Nov 17, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog

Admissions Guidelines



All students wishing to undertake graduate study at Shenandoah University must make formal application for admission. Each graduate degree program may have additional application requirements. See specific program descriptions in this catalog.

Each graduate degree program has its own application deadline. For programs without a specific deadline, applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is advisable to apply well before the beginning of each semester.

Applicants Completing a Centralized Application System (CAS)

Applicants to the Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, Traditional Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, or Traditional Pharmacy programs must complete their application through the program’s Centralized Application System (CAS). The $30 Shenandoah application fee is waived for students applying through the centralized system in lieu of the CAS fee. The application fees are not credited to tuition and fees and are non-refundable.

CAS applicants are required to provide an official transcript from the institution of higher learning that awarded the undergraduate degree and official transcripts from any institution of higher learning where 21 credits or more were earned. See the program descriptions in this catalog for individual program requirements. Transcripts must be sent by the college(s) directly to the Office of Admissions. Credentials submitted by the applicant are not considered official.

For these programs, all required prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college and/or university. For programs requiring a master’s degree for entry, that degree, plus the bachelor’s degree, must be from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and/or university. Exceptions to the bachelor’s degree requirement are for the following programs:

  1. Athletic Training
  2. Occupational Therapy
  3. Pharmacy

For these programs, all required prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college and/or university. For programs requiring a master’s degree for entry, that degree, plus the bachelor’s degree, must be from a regionally accredited institution.

Please see the below websites for access to CAS applications:

  • All application processing for the Athletic Training program is through Athletic Training Application Service at www.atcas.org.
  • All application processing for the Occupational Therapy program is through Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service at www.otcas.org.
  • All application processing for the Pharmacy program is through the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) at www.pharmcas.org.
  • All application processing for the Physical Therapy program is through Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service at www.ptcas.org.
  • All application processing for the Physician Assistant Studies program is through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at www.caspaonline.org.

All application materials submitted become property of the university and cannot be released back to the student.

Applicants Completing Shenandoah’s Graduate Application

Shenandoah University’s Graduate Application for Admission is for degree-seeking students and requires a $30 application fee for most programs.  Students may apply online at www.su.edu/admissions/graduate-students.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college and/or university. Exceptions to the bachelor’s degree requirement are for the following programs:

  • RN-MSN

For these programs, all required prerequisite coursework must be completed at a regionally accredited college and/or university. 

Applicants using Shenandoah University’s application system (all graduate applicants except those listed above using the CAS system) should submit unofficial transcripts for initial admissions. If a student plans to matriculate, official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions within one regular semester. See the Unofficial Transcript Policy below for details.

All application materials submitted become property of the university and cannot be released back to the student.

Official and Unofficial Transcript Requirements

An official transcript is defined as a transcript sent directly to Shenandoah University from the issuing institution. The transmission of the transcript can be electronic if the institution is able to securely email it to Shenandoah University. If mailed, the document must arrive in its sealed, original envelope. Official academic credential evaluations are similarly sent from the credentially agency directly to Shenandoah University. If the agency includes verified official transcripts with the official evaluation, these transcripts can be considered official transcripts as well. Any credentials submitted by the applicants are not considered official. 

An unofficial transcript is defined as a previously opened electronic or paper document that an applicant uploads to their application or sends themselves to the Shenandoah University Office of Graduate Admission. Please see details below to determine if your graduate program allows for submission of unofficial transcripts for initial admission.

