Directions for Applying for a Degree (master's, specialist or doctoral)

We look forward to learning more about you through the online application process. Please read through the FAQs below to prepare. Don't hesitate to contact us with questions at any point (, 828-262-2130).

What information should be gathered before starting the process?

The on-line application form is self-explanatory; please read each screen carefully. You will be prompted to enter information about yourself, the program you wish to enter, and your credentials. You can save information on each webpage, and then log out to return later to continue entering information.

You will need the following information to complete your application. It is helpful to gather some of this documentation in advance. Be sure to check the Supplemental Information Webpage to read about any additional documents needed by the program of your choice and to verify the deadline set by the program.

  • The specific program and concentration (if there is a choice) by name, the location of the program (on- or off-campus), and whether you intend to enroll full or part time. (Please note that all off-campus programs are part-time programs. Some on-campus programs do not permit part-time enrollment.) If you select a level of enrollment that is not possible, we will contact you.
  • An email account (other than a Yahoo! account) that you can be sure you have access to during the entire application review process. Questions about your application will be sent to the email address that you provide.
  • A mailing address, which can be different from your permanent address if needed. Official notification of acceptance will be sent to your permanent address.
  • The names and dates of attendance for all colleges and universities you have attended (even if the credit transferred to another institution, including Appalachian if you attended here!), and the date(s) on which you were awarded any degrees. These dates are on your transcripts if you are not sure about them. You must submit official transcripts from every institution from which you have earned a degree (except Appalachian) and from any institution in which you have been enrolled in the past five years. 
  • The names and email addresses (other than a Yahoo! account) for your references. We strongly encourage you to have references that are relevant to your field of study, such as faculty who have taught you in related courses or employers who can comment on skills directly relevant to your intended major. Personal references (friends, clergy, etc.) are not as useful to the reviewers. In the event that a reference does not have an email address, please contact us for further instructions.
  • You will be required to answer questions about any criminal offenses or academic disciplinary actions from the past or currently under review, with brief explanations. Please note that failure to disclose this information or to provide an adequate explanation can delay, or even cause rejection of, your application. We will contact you regarding the submission of a criminal background check to document the charges.

What constitutes a complete application?

The following items are required for all degree (master's, specialist, or doctoral) programs.

  1. The online application form, with all required information filled in and submitted.
  2. The $65 application processing fee. When you submit your application (by pressing the submit button on the last page), you will be given an application identifier. Please include this identifier on your check or money order if you chose the option 'pay by check' so we can be sure that your payment is properly recorded.
  3. An official transcript, mailed directly to the Graduate School from each of the colleges and universities from which you have earned degrees and from any colleges/universities you have attended in the past five year, even if the credits transferred elsewhere. The mailing address is: Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, Box 32068, Boone, NC 28608. If you attended Appalachian you do not need to mail your Appalachian transcripts. If you transferred credits into Appalachian from another college, you will need to arrange for those to be sent. If you are using UPS or FedEx, our street address is Appalachian Graduate School, 287 Rivers Street, Room 232; Boone, NC 28608.
  4. If required, official test score reports sent directly to the Graduate School (CODE 5010 for GRE, GMAT, TOEFL; 1350 for MAT) for the general examination required by the program of interest. International students will need to supply TOEFL or IELTS scores. (Please review the program information in the Graduate Bulletin to see which test your program requires.) (Click here to see a grid with detailed information on the waiver qualifications of the standardized exam requirements - both general and program specific.)
  5. Contact information for your references. You will be prompted for their email addresses when you fill out the online application, and we will contact those individuals with submission instructions. In the event that you are requesting a reference from someone without an email address, please contact us for instructions. We can arrange for a paper copy of the reference information to be sent. The number of reference letters for all programs is three (3).
  6. A resume, which should be prepared as or scanned into a .doc, .docx or .pdf file (.pdf preferred) and uploaded during the on-line process. Please prepare a basic resume that documents your education, military and work experience for at least the last five years. If you have a gap in your history of four months or more, the UNC system policy requires further documentation. Please provide an additional page in your resume with an explanation of the gaps.
  7. Any supplemental information required by the specific program, such as resumes, writing samples, letters of intent, etc. (List of supplemental information required by each program)

How do I apply for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships?

Students who intend to enroll in a main campus program full-time (at least nine (9) hours each Fall and Spring semester) are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships and fellowships that are coordinated through the Graduate School. If you indicate that you intend full-time enrollment:

  • You will be asked whether you wish to apply for a scholarship and then prompted to upload an essay later in the process. The 500 word essay should be in a .doc, .docx or .pdf file (.pdf preferred), and the topic is: Describe the importance of a graduate education in relationship to your career goals. Please note that the program to which you are applying may also have scholarship funds; don't forget to ask the program director! A partial list of scholarships is available on-line. (List of Scholarships)
  • You will be asked whether of not you wish to apply for assistantships in your program or in other departments. Answering "yes" allows us to release your name, contact information, reference letters, and resume to other departments seeking students to employ as graduate assistants. A partial list is available on-line. (Partial list of assistantships)

Apply early! The fellowships have a deadline of March 1.

At this time, we do not have funding to provide assistantships or scholarships from the Graduate School to part-time students.

How is my information used, and who can see it?

Your information can only be used for determining admission, scholarships, and assistantships. The only people who have access to your information are the admissions specialists in the graduate school, the admissions committee in the program you select, the University Registrar (for transcript and residency purposes), the scholarship review committee, the assistantship coordinators, and the Office of Financial Aid (should you decide to apply for financial aid).

If I decide not to complete my application, can I be deleted from the system?

Persons who do not submit their applications by pressing submit at the end of the form may request that their profile be deleted by contacting the Graduate School in writing. Please include your full name, and the username you established. Submitted applications become part of the permanent record of applicants.

Who can help with questions?

Do not hesitate to contact the Graduate School if you need help! Mr. Dontrell Parson is the director of admissions and recruiting; Ms. Victoria Carlberg ( is the graduate admissions specialist and can also be contacted by phone during regular business hours (8 to 5 Eastern Time Zone USA): 828.262.2130.