Admission to the Graduate College

Application Process

An online Application for Graduate Admission must be filed with the UNO Office of Graduate Studies for students who:

  • Desire a graduate degree or graduate certificate
  • Desire graduate credit for renewal of a teaching certificate or professional development
  • Desire to transfer graduate credit to another university

Special Note: All students, except current junior- and senior-level undergraduate students, must complete a graduate application (or intercampus registration form for those students admitted to graduate programs at the other University of Nebraska campuses) to receive graduate credit for any graduate level courses taken at UNO. Special permission is required for junior- or senior-level undergraduate students to register for graduate courses.

How to Apply

  • The Application for Graduate Admission must be completed online at The online application will specify all of the required documentation for the specific program. Please review and complete the online application carefully. For more information about specific program admission requirements and processes, please see the specific program information at or contact the appropriate graduate program chair.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45.00 (U.S. dollars) is required for all new applicants to UNO Graduate Studies, including undergraduates within the University of Nebraska system, and students who have been previously admitted as graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Kearney or the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
  • Official transcripts from EACH college or university (except UNO) attended must be sent to the UNO Office of Graduate Studies. Hand-carried, faxed or student-submitted credentials are not acceptable.
  • To be considered for admission in any given semester, all transcripts and supporting documentation must be submitted on or before the department deadlines. Please see the specific program pages for each program’s deadlines. It is generally to the applicant’s advantage to apply well before the published deadline, particularly if the applicant wishes to be considered for fellowships, assistantships or other forms of financial aid.
  • Applicants are solely responsible for making certain all their materials have been received. They can do so by logging onto MavLINK at and checking their “To Do List”.
  • Notification of acceptance by a department/school Graduate Program Committee or faculty member is advisory only . Admission is granted solely by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Special Note: The application fee will be waived once for:

  • Students admitted as non-degree graduate students to UNO who within four years,  wish to apply to a UNO degree program or as an unclassified student.
  • Students who applied to a degree program, were denied admission to that program, and, within a two-year period, re-apply to the same program.

Military and Veteran Applicants:

  • The application fee is waived for all Military and Veteran applicants with proof of military status.  Please provide one of the following documents as proof of military status:
    • DD214
    • Notice of Basic Eligibility(NOBE)
    • Military orders
  • All military includes:  Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and Veterans

Students Applying to Graduate Certificate Programs will follow the same procedure as above with the following exceptions related to the application and fee requirement:

  • Students pursuing a certificate program who later apply to a graduate degree program must complete a new application and submit all other required credentials. If the degree is within the same department(s)/school(s) as the certificate program, no application fee will be charged. If the student applies for a graduate degree program after the certificate is completed, he/she must submit a new application, application fee, and all other required credentials.
  • A student pursuing a graduate degree program can be awarded a certificate while completing the degree; however, the student must complete a new application to be admitted to the certificate program. He/she will not be charged an application fee if the certificate is within the same department(s)/school(s) as the graduate program in which he/she is already enrolled. However, if a student applies for a certificate program after the graduate degree is completed, he/she will need to submit a new application, application fee and all other required documents.
  • Students must be enrolled in a graduate degree-seeking program in addition to a graduate certificate in order to be eligible for financial aid.  

Students applying for a Second Master’s Degree, Graduate Certificate or pursuing an Endorsement in an area other than the first completed program must complete a new graduate application and submit an application fee and other required documents.

Students applying for a Master’s Degree with a Double Major can pursue their professional/scholastic goals by acquiring more knowledge in a second field than provided by the option of earning a minor, yet not be required to complete a dual degree program (i.e., two master degrees in separate majors, typically 60+ hours). Students are allowed to pursue a double major within the same degree (e.g., a Master of Arts in two different majors). For instance, a student may be permitted, with proper approvals, to pursue a Master of Arts degree in the majors of History and Geography because these majors lead only to the Master of Arts degree. One cannot attain a double major in History and Biology because these majors lead to a Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees, respectively. To apply:

  • Students must submit two separate applications and only one application fee. An email must then be sent to, clearly specifying they are seeking a double major, which department/school is to consider the application first, and if support from both of the departments/schools is being sought.
  • The graduate committee of the first department/school will pass the application to the second graduate committee with the result of its decision (recommendation for acceptance with support, recommendation for acceptance without support, refusal of admission.) The decision to recommend admission by one of the graduate committees does not affect the decision of the other. The criteria for admission for acceptance may differ between programs; admission to one or both of the department’s/school’s programs does not guarantee acceptance for a double major master degree. Final approval of all applicants rests with the Dean for Graduate Studies.
  • If one major is approved and one denied, the student must submit another application with an additional application fee to apply to another major.

