Apr 22, 2024  
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Policies and Procedures


Admission Policies

The following policies govern admission to all graduate degree programs.

In order to be considered for graduate study at Shippensburg University, you must provide official transcript(s) from each and every institution that has awarded you college credit. For admittance to a master’s degree program, you must show you have been awarded a bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. For admittance to post-master or doctoral programs you must show you have been awarded a bachelor’s and master’s degree from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. Academic departments, at their discretion, may require an interview, resume, writing sample, goal statement, letters of recommendation, standardized testing or other requirements as deemed necessary.

As evidence of your ability to successfully complete a graduate program of study, you should have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75 (a 2.8 minimum is required for the Master of Social Work; a 3.0 minimum is required for the Master of Education in Dual School Counseling and the M.Ed. in Reading) as determined by a grading system in which A equals 4.0 grade points. If you have less than a 2.75 undergraduate grade point average (or higher as noted by the program), you will be required to submit other evidence of your ability to successfully complete the program for which you are applying. This evidence may include a personal interview with the academic department and/or a standardized testing such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Individual graduate degree programs may have their own specific requirements for admission. Information on these requirements may be found under the description of the degree program on the website at http://www.ship.edu/graduate/admissions/graduate_admissions/. If you are applying for a program in a field that is different from your undergraduate major, you may be required to take additional undergraduate courses as a condition of your admission. You will be notified of this at the time you are admitted. These courses, which do not count toward your degree requirements, should be completed early in your program of study. Please note that if you take undergraduate courses while a graduate student you will be charged graduate tuition and fees for those undergraduate courses.

Your application for admission will be reviewed by the academic department to which you are applying. The department will then make a recommendation to the Director of Admissions. You will be officially notified of a decision by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Questions on your admissions decision should be referred to the academic department to which you applied.

An offer of admission to graduate study requires you to matriculate to Shippensburg University for the semester for which you have been admitted. You must confirm your offer of admission immediately upon receiving your letter of admission. Failure to do so will prohibit your ability to schedule and begin classes. Confirmation can be completed online through the Campus Information System, instructions are outlined in the letter of admission. If you do not matriculate by enrolling in graduate coursework at Shippensburg within that semester, you may defer your application for a maximum of one year. If the application is more than one year old, you must submit a new application and pay an additional application fee.

Students applying for a second graduate degree (master’s, post-master’s or doctoral) or additional certification at Shippensburg University must submit an updated graduate application. No additional application fee is required.

Admission Procedures

Applicants for admission to Shippensburg University should apply online at http://www.ship.edu/graduate/admissions/graduate_admissions/. They may also e-mail gradadmiss@ship.edu or call (717) 477-1213 or toll free 800-822-8028 the Office of Admissions and request a paper application.

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring, and summer terms. Complete and submit the application together with a non-refundable application fee of $45 (subject to change) to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Checks should be made payable to Shippensburg University. You should make arrangements with other colleges and universities you have attended to have official transcripts sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. You must submit transcripts from any institution that has awarded you undergraduate or graduate credit. It is not necessary to submit a transcript of work taken at Shippensburg University.

Candidates are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible to the degree program of choice. Please refer to the individual departmental descriptions or http://www.ship.edu/academics/programs/graduate/graduate_programs/ for more specifics.


Certain departments require you to present standardized test scores either as a regular admission requirement or for those students whose undergraduate quality point average is less than 2.75 (2.8 for the Master of Social Work) on a 4.0 scale. Information on these requirements may be found under the description of the degree program. Please be aware some graduate programs have minimum GPA requirements higher than a 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (a 3.0 for the M.Ed. in Dual School Counseling and M.Ed. in Reading) and may not accept testing as an alternative.

Miller Analogies Test

Some departments require applicants to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Shippensburg University is an official testing center for the MAT for NCS Pearson, Inc. Chicago, Illinois. Information regarding the test and the testing dates is available through the Placement Testing Office of Admissions or at ship.edu/testing. The fee for anyone who takes this test at Shippensburg University is $80 (subject to change).

Graduate Record Examination

Some departments require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Shippensburg University is an official testing center for the GRE subject test only for the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey. Applications and information on the GRE General Test are available in the Office of Admissions and at www.ets.org/gre.

Graduate Management Admission Test

Applicants to the Master of Business Administration (MBA) who have less than five years of progressive business experience after they graduated from their bachelor’s degree may be required to submit official scores for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Information regarding the test is available in the Office of Admissions and on the web at www.mba.com.

Conditional or Provisional Admission

Occasionally an applicant will present an undergraduate academic record and standardized test scores that do not provide evidence of his or her ability to successfully complete a graduate degree program. These applicants may request additional consideration based on special circumstances or other factors. The academic department may then recommend that the applicant be admitted on a conditional or provisional basis.

Conditional admission gives such students the opportunity to meet departmental administrative requirements (e.g., license/certifications/police clearances) or complete prerequisite coursework (which may include undergraduate courses) that may strengthen their academic background and prepare them to successfully complete graduate coursework. The academic department will require a certain number of credits to be completed with appropriate grades within one calendar year of matriculation. The student’s status will be reevaluated by the academic department to determine if he/she has met the criteria set forth during the admissions process. If the student has met the criteria stipulated by the department the student’s status will be changed to show they were admitted as a regular degree student.

Students who are currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program but have not yet been awarded a degree may be granted conditional admission to their graduate program. Students in this category will be required to submit a finalized transcript showing the award of a bachelor’s degree by a regionally accredited institution prior to the start of their first semester of coursework. Students who do not provide this transcript will have a HOLD place on their account and will be unable to schedule additional coursework.

