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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), GMAT, or any other test required for admission?

The GRE is required for the Biology and Environmental Studies masters programs. Other departments have the option to request an applicant take the test for admission purposes. The GMAT is required for the Master in Business Administration (MBA).

Where can I take the GRE?

Students can find testing sites for the GRE by accessing Contact Kelly Knapp (; 218-755-2075) in Student Development and Enrollment for more information. To schedule the GMAT, go to

What information should be included in letters of recommendation and how many are required?

Letters of recommendation are to address the candidate's qualifications for the candidate's chosen program. Two (2) letters of recommendation (dated, signed and on letterhead) are required for all programs except for Environmental Studies (no letters are required). Those pursuing the MBA, English and the English Department's Graduate Assistantship are required to submit three (3) letters.

If I am admitted as a Graduate Special Student at BSU and decide to apply for admission into a specific graduate program, will those credits count toward my master's?

Yes, as long as the credits to be used are within the seven (7) year period for you to complete your degree AND your advisor approves the courses to be used. The seven (7) years would start from the time you began taking courses that would count toward your degree (this would also include any approved transfer credits). i.e. If you began taking courses as a special student in the summer of 2005 and you were officially admitted into a graduate degree program in the fall of 2006, you would have until the summer of 2012 to complete your degree.

Do I need to apply for admission to graduate school to obtain licensure?

No, you may complete licensure as a Graduate Special Student.

Is there a deadline for applying for admission to graduate studies?

We admit students on a rolling basis at BSU, which means we will accept applications throughout the year. However, the following departments do set application deadlines - Biology, English (for GA's only), Professional Education, and the MBA.  See our admissions information or the department's website for specific dates.

How long does it usually take to process my application materials and to actually be admitted into a graduate program?

Once all materials (application, letters of recommendation, etc.) are collected in the School of Graduate Studies, copies are sent to the Graduate Coordinator/ Department Chair for their review, approval of admission, and advisor assignment. This usually takes about ten (10) business days.

Do I need to have a current teaching license to be considered for a master's program?

Current teaching licenses are not required. However depending upon the master's program chosen, the department does use this information to determine an applicant's qualification for that program. A copy of a current or previous license is requested.

What is the minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement to be considered for admission into a master's program?

A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for full admission to certain programs; students with a 2.75 or higher GPA may also be admitted on a provisional basis (depending on the program) until such time a graduate GPA is established. Although a student's undergraduate GPA may be below the 2.75, each student's application and all required materials are considered.

What is the maximum amount of time that I have to complete my degree?

You will have a total of seven (7) years to complete your degree. i.e. If you began taking graduate credits toward your degree in the Fall of 2006, you will have until the end of Fall of 2013 to complete your degree.

If I am an International student desiring to pursue a master's degree at BSU, who should I contact?

International students need to go through a different admission process than U.S. residents. You would need to contact the International Program Center at for the appropriate application materials if you are seeking a residential degree. If you are applying to one of our online graduate programs, you will apply through the School of Graduate Studies.

As an International student, am I required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

Yes, the TOEFL score is required of all applicants whose first language is other than English. A minimum score of 550 is required.

What's the difference between an Applied Master's and a Master of Science degree in Education or Special Education?

First, the similarities:

  • Same core courses
  • Same cognate areas

Now the differences:

M.S....research-oriented degree for those who intend to go beyond a master's degree or want to do scholarly research; a formal paper or thesis is required

Applied Master's- applied degree designed for practicing teachers who plan to remain in the classroom and want to improve their teaching knowledge and skills; and a capstone course is required, without a formal research paper or thesis. You may choose either degree regardless of your future plans.