Admission Review and Application Process FAQs
- What is the most important part of the application?
Applications and their supplemental items are reviewed holistically. Admission decisions are made based on all the materials submitted, i.e. educational background and grades, work experience (if any), standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and any written statements or essays required for your intended program of study.
- Who should write my recommendation letters?
Recommendation letters should be written by someone familiar with your previous academic work. Recommendations from professors from your undergraduate major field of study are ideal. However if you have been out of school for a considerable time you should seek someone who can comment on your background, experiences, capacity to succeed and motivation. Employers, supervisors or other professionals are all appropriate choices while friends and family or fellow students are not.
- What are the minimum GRE/GMAT scores required for admission?
There are no minimum scores set by the Office of Graduate Admissions. We review the entire application file. For example, higher test scores may compensate for a lower GPA and vice versa.
- Will my application be considered if I haven’t taken my GRE/GMAT/MAT/IELTS yet?
The Graduate School does not review incomplete applications. All credentials must be submitted before an application is reviewed. Some of our programs have standardized test waivers. Please visit our standardized test waivers list for more information.
- Do I need to submit GRE, GMAT or MAT scores if i already have a master’s degree?
The GRE/GMAT/MAT may be waived for certain programs if a master’s degree or higher was awarded from an accredited United States college or university. It may also be waived for certain programs for applicants who submit a course by course evaluation of their overseas coursework from a NACES member indicating a master’s degree or higher was earned. Please review our standardized test waivers list for your program of interest for the most up to date information on whether the GRE/GMAT/MAT can be waived. Doctoral programs do not offer applicants waivers for the GRE.
- Can I apply before I have graduated with my bachelor’s degree?
Students who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree work may apply during their last term as undergraduates. An unofficial copy of your transcript may be submitted along with your application. After admission, a final, official transcript indicating that you have received your baccalaureate degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Do I have an advisor for my program?
The Graduate Program Coordinators (GPC)/ Doctoral Program Directors (DPD) are a valuable resource who can help students in the early stages of exploring which program is right for them. The GPC or DPD will provide students with detailed information regarding an intended course of study. They will also help you with course selection, overall curriculum planning, research opportunities and career goals. Please refer to the list of Graduate Program Coordinators to find the name and contact information for the GPC / DPD for your program.
- How long will you keep my application materials on file? We will keep your application materials on file for two academic terms if you do not complete the application.
- When and how do I know if I’ve been accepted?
Once the application is complete, the Office of Graduate Admissions will conduct a preliminary review of all submitted materials. If the minimum admission requirements have been met, your application will then be forwarded for departmental review. Once an admission decision has been made, applicants will receive notification via email and will be able to access their official letter on their Portal. The length of this process varies by program but the Office of Graduate Admissions works to provide decisions in a timely manner.
- Can I take courses as a non-degree student before being accepted into a program?
It may be possible to take some courses before being accepted into a program, but not all courses may be available to students who are not already in a program. Please visit our Non-Degree and Visiting Students page for more information.
Uploading Unofficial Transcripts
- What is the difference between an Official and an Unofficial Transcript?
An official transcript is produced by an institution’s Registrar’s Office and is traditionally delivered to the receiving institution electronically or in a sealed envelope. An official transcript sent to a student remains official provided that it remains in its original sealed envelope.
- An unofficial transcript can appear in any of the following forms:
- A downloaded version printed from a student portal.
- An official transcript issued to the student that has been opened/removed from its original sealed envelope
- A scanned copy of an official transcript
- What does the Office of Graduate Admissions require me to submit?
You are required to submit a transcript from every college/university that you’ve ever attended. After submitting your application, we encourage you to submit unofficial transcripts, as that will expedite the time that it takes to process and complete your application.
After admission to your graduate program of study, an official transcript from each institution indicating degree conferment will be required.
- What are acceptable copies of transcripts?
Unofficial transcripts need to meet all of the guidelines below:
- Every transcript must be uploaded as its own separate attachment.
- Transcripts must be clearly legible and saved in PDF format.
- Transcripts must contain your full name and the name of your institution.
- Any sensitive information (e.g. SSN) must be redacted.
- Transcripts must include all class history and grades, including those courses in progress.
Please note that unofficial transcripts must be scanned copies or downloaded directly from your institution; photos of transcripts are not accepted. If scanning with a smartphone, we recommend using either Adobe Scan or CamScanner.
- How can I upload my unofficial transcript(s)?
Upon submitting your application, you will have the ability to upload materials via your Application Portal. Under your Application Checklist, you’ll notice checklist item(s) entitled “Transcript for School” for each institution that you listed in your academic history.Click on “Upload Materials” to get started. From there, select “Unofficial Transcript” from the drop down menu, and select “Choose File”. Select the document that you’d like to upload and click the “Upload” button to continue. After uploading, you will notice that the document that you uploaded appears in the Application Checklist as “Unofficial Transcript”. This will remain until the Office of Graduate Admissions has the opportunity to review and verify that your unofficial transcript(s) meet all of the requirements listed above (within 3 business days). Once that verification takes place, your transcript will be labeled with the corresponding name of the institution and marked as “Received”; you will also receive an e-mail confirmation.