Students who wish to change programs, must complete a new graduate application and submit with it a non-refundable graduate application fee, a graduate non-degree student would only need to submit a new graduate application along with an additional documents required by the program that they are applying to.  The decision as to whether students will be accepted shall be left to the graduate committee of the department/school in which they are seeking admission and to the Dean for Graduate Studies. Admission to a new program is not automatically granted.

Criteria for Admission

Those applicants who have earned, or will have earned, a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or the equivalent of such degrees in another country, will be considered for admission. Prospective students may apply for admission during or after the final year of undergraduate study, but must submit the official baccalaureate degree transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies before the end of the first year of enrollment.

Special Note: Non-immigrant applicants must contact the Office of Graduate Studies concerning the filing of required financial documents. International students with a 3-year degree are referred to the program in which they wish to pursue graduate studies for evaluation of their transcripts to determine possible additional course work. They can be considered for graduate admission.

The decision to admit an applicant to a program is based primarily on a combination of the following criteria according to the requirements of the specific program.

  • Quality of previous undergraduate and graduate work. The Graduate College requires as a minimum standard a “B” average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, in a program of study resulting in the award of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. If an applicant has studied at the graduate level and performed satisfactorily, less weight may, but not necessarily, be placed on the quality of the undergraduate academic record. Some programs require a higher minimum grade point average for admission.
  • Strength of letters of recommendation from persons competent to judge the applicant’s probable success in graduate school. These letters are usually from the applicant’s former professors who are able to give an in-depth evaluation of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. Additional recommendations may come from employers or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant’s work experience.
  • Official scores on required aptitude or advanced knowledge examination(s).
  • Statement by the applicant of academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. These statements help the department/school identify students whose goals are consistent with its objectives.
  • Other evidence of graduate potential. Some programs require other evidence of graduate potential, such as a portfolio of creative work, completion of specialized examinations or personal interviews.

Special Note: If a currently enrolled graduate student is admitted to a graduate program prior to receipt of their final grades for the current semester, the program may re-evaluate its admission decision if the student receives a grade of “C-“ or lower in any course work (undergraduate or graduate) for that semester.

Admission to the Graduate College

Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the Dean for Graduate Studies. Academic departments/schools review admission applications and credentials and make admission recommendations to the Dean. The standards maintained by the Graduate College and individual departments/schools are applied to ensure that applicants admitted to the University are well qualified for graduate study and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program. Standards for admission to doctoral degree programs are generally higher than those for admission to master’s degree programs. In many degree programs, the number of applications received from qualified applicants for graduate study exceeds the number of applicants who can be accommodated. In such cases, only the most highly qualified are offered admission. The number of spaces available in various departments/schools is limited according to the availability of faculty and resources.

English Proficiency Examination Requirement

Students whose language of nurture is not English must have a command of oral and written English adequate for graduate work. All applicants to Graduate Studies at UNO whose language of nurture is not English must present a score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

Automatic waivers from this policy are granted for persons who have already received a baccalaureate or equivalent degree from an English-speaking institution of higher education in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, English-speaking Africa, Australia, Ireland or New Zealand.

While individual programs may require a higher score, the UNO Graduate Council has set a minimum score for admission to graduate studies of 500 written TOEFL, 173 computer-based TOEFL, 61 internet-based TOEFL, 5.5 IELTS, or 44 PTE, with no exceptions to this policy.  On March 14, 2016 the UNO Graduate Council approved to increase the minimum score to 550 computer-based, 80 internet-based, 6.5 IELTS, and a 53 PTE effective summer 2017.  These requirements are in addition to any requirements established by the individual Graduate Program Committees.

Categories of Admission

Immunization Requirements

To prevent the possibility of a measles epidemic throughout the UNO campus, all new students born on or after January 1, 1957 are required to:

  1. Provide family documents or private physician records as proof of two (2) doses of the vaccine (MMR)
  2. Submit the University of Nebraska at Omaha Pre-Enrollment Health Requirement Document

For forms and information, visit the Immunization Requirements website at