Admission Criteria

St. Cloud State University admits graduate applicants based on the strength of application materials submitted.

All applicants must have completed a bachelor degree, or complete prior to the first day of classes of the graduate admission term. 

Some programs may require additional program-specific criteria to be eligible for admission. Visit your program's admission requirements section in the University Catalog before submitting your application. Additionally, some master and doctoral degree programs require the GRE or GMAT. Graduate certificate programs do not require the GRE.

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GPA Standards

An applicant must meet one of the following GPA standards to be eligible for academic admission consideration to the School of Graduate Studies:


  1. Possess at least an overall 2.75 GPA (4.0 scale) in your previous undergraduate work.
  2. Possess at least an overall 2.75 GPA (4.0 scale) in the last half of your undergraduate work.

An applicant with graduate coursework must meet one of the above requirements AND possess at least an overall 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) in his/her graduate course work.

Post-Master and Doctoral-level

  1. Possess at least an overall 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) in your graduate course work.

Outside the U.S. and Canada

If you attended a college or graduate school outside the United States or Canada your degree must be evaluated for U.S. equivalence and GPA conversion to the standard US 4.0 scale. Review the 
Application Instructions page for resources and requirements for overseas transcripts and associated deadlines.

Conduct or Disciplinary Actions

St. Cloud State reserves the right to consider student conduct records and disciplinary measures, such as probation, suspension or expulsion from St. Cloud State or from another post-secondary institution, as part of the graduate admission decision process. Applicants may choose to provide or may be requested to provide additional information on the prior conduct and demonstrate their learning following resolution of the documented conduct and potential for success at the graduate level.

Degree Requirements Master-level, Post-Master & Doctoral-level Education

  • Applicants must have earned and have a transcripted undergraduate degree before beginning master-level coursework and a transcripted graduate degree before post-master or doctoral-level coursework.
  • Degrees earned in the U.S. must have been received from an institution that is accredited by a US regional accreditation body. There are six regional accreditation bodies:
  • Degrees from Canada must have been received from an institution that has received a provincial charter to grant degrees. Generally these Canadian institutions are also members of AUCC.
  • For institutions outside of North America, degrees must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in the country in which it was earned.
    • Additionally, your undergraduate degree must be accepted by SCSU as the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree and a graduate degree must be accepted by SCSU as the equivalent of a U.S. graduate degree if you seek a post-master or doctoral program.
    • A determination is made when your international transcripts are reviewed by a transcript evaluation agency.

Pathway for International Applicants with 3 Year Degrees

  • If you have a completed 3 year baccalaureate degree that is evaluated as the equivalent of three years of undergraduate study or is the equivalent of fewer than 120 undergraduate semester credits, you are not eligible to be considered for full admission at the graduate level. 
  • Graduate Studies will consider students with a completed three-year baccalaureate degree for provisional admission. 
  • Provisional admission as part of the three-year pathway requires an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and IELTS of 6.0 or TOEFL of 68 with no subscores below 16. If required, GRE or GMAT scores must be submitted at the time of application.
  • If admitted provisionally you will be given undergraduate status to allow you to register for up to 30 undergraduate credits to meet the requirement of 120 completed undergraduate semester credits. You will not need to complete an additional undergraduate degree at St. Cloud State. While in undergraduate status, international students need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to be in status with your visa.
  • Provisionally admitted students will be assigned an advisor in the graduate program who will assist you in identifying an appropriate mix of courses which may include general education, English language courses, and program prerequisite courses at the undergraduate level as appropriate and determined by your advisor.
  • Provisionally admitted students may complete 0-9 credits of 500/600 graduate level course work during the second semester of undergraduate study as approved by your advisor.
  • Provisionally admitted students must maintain a GPA of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate coursework at St. Cloud State to remain eligible for full graduate admission. 

Recognition of Veteran Students

Part 1. Purpose. This policy establishes veteran status as a factor to be recognized in evaluating applicants for admission to graduate and professional programs, in accordance with Minnesota Statutes 197.775.

Part 2. Definitions.

Subpart A. Graduate or Professional Programs. Graduate or professional programs means post-baccalaureate educational programs leading to master’s, specialist, or doctoral degrees offered by Minnesota state universities.

Subpart B. Veteran. Veteran means a person who is currently serving or has ever served in the United State armed forces and has been discharged under honorable conditions.

Part 3. Policy. Each Minnesota state university shall adopt a policy recognizing, for applicants who are veterans, an applicant's veteran status as a positive factor in determining whether to grant admission to a graduate or professional academic degree program.

More Admission Criteria Information

Admission Decisions and Status

Unconditional, provisional, denial – What does it all mean?

Admission Decisions

Language Admission Opportunities

Admission opportunities for international applicants with low TOEFL or IELTS scores.


Wait Lists

Getting into programs with high demand.

Wait Lists

Additional Resources

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College Scorecard U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard compiles data on graduation rates, tuition, median earning of graduates, and more.

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Campus Safety Statement Available for your review

The Annual Safety and Fire Report is required by federal law and contains policy statements and crime statistics for the University. The policy statements address the school’s policies, procedures and programs concerning safety and security. The most recent three calendar years of statistics are included for certain types of crimes that were reported to have occurred on-campus, at other University affiliated locations and on public property immediate adjacent to campus.