may apply to the Graduate School as either Degree-Seeking or Non-Degree students. The application and all supporting documents (transcripts, test scores, etc.) must be received at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the term in which the student wishes to enroll. Some graduate programs have earlier deadlines. Please check the Graduate School website for complete information regarding application deadlines.

Required Application Materials: Degree-Seeking and Non-Degree Seeking

Application—Each student must submit a completed application with all requested information provided. Students may apply online at

Transcripts—One official copy of transcripts from the degree-granting institution showing all grades received and any degrees or certificates that have been awarded must be provided by each applicant at the time of application. An official transcript must bear the seal and signature of the registrar from the sending institution. Graduates from all schools other than Eastern Kentucky University should contact their registrar(s) and request the official copy of their transcript be forwarded directly to:

Office of Admissions
Eastern Kentucky University
112 Whitlock Building CPO 54
521 Lancaster Avenue
​Richmond, KY 40475-3154

If possible, submission of electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse is preferred. Official transcripts marked “Issued to student” or similar language, and submitted in an envelope sealed by the sending institution or certified in some other way may also be acceptable. Students seeking admission must be graduates of an accredited four-year institution of higher learning authorized to grant the degree.

Required Application Materials: Degree-Seeking

Entrance Examination Scores: — At the time of their application for admission to degree programs, applicants must submit satisfactory official score reports from one of the following tests as required by their prospective program:

  1. the general section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  2. the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Please refer to the program areas for specific information on required tests and target scores. The GRE is required for all applicants wishing to be considered for Probationary Admission. See the section on Probationary Admission for additional information. All official test scores should be sent to:

Office of Admissions
Eastern Kentucky University
112 Whitlock Building CPO 54
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond, KY 40475-3154

Students can obtain GRE and GMAT information by visiting the Educational Testing Service at GRE scores are valid for a period of 5 years following the date of test completion. Additional information for the GMAT and GRE can also be found at and, respectively. The school code for Eastern Kentucky University is 1200. To schedule the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) students may contact the Office of Academic Testing at (859) 622-1281 or at

Letters of Recommendation—Some graduate programs require letters of recommendation or will require applicants to provide contact references in support of an application. Requests for recommendation letters should be submitted within the application. Certain programs may withhold admission until letters have been received. Please refer to program areas for specific requirements regarding letters of recommendation.

Admission to the Graduate School

Admission to the Graduate School at Eastern Kentucky University is based upon evidence that the applicant has already attained a certain minimal academic proficiency and will be able to pursue creditably a program of graduate study in a given field. All programs assume certain formal and informal prerequisites. Normally any deficiencies in the program must be resolved at the time of admission.

Eligibility for admission to the Graduate School does not insure admission to a specific graduate program. Some programs may have additional requirements beyond the University minimums. All students who intend to pursue a particular graduate program should refer to the specific program requirements listed in the college and/or department section of this Catalog. In certain programs, the University may need to limit the number of students accepted for graduate work if the number of applicants exceeds the capacity of available facilities/faculty. In no case does meeting the minimum criteria for admission guarantee acceptance into the Graduate School or graduate program.

No student may receive graduate credit for a course without admission to the Graduate School. Attendance in the Graduate School at Eastern Kentucky University is not a right. It is a privilege which may be withdrawn by the University or any area of graduate study if it is deemed necessary by the Office of Graduate Education and Research in order to safeguard the University’s standards.

Categories of Admission for Degree-Seeking Students

After evaluation of an applicant’s credentials by the appropriate department and by the Graduate School, the applicant will be notified by letter from the Office of Graduate Education and Research that

  1. admission has been granted under one of the categories listed below, or
  2. admission has been denied, or
  3. a decision has been deferred.

The letter from the Graduate School will stipulate the conditions of admission and period of validity for the admission, or reasons for denial or deferment of admission. An applicant who has not received an admission, denial, or deferral notice 48 hours prior to the beginning of the final regular registration period should contact, in person, the Office of Graduate Education and Research for clarification.

Clear Admission

Applicants who have submitted a complete application and meet the requirements for both general admission to the Graduate School and their selected graduate degree program are eligible for clear admission. The minimum requirements for clear admission to the Graduate School are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  2. An overall undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) of 2.5 (4.0 = A) of the baccalaureate program
  3. Submission of acceptable official examination (GRE/MAT/GMAT) if required by the graduate program.

Individual programs may have additional or higher criteria for clear admission. A department may waive the requirements for clear admission stipulated in 2 and 3 for applicants having earned a graduate degree from an accredited institution.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply an official transcript showing the awarding of an undergraduate degree and/or official Entrance Examination scores, but who otherwise meets the admission requirements, may be granted provisional admission upon the recommendation of the appropriate department and approval of the Office of Graduate Education and Research. Complete and satisfactory credentials must be received by the Office of EKU Admissions before a student is permitted to register for any subsequent term.

