Admission Policies

Graduate credits toward a degree offered by the University are earned only after formal admission to graduate study.

Students must apply for formal acceptance into a degree or licensure program. Applications remain active for one calendar year. Applications that are not complete after one year will be inactivated and an admission decision will not be made. Further registration will be prevented until the application is reactivated.

A maximum of nine semester hours (SH) of NCE credit taken as a non-degree seeking or admissions pending student prior to formal admission may apply toward a degree or certificate of advanced study. Students who fail to complete the admission process before the end of their first term will not be permitted to register for the next term. Only admitted students are eligible for federal financial aid and for graduate degrees.

In addition to the NLU Graduate Admission Requirements, applicants must submit all of the following to the Office of Admissions prior to consideration for admission to any NCE graduate program:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended for applicants to licensure programs; official transcripts from institutions in which a final degree was earned (showing the final degree) for applicants to NCE degree programs that do not lead to licensure
  • A list of three references to include supervisors, employers, professors or others who have known the applicant in a professional or academic capacity. This requirement is waived for applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Some programs require letters of recommendation. See admission requirements for individual programs.

To be admitted, applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and show evidence in undergraduate work of the ability to pursue graduate study, demonstrated by a grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale in the last 60 hours of coursework. Applicants with graduate degrees from regionally accredited institutions will have only the GPA from that advanced degree count toward admission. To be eligible to enter an NCE graduate program with full admission status, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students with GPAs between 2.5 and 2.99 may be accepted with a four-course review status. 


Other documents in support of the application are weighted according to the applicant’s individual profile and the specific academic requirements of the program for which he or she is applying. Interviews prior to admission may be required at the discretion of the program director.

Please see the Degree Types section and specific programs for additional admission requirements.