Admission requirements vary depending on the applicant’s degree status and the program to which the applicant is seeking admission. All graduate study requires that an applicant:
- Have graduated from an accredited college or university with an average standing of 3.000 (B) in all undergraduate or graduate work undertaken, whichever degree is the highest held.
- An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL score of at least 75 iBt, an IELTS score of at least 6.0, a Duolingo score of at least 110, or a PTE score of at least 56. Some programs may require a higher score on these exams. Please check individual programs for specific requirements.
Students who do not meet these requirements but have reason to believe that they can succeed in and benefit from graduate study will be considered on an individual basis and, if appropriate, admitted conditionally. When an admission is made conditionally with the stipulation of a certain number of credits at the level of B or better, all credit must be earned at Valparaiso University.
Admission requirements for specific graduate programs are provided under descriptions of those programs in this catalog. Specific requirements for different admission statuses are given below. The Graduate Admissions website provides comprehensive application packets, including a complete list of the standard admission requirements and the specific graduate program of interest. Online applications may be submitted through the Graduate Admissions website valpo.edu/grad-apply. All application materials, including transcripts, become part of the records of Valparaiso University and may not be returned to the applicant for any reason.
Admission to a graduate program is decided by the dean of the respective college following receipt of the following materials:
- A completed application form, online at valpo.edu/grad-apply
- Graduate application fee of $30.00 for U.S. applicants, $50.00 for international applicants
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
- A reflective essay of 2 double-spaced pages indicating the student’s reasons for pursuing a graduate degree and the relationship of graduate study to any professional goals
- Two letters of recommendation unless otherwise noted in program admission requirements. Recommendation forms are available online. Persons writing the recommendations should not be related to the applicant.
- Resume (optional)
In addition to the above, the decision of the college dean takes into consideration the admission requirements of the specific graduate program as well as the recommendation of the department or college through which the program is administered.
Non-Degree Seeking Students
Students wishing to take graduate courses at Valparaiso University, but not seeking a degree, must still be admitted to the graduate program. Requirements are a completed application form, the $30.00 application fee, and an official transcript of the applicant’s undergraduate degree. Letters of recommendation and reflective essay are not necessary. Non-degree seeking Education students must complete all of the admission requirements for degree-seeking students. Students should be aware that not more than 9 credits earned as a non-degree student may apply toward a degree program. Students who wish to change to degree-seeking status must complete all application and admission requirements for the degree program to which they are seeking admission.
Students enrolled in graduate degree seeking programs at other accredited colleges and universities may take graduate courses at Valparaiso University with the intention of transferring such credits to their degree programs. Visiting students must complete the Valparaiso University application for graduate admission, remit the $30.00 application fee, an official transcript of their current program, and submit a statement from their faculty advisor at the degree institution verifying their enrollment and good standing as degree-seeking students.
Deferral of Admission
Admitted degree-seeking students may request deferral of the beginning of their graduate study for up to one academic year beyond their intended start date. While deferral of one semester will be granted in most cases, programs having limited spaces will generally be unable to accommodate requests for one-year deferrals. Such students may be encouraged to reapply for admission for the next academic year.
Application for Readmission
Students who do not enroll in courses in their degree program for more than one semester (fall, spring) and have not been granted a leave of absence (see Academic Policies ) will be required to reapply for admission and undergo re-evaluation by the Admissions Committee of the program in which they are seeking readmission. This will determine whether they may continue in the program.
Bridge Program for International Students with Three-Year Baccalaureate Degrees
International students who have completed the equivalent of a three-year accredited degree may be required to complete an undergraduate bridge program prior to matriculating into a graduate degree program. Students will work with their advisors to select 24 to 30 credits of appropriate undergraduate coursework. Bridge coursework must be completed with a 3.000 grade point average.
Special Admission for Valparaiso University Undergraduates
There are two programs under which a Valparaiso University undergraduate student may take graduate coursework and earn graduate credit while completing a baccalaureate degree. It is helpful to distinguish between Early Entry and Early Admission.
Under Early Entry, an undergraduate junior is granted provisional admission to a specific Valparaiso University graduate program, and can take coursework that counts for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Early Entry is often called 4+1 to show the advantage to the student of entering the program early. In some cases, two degrees that would normally take 6 years to complete, if planned properly, may be completed in 5 years. Courses are generally taken during the senior year. See the section Early Entry below for details.
