Responsibility for admitting applicants to graduate programs rests with the Dean of the Graduate Studies in consort with the advice of the departmental Program Coordinators and Graduate Admission Committees for each graduate program. Standards applied by the UMES Graduate School and the departmental programs are to ensure that students admitted are highly qualified and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing a graduate program. In order to maintain programs of outstanding quality, the number of spaces in each program may be limited by the availability of faculty, and departmental and campus resources. In addition, there is a 30% ceiling on out‐of‐state (including international) admissions and enrollment.
Graduate credit for courses will not be given unless students have been admitted to the UMES Graduate School or have its consent if a UMES senior, according to the pertinent policy set in the Graduate School Catalog.
Criteria for Admission (Master’s and Doctoral)
Those who have earned or will earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or the US credit hours equivalent of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from another country, will be considered for admission to the UMES Graduate School. A “regionally accredited college or university” refers to accreditation by one of the six regional accrediting associations in the US recognized by the US Department of Education.
Students may apply for admission to UMES during or after their final year of undergraduate or graduate study, but must furnish proof of degree award before the end of their first term of enrollment at UMES. Students applying for admission to a Master’s or Doctoral degree program in a field of specialization in which they already hold a Master’s or Doctoral degree or its equivalent, may do so only if the previous degree program was of a substantially different character or was not accredited by a regional association.
Admission is open to non‐US citizens (permanent residents, immigrants or non‐immigrants). There is no separate application process for these applicants.
The decision to admit an applicant to a program is based primarily on a combination of the following criteria, which are consistent with requirements of the specific graduate programs:
- The quality of previous undergraduate and, as applicable, graduate work: The UMES Graduate School requires as a minimum standard, a “B” average or 3.0 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale, in a program of study resulting in the award of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited US college or university, or the US credit hours equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree from another country. Graduate Admissions Committees look closely at courses studied and grades earned in the major area of study. The student’s undergraduate program should include completion of any prerequisites for graduate study in the chosen field. In individual programs where resources are available, applicants who do not meet the above minimum standard for their undergraduate work, may be provisionally‐admitted if there is evidence, on the basis of other criteria, of a reasonable likelihood of success in the program the applicant desires to enter. Doctoral program applicants will also submit Master’s program transcripts.
- Strength of letters of evaluation (recommendation): Three letters of evaluation are required from persons competent to judge the applicant’s probable success in graduate school. Usually, these letters are from the applicant’s former instructors who are able to give an in‐depth evaluation of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to academic work. For applicants who have been out of school for a number of years, evaluations may come from employers or supervisors who are familiar with the applicant’s work experience and strengths and weaknesses. Applicants should request their references to send the letters of evaluation directly to the Graduate School.
- Scores on a nationally standardized examination (as may be required by a program): Because the predictive utility of these scores may vary from one group of applicants to another, a discriminating use of all relevant materials will be made in each applicant’s case. The most widely used standardized examinations at UMES are the Graduate Record Examinations and the PRAXIS (formerly the National Teachers Examination).
- The Statement of Purpose: The Statement of Purpose form is used by the applicant to explain why he/she wishes to pursue graduate study at UMES; and the applicant’s career objectives and/or research interests which are pertinent to the intended program of study. The Statement of Purpose helps the specific graduate program to identify applicants whose purposes are compatible with the objectives of the graduate program.
- Other evidence of preparation: Individual programs may require a personal interview, a writing sample essay or evidence of prior work experience in the field of study.
Policy on Applicant Rejection
UMES may review a number of different factors to determine whether to admit an applicant to a graduate program, including but not limited to academic achievement, personal and professional references, scores on admission examinations, writing samples, personal interviews, character and integrity, personality, and potential to perform as a graduate student and as applicable to a profession. Applicants should consider licensing/registration/credential requirements of a profession in which past personal history or conviction/criminal record may restrict completion of a degree program (the professional phase) and the eligibility to practice in a profession if graduated from a program.
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
Although not all graduate programs at UMES require the GRE, almost all will use such test scores as an additional measure of an applicant’s qualifications. The GRE may be taken in either or both of two forms: the General Test, and the Subject Test. Applicants can take the test(s) in their senior year or when submitting the application for admission. Note that some programs may require the GRE test scores prior to an admissions decision.
For details on registering for the tests, applicants should visit the Educational Testing Service’s website at www.ets.org/gre.
The UMES institutional code for the GRE is 5400.
GRE scores should be at least at the 50th percentile for the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, and at least a 4.0 in the analytical writing section.
