Prospective Students FAQ


Do I have to submit all documents by the deadline?

We cannot send your file for review unless all documents have been received. The only exception to this is the VSU Medical Form. The Medical Form is required for enrollment, but not for review, so if you haven't submitted it by the deadline, your file will still be sent. All transcripts, supplemental materials, test scores, etc. must arrive by close of business for your desired semester's deadline.

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I have all of the items required for my application except one or two, should I go ahead and submit what I have?

Yes, we will match incoming material with your application or hold the material until you have applied online and we are able to download your application.

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Can I waive or exempt the GRE/MAT/GMAT?

At this time, we do not issue waivers or exemptions for any of the tests necessary for admission.

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I took the GRE/MAT/GMAT over 5 years ago. Do I have to retest?

Most programs will review test scores that are over 5 years old. Some (the EDD ACE, for example) will not. Please check the Program Information page (available here) to see if your program allows those scores. Since the testing administrators do not keep records after 5 years, we can accept the following forms of documentation for test scores from that time:

  • Documentation of the scores from a previous graduate school (in a letter or on a transcript)
  • A copy of the original score report you received from the testing service
  • An imaged or scanned copy of the score report from a previous graduate school.

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Can I substitute the MAT for the GRE?

The College of Education will accept either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to Masters and Educational Specialist degree programs. Other programs that also accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE include the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Social Work, the Master of Public Administration, and the Master of Science in Sociology. Please consult your desired program's information page (available here) for specifics on what tests are considered.

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I can't create an ID for the online application. What do I do?

Please contact our application portal steward, CollegeNet. Their helpline is 503.973.5213, or you can email

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Is there anyway that I can begin my graduate degree program prior to completing the GRE or MAT?

Some (but not all) programs allow Irregular Admission. Under Irregular status, one is allowed to take up to 9 hours of coursework before he or she has to submit the GRE or MAT. To qualify for Irregular status, you must have applied for an eligible program, hold a regionally accredited Bachelor's degree, submit all transcripts, and submit the Irregular Agreement. Please note:

  • Irregular students are NOT eligible for Financial Aid or graduate assistantships.
  • International students are not eligible for Irregular status.
  • Before registering for any courses beyond 9 hours, you must submit appropriate test scores and be admitted to regular or probationary status.
  • Admission as an irregular student does not guarantee you admission as a regular or probationary student. Please call the Graduate School if you have further questions about irregular status.

Irregular status is not available for many programs, including any of the Ed.S. or Ed.D. programs, the DPA, the MLIS, the MBA, the MACC, MSW, or GOML programs (among others). Please check with the Graduate School if you are considering this option.

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If I went to several different colleges, do I need to submit transcripts from all of them or can I submit a transcript from the school that awarded my degree?

For accreditation purposes and to accurately calculate a GPA, we must have a transcript from each and every college you have attended for undergraduate or graduate credit. If credit appears in transfer on another school's transcript, we must have a transcript from that school. If we do not have all of your transcripts at the admissions deadline, your file cannot be sent for review. This includes transfer credit that may be left off the application, but show up on a transcript. You are responsible for listing all the schools you attended and submitting a transcript from each one.

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Should I ask schools to send their transcripts to VSU or to me?

Either way is acceptable. You can ask the school to send the transcript to you in a sealed envelope. When you receive the envelope, do not break the seal but send it to us still in its original envelope with your other supporting documents. This is a common practice understood by nearly every college and university.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Official transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an International Educational Evaluation Service before being sent to the Graduate School. Service information may be requested through the Graduate School or International Programs. Fees for this service are to be paid by the applicant.

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I applied several years ago, but didn't complete my application. Do you still have any of the materials I submitted and may I use those same materials in a new application?

If you applied but were not admitted or did not register as a student, we will keep your materials for three years. If you applied and began graduate study at VSU, we maintain those records for seven years. If you have questions regarding what materials we still have, simply contact our office and we will check.

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I attended Valdosta State as an undergraduate. Do I have to submit another medical form with my application to graduate school?

No. If you have attended Valdosta State at any time in the past you are exempt from resubmitting the medical form.

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I'm a current VSU undergrad, so Undergrad Admissions/the Registrar has my transcripts. Can you use those?

No. We cannot obtain copies of transcripts that were previously submitted to another office on campus. Each office needs their own records for accreditation purposes. An official transcript for each school attended (other than VSU) must be sent to the Graduate School.

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How many hours can I transfer to VSU from another institution?

The academic advisor reviews official transcripts to determine course equivalence/similarity. If the advisor determines the course is an appropriate transfer course, he/she sends a course substitution form or a transfer credit memo to the Graduate School for approval. The course substitution form or memo specifies the course, hours, institution of origin, and how the course should be applied (e.g., general elective or a course substitution for an existing course in the curriculum). Courses considered for transfer credit must: (1) be no more than 7 years of age, or more specifically, may not be over 7 years of age when the student completes the degree at VSU; (2) be earned at an institution that is regionally accredited; (3) be graduate-level courses; and (4) not exceed specific program limitations on total number of hours. All transfer requests are subject to approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, and grades transferred fall under the current deficiency point system.

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What are appropriate recommendation sources?

Recommendations should come from individuals who know you on an academic or vocational basis and can speak to your abilities educationally or professionally (or both). The programs in the Department of Psychology and Counseling require that recommendations come from current or former professors who have taught you. The MSW Advanced Standing program requires two of their three recommendations come from BSW faculty. Professors, teachers, supervisors, and coworkers are usually appropriate recommendation sources. Family members, neighbors, clergy (if they are not professors or supervisors), and friends are generally not appropriate recommendation sources. Not all graduate programs require recommendations. If your program does not require recommendations and you send them in, they cannot be forwarded to the department for review. All recommendations must be accompanied by the required form (letters can be attached). Recommendations without forms cannot be reviewed.

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I intend to enroll as an International Student. What steps do I need to take in addition to the general application process?

International students have additional requirements that must be submitted along with your program's admissions requirements. For more information on these materials as well as instructions for applying as an international student, please visit the following website: International Students Information

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I have submitted all necessary materials and have completed the application process. How soon can I expect to hear from The Graduate School regarding a decision for my application?

Generally, the department may take between three to six weeks to render a decision. Many programs ask that The Graduate School send the department completed applications as the applicants complete their application packets. However, please be reminded that some programs will only review completed application packets at the deadline, thus if you complete prior to the designated due date, your materials may be held until the department requests The Graduate School send them upon the deadline's arrival. Also, various program's committees meet only once during the application cycle; as such, all completed applications are reviewed at one time, which can cause some delay in rendering a decision. Once the department has reached a decision, The Graduate School cannot release the decision in any other format than via an official letter sent to the applicant through the US Postal Service.

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More to come...