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.

Before You Apply

To complete your degree-seeking application, you must:

  • Complete the Application Creation Form  
  • 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
  • Statement of Purpose

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We keep all official transcripts for six months.

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

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

Deadlines vary by program. Before starting your application, please check the academic program you’re interested in for information on its deadlines and required materials. To be considered for admission for your intended term, all application materials should be submitted before the deadline.

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.

Yes. You are required to send one official copy from all of the colleges and universities that you’ve attended. If you’ve graduated from a college or university outside of the U.S. or Canada, you must include a scanned or faxed copy of your diploma or degree certificate. All documents must be in English or have an English translation attached.

You can submit most materials through your online application. 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

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.

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.

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

Processing Your Application

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.

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

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.

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.