Graduate Admissions Requirements

Oregon State University offers admission to applicants whose records demonstrate the highest potential for graduate study and promise for substantial contribution to both their academic professions and to a diverse, global society. The university fosters an environment that welcomes inclusiveness.

Admission decisions are based on many factors, such as the quality of the applicant’s prior academic degree and record of accomplishment, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant’s academic work, performance in aptitude and achievement tests, relevant work experience, preparation in the proposed field of study, and the connection of the applicant’s academic goals with the faculty’s research interests.


The following minimum entrance requirements guide the university and its graduate programs in the consideration of applicants for graduate admission:

The graduate program may choose to calculate the GPA on the last 90 quarter credits (60 semester credits [last two years on an international record]) of graded undergraduate work on the most recent baccalaureate degree, plus all work completed thereafter, as the basis for admission.

Minimum GPA for admission to only graduate certificate programs is set by the departments that supervise the certificates. Applicants requesting admission to only graduate certificate programs should contact their academic program to learn about minimum GPA and other admission requirements.


If the applicant has completed his or her baccalaureate degree in a country that is a signatory of the Bologna Declaration, then:

OR (Other three-year bachelor degree holders):

International Requirements

All international graduate applicants must meet the following additional requirements:

Graduate Applicants


Regular Admission

Transitional Admission-TAP
(formerly Conditional Admission-CAP)

Paper based



Internet (iBT)

Minimum score of 18 on each section

Or any sub-score less than 18

Internet (iBT)
awarded GTA

Minimum score of 22
on Speaking sub-score and
Minimum score of 18
on all other sections





Please note: OSU requires graduate applicants to meet or exceed all five iBT scores to be eligible for full admission. Scores must be no more than two years old at the time of the applicant’s first term of registration.

Waived from English Language Testing:

The English language proficiency requirement is waived for applicants who have demonstrated success by achieving an overall GPA greater than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for two or more semesters/quarters in a rigorous undergraduate or postgraduate program in the U.S. or from one of the following English speaking countries**: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.

** Waivers for applicants in other countries are considered on a case‐by‐case basis if the medium of instruction is English. The individual program must petition the Graduate School for a waiver. Not all programs will request a waiver. Please contact your proposed graduate program to inquire about their policy.

English Language Exceptions:

Individual programs may request exceptions to the minimum English language proficiency requirements. Exceptions to the minimum TOEFL score/sub‐score requirements will be considered by the Graduate School Dean on request if:

Transitional English Admission

Transitional admission based on English language proficiency may be granted to applicants seeking admission to a graduate degree program. University transitional admission of international applicants may be granted only if the applicant is otherwise fully admissible.

Transitional admission for degree-seeking applicants requires:

Transitional admission based on English language proficiency may not be granted to applicants seeking admission to only a graduate certificate program.

All international applicants seeking graduate teaching assistantships should refer to the International Graduate Teaching Assistant English Language Requirement section of this catalog for more details.

Admission Requirements Continued

Applicants not meeting minimum academic requirements still may be considered for admission with the support of their academic program, plus review and approval by the University Graduate Admissions Committee. For these applicants, decisions may rely more heavily on noncognitive criteria. However, the university encourages those applicants whose overall cumulative undergraduate GPA is less than an equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale to take the GRE.

Applicants whose baccalaureate degrees are awarded by an institution that issues non-graded transcripts will be considered for admission with the support of the program’s written evaluation of the quality of the applicant’s transcript record.

Satisfaction of minimum entrance requirements does not guarantee admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a consequence, many well-qualified applicants may not be accommodated.

Please note that academic performance is not the sole criterion for admission to the university. The university may evaluate a person's behavior and background to determine their ability to maintain the standards of academic and professional conduct expected at the university. An evaluation may take into consideration current behavior and performance as well as past experiences and actions.

Policy Regarding Students' Eligibility to Return to Prior College

Applicants who disclose that they are ineligible to re-enroll at any college or university that they attended within the last seven years for student conduct reasons will be automatically declined admission to OSU. Applicants who disclose that the reason for their ineligibility is for academic reasons will be admitted only if they meet OSU's minimum academic requirements. 

