General Graduate Admissions Policies & Procedures

Admission Criteria

Faculty in each degree program establish admission standards for the individual graduate program, which may exceed the minimum standards set by Colorado Mesa University’s Graduate Studies Advisory Committee. Applicants should consult the Graduate Program Coordinator for any additional admission requirements.

Individuals seeking to enter CMU as graduate students who have not yet been accepted into a graduate program or do not desire a credential may apply for “Non-Degree Seeking” admission.  Each applicant must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, or equivalent certification. Faculty can make recommendations for admission of non-degree seeking students who do not meet the criteria to the Director of Graduate Studies.

An individual without a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to a master’s degree program only if they are admitted to a combined program at CMU, such as the MBA 3+2 program.

Admission Procedures

To begin a graduate program at CMU, a student must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. The following items must be submitted to the Admissions Office online:

  1. A completed Application for Admission to Graduate Programs and a $50 application fee. The fee is non-refundable and is not applicable toward tuition. The application form may be found on the Graduate Studies webpage or the admissions homepage under “graduate application”.
  2. Official transcripts of all college and university work must be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Coordinator by email at or directly to the coordinator by each institution attended. Unofficial copies of transcripts can accompany the original application, but official copies will be required before full admission is granted. Transcripts received directly from students cannot be accepted except for advising purposes. The transcripts of students who previously attended CMU must still be requested from the Registrar’s Office.
  3. Test scores, If required by the program, from either the Educational Testing Services for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or from the Psychological Corporation for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) must be provided. Students must request the scores be sent to the Admissions Office. See the specific degree program for required examinations.
  4. Acceptance for admission is determined by the specific program’s Graduate Admission Committee, which acts as the selection committee for new or readmitted applicants. Final approval for admission is subject to Department Head approval with notification to the Director of Graduate Studies. 
  5. Academic departments offering graduate programs may admit a student based upon supplemental/alternate criteria that have been established by the major department. If someone is recommended for admission who does not meet CMU's graduate program standards, a rationale must be provided stating the factors which were considered in recommending the student: GPA in the discipline; letters of recommendation; samples of the student’s work; GRE, MAT or GMAT scores; or other compelling factors. The Director of Graduate Studies reviews all recommendations for admission below the standard.

Applicants should check with individual programs regarding specific application and admission deadlines. After the program faculty make a final decision on admission, the student will be notified of the outcome.

Admission Expiration

Students who do not enroll in the semester in which they are admitted and who do not notify the program should reapply for admission and adhere to program admission deadlines, deadlines, the Graduate Program Coordinator can move an admission term if it is within one year, if it is beyond that the student must re-apply.

Students who wish to defer beginning of the program may request deferred admission for a period of up to one calendar year with permission of the Program Director/Coordinator, Academic Department Head, and Director of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Program Coordinator can move an admission term if it is within one year, if it is beyond that the student must re-apply. .

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission refers to applicants admitted pending the receipt of application requirements specified by either the Admissions Office and/or the academic department. Applicants for admission may be accepted into a graduate program or with the provision that they complete deficiencies as noted in and by the dates specified in their acceptance letter. 

International Student Admission

To be considered for admission, a prospective international graduate student who has or will be seeking an F-1 student visa, must apply for admission and satisfy all requirements of the graduate program and the Office of International Student Admissions.

International applicants are required to:

  1. Provide all university transcripts from previous institutions. For courses taken and degree(s) earned at a college/university outside of the United States, a professional transcript evaluation from an approved company must be received. Please see the International Graduate Admissions webpage for information on approved foreign transcript evaluation options and verify with the graduate program if a specific type of evaluation is needed and/or from a specific company. In most cases, course descriptions or syllabi are required, along with the evaluation, to determine content of individual courses. 
  2. Provide proof of English proficiency. Submit exam scores from within two years for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the International Graduate Admissions webpage for more information and verify with the graduate program if a specific test and/or score is required.
  3. To issue the I-20, an international applicant must complete and have notarized the CMU Statement of Financial Support and submit this form, along with official bank statement(s), demonstrating proof of sufficient financial resources. Costs and forms may be obtained from the International Graduate Admissions webpage. 
  4. For registration purposes, all international students are required to maintain health insurance. Students are automatically enrolled in CMU’s international student group insurance plan. Contact the International Programs Office for wavier information if adequate coverage is already maintained.
  5. For registration purposes, all international students are required to comply with the Colorado law regarding the measles, mumps and rubella immunizations. A Colorado Mesa University official immunization form must be completed.

International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to register for a full-time course load of a minimum of six credit hours per semester, or minimum full-time, as determined by the graduate program. International students on a visa are limited in regards to the number of web/online credits in which a student can enroll each semester. Students are encouraged to discuss this and other regulations with the International Programs Office.  

Enrollment Prior to Admission

Students who have applied for admission to a graduate program at CMU are not permitted to enroll for more than nine credit hours in that graduate program as a non-degree seeking student. A hold shall be placed on the student’s registration, and the student cannot continue to enroll until an admission decision has been reached. A student’s application must be complete, and the program faculty must recommend either a regular admission or must deny admission by the earning of nine credit hours.

