Applying - Frequently Asked Questions


If you have additional questions not addressed here, contact Graduate Admissions at or (828) 262-2130.

Application Fees

How do I pay the application fee?
You may pay the $65 application fee online by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or mail a check or money order to the Graduate School once you have submitted the online application.

Can I pay by credit card over the phone?
Credit card payments can only be made through the online application portal.

I need the application fee waived, what should I do?
Application fees are not waived and are non-refundable.

I submitted a non-degree application and will be submitting a degree/certificate/licensure application. Can my application fee be waived and my transcripts used again?
If you submit your degree/certificate application in your FIRST non-degree term, you may request to have your degree application fee waived. Your transcripts from your non-degree application should be automatically applied to your degree/certificate application. Such waiver requests are considered on case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed.

Application Process

What is Appalachian’s School of Graduate Studies mailing / shipping address?
School of Graduate Studies
232 John E. Thomas Hall
287 Rivers Street
ASU Box 32068
Boone, NC 28608

Where can I find information about the types of programs and degrees offered?
The School of Graduate Studies’ website has a link to all graduate programs offered:

Will I need to complete an application for the Graduate School and one for the department?
No. You will only submit the Graduate School application. Many programs require additional documents (e.g., a departmental questionnaire or writing sample), but you will be prompted to upload these as part of your application. All materials (official transcripts, etc.) must be submitted directly to the Graduate School.

Is my application considered complete even if I have not taken the required test before the application deadline?

No. Your application is only considered complete when you have submitted your application, paid your application fee, and the Graduate School has received ALL required documentation. Your application must be filled out and submitted, the application fee paid, and all materials received to be complete. In some cases a grace period is allowed for providing required materials IF you have submitted your application and paid the application fee by the posted deadlines.

What if I attended an institution under another name?
Please enter all former names under which materials, especially transcripts, may be sent in the Former/Maiden Name field when you create your account.

Why do I need to provide an emergency contact person on my application?
We frequently send time sensitive information during the application and admission process. Should we be unable to reach you through the contact information you have provided, it is important that we have an alternative contact in order to send you important information regarding your application/admission.

What is the difference between a deadline and an early review date?
A deadline means you must have submitted your application, paid the application fee, and provided all required documentation by that date. An "early review" date means that the program begins reviewing and making recommendations beginning on that date. It is highly recommended that an application be COMPLETE by the early review date or a strong applicant may be denied admission if there are no more seats available.

How do I find out the status of my application?
You may log into your application account to check your status. We recommend you submit your application and pay the $65 application fee in order to identify any missing application items as soon as possible.

Can my spouse/parents/significant other inquire about my application?
No. We are not permitted to disclose application information to anyone but the applicant.

Can I submit my application after the final deadline? If I do, will it be considered?
No. Once the deadline has passed, your application will no longer be available to edit. You may email to request a term change.

How can I change my application login username and/or password?
You may log into your application account to change your address, email, username, and password.

My name has legally changed since I last attended ASU. Will my name be changed with my application?
No. You must submit a change of name (Statement of Identity) form, which is found on the Registrar’s website, along with any required documentation to the Registrar’s office. Their website is:


Do I need to wait for my recommenders to respond before submitting my application?
No. Please submit your application and application fee as soon as you can so that the manditory security screenings may begin and you can check to see if all other required documentation has been received.

What can I do if my recommender is delaying my application’s processing?
Contact your recommender to see if they received the request. Remind them of your application deadline. You may resend a recommendation request by logging into your application account; there is an option next to the recommender name to resend the request. You may also send an email to to request it be resent.

How is my recommender notified to complete a recommendation?
Once you complete the recommender pages in your application and click the “send” button, an email will be sent to your requested recommender with detailed instructions.

Are there any types of unacceptable recommenders?
Family members may not be recommenders. Academic recommendations should be your first choice; for some programs, employer recommendations are also a good idea if the employment is related to the discipline (such as teaching, counseling, or business). Character references or references from well-known people are not as desirable if they do not know you as an employee or student.