All applicants who are denied admission for conduct reasons have the right to appeal that decision, and appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Application forms required for admission to the Graduate School are available electronically at

The applicant’s proposed academic program will examine material submitted to determine the adequacy of scholastic background and to decide whether departmental facilities are adequate for the expressed aims of the applicant. Upon the positive recommendation of the academic program, the Graduate School will determine whether minimum university requirements for admission have been met and, subsequently, will provide to the applicant formal notification as to the action taken.

Applicants must upload application materials, unless a program specifies differently. Applicants should contact their academic program(s) of interest to determine whether additional admission materials are required beyond those listed below. Applicants seeking admission to only a graduate certificate program must provide items a., b., and c. below and contact their academic programs to determine what other program-specific materials may be required for admission to the graduate certificate program.

  1. One electronic version of the graduate application for each major to which the applicant seeks admission.
  2. $75 nonrefundable application fee (domestic students); $85 nonrefundable fee (international students). Applying online requires payment by credit card.
  3. Transcripts/Academic Records* of all previous academic work, undergraduate and graduate. International applicants must provide a certified English translation of academic records in addition to original language records.

    *Unofficial records but not grade slips/reports, computer printouts, or internal transcripts may be submitted for evaluation and admission purposes.

    If admitted, before registering for courses:
    1. Applicants from U.S. schools must provide official transcripts from all colleges attended, including final transcripts showing degrees awarded and dates earned.
    2. International applicants must provide equivalent documentation from all colleges attended, including final academic records showing degrees awarded and dates earned in the original language plus certified English translations.
  4. Three letters of professional reference are required of most applicants applying for admission to a graduate degree program.

    If you have a master’s degree, please include a letter from your major professor. Applicants applying only to graduate certificate programs are encouraged to consult with their academic program to determine whether this or other materials are required.
  5. Certain graduate programs require the GRE of all applicants. Address inquiries regarding GRE requirements to your proposed academic program. See specific Program Information,

International applicants must also upload the following documents with their application materials:

  1. One photocopy of TOEFL or IELTS scores. If admitted, official test scores must be received by the Graduate School prior to the start of the applicant’s first term of enrollment.
  2. Certification of Finances form with supporting documentation, demonstrating sufficient financial resources for the desired academic program.

    Financial documentation is not required at the time of application. If the application is accepted, the Graduate School will contact the applicant via email to request the financial materials.

    Note: If you will be taking courses as a distance student through OSU Extended Campus and not entering the U.S., we ask that you complete a special certification form. Proof of funding is not required. Please contact graduate admissions to request the form.

Application Deadlines

Department Deadlines

Academic programs establish their own application deadlines, which are often substantially earlier than the general university deadlines described below. In such cases, program deadlines supersede the more general university deadline. Some academic programs also admit applicants for specific terms only (e.g., fall term). Applicants should contact the proposed graduate program for deadlines and any other restrictions. See specific program information,

In the absence of earlier program deadlines, the following university deadlines exist:

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Absolutely no later than 30 days prior to the first day of classes.

International Applicants

To allow adequate time for students to obtain visas and make travel arrangements, the following deadlines have been established for international applicants:


General University Deadline* for International Students
Applying from Outside the U.S.

* Program deadlines supersede this deadline. Please contact
program directly for specific program deadline.

General University Deadline* for International Students
Applying from Within the U.S.
* Program deadlines supersede this deadline. Please contact
program directly for specific program deadline.


April 1

June 1


July 1

September 1


October 1

December 1


January 1

March 1

Summer Session Admission

See Summer Session,

Admission Status

Students may be admitted to the Graduate School under the following categories.

