Graduate Admissions

Admission to VCSU Graduate Studies

Admission to Graduate Studies at Valley City State University requires a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the college or university that issued the credit or the baccalaureate degree to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Program Admission Procedures

Applicants must submit to the VCSU Office of Graduate Studies and Research an Application for Admission, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a written statement of professional goals. The application, letters of recommendation, resume, and written statement can be completed online through the VCSU website. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all admission documents are received in the Office of Graduate Studies by specified deadlines. All credentials submitted by or on behalf of an applicant become the property of VCSU. Once an application has been submitted, applicants should notify the Office of Graduate Studies of any change in plans regarding enrollment at VCSU. Application materials must be received at least 30 days before classes begin for the fall, spring and summer terms.

A complete application includes:

  • The online application form
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • A written statement of professional goals in light of the applicants’ philosophy including a description of their preparation in the field of education
  • A non-refundable application fee of $35.

International Students

In addition to all other required admission materials, the following must be completed:

  • Official academic transcript certifying a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • All foreign credentials must be officially translated into English.
  • All academic credentials must be either original records or certified copies of original records. Non-certified photocopies are not acceptable.
  • Official Test Scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum required TOEFL score on the paper-based test (PBT) is 525, 71 for the internet-based test (iBT) or 6.0 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Scores must be sent directly from the testing center to Valley City State University. Go to for information on the TOEFL.

Types of Admission

Full Admission

Regular admission is granted when the applicant:

  • Holds a bachelor’s or an advanced degree from an accredited institution.
  • Has no deficiencies in the chosen area of study.
  • Meets all program admission requirements.

Canadian residents are not required to complete the International admission materials.

Certificate Admission

Two classes of graduate certificates are distinguished:

  1.  A certificate awarded with a master’s degree indicating that a specific program of coursework has been followed within the regular program coursework. A certificate awarded with a Master’s Degree requires no additional admission procedures. Admission to the graduate program admits the student to the certificate. Certificates of this type must be applied for prior to, or at the time of degree completion.
  2.  A certificate awarded for completing a specified program of post-baccalaureate courses, not constituting a regular graduate degree program, and awarded independently of a regular graduate degree. Applicants for this certificate must have a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants whose last degree completed is a graduate degree may be admitted in full standing if the final GPA of that degree is at least 3.0 or equivalent. If applicants have taken any graduate courses, the graduate GPA must be at least 3.0.

Admission into the Graduate Certificate program does not guarantee admission into a graduate degree program nor imply the waiver of any requirements for admission in to a graduate degree program. Certificate students may only take courses restricted to the certificate program.

  • Complete online application.
  • Submit $35 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Submit official transcript stating degree.
  • Submit a resume or vita providing education and employment experience

Program Provisional Admission

Students may be admitted with provisional status when not all requirements for admission are met, or their GPA is below 3.0, but other materials show potential. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 must submit scores from at least one examination such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the Praxis II–Principles of Learning and Teaching, or National Teaching Board for Professional Standards. Scores will be used to assess students’ previous educational achievement levels and to evaluate their potential for meeting the demands of coursework at the graduate level.

The concentration faculty may make a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies for Provisional Admission. Accompanying the recommendation will be specific standards of performance that must be satisfied for a change to full graduate status. Students admitted under Provisional status may not earn more than nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit in this status.

Provisional admission may be granted:

  • When an official undergraduate or graduate transcript has not been received but completion of a bachelor’s degree has been confirmed.
  • If the student has program deficiencies, Graduate courses may be taken to fulfill the deficiencies, but will not apply to the degree.
  • To a student who is seeking full admission, but one or more of the application materials have not been received. 
  • When the applicant's undergraduate GPA is below 3.0 and a test is required.

Students with full admission status will be given academic probation and assigned provisional status if their cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0 after completing nine (9) semester hours in the program.

Non-Degree Admission

Individuals who desire to pursue study beyond the baccalaureate degree for professional growth and improvement of skills but not to work toward an advanced degree objective may be admitted as non-degree graduate students under certain conditions. The applicant must:

  • Complete an application form.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  • Submit a copy of a transcript stating degree.
  • Have the prerequisite courses or background/experience necessary for the course or courses in which they desire to enroll. This may require consultation and approval from course instructors.
  • Be approved by an administrator of the Office of Graduate Studies.

Students enrolled with Non-Degree status may subsequently be considered for admission to Graduate Studies and Research to pursue an advanced degree. Such a change in status may be accomplished for a subsequent term submitting a new application to The Office of Graduate Studies and Research as a degree-seeking student and completion of all other requirements. No more than nine (9) credits may be taken in the non-degree status and used to fulfill graduate degree requirements if approved by graduate faculty from a program concentration, the concentration representative, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Appeal of Admission Denial

Applicants to a graduate academic program may appeal decisions on their admission status by petition. Petitions may be requested through the Office of Graduate Studies.  or  701-845-7303

The petitions must be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies who will process the petition with the Graduate Council and notify the applicant of the result in a timely manner.