Exam Waiver Information

Alternative Admission Requirements in Lieu of the Standardized Exam

To be considered for any standardized exam waiver, applicants must hold a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. There are three general categories of applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher for which the standardized exam may be waived:

  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 grade of “B” or higher) at least 9 credits hours of courses in an Appalachian graduate certificate program that has been predetermined as appropriate for the degree.
  3. Applicants who within the last five years have completed a master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Some programs have waived the standardized exam requirement for other categories of applicants. It is strongly suggested that you contact the program 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 waiver application does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Even for applicants who have received a waiver, standardized test scores may be required for scholarship consideration.


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)Undergradaute 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.  
 Master's Degrees (MA, MS, MBA, MHA, MPA, MM, MLS, MSW)
Accounting Program (MS)Undergraduate Accounting degree with a GPA of 3.5 or higher with a 3.5 or higher aggregate GPA in selected undergraduate accounting courses and at least two of three recommendations letters from Accounting professors; OR Five or more years of professional or military work experience; OR Professional certification with a quantitative focus (e.g., CPA, CFA, CMA).
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 Membership verification from 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. 
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 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) An 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) 
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.  
Library Science Program (MLS)An 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.
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 in a degree earned at Appalachian State University; OR Membership verification from Beta Gamma Sigma.
Master of Health Administration Program (MHA) A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Master of Music in Performance Program (MM)Extensive audition and interview process.
Master of Music Therapy Program (MMT)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)Undergraduate GPA of 3.1 or higher; OR five or more years of K-12 work experience.
Nursing Program (MSN) An undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Nutrition Program (MS) Written statement addressing prior professional experience and career goals. 
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.


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