Unofficial Transcript Policy

When submitting an online application, an applicant uploads one copy of the scanned unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution where they:

  • earned (or will earn) a degree or
  • took classes that relate to your graduate study interests.
Unofficial Transcript Requirements
  • Each transcript must contain identifying details about the applicant (name, date of birth, last four digits of Social Security number, and/or mailing address) and the institution (crest, logo, and/or address).
  • If an applicant received a degree from an institution, the unofficial transcript must show the degree that was received.
  • If an applicant repeated any courses, the unofficial transcript should indicate the repeated courses and grades.
  • Before uploading an electronic transcript issued by your school, applicants must ensure that it can be opened without passwords or other security information.
  • All transcripts from non-U.S. based institutions must be course-by-course evaluated by an NACES (www.naces.org) or AICE (http://aice-eval.org/) accredited academic credential evaluation company to obtain equivalency information on courses, grades, and degrees earned. Applicant may upload a copy of this course-by-course evaluation to serve as the his or her unofficial transcript from that institution. 
    • If choosing to upload an unofficial evaluation, please contact the evaluating agency to ensure the same official version can be sent at a later date. Unofficial and official evaluations must be conducted by the same evaluation company to ensure consistency.  If the evaluation was completed more than five years ago, a new evaluation may need to be issued from the agency and the updated, official version should be sent in those cases. 
    • Official course-by-course evaluations can also be sent directly from evaluating agencies to the Office of Graduate Admissions at the time of application and this is recommended if applicant will require a visa from Shenandoah University. 
    • An official transcript from this institution, as well as an official copy of the evaluation will be required if an applicant is admitted.

Acceptable Unofficial Transcript Formats

  • Scanned copies of paper transcripts provided by the institution
  • Electronic transcripts produced by the institution
  • Screenshots of unofficial transcripts in student portals

Submitting Official Transcripts after Admission

An applicant should not send official paper or electronic copies of transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. Due to the processing time for academic credential evaluations, if you will need an F-1 visa issued from Shenandoah, we recommend submitting official evaluations including official transcripts at the time of application to avoid delays with visa paperwork.

If admitted, applicants will be asked to provide an official transcript from each institution from which they previously supplied unofficial transcripts. Until all official transcripts are received, students will have a hold placed on their account that prevents registration for the semester following their first semester. Details on where and how to submit official transcripts are provided in the official decision letter.

Shenandoah University reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process and will rescind any offer of admission if any discrepancies are found between unofficial and official transcript(s).

The received official transcript will be reviewed by a member of the Graduate Admissions Team and the Program Coordinator or their designated reviewer to ensure accuracy of the previously submitted unofficial transcript. Should any discrepancies be discovered, Shenandoah University reserves the right to rescind admission and suspend or expel a currently enrolled student.

Admission Requirements for All Candidates for Teacher Licensure

State Requirements for Teacher Licensure

Students preparing to be teachers are expected to meet the requirements for teacher licensure currently in effect in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Most states grant teaching licensure on a reciprocal basis when the educating institution is approved by its own state department of education or when graduates of an institution are eligible for teaching licensure in the state in which they were educated. Teacher education programs at Shenandoah University are approved programs of the Virginia State Board of Education, and graduates will have met all educational requirements for Virginia licensure.

Shenandoah Conservatory Audition Requirements

To determine the requirements for each program, Shenandoah Conservatory applicants should review the specific presecreening, audition, and/or portfolio requirements listed in the “Graduate Audition Guidelines” which are available from the Office of Admissions and on the website at: www.su.edu/admission

Shenandoah Conservatory applicants may complete specific audition and portfolio review requirements by submitting a recorded audition, if travel to the Winchester campus or a regional audition site is not feasible. Recorded audition rules and guidelines are available at www.su.edu/auditions.

Application to Programs without Deadlines

An application file is not considered complete until the application, transcripts, and any required supporting documentation are received. No action will be taken on an incomplete file. The letter of acceptance to graduate study will be considered valid for the term of acceptance. An accepted student may defer enrollment for up to one year by written request to the Office of Admissions, requesting a new entry date. Deferred enrollment is subject to the admission requirements in force at the time the initial decision was made and is predicated upon the fact that the student will not enroll at another institution before enrolling at Shenandoah University. Following a deferment request, a new decision letter will be issued. A student who enrolls at another institution before enrolling at Shenandoah University must submit new application materials. All deferral requests are considered by the appropriate faculty advisor and while re-acceptance is likely; it is not guaranteed.