Applicants should take the Subject Test package appropriate for the program to which they are seeking admission.
For information on the UMES graduate programs requiring the GRE, consult the specific graduate program in this Catalog.
Official test scores should be sent directly to the Graduate School.
Photocopies of test score results are acceptable for initial review, but not for Regular Admission status should the test score(s) be required by the program.
Categories of Admission to Degree Programs
Regular or Full Graduate Status
For admission to this category, an applicant must have received a baccalaureate degree and, if applicable, a Master’s degree, from a regionally accredited institution (defined above in Criteria for Admission) or the US equivalent of a bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in another country, and be otherwise fully qualified in the judgment of the individual program and the Graduate School.
Provisional Graduate Status
This designation may be used by the graduate program:
- when quality of the previous academic record at a regionally‐accredited institution in the US or abroad is lower than established standards (see Criteria for Admission section above, item 1.) or when there is a lack of adequate prerequisite course work in the chosen field;
- when applicants have majored in another program area with a creditable record but there is some doubt about their ability to pursue the chosen program of study;
- when the applicant is engaged in undergraduate or graduate study at another institution but is not able to furnish a transcript indicating completion of course work or degree requirements; or
- when the applicant has completed a baccalaureate or Master’s degree but has not yet submitted official verification of the last semester’s work and receipt of the degree.
Final official transcripts indicating receipt of the degree must be submitted before the end of the first semester of enrollment at UMES.
Conditions to correct any deficiencies in preparation for graduate study at UMES will be outlined by the faculty. Full‐time matriculated students are expected to remove condition(s) for provisional admission within the time period stated on the admission recommendation form, normally within the first year of matriculation depending upon the program (e.g., the first two consecutive semesters which might include the adjacent summer). Part‐time matriculated students are expected to remove condition(s) of provisional admission no later than the end of the second year of matriculation (the fourth semester which might include the adjacent summer, depending on the program).
When all conditions have been met, the program may recommend admission of the student to full or regular status. This statement also applies to any conditions set by the Graduate School (e.g., degree award, final/original transcript, etc.). Regular status is required to obtain the degree. Students who are unable to qualify for full admission under the conditions specified (e.g., by failure to fulfill them) will have their admission terminated.
Advanced Special Student Status
The Advanced Special Student Status is designed for individuals who do not have an immediate degree objective in mind, but wish to take graduate level courses for personal or professional enrichment. Although the primary mission of the UMES Graduate School is to conduct programs of graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees, the Graduate Faculty welcomes, to the extent that resources allow, qualified students who have no degree objectives. Unofficial transcripts or photocopies of degrees will be accepted with the application for evaluation purposes, but by the end of the first semester of enrollment, the student must submit official copies of all required documents. Official transcripts must be submitted from all institutions attended except for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; the Graduate Studies office obtains the UMES transcript. Since Advanced Special Students enroll in the same classes as degree‐seeking students and are subject to the same course prerequisites, standards for admission to this status cannot be lower than what the degree programs would allow for regular or provisional admission.
Applicants for admission to Advanced Special Student Status must hold a baccalaureate degree and satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a US regionally accredited institution or the US credit hours equivalent of this degree from another country, with an overall “B” (3.0) average. Applicants must submit official transcripts covering all credits used in satisfying the baccalaureate degree requirements;
- Hold a Master’s or Doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution, or the equivalent of these degrees from another country. Applicants must submit an official transcript showing the award of a Master’s or Doctoral degree;
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or the US credit hours equivalent of this degree from another country, a cumulative GPA of 2.75 and have successful post‐baccalaureate work or professional experience. Applicants must submit an official transcript showing the award of the baccalaureate degree, and summarize their post‐baccalaureate work or professional experience on that section of the application form or submit a resume;
- Achieve a score which would place an applicant in the upper 50th percentile of appropriate national standardized aptitude examinations such as the GRE or Miller’s Analogies Test.
Admission to Advanced Special Student Status is granted by the Dean of Graduate Studies for a period of five years. Advanced Special Students must meet course prerequisites and maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. There are restrictions on graduate courses in which Advanced Special Students may not enroll (e.g., Physical Therapy, the MAT, and the Doctoral weekend programs). Heavy enrollment programs such as Applied Computer Science require that Advanced Special Students who will earn six credit hours in Applied Computer Science courses with a grade of B or better must apply to the graduate program in Applied Computer Science before taking any further courses in Applied Computer Science if they seek that graduate program. Registration for Advanced Special Students Status in the Applied Computer Science program is restricted.