Advanced-Degree Students

  1. Regularly Admitted Graduate Students. These students have been accepted by the university and by a major program to work toward an advanced degree.
  2. Conditionally Admitted Graduate Students. Students who have not met the formal admission requirements but whose accomplishments have convinced the University Graduate Admissions Committee and their major program that they have potential for success as advanced degree candidates may be conditionally admitted as follows:
    1. Students from nonaccredited institutions must complete at least one term of satisfactory work at Oregon State, after which they may be admitted with full standing in the Graduate School.
    2. Students whose preparation does not warrant full admission to the Graduate School but who may prove acceptable later must satisfactorily complete specified conditions to demonstrate their ability to carry out graduate-level work.
  3. Transitionally Admitted Graduate Students. International students who lack minimum English language proficiencies but otherwise meet all other formal admission requirements may be transitionally admitted under the following:
    1. TOEFL total score is in the range of 61 to 79 (iBT).
    2. IELTS total score is 6.0.

Students who score below the minimum on one or more iBT subtests but meet the minimum overall iBT score requirement may be considered for transitional admission. Transitional admission based on English language proficiency may not be granted to students seeking admission to only a graduate certificate program.

  1. Provisionally Admitted Graduate Students. Students who have met all of the university standards for formal admission but whose academic program or major department may have placed additional restrictions upon their admission may be provisionally admitted. These restrictions may include certain prerequisite courses that must be completed, completion of the GRE or GMAT, submission of additional reference letters or scores, etc.

Conditionally and transitionally admitted students cannot schedule and hold preliminary oral exams or final oral exams for their degree until they have satisfied the requirements of their admission and have been reclassified as regular graduate students.

Provisionally admitted students cannot take the final exam for their degree until they have satisfied their provisions and have been reclassified as regular graduate students.

Credit for graduate courses that students have completed acceptably while registered as conditional, transitional or provisional students may count toward the residence requirement for advanced degrees.

If students fail to satisfactorily complete their conditions or provisions, they will be dismissed from the Graduate School.

Graduate Certificate Students

Students admitted to only a graduate certificate program may be considered for reclassification as degree-seeking graduate students by following the procedure in the section below regarding reclassification.

Nondegree-Seeking Graduate Students

The nondegree-seeking graduate student category may be used by holders of a baccalaureate degree who do not wish to pursue an advanced degree at Oregon State University. Those nondegree-seeking graduate students who wish to be reclassified as degree-seeking graduate students must follow the procedure in the next section.

International students who are currently in the U.S. on visas such as an F-1, F-2, B-2, J-1, etc. should consult with OSU's Office of International Services (OIS) (email: before submitting the OSU non-degree application for admission. Only certain visa types allow an individual to pursue part-time or non-degree-seeking course work and still maintain one's visa status.

Graduate international students who wish to enroll as nondegree students with OSU for one or more terms, but who will not participate in an established exchange program, should contact the OIS Office for further information before applying.

International students who plan to enroll with OSU as nondegree exchange students should use the application form that is made available at each partner institution. For a list of exchange partner institutions, go to

Reclassification of Postbaccalaureate Students, Nondegree-Seeking Students, and Graduate Certificate Students

A postbaccalaureate, nondegree-seeking graduate, or graduate certificate student may be considered for status as a regular degree-seeking graduate student under one of the following provisions, depending upon prior academic records:

If the student would have been eligible for graduate admission at the time of entering as a postbaccalaureate, nondegree-seeking graduate, or graduate certificate student, the student is eligible for admission consideration at any time but must submit an application for admission to the appropriate level to begin the process.

If the student, prior to entering as a postbaccalaureate, nondegree-seeking graduate, or graduate certificate student had been denied graduate admission or would have been ineligible for graduate admission, as determined a posteriori by the University Graduate Admissions Committee, the postbaccalaureate, nondegree-seeking graduate, or graduate certificate student must complete option A, B, or C below and reapply or reactivate an application for admission to graduate-level study:

  1. complete 24 credits of courses each with a grade of B (3.00) or better, or
  2. complete 15 credits of graduate course work involving lecture and textbook instruction, each eligible to transfer into the degree program  and with a grade of B (3.00) or better, or
  3. complete sufficient credits to bring the cumulative grade-point average (that for the last 90 credits of undergraduate work plus that for courses taken as part of the 24-credit rule) to 3.00 or better before being eligible to apply for graduate admission.

These courses will normally be regular graduate courses relevant to the specific field, except that seminars and other blanket number graduate courses may not be used. Upper-division undergraduate courses are acceptable, provided that they eliminate specific deficiencies in requirements for entry into an identified graduate program. Lower-division undergraduate courses may not be used. All courses should be carefully selected in consultation with an academic advisor from the graduate field into which the student desires admission.

