2022-2023 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 an 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. Applicants who attended a U.S. undergraduate or graduate institution may submit unofficial transcripts for initial application review.  However, all admitted students, except NSU alumni, must submit official transcripts prior to enrollment in the university.
    2. International students who attended an 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).
  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.  (Please note: Some programs may require a higher minimum grade point average.) 
    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).  Work experience does not reduce the course requirement credits.

Some graduate programs have additional requirements such as letters of recommendation, a personal statement or essay, standardized test scores (Graduate Record Examination, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), teacher licensure or may require grade point averages greater than 2.5. Applicants should refer to the appropriate graduate program description or inquire at the academic program department for additional requirements.

To ensure adequate time for processing prior to enrollment, the Office of Graduate Studies must receive application forms, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other credentials by the following deadlines:

November 1 for enrollment for the spring semester;
May 1 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. Applications received after these dates may be deferred for consideration of enrollment for the following semester. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Some programs have earlier deadlines.  Please check with your specific program of interest to determine if they have earlier or later deadlines for admission consideration.  

All transcripts and other credentials become the property of the University and must remain on file in the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Admission Procedures

Admission to pursue graduate study at Norfolk State University is accomplished by completion of an online application 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 in courses, official transcripts for all except NSU alumni must be mailed or electronically delivered to:

The School of Graduate Studies and Research
Office of Graduate Studies

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 a required level of proficiency in the English language.  This requirement can be met in the following ways:

  1. Acceptable scores on an approved English language proficiency test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL; minimum of 80 on the TOEFL iBT) and lIELTS (minimum of 6.5) taken within the past two years. Other English language proficiency tests must be approved and passed at rates equivalent to the TOEFL and IELTS per official standards from the administering organization. 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/.
  2. Six semester hours or more of college-level English completed with a grade "C" or better at an accredited institution;
  3. Possession of a bachelor’s or master’s degree equivalent from an accredited institution located in a country where English is the native or dominant language. 

International students who are admitted into the university must be cleared through the Office of Accessibility and International Students (OASIS) prior to enrolling in courses.  Information about this clearance process can be found at the OASIS website.

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.  Students who are currently completing their baccalaureate degree can be admitted conditionally into a graduate program.  However, enrollment in courses is not allowed until the School of Graduate Studies and Research receives a final official transcript with the degree conferral date.

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, or 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 coursework 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 in 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.

A student who does not maintain continuous enrollment (summer semesters not included) will follow the degree completion requirements specified in the University Catalog issued the year of readmission.

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 Graduate Program Admissions Committee will review the student’s application and academic record 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.