Under a different program, Early Admission, an undergraduate senior is granted provisional admission to a Valparaiso University graduate program and may take graduate level courses in combination with remaining required undergraduate coursework up to a maximum of 12 credits. Courses taken for graduate credit during Early Admission may not be counted toward fulfilling the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. See the Early Admission section below for details.
Admission of Undergraduate Students to the Graduate Early Entry Programs
Many graduate programs at Valparaiso University permit junior-level undergraduate students at Valparaiso University to apply for Early Entry, and, if provisionally admitted, to enroll in graduate coursework during their senior year that may be applied to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Under this model, and depending on the graduate program, undergraduate students may enroll in graduate courses during their senior year and apply these credits toward both their undergraduate degree and graduate degree. Many graduate programs specify a limit for the number of credits that an undergraduate student can take at the graduate level that can count toward the undergraduate degree. Unless otherwise stated, the maximum number of credits that may be taken as a graduate student and articulated back to the undergraduate degree is 16 credits. Students accepted into an early-entry program are subject to the same policies that apply to other matriculated graduate students.
Note: A commitment to pursuing the graduate program must be made prior to the start of the student’s final semester of senior year. The Early-Entry Program Form must be approved by the dean of the respective college (and in some programs, the department’s Admissions Committee) before the student begins the early-entry graduate coursework. Failure to obtain prior necessary permissions negates the ability to apply graduate coursework to the undergraduate degree.
Students admitted into an early-entry program pay regular undergraduate tuition fees for all courses (undergraduate and graduate) for which they register while still pursuing the baccalaureate degree. No additional graduate tuition is assessed for early entry coursework.
Final admission to the graduate program is granted only upon completion of the undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.000. Some graduate programs also require passing scores on entry exams and minimum scores on standardized tests. Please check the specific program page for details, and ask an admission specialist or the program director.
Eligible programs, program maximums, and selected approved coursework, include:
MS in Analytics and Modeling (maximum of 12 credits)
See catalog entry and speak with program director
MA Arts and Entertainment Administration (maximum of 9 credits)
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling (maximum of 12 credits)
MS Cyber Security (maximum of 12 credits)
MEd-Initial Licensure (maximum of 9 credits)
Elementary Education Major (courses)
Secondary Education Major (courses)
Additional course options available for Elementary Education and Secondary Education majors
MEd/EdS School Psychology (maximum of 9 credits)
MA English Studies and Communication (maximum of 9 credits)
MHA - Master of Health Administration (maximum of 12 credits)
MPH - Master of Public Health (maximum of 12 credits)
MS in Information Technology (maximum of 6 credits)
MS in International Commerce and Policy (maximum of 6 credits)
MS in International Economics and Finance (maximum of 9 credits)
MS in Digital Media (maximum of 9 credits)
MS in Sports Media (maximum of 9 credits)
MS in Sports Administration (maximum of 9 credits)
MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (maximum of 9 credits)
Early Admission for Undergraduate Seniors
Undergraduate seniors at Valparaiso University who have an average standing of 3.000 in all work and an average standing of at least 3.000 in all the work taken in their major field, and who need only nine or fewer semester hours of credit in their last undergraduate semester to meet the requirements for the baccalaureate degree, may be granted provisional admission to the graduate program. Students who have been granted such admission will be permitted to enroll for a maximum of 12 semester hours of combined graduate and undergraduate credit during their last semester. These credits must include those necessary to meet their undergraduate degree requirements. During each six-week summer session, students with nine or fewer credits needed to meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree may take a total of six credit hours, of which three may be at the graduate level.
Early Admission may be attractive to graduating seniors who wish to continue advanced study in a particular topic, area, or language, but who have exhausted all of the undergraduate course options in that topic, area, or language. Early Admission may also be attractive to graduating seniors who wish to try graduate coursework and prepare for later application to graduate programs. It is important to note, however, that under this program, courses taken for graduate credit may not be counted toward fulfilling the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Early admission for undergraduate seniors is not the same as admission to an early-entry program. Students in an early-entry program may be eligible to use graduate coursework toward the undergraduate degree. Refer to section above for details.
Once admitted to the graduate program, all students are assigned an advisor according to the selected area of academic concentration. Most graduate programs maintain a student handbook which provides detailed information regarding the requirements and policies for the program.