Completion of either 2(a) or 2(b) above does not guarantee graduate admission. Reclassification decisions employ the same procedures and requirements as those for admission. Postbaccalaureate, nondegree-seeking graduate, and graduate certificate students who seek reclassification must be acceptable to the program in which they plan to major. The university does not have the capacity to accommodate all who meet the minimum requirements for regular graduate student status; when selecting among students who meet minimum requirements, the university treats students requesting reclassification the same as those applying for admission as regular graduate students.

A postbaccalaureate or nondegree-seeking graduate student may use graduate credit earned in this status toward an advanced degree or graduate certificate if the student is later reclassified as a regular graduate student. This credit cannot be used to satisfy residence requirements for an advanced degree. A graduate certificate student may use graduate credit earned in this status toward an advanced degree if the student is later reclassified as a regular graduate student. In either case, the amount of usable credit will depend on the size of the individual student’s program (e.g., a maximum of 15 graduate credits could be used on a 45-credit master’s program or a maximum of 6 graduate credits may be applied toward an 18-credit graduate certificate.) See section entitled "Transfer Credit" for complete details.

Students should initiate all requests for reclassification at the Graduate School.

Second OSU Master's Degree

A candidate for a second master’s degree from Oregon State University may request the application of up to 15 credits, appropriate to both programs, from the first master’s degree program to another, subject to the following three requirements:

  1. Credits used to satisfy the residency requirements of one master’s degree may not be used to satisfy the residency requirements of another master’s degree.

  2. Students who earn two master’s degrees at Oregon State University must complete all degree requirements for each degree. This requires filing separate programs of study forms for each degree, filing separate commencement applications for each degree, completing separate projects or theses for each degree, scheduling separate final oral examinations for each degree, and passing final oral examinations for each degree.

  3. Such credit will be granted only for graded course work earned at Oregon State University and completed with a grade of B or higher.

Pursuit of the Second PhD

The doctor of philosophy degree is the highest academic degree granted by North American universities. It is a research degree designed to prepare a student to become a scholar; that is, to discover, integrate, and apply knowledge, as well as communicate and disseminate it. The doctor of philosophy degree is to be distinguished from other doctorates such as the MD, JD, or EdD degrees, which are designed for professional training or which focus on applied rather than basic research.

Students may enroll for a second PhD degree if they have previously obtained a PhD from OSU or elsewhere. Concurrent pursuit of dual PhD degrees is not allowed. In the case of a student pursuing a second PhD degree, requirements for the second PhD must be met without overlap with the first PhD degree including, but not limited to: successful completion of a second preliminary exam, a separate thesis with no overlap with the first PhD thesis, a final defense exam for the second PhD, a different major advisor from the first PhD, a thesis committee of different faculty than the first PhD degree (although some, but not complete, overlap between committee members would be acceptable in the case of two PhD degrees from OSU), and all other requirements for the second PhD degree program. Courses from the first PhD degree relevant to the second degree may be allowed to transfer between the two degrees. However, the student’s program of study committee must approve all course transfers, should pay particular attention to the relevancy, overlap, and currency of any courses to be transferred from one PhD degree to another, and are advised to proceed conservatively when approving course transfers from a first PhD to a second PhD degree.


All credential-seeking graduate students will be subject to the continuous enrollment policy. Continuous graduate enrollment refers to the policy of requiring continuous registration of graduate students from original matriculation until all graduate degree requirements are met. Please refer to Registration Requirements under Policies Governing All Graduate Programs for complete details.

A graduate student who takes an unauthorized break in registration by failing to maintain continuous enrollment or by failing to obtain regular or planned leave of absence will relinquish his/her graduate standing in the university. Students who wish to have their graduate standing reinstated will be required to file an Application for Graduate Readmission and pay the readmission fee. Readmission is not guaranteed even if the student left in good standing.

International students who wish to re-enroll after an absence should contact the Office of International Services (OIS) to make sure they have the required documents to return to the US.