A student will not be permitted to enroll in a graduate program with a provisional status for more than one semester. Provisional admission does not guarantee, in any way, subsequent clear admission. The Office of Graduate Education and Research reserves the right to withdraw without credit or refund any student for whom application is incomplete at the end of the first enrollment. International students may not be admitted on a provisional basis.

Probationary Admission

An applicant who has submitted all required application materials but does not meet the minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement may be considered for probationary admission. Applicants seeking probationary admission must submit valid GRE scores along with official transcripts at the time of application. To receive probationary admission, the applicant must show promise for successful graduate study and receive the recommendation of the appropriate department chair and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Students must be removed from probationary admission prior to registering in any graduate course work beyond an initial 12 hours. Students who do not attain the required 3.0 GPA at the end of the term in which the nine-hour minimum was completed will be dismissed from the graduate program without appeal.

After obtaining probationary admission, the minimum condition for transfer from probationary admission status to clear admission status is the successful completion of at least nine hours of approved graduate course work at Eastern Kentucky University with a graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 at the end of the term in which the nine-hour minimum was completed. Special course requirements or other conditions may be imposed by the department, College dean, and/or the Office of Graduate Education and Research.

The Office of Graduate Education and Research will inform the student of all conditions for consideration for clear admission at the time the student is granted probationary admission status. Since the transfer from a probationary admission status to a clear admission status requires the successful completion of graduate course work at Eastern Kentucky University, no student should attempt to take graduate course work for transfer from another school during the probationary admission period.

A student admitted under probationary admission may not attempt any graduate course work graded pass-fail. In the case where specific courses have been designated by a program for the satisfactory-unsatisfactory grading mode, a maximum of three hours of course work graded satisfactory-unsatisfactory may be permitted during the initial 12 hours. A student in probationary status may not hold an assistantship without first achieving clear admission status. International students may not be admitted on a probationary admission basis.

Admission Appeals

Students who apply but are denied admission to the University may submit an online admissions appeal form to be reviewed by the Graduate Council Executive Subcommittee in consultation with the graduate program’s coordinator. The subcommittee will carefully consider all aspects of the applicant’s situation, including academic record, GRE or GMAT scores which indicate the applicant has met benchmarks in the academic readiness for graduate level education. If granted admission by the subcommittee, students will partner with their faculty advisor to develop an academic success plan, specifying academic expectations and requirements for remaining enrolled at the University. The link to the admissions appeal form and information regarding the appeals process can be found on the EKU Graduate School’s website.

Non-Degree Admission

General Non-Degree Admission

An individual wishing to take graduate courses at Eastern Kentucky University for personal or professional development, but who does not plan to pursue a graduate degree program, may be admitted as a non-degree student with the approval of the Office of Graduate Education and Research. Non-degree students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and must have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.0 (4.0 = A). Non-degree students are not eligible for graduate assistantships or financial aid offered through the University.

A former or currently enrolled non-degree student may apply as a degree-seeking student. The student must meet all criteria for clear admission as stipulated above. Students admitted as General Non-Degree are not eligible for any form of Financial Aid offered through the University.

Certification Admission

An individual wishing to take graduate courses in the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences as a part of initial or additional certification programs, or Rank I classification programs, is eligible for certification admission. However, students pursuing only Rank I are not eligible for Financial Aid. Students seeking Certification Admission are strongly advised to contact Big E Central to determine their eligibility.

A former or currently enrolled certification student who wants to apply for admission to a graduate degree program must submit an application for admission and all supporting documents and any required entrance examinations as listed in this Catalog under the section Application to the Graduate School.

Admission as a certification or general non-degree student does not guarantee subsequent clear admission into a graduate program. Graduate credit earned as a certification or general non-degree student may be applied to a degree program only when the student meets all the minimum admission requirements; is granted clear admission after initial application; and approval is granted by the appropriate department, the college dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Normally, no more than twelve semester hours of work earned as a certification or general non-degree student may be applied to a graduate degree. Only courses with 3.0 or above earned grade points may be applied, although a grade in any course taken as a certification or general non-degree student will be considered.

Visiting Student Admission

Because of its unique programs and facilities, faculty, diversified institutes and workshops, Eastern Kentucky University is attractive to many students who have been previously admitted to other accredited graduate schools. In order for a visiting student to be officially enrolled for graduate credit at Eastern Kentucky University, the student must file an application form and submit an official Visiting Student Certificate. The Visiting Student Certificate must bear the seal of the Graduate School and the signature of the Graduate Dean where the student has been admitted.