Applications to Programs with Deadlines

Applications are not considered for admission until the application fee and all required documentation have been received. See specific program descriptions in this catalog for a list of the required documentation. No action will be taken on an incomplete file. Applicants will be notified of the admission decision immediately after the Admissions Committee has reviewed all applications and final class selections have been made. Please note that some programs may fill their available seats prior to the admissions deadline. It is advisable to complete the application process well before the deadline.

Admission of Graduate Transfer Students

Applicants who have attended other accredited institutions of post-secondary education may be admitted as graduate transfer students upon presentation, to the Office of Admissions, of the listed items below. An applicant who intends to enter as a graduate transfer student must request the necessary forms from the Office of Admissions.

  1. All graduate transfer applicants must submit a Graduate Application for Admission and a $30 application fee, in addition to completing all the additional program requirements. For all requirements, please refer to the individual academic departments in this catalog. The application fee is not credited to tuition and fees.
  2. Graduate transfer applicants must submit evidence of good social and academic standing at the college last attended. It is the responsibility of the transfer applicant to have transcripts of all academic work and evidence of honorable dismissal forwarded directly to the Office of Admissions. Unofficial transcripts can be sent for initial admission.  See the unofficial transcript policy for details.  For admission as a graduate transfer student without qualification, the applicant must be in good standing and eligible to return to his/her former institution. Any other special admissions shall be considered probationary and shall be governed by all restrictions associated with that classification.
  3. Course work completed at another institution will be evaluated by the appropriate academic department to determine transfer credit. For more detailed information see Transfer Credit  under the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Candidates for admission as graduate transfer students who have been suspended from other institutions shall not be considered for admission until they have been out of college for a period of one regular academic semester.

Shenandoah University grants transfer credit based on the policy headed Transfer Credit  in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. Not all graduate programs accept transfer credit.

Readmission of Former Students

Former students seeking readmission must submit the Graduate Application for Admission to the Office of Admissions. A non-refundable application fee of $30 must be submitted and is not credited to tuition and fees. Additionally, students may be required to submit new supplemental application materials. Please consult the Office of Admissions for specific requirements.

Former students who were in good academic and good social standing may be readmitted upon completion of the appropriate forms.