Advanced Special Students must pay all standard graduate fees. Students in this status are not part of any of the UMES graduate programs, and therefore are not eligible to hold any Graduate Assistantships or receive similar forms of financial aid. All other services, e.g., parking, library privileges, etc., are the same as those accorded to other graduate students.
Admission to Advanced Special Student Status is not intended to be used as a preparatory program for later admission to a Doctoral or Master’s program. Only six credits earned while in this status may be applicable to a degree or certificate program at a later time, with the approval of the faculty in the desired program, if the student is subsequently accepted for a degree or certificate program. For consideration of admission to a degree or certificate program, a student must submit the application for degree program form and meet all admission requirements, including an overall grade point average of 2.75 among the graduate courses taken at UMES.
Because Advanced Special Student is a non‐degree status, it is not allowable for international applicants on a F‐1 (student) visa. Advanced Special Student Status is allowable for F‐2 visa holders (dependents) and may be allowable in some instances for other visa holders (e.g., H‐1).
The application deadline for consideration of Advanced Special Student Status is no later than ten (10) school days prior to the registration date set for each semester or session.
Visiting Graduate Student Status
A graduate student matriculated in another graduate school and who wishes to enroll in the UMES Graduate School but intends, thereafter, to return to the graduate school in which he/she is matriculated, may be admitted as a Visiting Graduate Student. (NOTE: This section does not apply to graduate students matriculated within the University System of Maryland campuses, who should follow the provisions given in a later section on the Inter‐Campus Enrollment ; however, inter‐institutional enrollment for Salisbury University and UMES students follows the section below on “Collaborative Programs with Salisbury University”.)
Criteria for enrollment as a Visiting Graduate Student are admission to and good academic standing in another recognized graduate school. The applicant need not submit full transcripts of credits, but must apply for admission to the UMES Graduate School (the application form for non‐degree) and pay the application fee. In lieu of transcripts, a student may have his/her graduate administrator certify in writing to the UMES Graduate School that the student is in good standing and that the credits to be earned at UMES will be accepted toward the graduate degree at the home institution. Unless otherwise specified, admission to this status will be offered for one year only.
The application deadline for consideration under this status is one month prior to the registration date set for each semester or session for full‐time study, and ten (10) school days for part‐time study.
Golden Identification Card for Senior Citizens of Maryland
The purpose of this identification is to make available, without charge, courses and services of the University to citizens who are 60 years of age or older, who are residents of the State of Maryland and who are retired (retired persons will be considered those who affirm that they are not engaged in gainful employment for more than 20 hours per week). Persons who meet these requirements may apply for graduate admission, either as degree or non‐degree students, and must meet the same admissions criteria pertaining to either category as do all applicants. Once admitted and having been issued the Golden Identification Card, these persons may register for courses in any semester/session, subject to the same restrictions as any other student, and use the library and other campus facilities during the time they are enrolled in courses. Tuition and fees charges will be waived for holders of the Golden Identification Card. See latest release of the UMES application for Graduate Admission package, for more information on this section on this program.
Non‐degree Student Status ‐ Undergraduate
This is an undergraduate classification. It may be assigned by the Director of Admissions (Undergraduate Division) to those applicants who have received the baccalaureate or an advanced degree from a regionally‐accredited institution but who do not desire, or who do not qualify for graduate admission. Non‐degree seeking students who do not have a baccalaureate degree must submit transcripts and meet regular admission standards. Transcripts are not required from students with baccalaureate degrees.
Application for “Non‐degree Student Status‐‐Undergraduate” (Special Student) must be made directly to the Office of Admissions, not to the Graduate School.
The student is advised that no credit earned while in a “Non‐degree Student Status‐Undergraduate” may be applied at a later date to a graduate degree program at UMES.
Collaborative Programs with Salisbury University
Students matriculated into a graduate program at either Salisbury University (SU) or UMES or for the joint Master of Arts in Teaching Program, follow the modified procedures for the Visiting Graduate Student Status to enroll in classes at either institution. Students use the inter‐institutional concurrent enrollment process for any eligible semester or session class taken with the host institution.
Offer of Admission and Deferments
A written offer of admission is made by the Graduate School to all accepted applicants and specifies the date of entrance (semester or session). The offer of admission also permits the applicant to register for courses. Graduate credit for courses taken at UMES will not be given unless students have been admitted to the UMES Graduate School.
Individuals whose original offers of admission have lapsed, or lapsed after one requested deferment of the date of entrance (up to a 12‐month period), must submit a new application and fee if they want to be reconsidered for admission at a later date.
Applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to a graduate program are notified in writing, usually by the program. The Graduate School informs non‐degree applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining admission.
A student can be admitted to only one graduate program at any one time. There are no dual degree programs at the graduate level. Applications may be sent to more than one graduate program for review, but only one offer of admission to one degree program will be granted.
Admission Time Limits for Degree Programs
Applicants admitted to a Master’s degree program must complete all program requirements within a five‐year period of the date of entrance specified in the offer of admission or deferred admission. Applicants admitted to a Doctoral degree program (traditional or accelerated and intensive) must be admitted to candidacy status within five years of the date of entrance specified in the offer of admission, after which another four‐year period is permitted for the completion of the remaining requirements.
Change of Degree‐Level, Program or Status
Students are admitted only to a specified program and within that program only for the specified objective (e.g., Master’s or Doctoral degree). If matriculated students wish to change either the program or their non‐program status (for example, from Advanced Special Student to degree status), they must submit a new appropriate application along with the Change of Degree Program form if applicable and provide any other form or information as specified. Admission to the new program and/or status is not granted automatically.
Students must be re‐admitted when the original objective has been attained. For example, when a student who is admitted for the Master’s degree completes the requirements for that degree, if the student wishes to continue for the Doctorate, a new application for admission to the Doctoral program must be submitted. However, programs which offer both the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees may consider qualified baccalaureate students for a probationary period before full admission into the Doctoral degree program. Their requests for admission to the Doctoral program are subject to the same review process applied to others seeking admission to that program.
Termination of Admission (Time Limits; Grades; Academic Probation & Dismissal; Academic Suspension)
A student’s admission terminates:
- when time limits for the completion of degree or non‐degree status expire;
- if the student is no longer in good academic standing with an academic dismissal;
- with voluntary withdrawal from a graduate program;
- with the failure to meet Provisional Admission conditions, and
- with the intent to defraud, among other actions.
To be in good academic standing, degree seeking students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 (‘B’) or better in all graduate courses taken for credit toward a degree program at UMES, and must also satisfy all additional requirements of the Graduate School and the specific graduate program. This makes them eligible to re‐enroll each semester/session without restriction.
For most programs, graduate students who receive academic probation notices from the Graduate School must comply with the following requirement in order to retain their admission status at UMES. They have two consecutive semesters in which to bring their cumulative grade point average back to 3.0 (“B”) after it falls below that level. Summer is an academic semester for programs with a required nine or more credit hour curriculum over the summer period. Some graduate programs may stipulate additional or more stringent academic probation and dismissal criteria (also see section on Grades for Graduate Students ).
Academic suspension temporarily interrupts a student’s continued enrollment for a specific time period, but allows the student to return to his/her admitted status. Academic dismissal is a termination of admission. It may be a permanent separation, or, if a graduate program allows, a separation for a time period, removed only by review by the program and acceptance of the case for reinstatement. Reinstatement involves special conditions to be met by the returning student.
The admission of all students, both degree and non‐degree, is continued at the discretion, as applicable, of the Academic Advisor or Committee, the department Chair, the Program Coordinator and the Graduate School.
The Graduate School form Application for Readmission or Reinstatement contains information on the process of seeking readmission or reinstatement. The student completes the front and back of the form, provides any additional materials needed and submits all to the graduate program for review and recommendation to the Graduate School for final action on acceptance or denial of the request.
Policy on Dismissal for Non‐Academic Reasons
UMES reserves the right to dismiss or refuse to graduate any student who does not maintain standards of academic and professional integrity, ethics, and conduct appropriate to the discipline/degree program during the student’s course of study at the University, including clinical experiences, practica, and internships.
Admission of Faculty
No member of the faculty employed by UMES with the rank of Assistant Professor or above is permitted to enroll in a graduate program leading to an advanced degree offered in his/her academic school. A faculty member who wishes to take course work for personal enrichment in his/her academic school may choose the Advanced Special Student status. A faculty member with rank of Assistant Professor or above who wishes to pursue an advanced degree (e.g. Doctorate) in a UMES graduate program outside of his/her academic school may do so by obtaining written permission from the Graduate School, subsequent to obtaining written consent from the Deans of both the academic school in which he/she is employed and that which he/ she seeks a degree.
Departments employing faculty below the rank of Assistant Professor must monitor and seek to avoid possible conflict of interest situations in cases of faculty appointments which will involve a dual role, as a teacher/researcher in the department and a matriculated graduate student in an advanced degree program housed in the department to which the faculty member is attached.