- What do I do if I have any questions about my transcript or application?
The fastest way to reach us is via e-mail: email@example.com.
- If I studied at an institution outside of the US, what educational background is needed to be eligible to apply to the Office of Graduate Admissions?
The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to apply to all programs, including non-degree study, and does not evaluate transcripts of non-U.S. degree programs and coursework. ALL foreign transcripts must receive a course by course evaluation and U.S. degree equivalency information from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Please contact a NACES member to receive an application for evaluation of foreign credentials. You must include instructions on the application to send a copy of the evaluation to the Office of Graduate Admissions at Montclair State University. You must also provide the NACES member with copies of your transcripts from all previous educational institutions, along with certified English translations. This requirement cannot be waived.
- If my foreign transcripts are already translated into English, do I still need to have them evaluated?
Yes. ALL foreign transcripts must receive a course by course evaluation and U.S. degree equivalency information from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You may provide your own or you can be considered for a free evaluation provided to a limited number of students by Montclair State University. Additional information regarding the transcript evaluation process can be found on the Graduate Transcript Evaluation Options and Process website. This requirement cannot be waived.
- Do I need to submit English Proficiency Testing?
Yes. ALL international students, with the exception of those eligible to receive a waiver, must submit proof of English proficiency. Unofficial score reports are not accepted. Students must have official scores sent directly from the testing agency to Montclair State University. Information on approved testing and minimum required scores can be found on the International Graduate Applicants website.
- Do I need to submit an enrollment deposit?
Yes. We require ALL international F1/J1 seeking students to submit a $200 enrollment deposit upon admission. As an international student, our goal is to ensure that you are supported and provided the best opportunities when you arrive on campus. Your enrollment deposit will be applied as a credit toward your tuition and fees. The enrollment deposit is non-transferable and non-refundable. It may be deferred for up to one academic year should you decide to attend in a future semester. If you are offered admission to one of our graduate programs, the deadline to submit your enrollment deposit is as follows:
- Spring: December 1st
- Fall: July 1st
- What is the cost to attend Montclair State University?
For the most up to date tuition and fee information, please visit the Student Accounts website.
- Does Montclair State offer financial assistance?
If you are a U.S. citizen/resident and you are planning to apply for a student loan, you must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is located online and can be accessed from the Office of Financial Aid website. If you have any questions about the financial aid process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 973-655-4461.
- Does Montclair State offer assistantships or scholarships?
A limited number of graduate assistantships and graduate scholarships are available for all students, including international students, and are awarded annually through The Graduate School. Please check the Financing Your Education section of our website for more information.
- How do I apply for a Graduate, Teaching, or Doctoral Assistantship?
If you have not yet applied for admission, you will have the opportunity to indicate interest in being considered for an assistantship while filling out your application for admission to your academic program of choice. Indicating interest in this way will place you on the list of interested students for the semester for which you are applying for admission. If you are a current student and would like to be considered for an assistantship, you must e-mail your first and last name, CWID, and the semester that you would like to be considered for an assistantship to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may only request placement on the list for one semester at a time.
- I indicated interest in an assistantship. Does that mean I automatically get one?
No. Assistantship positions are highly competitive. Each department evaluates the students who have indicated interest in being considered for a position, and engages in a hiring process from there. If a department is interested in meeting with you regarding an available position, they will contact you directly. For Fall positions, departments can hire assistants any time from March through July. For Spring positions, departments can hire assistants any time from October through January. Hiring outside of these time frames occurs occasionally, in order to fill vacancies as necessary.
How to Apply
- How do I apply?
To apply for a degree, certification, certificate or non degree program you must complete a Graduate Application and include all required credentials. Visit our How to Apply page for more details.
- Can I take courses before being accepted into a program?
It may be possible to take some courses before being accepted into a program. Please visit our Non-Degree and Visiting Students page for more information.
- Can I take classes without being enrolled in a graduate program?
The Graduate School offers the ability to take classes in a non-degree capacity. Please visit our Non-Degree and Visiting Students page for more information.
General FAQ/Current Students
- Does Montclair State offer assistantships or scholarships?
A limited number of graduate assistantships and graduate scholarships are available for all students, including international students, and are awarded annually through The Graduate School. Please check the Financial Information page for requirements and deadlines.
- How long can I take to complete my graduate program?
It is the goal of the The Graduate School and university faculty to help every student achieve their degree in a timely fashion. The University has policies regarding time limitation for completion of study. However, many programs may have specific timelines for completion.
- Can I enroll on a part-time basis?
Many of our graduate students attend Montclair State on a part-time basis. To accommodate these students, most of our classes are scheduled in the late afternoons, evenings and on Saturdays. Some courses are available in a hybrid or online format. During the fall and spring semesters, most courses meet once a week. Summer sessions usually include day and evening classes which meet more than once a week. Please keep in mind that although the majority of our programs can be completed part-time, there are several that require full-time enrollment.
- What do I do if I have additional questions?
If you have additional questions which are not addressed above please contact The Graduate School: