2020-2021 Academic Catalog


Dr. Juan Alexander
Associate Vice-President for Enrollment
Phone: (757) 823-8396
Toll Free: 1-800-274-1821
Email: admissions@nsu.edu

General Admissions Information

Through exemplary teaching, scholarship, and outreach Norfolk State University transforms lives and communities by empowering individuals to maximize their potential, creating life-long learners equipped to be engaged leaders and productive citizens.

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 academic programs.

NSU does not discriminate based on ethnicity, race, gender, age, disability or religious beliefs. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions evaluates applicants based upon their individual potential for success at NSU and their perceived potential contribution to enhancing university performance against its goals and objectives.

Undergraduate Admissions Criteria

  1. Admissions criteria for Norfolk State University require an applicant to have graduated from an accredited high school with a minimum grade point average of 2.3 on a four-point grading scale. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma.. A “program completer” status is not equivalent to a high school diploma.

    All applicants under the age of 21 must submit Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores or American College Testing (ACT) scores. A minimum combined score of 880 (critical reading and math) on the SAT or a composite score of 17 on the ACT is required.

    All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.
  2. The applicant should have completed a minimum total of 22 units distributed as follows:
    Mathematics (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II recommended)3
    History and Social Sciences3
    Health and Physical Education2
    Fine Arts or Practical Arts1
    Total Credits22
  3. Students with a high school equivalency diploma will be considered upon the successful completion of the General Education Development (GED) test with a minimum score of 530. GED graduates may be subject to the requirements outlined above. The University is interested in the quality of the applicant’s academic preparation and indicators of overall promise as a student.

Admissions Priority Deadline

The priority application date for fall undergraduate admission is May 15. October 1 is the priority date for spring.

Applying as a First-Time Freshman

When applying for admission as a freshman, the applicant must provide the following:

  1. An application completed in full and a non-refundable application fee of $25, payable by check or money order or an official fee waiver. Applicants applying online will be assessed an application fee of $20 payable by credit card.
  2. An official high school transcript forwarded by the applicant’s high school. (It is the student’s responsibility to have final grades sent to the Office of Admissions immediately following graduation.)SAT/ACT scores. (Applicants who have reached the age of 21 at the time of enrollment are exempt from this requirement.) Home-schooled applicants are required to submit a transcript of units completed and grades earned, SAT/ACT scores, two letters of recommendation, an application completed in full, and a $45 non-refundable application fee.
  3. An official report of test results issued by the General Education Development (GED) testing center, if applicable.
  4. Two letters of recommendation.

Applying as a Transfer Student

When applying for admission as a transfer student, the applicant must provide the following:

  1. An application completed in full and a non-refundable application fee of $45, payable by certified check or money order or an official fee waiver. Applicants applying online will be assessed an application fee of $20 payable by credit card.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended. Transfer students must be in good standing at the last school attended and must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Information about transfer credit is provided in the next section.
  3. High school transcripts, if fewer than 12 semester hours are transferrable.
  4. SAT/ACT scores, if applicant is under the age of 21 and fewer than 12 semester hours are transferred.

Guaranteed Admission

Students who have completed an associate’s degree and are transferring from a Virginia community college to Norfolk State University may be granted junior status. For a complete description of the agreement, please visit the NSU website.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is acceptable for coursework with a grade of “C” or better from regionally accredited institutions of higher learning. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis may be considered for transfer credit if the official college or university transcript or official attachments indicate that a passing grade is equivalent to a grade of “C” or better. No more than 30 pass/fail semester credit hours may be considered for transfer credit. Two copies of the Certificate of Advanced Standing (CAS) will be generated for all accepted transfer students. The CAS must be submitted to the academic advisor for review and approval during the transfer orientation session. Academic departments will make the final determination of credits accepted toward the chosen curriculum.

Other Sources of Transfer Credit

Additional transfer credits may be obtained in the following ways:

  1. Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)

    Students who attain scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations administered by the College Board are eligible to receive credit on the basis of these tests. Scores should be forwarded directly from the College Board to the University. Information concerning the College Board Advanced Placement Examinations may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, or from high school counselors and teachers. All AP scores must be sent to the Office of Admissions prior to enrollment.
  2. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    Students who attain satisfactory scores on the Subject Examinations College Level Examination Program (CLEP) under the auspices of the College Entrance Examination Board are eligible to receive course credit on the basis of such tests. However, the CLEP examination must be completed prior to or during enrollment at Norfolk State. Academic advisors should be consulted to determine whether credits can be applied to the curriculum. Students applying for CLEP credit must have scores sent directly to the Office of the Registrar, Norfolk State University, 700 Park Ave., Norfolk, VA 23504. (Military service veterans who were administered CLEP through the DANTES program must have CLEP scores reported directly to the University from DANTES.)