Former students who were not in good academic or good social standing may be readmitted only upon completion of the appropriate forms in the Office of Admissions, and approval by the appropriate academic office, the Office of Student Life and the Admissions Committee.  Former students, however, may be denied readmission on the basis of an outstanding and/or unresolved debt to Shenandoah University.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Completion of a high school diploma (or equivalent) from the following countries:
    • United States of America (except Puerto Rico)
    • United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales 
    • Ireland
    • Canada
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize 
    • Bermuda
    • The British Virgin Islands
    • Cayman Islands
    • Cook Islands
    • Dominica
    • Falkland Islands
    • Fiji
    • Gibraltar
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Montserrat
    • New Zealand
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree (or equivalent) with a cumulative GPA of a 2.5 or higher from the following countries:
    • United States of America (except Puerto Rico)
    • United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales 
    • Ireland
    • Canada
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize 
    • Bermuda
    • Botswana
    • The British Virgin Islands
    • Cayman Islands
    • Cook Islands
    • Dominica
    • Eswatini
    • Falkland Islands
    • Fiji
    • The Gambia
    • Ghana
    • Gibraltar
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Kenya
    • Lesotho
    • Liberia
    • Malawi
    • Montserrat
    • Namibia
    • New Zealand
    • Nigeria
    • Philippines
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Sierra Leone
    • Singapore
    • St. Lucia
    • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
    • Tanzania
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    • Uganda
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
  • Completion of the equivalent of Shenandoah’s ENG 101 with of B or better at a regionally-accredited U.S.-based institution.
  • Successful completion of Shenandoah University’s IESL program
  • Receive one of the following scores:
    • 480 or higher on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing (ERBW) section of the SAT (test must be taken within two years of submission).
    • 18 or higher on the English Composition section of the ACT (test must be taken within five years of submission).
    • 79 or higher on the TOEFL IBT for all programs, except those in the School of Nursing, or School of Health Professions, and Music Therapy programs, for which an 83 or higher is required (the test must be taken within two years of submission).
    • 21 or higher on each section of the TOEFL Paper-delivered test for all programs, except those in the School of Nursing or School of Health Professions, for which a 24 or higher is required (test must be taken within two years of submission)
    • 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test for all programs except those in the School of Nursing or School of Health Profession which do not accept IELTS as proof of English proficiency (test must be taken within two years of submission). 
    • 53 or higher on the PTE (Pearson Test of English) (test must be taken within two years of submission)
    • 55 or higher on 100-point scale (prior to July 2019) or 105 or higher on new 160-point scale on the Duolingo English Test (DET) (test must be taken within two years of submission).
  • For some graduate programs, including NonTraditional PharmD and Transitional Physical Therapy, Shenandoah University can hold a license as proof of English proficiency. 
    • For Nontraditional PharmD applicants, all U.S. licensed pharmacists can submit their active license as proof of English proficiency.
    • For Transitional Physical Therapy applicants, most states require licensed PTs to provide a TOEFL score when sitting for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). If applicants hold a license in one of those states, the language proficiency requirement will be met. If an applicant is licensed in one of the few states that does not require a specific TOEFL score, he or she must demonstrate proficiency in the English language when applying to Shenandoah University. These states include (as of August 2018): Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

Conditional Admission for English Proficiency

Those students with minimum scores of 45 on iBT (Internet TOEFL), 5.0 on IELTS (International English Language Testing System), 39 on PTE, or 31 on DET may be granted conditional admission and must complete Shenandoah University’s Intensive English as a Second Language Program (IESL).

Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL)

Shenandoah University’s Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) program welcomes international undergraduate and graduate-level students to prepare for success in their academic careers by providing a comprehensive course of instruction including 20 hours per week of coursework in oral communication (speaking and listening), reading, writing, and grammar in use offered on campus so that students are fully immersed into the American collegiate experience. Courses are taught at the intermediate and advanced levels only. IESL classes are non-credit bearing. Successful completion of the IESL program is proficiency-based as determined by attainment of TOEFL/IELTS scores that meet university admissions requirements.

Admission to IESL is open to international students with minimum scores of 45 on iBT (Internet TOEFL), 5.0 on IELTS (International English Language Testing System), 39 on PTE (Pearson Test of English) or 31 on DET (Duolingo English Test)

Prior to arrival to campus, students complete placement exams to determine their levels of listening/reading/grammar, speaking, and writing and are placed in four skills classes: oral communication (speaking and listening), reading, writing, and grammar in use. Classes meet five days per week for the entire semester. Skill classes run concurrently to allow students to be placed at appropriate levels by individual skill.

The university also offers the program during an 8-week summer session. In addition to IESL, the English as a Second Language Program also offers ESL 195 English as a Second Language Bridge, a three-credit class for international students who have met university admissions requirements but desire more focused instruction in English. ESL 195 can be taken on its own or coupled with any 100 or 200 level course. Graduate students may choose to take this class along with any graduate-level course.

When an application file is complete, the applicant will usually be notified of the admission decision within three weeks by the executive director of recruitment and admissions. For additional information, see the heading “Notification of Admission Decision” in this section.

Inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed to the university’s Office of Financial Aid. Financial aid for international students is extremely limited since federal and state sources are unavailable. International students should seek to obtain educational funds from their native country and should not rely on aid being available from Shenandoah University.

Admission of International Students

International applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete Undergraduate Application for Admission and Supplemental Application for International Students forms and submit a $30 non-refundable application fee to the Shenandoah University Office of Admissions. The application form must be signed electronically by the applicant. The application fee must be paid in U.S. currency by credit card, money order or wire transfer made payable to Shenandoah University.
  2. Certified official, original transcripts from all secondary and/or post-secondary schools must be submitted. Applicants must ask their former high school and/or university to send an official transcript directly to Shenandoah University’s Office of Admissions. In addition, any leaving certificates and external examination results required for the completion of high school must also be provided. Materials can be received via postal mail or electronically. If sent electronically, materials must come directly from an official at the issuing institution. If records are not in English, the applicant must provide a certified translation. Shenandoah University will also accept verified, official transcripts from a NACES or AICE evaluating organization in lieu of official transcripts sent from the applicant’s previous institution(s) of higher learning.
  3. All post-secondary transcripts from countries outside the United States must also be evaluated by an academic credential evaluation company to obtain equivalency information on courses, grades and degrees earned. An English translation will not be accepted in place of an academic credential evaluation. Applicants may make arrangements to have an evaluation completed with any of the providers listed at www.naces.org or aice-eval.org. All associated fees are the responsibility of the applicant. If an evaluation is completed a semester prior to degree conferral, applicants must provide official proof of degree conferral following graduation. Shenandoah University will recognize the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Evaluation Examination and the Foreign Credentialing Committee on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) as acceptable credential evaluations for international graduate students applying to the pharmacy and physical therapy programs. FCCPT reports must be course-by-course grade evaluations. All associated fees are the responsibility of the applicant.
  4. Shenandoah Conservatory applicants may complete specific audition and portfolio review requirements by submitting a recorded audition, if travel to the Winchester campus or a regional audition site is not feasible. Recorded audition rules and guidelines are available at www.su.edu/auditions.

The Office of Admission must receive all transcripts and/or test scores no later than 14 business days before the start date of each term. 

Issuance of I-20 for International Applicants

To be eligible to receive a SEVIS I-20 form from Shenandoah, applicants must send financial documentation explaining how they plan to cover their educational and living expenses while a student at Shenandoah. To document financial resources, applicants may complete the Supplemental Application for International Students and include support materials as indicated.

Once an application is accepted and finances documented, applicants will be issued a SEVIS I-20 form which is needed to apply for an F-1 student visa. It is important that international students receive their F-1 visa from the U.S. Consulate Office in their native country prior to their arrival in the United States. This procedure is subject to change due to revisions and proposals of changes to the Federal Regulations governing the issuance of I-20s for International Students.

Admission of Certificate Students

Applicants for admission as a certificate student are those interested in obtaining training in a specific area that is recognized by the awarding of a certificate rather than a degree. Certificate programs are academic programs. Generally, a certificate student is enrolled on a part-time basis.

Certificate applicants must complete and submit the Graduate Application for Admission directly to the Office of Admissions. A non-refundable application fee of $30 must be submitted and is not credited to tuition and fees.

Applicants are required to provide transcript(s) from any institutions where they earned or will earn a degree, and any institution where they took courses related to their graduate area of study. Unofficial transcripts should be submitted for initial admission.  See the unofficial transcript policy for details.  See the program descriptions in this catalog for individual program requirements. Certificate students are held to the same academic standards and viewed in the same way as students enrolled in degree programs.

Certificate students are eligible for limited types of financial aid.

Visiting Students

Visiting students are most often individuals who are interested not in a degree but in a specific course, or students at other institutions who will earn credits to transfer back to their own institutions. Generally, a visiting student is enrolled on a part-time basis.

Visiting students, though not enrolled in a certificate or degree program at Shenandoah University, are held to the same academic standards and viewed in the same way as students who are enrolled in a certificate or degree program.

Occasionally, a visiting student will later apply for admission as a degree-seeking student. In that case, the regular admission procedure is followed. Once enrolled as a visiting student, a student cannot change their status in that semester. Not more than 15 graduate credit hours earned as a visiting student may be applied toward a graduate certificate or graduate degree program. (Nursing applicants should follow School of Nursing guidelines.)

