2020-2021 Academic Catalog


Norfolk State University practices its mission to provide higher education opportunities for all people regardless of their socio-economic status, race, sex, age, religion, or national origin by identifying and admitting students with academic promise.

Norfolk State University seeks to admit in-state and out-of-state applicants whose combination of academic preparation, aptitude, achievements, and motivation predict a reasonable probability of success in one or more of the University’s schools.

The University makes an effort to maintain a diverse student population, which enriches the educational process and benefits the entire campus community. Further, the University reserves the right to base individual admission in any given year upon a number of factors, including the number of applicants to space availability. In some instances, the academic standards/criteria of some programs exceed the minimum University requirements, due to space limitations, resources, and/or program design.

General Admission Requirements

Qualified graduates of accredited colleges and universities are eligible to seek admission to Norfolk State University for graduate study. Applicants are accepted for admission on the basis of qualifications, without regard to sex, age, race, religion, or national origin.

  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Applicants must request that all graduate and undergraduate institutions attended send copies of their official transcripts to the Graduate School.
    1. International students who attended undergraduate school at a non U.S. institution must submit an official, evaluated transcript from an approved agency such as the World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
    2. Applicants who attended a U.S. undergraduate or graduate institution may submit unofficial transcripts for initial application review.  However, admitted students must submit official transcripts prior to enrollment in the university.
  3. Each official transcript must show the complete scholastic record, bear the official seal of the institution, and be signed by the issuing officers.
  4. Applicants must have met one of the following requirements:
    1. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 point scale.
    2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
    3. Submits a portfolio of relevant work experience (minimum of five years in the specified field of study).
  5. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation that address their abilities to pursue the field of study.
  6. Applicants must submit an essay expounding on his/her interest in the field of study.

Some graduate programs have additional requirements such as standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) or may require grade point averages greater than 2.5. Applicants should refer to the appropriate graduate program description or inquire at the Program Office for additional requirements.

To ensure adequate time for processing prior to enrollment, the Graduate School must receive application forms, transcripts, letters of recommendation and other credentials by November 15 for enrollment for the spring semester; and by June 30 for enrollment for the summer or fall semesters. Students who submit applications by these deadlines will be considered for all available assistantships and other forms of financial aid available. Transcripts and other credentials become the property of the University and must remain on file in the Graduate School.

Admission Procedures

Admission to pursue graduate study at Norfolk State University is accomplished by completion of an online application (http://www.nsu.edu/applyonline) and payment of the application fee. All application materials should be submitted electronically. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for review. However, if accepted for admission and prior to enrollment, official transcripts must be mailed to the

Graduate School
Norfolk State University
700 Park Avenue
Norfolk, Virginia 23504.

When the applicant’s file is complete, a decision will be made on admission, and the Graduate School will convey the decision, in writing, to the applicant with a copy to the appropriate graduate program office.

International Students

In addition to the admissions requirements stated above, all international applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to demonstrate the required level of proficiency in the English language. A minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 on the paper based test; 71 on the Internet Based Test (IBT); or a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5t is required. Some programs may require higher scores, please see the specific program of interest. Information on the TOEFL can be obtained at http://www.ets.org/toefl or on the IELTS at https://www.ielts.org/.

Admission Classifications

Applicants are admitted to study at the graduate level in one of two classifications: degree-seeking (regular/matriculating) and non-degree seeking (non-matriculating).

Degree Status

To be admitted as a degree-seeking student in a graduate program at Norfolk State University, a student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and meet the admission criteria.

Admission is granted for a specified semester and program. A student may not transfer his or her admission status to another graduate degree program. If a student wishes to enroll in a different degree program, the student must submit a new application for admission and be formally admitted to a new program in a subsequent semester.

Non-Degree Status

Non-degree status is available for applicants who

  1. meet all requirements for regular admission but do not wish to take courses leading to a particular degree;
  2. hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution but whose academic record reflects less than the required minimum grade point average for regular admission; or
  3. are seeking certification or endorsement in a teacher preparation program.

Applicants, whose formal degree application is pending final action for admission in a subsequent semester, may submit an application for non-degree status.

A maximum of nine (9) credit hours may be taken as a non-degree student. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid, graduate assistantships and housing.

A non-degree seeking student may apply for admission to a graduate program as a degree-seeking student. However, non-degree status does not guarantee future admission. Additionally, admission to a graduate program does not imply that all course work completed as a non-degree seeking student will be automatically applied to degree requirements. A student’s admission status will not be changed from non-degree seeking to degree- seeking during the same semester in which the student is enrolled in non-degree courses.

Time Limit

A student matriculating at Norfolk State University in a master’s degree program will be expected to complete all requirements for his/her degree within a four calendar year period. Doctoral and terminal degree students must complete degree requirements within a seven calendar year period.

A reasonable exception to the time limit may be granted to a student by written petition to the Graduate Program Coordinator prior to the expiration of the time limit. Exceptions are granted for one year and only two exceptions are allowed. Students requesting an exception must also submit a plan of action for completing all degree requirements.


Re-admission is required when a student has not enrolled for classes for one or more semesters and has not, during that time, been enrolled in a continuous registration course. To be readmitted, a student must submit a completed readmission application (see http://www.nsu.edu/applyonline). Re-admission is granted upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Admissions Committee. The re-admitted student must consult with his/her academic advisor regarding the conditions of readmission and to determine if any of the courses previously taken will count toward the fulfillment of degree requirements.

Re-Admission After the Time Limitation Has Passed

A new application is required for readmission to a graduate program after the time limitation has lapsed for completing degree requirements. The student’s application and academic record will be reviewed by the Graduate Program Admissions Committee under the current University, School of Graduate Studies, and program policies. If admission is granted, the student will be informed of the provisions of readmission and whether any of the courses taken previously will be applied toward the degree.