Frequently Asked Questions

What GPA do I need to be accepted?

Each program sets their own GPA requirements. The base undergraduate GPA requirement is 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale). Some programs take into consideration your entire academic historyô some will only look at the last 60 hours of your coursework, where most of the classes are in your major; and some use a formula based on your GPA and GRE. Please visit the Admission Requirements page or the program's website for guidance.

When do I apply?

Your application should be submitted before you have any other documents sent to the school. Application deadlines are available here.

The Decision Process

Decisions about admission into a program are generally made by the program, not by the Office of Graduate Programs or the Admissions Office. The decision is based on your GPA, quality of courses taken in your undergraduate program, test scores, and the other materials you submit. Some programs may also consider professional experience relevant to the degree.  

The admission decision is made by the program and the program director who then relay that decision to the Office of Graduate Programs. The admission decision may take some time. Please be patient. 

When Can I Enroll in Classes?

Applicants must be admitted into a program or accepted as a Non-Degree Seeking student before they are allowed to register for classes. Simply submitting an application is not sufficient.

If you are a current undergraduate student who is beginning a graduate program the semester in which you are graduating with your undergraduate degree, in order to enroll in classes, you must only have six credit hours remaining in your undergraduate degree program. 

Term of Admission

When you submit your application you are asked to state the term you intend to begin your graduate studies. If you cannot begin your studies in the term you applied for, you will need to contact the Office of Graduate Programs to request a change of term.

Name Change Issues

To protect students, most documents are sent without a Social Security number. To ensure that your letters of reference, transcripts, and any other admission documents are attached to the correct application, be sure to include in your application and any correspondence your birth name and any other name that may be on these documents (such as a married name).

You should never send e-mail correspondence with your full Social Security number. If you are required to include your Social Security number, please send only the last four digits.

How do I pay for the application fee?

A non-refundable $40 fee for Masters applications and a $55 fee for Doctoral programs is assessed each time an application is submitted. The fee is also applicable if you applied for admission for one semester but have not enrolled within one year of that semester. No application will be considered complete unless the fee has been paid.

Can the application fee be waived?

Yes, if you

  • have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from NKU
  • have earned a graduate certificate from NKU
  • are active duty military or a veteran
  • or are elligible faculty and staff

What will it cost to attend NKU?

The tuition structure at NKU is based on a flat tuition rate per semester hour. You will be charged for each credit hour you take; there is no cap. There are no additional fees except for parking. View tuition rates on the Bursars' site.

Is financial aid available for graduate study? 

Yes. NKU participates in a variety of financial aid programs that are designed to assist students in meeting educational expenses. The Office of Student Financial Assistance is responsible for administering and coordinating the assistance programs. For additional information, call (859) 572-5143(859) 572-5143. Students classified who are enrolled in classes but have not been admitted into a degree program (e.g. those in certificate programs or classified as non-degree) are not eligible for financial aid or veterans benefits. You are eligible for the metropolitan tuition rate. You will be required to submit a new application if you decide to pursue a degree rather than remain unclassified.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. Simply return to the applicaton page and add a new application. Separate applications are required for those applying for several different master's programs or a master's degree and a graduate certificate. An application fee is charged for each application you submit.

I have attended graduate school in the past (or am attending currently). Will my credits transfer? 

All graduate students who want to transfer graduate credit from another institution to NKU must follow the guidelines listed below: 

General guidelines

  • An official transcript must be received prior to consideration of the transfer request. The transcript must clearly show that the course work to be transferred was taken for graduate credit. 

  • Only credits earned from a regionally accredited institution may be transferred.

  • Only courses in which a B or better was earned may be transferred.

  • The grades in these courses will not be factored into your NKU GPA unless the courses were taken as part of the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities.

  • The transferred work can be no older than six years at the time of your graduation.

  • Documentation of course information must be submitted with the request for transfer. This documentation can include a course syllabus or catalog description.

  • NKU is on the semester system. Courses taken in a different system (such as quarter) will not be transferred hour for hour. One quarter hour is equal to .66 of a semester hour. For example, a 3-credit hour class taken on the quarter system will transfer into the semester system at approximately 2-credit hours.

For transfer courses taken prior to matriculation into Northern Kentucky University:

  • You should submit your request to transfer course work to your program director within the first semester you are enrolled in the program. Doing this will ensure that you will know the status of your transfer work early in your career. Waiting to submit your course work until you are close to graduation could result in a postponement of your graduation if the courses are not approved. 

  • For transfer courses taken after matriculation into your NKU graduate program:

    • Do not take a course for transfer without first getting written permission from your program director. As soon as the course grade has been entered, have an official copy of that transcript sent to the Office of Graduate Programs and to your program director.

    • Submit the Transfer Credit Authorization form as soon as possible to ensure a timely decision. 

    For transferring courses from NKU to another school:

    • You may be admitted as a visiting student if you are enrolled in a graduate program at another regionally accredited institution and want to take a course from NKU for the purpose of transferring that credit to your home institution. The following materials must be submitted for consideration: 

    • a) The Application for Graduate Admission with an application fee attached.

    • b) The Visiting Student Application (please request directly from the Office of Graduate Programs or download from our website). The Visiting Student Application must be signed by the director of the graduate program at your home institution. 

Are Disability Services available to Graduate Students?

Yes, there are a variety of services available to students through the Office of Disability Programs and Services. The office employs an interactive process with each student who chooses to register. They work collaboratively with each student on a case-by-case basis in order to determine eligibility and provide reasonable accommodations (which can include accomodations for medical or other health conditions, psychiatric impairment, ADHD, learning disabilities, deaf or hard of hearing, and blind or visually impaired). To register: Complete your admission to NKU. Obtain current and submit documentation for your disability, then contact Disability Programs and Services for an intake appointment at (859) 572-5401(859) 572-5401,, or stop by the Student Union, Suite 303.


If you have further questions, or don't see an answer to your question here, please call The Office of Graduate Programs at (859) 572-6364(859) 572-6364 or send an email to

Other FAQs can be found here

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