Application Requirements

The first step of the admissions process is submitting your application. An applicant must meet certain verifiable criteria to be considered for the admission process. This criteria, outlined below, includes minimum grade point average (GPA) and language proficiency requirements.

Questions asked on the application help our review committees and support staff determine whether a candidate is viable for an admission recommendation. Please remember to answer all application questions truthfully and to the fullest extent. It is the responsibility of the applicant to follow-up with support documentation that was not submitted with the application. Email any additional documentation to and include your full name and Transaction ID if available.

In all cases, UMBC administers its admissions, educational services, and supporting services in a manner that does not discriminate by race, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or handicap.

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GPA & Transcripts

The Graduate School recommends applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA or “B” average when applying. For transcripts from schools abroad, the UMBC Graduate School will accept official WES (World Education Services) ICAP Course-by-Course evaluations but note that these evaluations are not required.

Students who are unable to meet the minimum GPA standards may still be admitted to graduate study by demonstrating outstanding performance on one or more of the graduate aptitude tests or by providing letters of recommendation from evaluators who can speak to the applicant’s performance as a student or in a professional capacity.

Standards for admission to a doctoral program are generally higher than those for admission to a master’s program. The terms of this admission are based on specific recommendations made by the applicant’s department in conjunction with the Graduate School.

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Standardized Tests (GRE)

Many programs require the submission of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) Aptitude test scores (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing). Some programs further require GRE Advanced (subject-specific) scores, or scores from other standardized tests. Required tests are listed on each program’s page.

GRE waivers are occasionally granted by the department for applicants in certain situations. For example, a mid-career student whose undergraduate experience is not recent or is different from the graduate field of interest. Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for your program of interest to inquire about a waiver.

For more information on these standardized tests including practice tests, test dates, and test registration contact Graduate Record Examinations, Educational Testing Service, 1-866-473-4373 (citizens of United States and Canada) or 1-609-771-7670 (all other countries) or visit the Web site at

Our ETS institution code is 5835.

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Language Requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an English Language Test outlined on our International Admissions page.

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Transfer Credits

The Graduate School will allow the transfer of up to six credit hours for academic coursework taken at a regionally accredited institution of higher education in subject areas that are considered part of the student’s UMBC master’s degree program curriculum. UMBC students enrolled in the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program may transfer up to nine or twelve graduate credits that were used toward the baccalaureate degree into the master’s degree program.

Click here for more information on the transfer of credit policy.


Other Requirements

Some programs require additional evidence of ability to succeed in the respective graduate program. These assessment tools may include a portfolio, an interview, or other assessments. Applicants are encouraged to review the Program Descriptions and Required Documents on this website.

Click here for a more in-depth reading of our Admission Policies. 

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Defer Admission

Newly admitted students may defer their admission to the Graduate School for up to one academic year (or two semesters). The Deferral of Admission form, along with detailed instructions on the deferral process, can be found on our Student Forms page.

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New Application Exemptions

Outlined below are the few times that students and alumni are not required to submit a new application to the Graduate School:

  • Doctoral graduate returning to take additional courses in the same program
  • Non-degree student returning after an absence of one or more semesters (contact the Graduate School for reinstatement)
  • Degree-seeking applicant changing application to a different program before an admission decision has been made
  • Master’s applicant changing application to a doctoral applicant within the same department before an admission decision has been made
  • Master’s student applying to a doctoral program in the same department after enrolling
  • Doctoral student changing to a master’s degree program

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