Visiting students are not eligible for financial aid and must complete the Visiting Student Application. The application must be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar with a non-refundable application fee of $20. The application fee is not credited to tuition and fees.

Visiting students who wish to enroll in a health professions or pharmacy course (AT, Nursing, OT, PHAR, PT or RC) will need the dean’s/director’s signature. Visiting students wishing to enroll in any other graduate courses will require the instructor’s signature for each course.

Admission of Undergraduate Students

Students within 15 hours of completing their baccalaureate degree and with at least a 3.0 grade point average, with the consent of the school dean and instructor(s) involved, may register for up to six graduate credits. These credits are acceptable to fulfill the requirements of the undergraduate or graduate degree, but may not be counted for both graduate and undergraduate degrees.

Summer Session Admission

Application to a summer session is the same as that required for regular admission. Individual programs may have additional application requirements.

Types of Acceptance Decisions

At the discretion of the executive director of recruitment and admissions, applicants who meet all admissions criteria may receive a standard acceptance or a provisional acceptance to Shenandoah, and will be classified as 1) degree or non-degree seeking students, and 2) as full-time or part-time students.

Standard Acceptance

A standard acceptance is issued to an acceptable applicant who has submitted all required documentation for admission.

Provisional Acceptance

At the discretion of the executive director of recruitment and admissions, an acceptable applicant who has submitted a majority of the required documentation may be provisionally accepted. Any applicant submitting unofficial transcripts will be provisionally accepted pending receipt of official transcripts.  An applicant who has been provisionally accepted may have up to one regular semester to submit the documentation or to complete the provisions as stipulated in the applicant’s acceptance letter. Specific deadline dates are stipulated in the letter of acceptance. Any provisionally accepted student who fails to submit the documentation or to complete the stipulated provisions will not be permitted to register for the next semester.

Accepted and provisionally accepted students are admitted in one of the following categories:

  1. Admission in good standing
  2. Admission in conditional standing

Admission in Good Standing

An applicant who presents an acceptable academic record, acceptable test scores and a satisfactory audition or interview (when applicable) is admitted in good standing. Such students may enroll in a full program of study as outlined in the catalog.

Admission in Conditional Standing

If the previous collegiate record of an applicant is slightly below the standards for regular admission, but personal recommendations, test scores, audition or interview (when applicable) seem to indicate a probability of success at the graduate level, a student may be admitted in conditional standing. Students admitted conditionally have specific conditions, identified by the Graduate Admissions Committee, which must be satisfied prior to enrolling for subsequent semesters. Students admitted conditionally may take longer to complete their academic program because of this restriction. The student’s academic achievement will be governed by the university’s policy on academic standing. See Academic Standing  in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Admissions Decisions

All graduate applications for admission are reviewed by the appropriate faculty committee. Once a decision is reached, the Office of Admissions will communicate the decision via the appropriate means of delivery, this may include postal mail, e-mail, and/or system notifications.

Enrollment Deposit

Dates by which applicants must submit an enrollment deposit, if required, will be stipulated in the letter of acceptance and vary depending on the time of year the offer of acceptance is granted.  Accepted applicants should submit their Candidate Response form in addition to paying a tuition deposit, if required. The amount of the enrollment deposit will vary by program and will also be stipulated in the letter of acceptance. For those students who wish to reside in university provided housing, an additional $100 housing deposit is required. Upon receipt of the enrollment deposit by the Office of Accounts Receivable, signifying acceptance of Shenandoah’s offer of admission, the appropriate office will send orientation and registration information. Cancellation and refund requests must be made in writing to the Office of Admissions.

For programs that do not require an enrollment deposit, accepted applicants must complete the Candidate Response Form included with their decision letter indicating their intent to enroll. The response form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.