Financial Aid

Students should consult the Financial Aid Office for eligibility requirements of undergraduate & graduate programs.

Admission Appeals

An applicant who has been denied admission to a graduate program or who has received Conditional Admission may request reconsideration by writing to the Graduate Program Department Head within 10 days of the date of denial or notification of conditional admission status. Requests should include the reasons for requesting reconsideration, along with supporting materials and information that was not submitted with the original application. Appeals should follow the appeal process listed in the Graduate Policies and Procedure Manual.  

Academic Advisor

Each student shall be assigned a Graduate Advisor upon acceptance into a graduate program by the appropriate department. The student’s Graduate Advisor, in consultation with the student’s Graduate Committee or Graduate Program Director/Coordinator, should approve all courses applied to graduation requirements. The Graduate Advisor also is responsible for assisting students with questions regarding their academic programs such as expectations for comprehensive examinations, thesis, and/or practicum as well as professional advising and guidance for academic and professional endeavors. Any advisor-approved deviations from published program requirements or degree plans must be approved by the Graduate Program Director/Coordinator, the Academic Department Head and the Director of Graduate Studies. 

Note: The importance of the Graduate Advisor cannot be overstated. Advising includes all aspects of students’ present and future academic and professional planning. It is often the Graduate Advisor who is able to help students conceptualize their academic program within the context of their own professional goals and aspirations.

Degree Plan

After acceptance into a graduate program, each student shall meet with their Graduate Advisor and determine a degree plan that, when completed, leads to the attainment of the graduate degree. The degree plan shall be constructed before the student completes one semester or nine credit hours of coursework. This degree plan should follow the guidelines of CMU and the academic department. The respective degree plan shall list all courses, including those needed for any remediation and/or weaknesses deemed by the academic advisor, and practicum, thesis, and research requirements necessary to complete the specific degree. The degree plan should have the approval of the student, the academic advisor, the Graduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director/Coordinator, and the Academic Department Head. Upon completion of the degree plan and all requirements, and upon the recommendation of the Faculty, the student shall be awarded the respective graduate degree.

Note: An addendum can be submitted to the degree plan provided the approval of the student, the Graduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director/Coordinator, the Academic Department Head, and the Director of Graduate Studies are secured approving the changes.

Transfer Credit

Students can transfer up to 30% from another accredited institution into their degree plan for a graduate degree provided they meet the general transfer policies of CMU and are approved by the Graduate Advisor, the Graduate Program Director/Coordinator, and the Academic Department Head.

  1. Transfer work is not applied in the calculation of the graduate GPA.
  2. Grades earned on transferred courses should be equivalent to B- or better. Only courses graded by “letter” grades are transferable.
  3. Courses graded S/U or P/F are not transferable (this includes thesis, dissertation, practicum, and capstone credits that may be awarded letter grades at other institutions).       
  4. Transfer courses should be numbered as graduate level (5XX, 6XX, 7XX) according to the institution’s graduate transcript. Transfer courses should be from regionally accredited institutions of higher education that offer equivalent level degrees or graduate level coursework.
  5. Graduate internship credit transferred from another institution may be considered for transfer credit. Requirements may vary by academic program.
  6. Thesis credit or credit for a master’s project is not eligible for transfer credit unless the thesis or research project is a collaborative or joint effort between CMU and another accredited institution offering graduate programs and degrees.
  7. After beginning their graduate program of study at CMU, students wishing to take one or more courses at another institution for graduate credit should first consult their Graduate Program Director/Coordinator. Permission may be granted following the procedure for transferring the credits earned at other institution as described above.
  8. Non-credit courses, including lifetime learning seminars and continuing education courses, are not eligible for transfer credit.
  9. Students wishing to take one or more courses at another institution for graduate credit after beginning their graduate program of study at CMU must first consult their program graduate advisor. Permission may be granted following the procedure for transferring the credits earned at other institution as described above.

Students who wish to transfer credit must provide the Registrar’s Office with complete documentation showing the course(s) to be transferred. The student then must present the complete transcript to the program advisor for approval or disapproval. Any transfer credits must be included on the degree plan. Courses requested for transfer must meet all criteria for credit transfer (see general transfer policies) to be approved by the department.

Students seeking transfer credit may also be asked to provide the published course description, and learning objectives, course requirements, including assignments and grading criteria, information on the course syllabus, textbook, etc. to the program advisor for consideration.

Academic Integrity

Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, the appropriating of written, artistic, or musical composition of another, or portions thereof; or the ideas, language, or symbols of the same and passing them off as the product of the student’s own mind. Plagiarism includes not only the exact duplication of another’s work but also the lifting of a substantial or essential portion thereof.

Regarding written work in particular, direct quotations, statements which are a result of paraphrasing, summarizing the work of another, and other information which is not considered common knowledge must be cited or acknowledged. As long as students adequately acknowledge their sources and as long as there is no reason to believe that they have attempted to pose as the originator, students shall not be charged with plagiarism even though the form of the acknowledgement may be unacceptable. However, students should be aware that most professors require certain forms of acknowledgment and that adequate referencing (or acknowledgement) may be a part of the grading criteria for specific graduate coursework or program requirements. More information on academic misconduct can be found in the Maverick Guide