    Selected CLEP Subject Examinations are offered at nationwide test centers on a monthly basis. CLEP registration information may be obtained from the NSU website.
  3. American College Testing Proficiency Examination Program (ACT PEP)

    Students seeking admission to the Baccalaureate Program in Nursing for Registered Nurses and who are not recent graduates of an articulating institution may receive 34 hours of lower level nursing credit through ACT PEP. These examinations are offered at test centers throughout the nation. For more information, contact the Department of Nursing at (757) 823- 9013.
  4. Credit for Military Service

    Honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces may be granted credit for military science and certain courses in health and physical education upon presentation of the Report of Transfer or Discharge (DD 214) to the Admissions Office. These forms should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment.
  5. International Baccalaureate Exams

    Students who attain scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7 on International Baccalaureate Examinations (IB) are eligible to receive credit on the basis of these tests. All IB scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions prior to enrollment.

Applying as an International Student

When applying for admission as an international forwarded directly from the College Board to the student, the applicant must provide the following:

  • An application completed in full and a non-refundable application fee of $45, payable in U.S. funds, or an official fee waiver.
  • Official or certified copies of all academic work and examination results in native language and in English.
  • Proof of English language proficiency for non-native English speakers.
  • SAT I or ACT scores for undergraduate applicants under the age of 21. Two letters of recommendation.
  • Financial documents, including notarized affidavit of support, student certification form, and bank statements.

Additional documents may be required.

Due to the length of time required to obtain U.S. visas, applications for admission must be received 4 months prior to the semester applicants wish to enroll. Contact the Office of Admissions for detailed application information and instructions.

Non-Degree Admission

Persons who are seeking teacher certification, or who do not wish to pursue a degree program, may enroll in non-degree status at Norfolk State University. Students on academic or disciplinary suspension are ineligible to apply as a non-degree-seeking student. Applicants should be prepared to present official credentials upon request. Financial aid is not available for non-degree students except for those seeking teacher certification. Non-degree status does not guarantee future admission.

Non-degree students will not be considered as candidates for a degree or certificate until all admissions requirements are met and an application for enrollment is made and approved through the Office of Admissions. The University requires that a student apply for a degree program after completing 29 semester hours. Non-degree students are not required to obtain a Certificate of Advanced Standing. A $45 non-refundable application fee is required. Eligible non-degree-seeking students are required to meet with the department head for each course in which he/she would like to register.

Non-degree international students must submit a copy of TOEFL scores or a transcript showing completion of three semester hours of college-level English with a grade of "C" or better.

Special Programs

Admission to the Nursing Program

Admission to the programs within the Department of Nursing is competitive and based on criteria that include completion of high school or college prerequisites, demonstrated ability in mathematics and the natural sciences, competitive grade point average in previous academic work, and other requirements as specified in literature that may be obtained directly from the Department of Nursing or http://www.nsu.edu.

Partnership for Academic and Student Success (PASSport)

Norfolk State University and several Virginia Community Colleges have created The Partnership for Academic and Student Success (PASSport) to assist students who wish to attend NSU but need additional academic preparation prior to engaging in collegiate study. The purpose of the program is to provide access and support to promising students who do not initially qualify for enrollment at NSU. Please contact the Office of Admissions (757) 823-2607 for additional information regarding the program.


Any former undergraduate who has not attended Norfolk State University for two or more spring or fall terms must complete an undergraduate readmission application form, students may re-apply at www.nsu.edu/registrar. If the student has taken any college-level coursework since attending NSU, he or she must have an official transcript of this work sent directly to the Office of the Registrar. Readmission applications and necessary transcripts must be on file at least two weeks prior to the term for which the student is applying to guarantee review.

Students who re-enter the University after an absence of two regular terms must meet the requirements of the current catalog unless they receive written permission from the dean of the school in which they are enrolled to continue under an earlier catalog. This written permission must be on file in the Office of the Registrar prior to the submission of a graduation application. A student may not receive permission to graduate under a catalog which predates re-enrollment by more than three years.

Reclamation Project

The Reclamation Project began in the fall of 1999 as an effort to reclaim former Norfolk State University students. Students who have been away from the University for more than five (5) years and who are over the age of 24 qualify for participation in this project. The overall management of the Reclamation Project is the responsibility of the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center/Office of Continuing Education. For additional information on the Reclamation Project, contact the reclamation advisor at (757) 368-4154.