Concurrent Enrollment

An Eastern Kentucky University undergraduate student who needs 30 or fewer credit hours to complete all of the requirements of the baccalaureate degree may be considered for undergraduate concurrent enrollment to the Graduate School. To be eligible for undergraduate concurrent enrollment, the student must have an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 at the time of review. The student must maintain an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 and a graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 to continue in the undergraduate concurrent program. Students may earn a maximum of 9 graduate credit hours while holding undergraduate concurrent admission status. A maximum academic load of 15 hours during a regular fall or spring semester and of nine hours during the summer session is permissible when the student is concurrently enrolled in graduate and undergraduate level course work.

The concurrent enrollment form should be initiated by the student at least 30 days prior to requesting enrollment in any graduate classes. Undergraduate concurrent enrollment to Graduate School must be supported by all appropriate advisors and college deans, as well as the Dean of the Graduate School.

Note: Federal regulations permit undergraduate students to receive financial assistance only for coursework required for their current degree program. Students who are enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate course work in the same semester may receive less financial aid than if only enrolled for undergraduate course work. Students are advised to contact Big E Central to find how their financial aid amount would be adjusted for mixed enrollment.

O’Donnell Scholarship

If you are at least 65 years old and hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, you may be granted admission to a degree program with a waiver of tuition. Refer to the “Required Application Materials” section of the catalog.


All graduate students who have not been enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University for a period longer than 24 months, or have withdrawn from the University, must submit a new application to the Graduate School and be accepted for reinstatement by the graduate program before being permitted to register for graduate coursework. Please note that programs within the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences may require readmission after 12 months.

International Student Admission

Eastern Kentucky University welcomes applications for graduate study from all qualified international students. The criteria for admission to the various programs of graduate study at this institution are the same for all students, but the United States Immigration laws impose certain additional requirements by which all U.S. institutions of higher education must abide in admitting international students.

Admission procedures for all international students are developed in compliance with existing laws of the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. International students are strongly encouraged to visit the Graduate School website at for additional application materials and instructions.

Applications for admission of international students are not considered complete without:

  1. Official transcripts (if in the States) or course-by-course foreign credential evaluation showing applicable U.S. baccalaureate equivalency. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to be eligible for admissions review.
  2. English Language Proficiency Exam: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - 550 Paper Based, 79 for Internet-Based, or 213 by Computer or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - A minimum score of 5 on each section - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking and a minimum score of 6.5 on the overall band score. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of test completion. ELS (English Language Services) - Students who receive conditional admission when applying to EKU Graduate School qualify to participate in the program. Students must obtain an ELS Level 112 Intensive English for Academic Purposes certificate in order to qualify for admission.
  3. Official entrance exam (GRE, MAT, GMAT) scores. The target scores vary per program course of study.
  4. Declaration and Certification of Finances. Must show financial support that covers cost of attendance for the academic year.
  5. Bank or scholarship letter. Bank letters are valid six months and scholarship letters are valid one year from the date on the letter. 

The completed application and all official admissions materials must be received by the Office of EKU Admissions within two weeks of the start date of any given semester. Appropriate I-20 forms will be issued after all official credentials have been received and admission is granted. The U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires certification that all standards for admission have been met before the I-20 form is issued. Please see below for additional information concerning international student admission to Eastern Kentucky University.

Conditional Admission - International Students

International students who meet all graduate admission requirements except the English Language Proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, or baccalaureate degree from Institution where English is the native language) may be eligible for Conditional Admission. Conditionally Admitted international students will be referred to the English Language Services (ELS) program. Students must then enroll in the ELS program and begin their intensive English language study. Students are eligible to enroll in graduate courses for the program to which they have been conditionally admitted upon successful completion of the ELS program with an Exit Exam Competency Level 112 Intensive English for Academic Purposes.

For students who do not meet the exemption requirements for Entrance Exams (GRE/MAT/GMAT), Conditionally Admitted students must successfully complete the Entrance Exam requirement established by the program before they can be moved to Clear Admission status.

Applicants are advised that not all programs will offer Conditional Admission. Please review the information on the ELS website for specific questions about the intensive English language program.

Health Insurance Requirement

Health insurance coverage is mandatory for every international student on an F-1 or a J-1 visa enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). All international students will be automatically enrolled in the Eastern Kentucky University’s health insurance plan at the time of class registration. The charge for coverage will be automatically added to your bill each semester. For more information, contact

University Housing

For complete information on housing, contact the Housing Office, Whitlock Building 552 or email:

Visiting Scholars

Visiting scholars at the graduate level may be admitted as non-degree students on the strength of their academic credentials by submitting transcripts and certificates of degrees. Scholars who are applying for the J-1 visa program must satisfy their host department and the J-1 Responsible Officer as to their academic preparation and their English language ability. The TOEFL or IELTS tests are not a requirement for such candidates; instead, they must demonstrate to the host department their ability to use English as necessary in their specific field or discipline. Visiting scholars will be issued the form IAP-66 by the Responsible Officer and must follow the regulations of the State Department as regards J-1 visa holders.