Provisional admission gives such students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to do course work at the graduate level. The department will require a certain number of credits to be completed (generally six to nine credits) with appropriate grades. The student’s status is then reevaluated at the end of the provisional semester to determine if he/she should be admitted as a regular degree student.

If a conditionally or provisionally admitted applicant does not complete the conditions or provisions of their admission in the manner set forth by the academic department, the student will be considered unable to meet the requirements and their application will be retroactively denied. Any student who has been denied admission must wait one full calendar year before reapplying to the institution.

Other Admission Categories

Non-Degree Students

If you are a college graduate not planning to enroll in a degree program, you may apply and register as a non-degree graduate student. You must complete the online graduate non-degree application in order to register. The application is available at https://www.ship.edu/pcde/non_degree/.

As a non-degree student, you may enroll for any graduate course for which you have the necessary prerequisite coursework, with the approval of the academic department offering the course. Certain courses may not be available to non-degree graduate students. Academic departments may restrict enrollment in their courses or give scheduling preference to majors.

If you are planning to pursue a degree program you should not enroll as a non-degree student. While non-degree students may subsequently apply for a degree program, there is no assurance they will be admitted. Also, academic departments at their discretion may approve a maximum of nine credit hours of coursework (with grades of B or higher) taken in non-degree status to count toward a graduate degree. Non-degree students are required to meet the minimum academic standards outlined under Academic Policies and Procedures. Applicants who have been denied admission to a degree program may take classes as a non-degree student with the permission of the academic department offering the course(s) on a course-by-course basis.

International Students

Applicants from outside the United States who do not hold immigrant visas or permanent resident/resident alien status must complete an international application for admission. You may complete an application online at www.ship.edu/admissions/international.

Applicants for admission must have their complete academic records (transcripts, mark sheets, degree certificates, diplomas, etc.) evaluated by a NACES approved professional credential evaluation service. The Graduate School prefers that you use one of the following professional evaluation services: Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES).

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53204-3470

ECE telephone number: (414) 289-3400
ECE fax number: (414) 289-3411
ECE e-mail: eval@ece.org
ECE website: www.ece.org


World Education Services
P.O. Box 745, Old Chelsea Station
New York, New York 10011-0745

WES telephone number: (800) 937-3895
WES fax number: (212) 966-6395
WES e-mail: info@wes.org
WES website: www.wes.org

ECE or WES will then forward their official evaluation of your credentials to the Office of Admissions. When we have received the evaluation, we will process your application for admission.

Students may begin the application process by providing evaluated academic records through their third year. Students will be required to provide an evaluated academic record including the fourth year and awarding of a degree/diploma as soon as possible after enrolling. If an updated evaluated record is not provided a hold will be placed on the student’s account; pending fulfillment of requirements the student will be unable to schedule courses.

International applicants who have English as a second language must present an official TOEFL score report sent directly to us from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). We will accept scores from the paper-based, computer-based, or Internet-based TOEFL. We will also accept an official Intensive English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report sent directly to us from British Council et al.

All materials including admission application and fee, official TOEFL or IELTS score report, credential evaluation results, and financial information should be submitted to the Office of Admissions.

Immigration regulations require an affidavit of support and a current bank statement if the support is not furnished by an official governmental or international agency. In order to receive the I-20 document (required to apply for your F-1 student visa), you must be admitted to the degree program AND have your financial information (affidavit of support, current bank statement, and income verification) approved by our Director of International Programs. An I-20 will not be issued prior to receiving and reviewing the required documents listed above.

Upon arrival on campus, students holding F-1 visas must report to the Director of International Programs located in the Center for Global Education, Ceddia Union Building (CUB) 221. Bring your passport, visa, and student copy of the I-20.

Please be advised that students on the F-1 visa must be enrolled in full-time degree programs in order to maintain their immigration status. Also for F-1 students, no more than the equivalent of one graduate class or three credits per session (semester, term) may be taken online OR through distance education.

International students are required to pay out-of-state tuition and are not permitted to work off campus without proper authorization. Limited on-campus employment is sometimes available for qualified students. All international students are required to carry adequate health and accident insurance.

Further questions regarding international students at Shippensburg University should be addressed to the Center for Global Education, Ceddia Union Building Room 221, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299 USA, (717) 477-1279 or e-mail: meburnett@ship.edu.

Transfer Students

Shippensburg University may admit to its graduate program transfer students from other regionally accredited graduate schools provided they are in good standing in those schools and satisfy all other admission requirements. A maximum of nine credit hours of graduate coursework earned at another institution may be accepted as transfer credit toward a graduate degree. The courses must be part of a graduate degree program at the sponsoring institution and must be appropriate for the student’s program at Shippensburg University. In order to be evaluated for transfer credit, courses must be listed on an official graduate transcript with a final grade of B or higher. Credit earned more than five years prior to the date you begin your graduate program at Shippensburg does not qualify for transfer credit.

The academic department of the graduate degree program to which you are applying does a transfer credit evaluation. Additional documentation (such as catalog course descriptions) may be required to complete this process. Students wanting to appeal their transcript evaluation must contact the appropriate department chair for reconsideration.

Condensed one-week graduate courses for three graduate credits may qualify for transfer credit based on the following criteria: the number of contact hours follows our credit hour policy, and the student learning outcomes and their assessments are at the graduate level. Non-college educational experiences do not qualify for graduate transfer credit.