Exam Waiver Information

Alternative Admission Requirements in Lieu of the Standardized Exam

To be considered for any program's standardized exam waiver applicants must EITHER hold a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher OR meet one of the following conditions: 

  1. Applicants currently in an Appalachian Accelerated Master’s program, with a grade of “B” (3.0) or higher in every graduate-level course completed.
  2. Applicants who within the last five years have successfully completed (with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher) at least 9 credit hours of courses in an Appalachian State graduate certificate program that has been predetermined as appropriate for the degree.
  3. Applicants who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Exam waiver criteria vary by program area and may not be available for all programs; review the list below to determine if your program of interest offers a waiver option. We strongly recommend that you contact the director of the program to which you are applying to confirm your eligibility for a waiver. Applications missing a standardized exam score and without an approved waiver will not be considered for admission. The Graduate School performs the formal evaluation and final approval for a test waiver once an application is complete except for test scores. An approved exam waiver does not guarantee acceptance into the program. 


Summary of Programs for Which a Standardized Exam May Be Waived

Programs for which the standardized exam requirement may be waived (for applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher):Alternative admissions criteria used in lieu of the standardized exam:
 Doctoral Degrees (EdD, PsyD)
Educational Leadership (EdD)Earned graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher AND at least five years of professional experience in education; OR earned Education Specialist (EdS) degree with GPA of 3.0 or higher from Appalachian State University. 
Clinical Psychology (PsyD) GPA of 3.0 or higher in most recent earned degree (undergraduate or graduate). Admissions criteria that are used in lieu of the standardized exam for qualifying applicants include: quality of the statement of interest, interview process (by invitation only), and letters of recommendation; and alignment with program goals and faculty clinical research.  
 Specialist Degrees (EdS, SSP)
Educational Administration Program (EdS)Educational Administration Program (EdS)
Higher Education Program (EdS)Five or more years of professional work experience.
Specialist in School Psychology Program (SSP/MA)Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Admissions criteria that are used in lieu of the standardized exam for qualifying applicants include: quality of the statement of interest, interview process (by invitation only), and letters of recommendation; and alignment with program goals and faculty research.  
 Dual Degrees (paired master's degree programs)
Business Administration (MBA) and Public Administration (MPA)A cumulative UGPA of 3.0 or higher AND five or more years of relevant, post-baccalaureate work or military experience; OR an earned master's or higher degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; OR a cumulative UGPA of 3.6 or higher; OR membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
 Applied Data Analytics (MSADA) and Public Administration (MPA)A cumulative UGPA of 3.0 or higher AND five or more years of relevant, post-baccalaureate work or military experience; OR a cumulative UGPA of 3.5 or higher in a degree earned at Appalachian State; OR completion of the graduate certificate program in Business Analytics at Appalachian State University with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; OR membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
 Master's Degrees (MA, MS, MBA, MHA, MPA, MM, MLS, MSW)
Accounting Program (MS)Undergraduate Accounting degree with a GPA of 3.3 or higher and at least two of three recommendations letters from professors for upper-level courses in their discipline; OR Five or more years of professional or military work experience; OR membership in Beta Gamma Sigma; OR Professional certification with a quantitative focus (e.g., CPA, CFA, CMA).
Appalachian Studies (MA)Cumulative undergraduate degree of 3.0 or higher AND sample of work.
Applied Data Analytics Program (MS)Five or more years of full-time, professional work or military experience; OR Completion of a graduate certificate in Business Analytics at Appalachian State University with a minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher; OR Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher; OR Verified membership in Beta Gamma Sigma.
Athletic Training (MS)A cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher AND a GPA of 3.25 or higher in the combined prerequisite courses. 
Biology Program (MS)On-campus interview (preferred, although video interview is acceptable) with the potential faculty adviser(s) and the graduate program director. At least one reference letter must be from a faculty member at the applicant's undergraduate degree-granting institution.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Computer Science Program (MS)A 3.2 average in undergraduate computer science courses involving programming and software engineering, architecture and systems, algorithms and theory, and written communication skills (as demonstrated by a "B" or better in a communication course).
Curriculum Specialist Program (MA) An cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher OR Three or more years of teaching experience. 
Educational Media Program (MA) Three or more years of professional work experience OR Completion of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework at Appalachian State University or other accredited institution, with a grade of “B” or better, within the last 5 years. 
Elementary Education Program (MA) A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher. 
Engineering Physics Program (MS) A 3.0 or higher GPA in five core undergraduate Physics and Math courses (Physics I & II and Calculus I, II, and III). 
Exercise Science (MS)Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher AND grade of B or higher in all prerequisite courses AND submission of a writing sample.
Geography Program (MA) Five or more years of relevant professional work experience and an earned undergraduate GPA of 3.7 or higher. 
Higher Education Program (MA)Essay on what applicant believes are most pressing issues facing higher education today.  
History (MA) -- all concentrationsCumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and sample of written work, such as a research paper.
Library Science Program (MLS)A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher; OR Five or more years experience in a public library or a school, with a supporting letter of recommendation from a supervisor.
Marriage and Family Therapy (MA)A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher AND at least two reference letters from professors from whom the applicant has taken at least one course; OR five or more years of professional human services or famly systems-related work experience.
Master of Business Administration Program (MBA) Five or more years of full-time, professional work or military experience; OR a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher; OR membership verification from Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
Master of Health Administration Program (MHA) A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Master of Music in Performance Program (MM)Completion of an extensive audition and interview process.
Master of Music Therapy Program (MMT)A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher AND video recording of piano and singing skills AND interview, either live or via video link. 
Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) An undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or higher; OR five years of relevant work experience in a government or nonprofit agency; OR completion of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework at Appalachian State University or other accredited institution, with a grade of “B” or better, within the last 5 years.
Master of School Administration Program (MSA)A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.1 or higher; OR five or more years of K-12 work experience.
Nursing Program (MSN) A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Nutrition Program (MS) Written statement addressing prior professional experience and career goals. 
Political Science (MA)A cumulative undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in a degree earned in the last five years; AND a sample of written work representative of the applicant's best work (preferably under 25 pages).
Professional School Counseling (MA)Written statement addressing prior experiences working with children/ adolescents; OR one or more years of paid or volunteer experience in a school setting; OR reference letters from faculty or employers describing aptitude for working with children/adolescents; OR undergraduate degree in psychology, education, social work, or helping-related program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
Reading Education Program (MA) Completion of 6 credit hours of graduate coursework at Appalachian State University or other accredited institution, with a grade of “B” or better, within the last 5 years OR three or more years of teaching experience.
Romance Languages Program (MA) Completion of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework at Appalachian State University or other accredited institution with a grade of “B” or better; OR Five or more years of post-baccalaureate experience in teaching, translating, or interpreting in the target language; OR Performance at the advanced-mid level or higher in Spanish or French in a target language writing sample and a standard oral proficiency interview (OPI) conducted by the department’s graduate faculty. 
Social Work - Advanced Standing Program (MSW)GPA of 3.2 or higher in undergraduate Social Work major courses. 
Social Work - Regular Program (MSW)Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher in the last earned degree or a completed graduate degree in another discipline. 
Special Education Program (MA)Completion of 6 credit hours of graduate coursework at Appalachian State University or other accredited institution with a grade of “B” or better within the last 5 years; OR three or more years of teaching experience.
Student Affairs Administration Program (MA)One year or more years of student engagement/involvement experience (e.g., served as a Resident Assistant or as a student leader in a club or organization) or higher education-related work experience.


More Questions?

Admission FAQs

Please don't hesitate to email gradadmissions@appstate.edu, or call 828-262-2130 and select Admissions.