How to Apply
To complete an application, follow the steps below.
Application and Fees
You are required to submit your online application and nonrefundable $35 application fee. The fee must be paid before the application will be processed or reviewed.
To submit an application you must create an application account. If you're a returning applicant, you can also log in to your account.
Statement of Purpose
A statement of purpose is required for admission consideration and must be uploaded to your online application.
Please include the following information in your statement:
- Reasons for pursuing graduate study
- Special interests within your chosen discipline
- Background preparation in your proposed field of study
- Relevant skills or experience that you have acquired
Some programs may have additional requirements. Refer to your intended program for more information.
Letters of Recommendation
Three (3) letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with your academic achievements. Your letter must meet the following requirements:
- Recommendations must be submitted to the Graduate School via the online application system. Recommenders will receive an email with the link and instructions at the email address you provide for them on your application.
- Letters cannot be more than two years old.
- We do not accept recommendation letters by paper, fax, or email. If received in any of these formats, they will be discarded.
Some programs may have other requirements. Refer to your intended program for more information.
Submit one official transcript from each college or university at which you have been enrolled or are currently enrolled. Include both undergraduate and graduate coursework, as well as continuing education credits (if applicable).
Here are the requirements for submitting official transcripts:
- Official original transcripts are required to be sent from each institution attended, whether or not a degree was earned, and even if courses were transferred to another university.
- In order to be considered for admission, your bachelor's degree must have been received from a college or university accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. If you attended a non-U.S. college or university, your degree must have been received from a recognized institution with degree requirements that are similar to those at North Dakota State University.
- Request to have the official transcript(s) sent in a sealed envelope directly to the NDSU Graduate School at the appropriate address listed below.
- We will not accept hard copy transcripts unless they are in the original sealed and stamped envelope; if a transcript has been opened or tampered with, it will be considered unofficial.
- We will accept electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, and Credential Solutions.
- We will not accept opened, scanned, emailed, or faxed transcripts.
Mailing Address (if using postal service):
NDSU Graduate School
NDSU Dept. 2820
PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108
Delivery Address (for courier deliveries):
NDSU Graduate School
106 Putnam Hall
1349 12th Avenue NW
Fargo, ND 58102
*If you have previously attended (or currently attend) NDSU, we will obtain a copy of your NDSU transcript. You do not need to request an official NDSU transcript to be sent to our office.
*If you have attended any institution(s) outside of the United States, you must follow the process to submit an international transcript.
Graduate Admission Exams
Some departments require the GRE or GMAT prior to admission. Please see the individual program pages for test requirements. All official test scores must be within five years of the date of the application to the Graduate School.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination) – Official GRE test scores should be sent electronically to NDSU (institution code 6474). A specific department code is not required.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) – Please arrange to have official test scores sent directly to the Graduate School.
All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship or residency, must demonstrate proficiency with the English language before they will be considered for admission to a graduate program.
This requirement may be met by applicants who have:
- Been raised in a recognized country where English is the only official language
- Earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a recognized institution in a recognized country where English is the only official language
- Achieved a satisfactory TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or Duolingo score (see details below)
*Please note that applicants meeting either of the first two criteria listed above may need to contact the Graduate School to ensure that the test of English proficiency requirement is waived.
TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo
Minimum score requirements:
- TOEFL: 71 (internet-based) or 525 (paper-based)
- IELTS: 6.0 (academic version)
- Duolingo: 100 (internet-based)
Some programs require a higher minimum score. Refer to graduate bulletin program pages for more information.
The official score must be received by the Graduate School before an application will be considered.
- Official TOEFL test scores must be sent electronically to NDSU (institution code 6474). A specific department code is not required.
- Official IELTS test scores must be sent by mail to the NDSU Graduate School. Please note that the academic version is required. The general training version will not be accepted for admission.
- Official Duolingo scores may be sent electronically to NDSU Graduate School.
The test date must be within two years of the date of the application to the Graduate School.
Once the Graduate School has received a complete application, it will be forwarded to the department for review. Each graduate program makes its own recommendation, but the final admission decision is the responsibility of the Dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The NDSU Graduate School application procedure places responsibility on the applicant to gather all supporting credentials and verifying that the application file is complete. The deadline for submission is dependent upon the program. If no deadline is listed on the program's bulletin page, all application materials are due at least one month prior the start of the semester.
If you choose to apply to more than one graduate program, submit a new statement of purpose and a $35 application fee. If you would like to use any previously submitted documents, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If it has been more than two years since your previous application was submitted, you must also request three new online letters of recommendation, new test scores, if required, and any new transcripts. If you wish to change the program you are applying to after you have submitted the application form, you must complete a new application.
Any transcripts, certificates, translations, or examination results that appear irregular will be verified with the appropriate school or examination authorities, and the application process will be delayed until verification is received. If it is determined that an applicant has submitted false records or omitted information about previous school attendance, his/her application will be denied, and legal action may be taken.
Please Note: Once received, all application materials become the property of North Dakota State University's Graduate School and will not be returned.