Graduate Studies

If so, this policy handbook probably isn't what you want. Instead, check out our Prospective Students section for Programs Offered, Steps to Admission, and more.

Prospective students apply for admission using the Prospective Students section of the main Graduate Studies site; most do so without needing to consult this catalog for policy details.


The Graduate College (UNL Graduate Studies) is open to graduates of all colleges of this University and to graduates of other universities and colleges of recognized standing whose requirements for graduation are substantially the same as those in the corresponding colleges of this University. Students are selected on the basis of academic preparation, ability, and the availability of space in the desired academic program.The University of Nebraska is a public university committed to providing a quality education to a diverse student body, and the University's nondiscrimination policy is applicable to all University activities, including admissions.

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from an institution that is regionally accredited, an institution that is accredited by an organization recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or from an accredited foreign institution that is recognized by Graduate Studies.

Special groups:

  • UNL seniors within 9 hours of graduation may apply and be granted admission to UNL Graduate Studies. This admission and continued enrollment would be contingent upon receipt of the baccalaureate within the calendar year and would make one ineligible to continue any undergraduate scholarship or financial aid, but would allow one to apply for any financial support, fellowships, or assistantships open to graduate students.
  • International Students
  • Faculty Seeking Additional Degree

Persons who have been dismissed from another institution for academic dishonesty or violations of student codes of conduct are not eligible for admission to UNL Graduate Studies.

Procedure and Materials

All materials submitted become the permanent property of Graduate Studies and will not be photocopied for individual use, returned, or forwarded to other agencies.

Information given falsely or withheld will affect the decision on an application and may make the applicant ineligible for admission and/or enrollment.

Most students apply and enroll toward just one graduate degree program at a time. It is possible, however, to apply to two programs simultaneously. To do so, treat each application as a completely separate entity, supplying for each an application, application fee, and any departmental materials. If accepted by both programs the applicant must select one program to enter, unless admission is for a double-major or dual-degree program. When an enrolled student plans to pursue a new program upon completion of another, it is advisable to apply for admission to the new program early in the academic year in which one plans to graduate.

Change of program: A graduate student, formerly or currently enrolled, who wishes to pursue a degree objective other than the one originally sought, must initiate a formal application for the new program by filing a new graduate application form, supplementing existing records, and fulfilling any departmental requirements prior to review by the departmental Graduate Committee and the College.

Admission Decisions

Acceptance for admission to a program leading to a master's degree, a doctoral degree, an educational specialist degree or a certificate is determined by the Graduate Committee within the academic unit and the Dean for Graduate Studies. This decision is based upon the applicant’s record, experience, personal qualifications, and proposed area of study.

Departmental or area Graduate Committees make recommendations on all degree applications, but the final admission decision is the responsibility of the Dean for Graduate Studies. Notification of acceptance by a department Graduate Committee or faculty member is advisory only. Admission is granted solely by Graduate Studies and is confirmed by the issuance of a Certificate of Admission.

Academic departments will notify applicants concerning awards of financial assistance.

Negative admission decisions are not appealable.

Entry (Initial Enrollment)

Entry into UNL Graduate Studies is valid for the specific semester indicated on the Certificate of Admission.

US Military Veterans: All men and women who plan to attend the University and will be affected by the educational assistance and vocational rehabilitation laws administered by the Veterans Administration should inquire at the Office of the University Registrar before registering for classes. See also: Veterans Resources.

A newly admitted student may defer enrollment for a maximum of two terms if he or she meets certain Graduate College requirements and if the department in which graduate study would be pursued consents to the delay. Any funding offered for the original entry term is not guaranteed for the later entry term. Graduate Studies retains the right to revoke the earlier admission on the basis of new information or limited resources. International students who wish to delay their enrollment may be required to provide updated financial information for a new I-20 or DS-2019 immigration form.

Admitted students who neither defer nor enroll must reapply.