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Applying to a Graduate Program at PSU

Application to a graduate program at PSU (master's, doctoral, or graduate certificate) is a two-step process. You must submit two separate (different) applications: one to the Office of Admissions, and the other directly to the department.

The University application consists of:

  • Application form
  • $50 application fee
  • One official (sealed) transcript from each post-secondary institution
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic scores (for applicants whose first language is not English)

For the online University application and additional information, click here. If you are unable to apply online, paper applications are available on our forms page.

The required elements of a department application vary based on program needs and goals. Typical requirements include:

  • Departmental application
  • Transcripts, either official or unofficial as determined by the department
  • Personal essay/statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores, e.g., GRE (not required by all programs)
  • Additional requirements may include items such as writing samples or a portfolio

You will need to obtain full information and required application materials directly from the department you are applying to. We provide a list of graduate programs here. Also, the Office of Admissions provides a list of graduate programs that includes information about application dates and standardized test scores.

The Office of Graduate Studies is not directly involved with graduate admissions, but we do offer admissions advising and Graduate Informational Sessions. Please contact Karen Popp at (503) 725-8402 or for assistance.

University requirements for graduate admission

All applicants for a graduate degree or certificate program must meet minimum University admission requirements, which include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum GPA.  For Regular admission, applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher. Applicants who have already earned 9 or more letter-graded graduate credits must have a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher; this GPA supersedes the undergraduate GPA. For University Conditional admission, applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA between 2.50 and 2.74.
  • One official transcript from every college or university attended (except PSU), including junior colleges and community colleges
  • $50 application fee
  • Recommendation for admission from the appropriate graduate program


International applicants must also submit:

  • Official degree certificate/diploma
  • Evidence of English language proficiency; for details about minimum required scores see the Graduate English Language Proficiency Requirements
  • Financial documentation demonstrating adequate financial support for at least the first year of study

In cases when a student does not meet minimum University admission requirements, departments may choose to submit a Graduate Admission – Special Approval Request (GO-20 form) to the Office of Graduate Studies. This process may only be initiated by a department.

Three-Year Bridge program

This program is an alternate method of meeting graduate admission requirements. It is designed for international students coming from non-Bologna-compliant three-year baccalaureate degree programs recognized by the Ministries of Education in their home countries. This program comprises approximately one year of academic study intended to bridge the differences between the applicant’s degree and a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree. Students are invited to participate in this program only if they have been recommended for admission by their departments.

Departmental requirements

A department may have additional admission requirements based on previous academic achievement, scores on Graduate Record Examinations or other tests, letters of recommendation, a portfolio, or an autobiographical statement. Information regarding departmental requirements can only be obtained directly from the specific department. Admission is selective and meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The number of students admitted to a particular program is limited to the resources available.