Security Screenings

What are the security screenings?
Answering YES to any of the criminal questions will require a background check. We also submit your name to the National Student Clearinghouse. If you did not list an educational institution and it appears on the Clearinghouse report, we will add that institution to your educational history and request an official transcript. This may delay the completion of your application. Please list all educational institutions attended on your application to avoid processing delays.

What types of crimes would require a disclosure?
“Crime” or “criminal charge” refers to any crime other than a traffic-related infraction such as a speeding or parking ticket. You MUST, however, include alcohol or drug offenses, whether or not they are traffic-related.

If I check “yes” that I have been convicted of a crime, am I automatically disqualified? What happens if I choose “yes”?
If any of the criminal questions are ‘Yes’, then a background check will be required. We will send you information on how to do this once your application has been submitted and the application fee received. Having a criminal background does not automatically disqualify you from attending; each case is reviewed by a committee and judged individually. 

If I have been convicted of a crime, what information is needed in the explanation?
Please provide a statement describing the circumstances that led to the charge and all penalties/punishments that you completed. Include how this experience may have impacted you and what you have learned as a result.

Will disciplinary action on my student record negatively affect my application?

University of North Carolina System policy requires prospective students to disclose if they were found responsible for academic or behavioral misconduct at any educational institution. The same policy requires that we consider this information during the admissions process. Prospective students are offered the opportunity to explain the circumstances and reflect on lessons learned from such experiences. We carefully consider the information in every student’s application. It is important to note that Appalachian values civic engagement and will not reject the applications of students solely on the basis of disciplinary action resulting from peacefully exercising their rights under the First Amendment.

Test Scores

Are test scores required?
Individuals applying to degree programs will be expected to submit scores for the required entrance exam unless they meet their intended program's criteria for waiving the exam.  More information can be found HERE. All applicants with a GPA below 3.0 in their most recent earned degree (bachelor's or graduate) are required to take a standardized exam. Both the GRE and the GMAT are available in an at-home / online format. Appalachian State's testing center is available for on-site testing.   

What is Appalachian's institution code for ordering test scores?
The institution code is 5010 for GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL score requests. The institution code when requesting MATs is 1350. (Only list the Institution code when submitting test scores: do not select a department)

How current do required test scores need to be?
Test scores must be no more than 5 years old in the case of GMAT, GRE, and MAT scores. TOEFL and IELTS scores for international applicants must be no more than 2 years old.

My test scores are older than 5 years. May I still use them?
If your test scores are older than 5 years, you must make a request to the program to accept the scores and the Graduate School must also approve the request. If approved, these scores must still be received in an official format (i.e., on a graduate school transcript or by having your previous graduate school’s Registrar’s office verify they received the scores, date taken, and scores [with percentiles] recorded). In very competitive programs, old scores may be a disadvantage. Applications with scores older than 5 years also are not considered for scholarships from the Graduate School.

Do all graduate programs at Appalachian State require test scores?
No; none of our graduate certificate programs require test scores. Many degree programs require test scores unless the applicant qualifies for and is granted a standardized exam waiver. Click HERE to see a current grid with detailed information on the waiver qualifications of the standardized exam requirements, both general and program-specific. Please note: Programs may discuss qualifications and offer a preliminary assessment of eligibility for a waiver, but the Graduate School performs the formal evaluation and final approval. The Graduate School review will not take place until the applicant has submitted an application, paid the fee, and submitted all required materials for the application except the test scores. 


Submitting Transcripts
Unofficial college transcripts can be uploaded as part of your application on the academic history section of the application. In order to be cleared to register for classes, official transcripts from the institution in which a degree(s) (bachelors or higher) are required. Former students of Appalachian do not need to submit official transcripts for their Appalachian coursework, but must provide transcripts from all other institutions where a degree was or will be awarded.

Official college transcripts can be sent electronically or via U.S. Mail. If you have your official transcripts submitted electronically, please make sure the document is sent to If your official transcripts are unavailable electronically, have them mailed to our office at the mailing address listed below. 

