Graduate Application FAQs

Get Answers to Your Application Questions

Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions we get about the application process on topics including what to do before you apply and how we process your application.

If you want to know more about the process for applying, visit either the Domestic and Permanent Resident Applicants page or the International Graduate Applicants page for the steps you need to take.

If you’re ready to apply, submit your application.

If you have questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to the Graduate School at (701) 231-7033 or

Before You Apply

What is required to complete my degree-seeking application?

To complete your degree-seeking application, you must:

  • Complete and submit the application
  • Pay the $35 non-refundable application fee
  • Submit online letters of recommendation (most programs require 3)
  • Submit official transcripts from each college or university where you have been enrolled or are currently enrolled (applicants are responsible for requesting these)
  • Submit test scores (if required by the program)
  • Meet any additional department requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English or who have foreign transcripts, you must also provide:

  • Documentation of academic-level English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or PTE Academic)
  • A copy of your diploma or degree certificate

Can I apply to more than one program?

You may apply to as many programs as you wish. However, you must submit separate applications, and pay the $35 application fee, for each program.

If I apply to more than one program, do I have to send everything again?

We will use your previous documents as long as it is within one year of your last submitted application. If it has been more than one year, you will need to re-submit all of the required documents.

What is the process for sending letters of recommendation?

All letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application process. We do not accept recommendation letters by paper, fax, or email. If recommendations are received in any of these formats, they will be discarded.

Can I request recommendations before I submit my application?

You can send the online request to your recommenders at any time during the application process. The recommendation process remains accessible after you've submitted your application. You are able to add, remove, and re-notify recommenders. Please be sure to list the correct email address for your recommenders.

Who should recommend me?

We strongly suggest that you ask former or current professors, supervisors, or professionals who know you well and can accurately reflect on your academic abilities. 

Letters from family members, friends, housemates, or co-workers are unacceptable.

If I submit materials online, do I also have to submit a paper copy?

You do not have to submit a paper copy of your statement of purpose, your resume or vitae, or any other documents that you have uploaded to your online application.

How long will my transcripts be kept on file?

We keep all official transcripts for six months.

How long will my test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo) be kept on file?

GRE and GMAT scores are kept on file for five years.

TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo scores are kept on file for two years.

When is the application deadline?

Deadlines vary by program. Before starting your application, please check the academic program's Catalog page for information on its deadlines and required materials.

To be considered for admission for your intended term, submit all application materials before the deadline.

What are official transcripts and official test scores?

Official transcripts are transcripts that are sent to the Graduate School in a stamped and sealed envelope by the issuing institution (from the Controller of Examinations or the Registrar, for example). Transcripts that have been opened or tampered with will not be accepted. 

Official test scores are those sent directly from the issuing organization (such as Educational Testing Service).

For domestic students, refer to the "Transcripts" and "Test Scores" sections on the Domestic and Permanent Resident Applicants page for more information.

For international students, refer to the "Transcripts (Statement of Marks)" and "Test Scores" sections on the International Graduate Applicants page for more information.

Does NDSU need all of my transcripts?

Yes. You are required to send one official copy from all of the colleges and universities that you’ve attended.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Mail transcripts to the address below:

Mailing Address (if using postal service)

NDSU Graduate School
NDSU Dept. 2820
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108

Delivery Address (for courier deliveries)

NDSU Graduate School
106 Putnam Hall
1349 12th Avenue NW
Fargo, ND 58102

Do certain programs have additional admission requirements?

Some programs require additional materials (such as a resume or writing sample). Please contact the department directly and review your individual program’s web pages for more information.

How do I apply for financial assistance?

Many departments award graduate assistantships based on the application for admission. Other departments ask for a separate application form or letter of application to be considered for an assistantship. Please refer to your individual program’s web pages for more information. 

Federal loans are also available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

How much is tuition for the NDSU Graduate School?

Tuition and fee information for the current term is available on the One Stop website.

Processing Your Application

What is the admission process?

Once all your official documents have been received by the Graduate School, your complete application file will be sent to the department for review. The timeline required for the application review process can vary significantly by department. Many departments take 4 to 6 weeks after the stated application deadline, but some can take longer.

An admission recommendation will be made at the program level and will be returned to the Graduate School for a final review. You will receive an email informing you that a decision has been made; at that time, you may log in to your application to view your decision letter electronically.

How do I check the status of my application?

You may log in to your online application at any time to check the status.

How do I make changes to my application after it's been submitted?

If you need to make changes to your application (such as to change your program or make a correction), email the NDSU Graduate School with your request, and we will determine whether or not the change can be made.

Can I change my intended term to enter?

If your application file is not yet complete and is less than one year old, we may be able to update your term to enter. Please email your request to the NDSU Graduate School.