Mailing address:
Appalachian State University
School of Graduate Studies
287 Rivers Street, Room 232
Boone, NC 28608  

Are faxed transcripts official transcripts?
No, transcripts must be received directly from the Institution by paper or through an electronic transcript service (used by some universities). Faxed transcripts are NOT considered official. If you collect copies of transcripts yourself, they must be in the sealed institution envelope when we receive them. 

What transcripts are required?
Official transcripts showing any completed degrees (bachelors or higher) and transcripts showing coursework toward your current degree if the degree is not yet conferred. Please note some programs may require additional undergraduate transcripts or transcripts older than five year to verify coursework for licensure purposes, completion of course prerequisites, etc. In addition, an applicant may submit transcripts for any other coursework they would like to have considered.

Do I need to submit high school transcripts?

What if I attended a college while dual enrolled in high school?
All colleges/universities attended must be disclosed on your application, including those attended as dual high school enrollment; however, you may request a waiver of the transcript(s) for dual high school enrollment.

What if I attended ASU previously? Do I need to request an official transcript?
If you attended or are currently attending ASU, you do not have to pay to have ASU transcripts sent, but you still must list that you attended ASU in the 'Education History' tab on your application.

If I studied abroad, do I need to submit the transcript from the foreign school?
You may need to request official transcripts from your study abroad institution depending on how the coursework is shown on your home institution transcripts. If it is listed as transfer credit, the official transcript will be required; if it is listed clearly as study abroad credit and the coursework and grades are on your home institution transcript, then no official foreign transcript will be required.

Can I submit transcripts, etc., before I submit my actual application?
Yes you may, but the transcripts will not be matched to your application until you have submitted the application and paid the fee.  We will keep this documentation on file for one year.


What do I do if I need to change my term, recommender, or program?
You can change your recommender information in the applicant portal. If you wish to change the applicant term or intended program after submitting the application, please email with your request. Terms and programs must be specified.

What happens when my application is complete?
Applications will be referred to the appropriate departments only when your application has been submitted, the fee paid, all required documentation has been received, and any necessary security screenings completed. Departments vary in the amount of time they take to act on applications, depending on the size of the applicant pool. Additionally, programs with early deadlines or review dates may not review any complete applications until the deadline or review date has passed.

What are the different types of acceptance and what do they mean?

  • Unconditional admission is offered when you have met all minimum requirements.
  • Tentative admission is offered when you are still currently enrolled in your degree program. Official transcripts will be required showing your posted degree before you can be assigned a new student record and can register for classes.
  • Provisional admission is offered when you do NOT meet minimum requirements, or if the program wishes you to maintain or meet certain requirements during the first term of admission.

Once a decision has been made for my application, when can I expect to receive notification?
Recommendations received by the programs are processed on a daily basis. You should receive notification via email in 3-4 days. The decision letter will be available to view in the application portal. 

How am I notified when a decision has been made about my application?
An email will be sent to you notifying you that a decision has been made and you will need to log in to the application portal to see the decision. When you view your status you will have the opportunity to see the decision letter in pdf format. You must also confirm (or decline) your offer of enrollment via your applicant portal.

Can I find out my admission decision by email or phone?
Graduate School policy does not allow for disclosure of the admission decision by phone or email. Log into your application account for decision information.

I have never received my decision letter; what should I do?
The Graduate School decision letter is posted online in a pdf format in the application portal. Should you need a copy sent via mail, you may request a copy of the letter from

My application was referred to the department a long time ago. What should I do?
Please contact the program director to see when their admissions committee will be meeting to make a recommendation concerning your application. Be aware that those programs with early deadlines or review dates may not review any applications until the deadline or review date has passed.

How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?
You are responsible for finding a graduate assistantship. If you indicated on your application that you were interested in one within your program, contact your program director. If you indicated interest outside your program, the Graduate School website has assistantship positions posted.

Where can I find information about graduate assistantships? Financial aid? Scholarships?
Assistantships and scholarships may be found on our website. Financial Aid’s website is