Jul 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions Information

Admissions Policies


The admissions criteria published in this catalog apply to applicants for the subsequent academic year. Admitted students must fulfill the program requirements and must abide by the academic regulations in effect at the time of their matriculation in the Graduate School. Matriculation is defined as the first term of credential-seeking (degree or certificate) enrollment or first term of readmission into a graduate program.  Continuously enrolled students have the option to update their catalog year to the current academic year.

All applicants for degree programs, certificate programs and non-degree programs without exception must, at a minimum,

  • have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and
  • established acceptable English skills based on their undergraduate coursework, or via a standardized examination such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. Each program may also review an applicant’s English skills based on the GRE/GMAT/PRAXIS/LSAT or other standardized test scores. Each program’s admissions committee may choose to waive the English proficiency test based on their evaluation of the applicant’s standardized test scores.

Specific admission policies for each program are listed within that program’s section in this catalog .

To be considered for admission to degree, non-degree, or certificate programs at the Graduate School, applicants must submit a completed Application for Admission, pay a $60 non-refundable application fee, and submit official transcripts of all previous academic work. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials are received by the Graduate School for the program to which they are applying. These materials should be submitted prior to specified deadlines for timely processing.

The following policies are applicable to undergraduate, graduate, and all non-degree students:

Financial Aid

Federal financial aid is only available to students in a degree-seeking status.

Distance Education

Students who take courses via mixed modalities, including distance education and online courses, must meet all appropriate admission requirements.

Risk Management Assessment

All applicants are required to answer questions relating to their criminal and disciplinary history, as outlined in College of Charleston, Policy 8.1.5.

Privacy and Security Policies

Information on the privacy and security policies governing applicants’ personal information can be found online at the College’s policy website at policy.cofc.edu.

Admission Categories

Degree-Seeking Students

A candidate’s acceptance into a graduate degree program is based primarily upon his or her previous academic record. Admission decisions for the specific programs are made by the admission committee for each program, consistent with all applicable policies of the Graduate School.

The Graduate School of the University of Charleston, S.C. at the College of Charleston “seeks applicants capable of successfully completing degree requirements and pays particular attention to identifying and admitting students who excel academically.” Every graduate program has its own admissions committee that reviews every application, utilizing commonly accepted practices in reviewing graduate applications. Each committee takes a holistic approach in considering not only test scores and grade point average (GPA) but also academic writing samples, personal statements and letters of recommendation in completing the decision process. “The College of Charleston serves a diverse student body from its geographical area and also attracts students from national and international communities.” This excerpt from the College’s mission statement embodies the overarching goals in graduate admissions processes and policies.

Upon acceptance to the Graduate School, each applicant is sent an acceptance letter, an acceptance-of-offer form, and a new student checklist.  The new student checklist includes information about Graduate School policies and required health and immunization records. This form must be completed and sent to Student Health Services. Students are primarily advised by the graduate program director but may also be assigned a separate graduate advisor to assist in developing their plan of study. Consult with your program prior to enrolling in courses to ensure they will count toward your degree.

All programs for the master’s degree at the Graduate School require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level work directly related to the discipline and which may not include Continuous Research Enrollment hours or Professional Development Courses (EDPD). See program details for specific requirements . See Continuous Research Enrollment, under Academic Regulations , for more information about Continuous Research Enrollment hours. See Professional Development for Certified Teachers, under Admissions Information, for more information about EDPD courses.

Conditional Acceptance

A conditionally accepted student is one who does not meet all the admission criteria, but in the judgment of the appropriate program admission committee, has the potential to successfully complete graduate work. Conditional students have registration holds placed on their accounts and must be registered by the Graduate School until the stipulations of the conditional acceptance are met. Students who do not fulfill their conditions of acceptance may be dismissed from the Graduate School. 

Deferred Enrollment

Students who have been accepted for a specific term and wish to defer initial enrollment must seek approval from their program director. Deferrals must be approved before the first day of classes for the term in which the student was originally accepted. If approval is not granted, the student will need to reapply to the program. Students may only defer once per application.

Graduate Certificate Students

The graduate certificate is not defined as a degree by the College of Charleston. Rather, it is a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student some record of coherent academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. Moreover, the graduate certificate is not viewed as a guaranteed means of entry into a graduate degree program. While the courses composing a graduate certificate may be used as evidence in support of a student’s application for admission to a graduate degree program, the certificate itself is not considered to be a prerequisite. Graduate certificate students are only permitted to register for courses within the certificate’s program of study. Graduate certificate students do not meet the eligibility requirements for financial aid.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students are those who desire registration with credit in graduate courses but are not candidates for a degree or certificate program. Applicants seeking acceptance as non-degree status need to submit the appropriate application for admission and submit the required application fee and official transcripts. Non-degree students are limited to 12 credit hours in the program to which they are admitted. Students enrolled in courses outside of their non-degree program will be dropped by the Graduate School. Depending upon the program, between 6 and 12 credit hours of work taken in non-degree status may be applied toward degree requirements if the student is later admitted to a degree program. To accomplish reclassification as a degree-seeking student, the candidate must submit all materials prescribed by the appropriate admission criteria. For non-degree students applying for degree-seeking status within one calendar year of the original non-degree application, the fee for the degree-seeking application will be waived. Contact the Director of Graduate Admissions for more information.  Please note that not all graduate programs accept non-degree students.

Applications for non-degree status must be reviewed by the admissions committee for each program, except education.

Applications for non-degree status in education are reviewed by the Graduate School Office and must be accompanied by a copy of a teaching certificate.

All students who take courses via mixed modalities, including distance education courses, must meet all appropriate admission requirements. Admissions applications are accessed online. Supplemental materials may be submitted by mail, email, or fax.

International Students

International applicants, being defined as anyone applying who is not a citizen of the United States, regardless of present residence, are required to provide documentation in addition to that required by each program. These documents include but are not limited to:

  1. A copy of their current visa, when appropriate.
    1. F-1, J-1, H-1, etc.
    2. A permanent residency card
    3. Documentation from the U.S. State Department regarding progress towards either a permanent residency card or naturalization proceedings.
  2. An official copy of their transcripts.
  3. A copy of their current, valid passport picture page.
  4. An evaluation of all non-U.S. transcripts from an approved evaluation service. Regardless of the student’s citizenship, applicants with course work from a college/university outside of the United States must also submit official transcripts (mark sheets, academic records), with English translations, to a recognized credential evaluation agency for verification and a course-by-course evaluation. Responsibility for the translation and evaluation of documents to meet deadlines, as well as all costs associated with these services, is the responsibility of the student applying for admission. Once the course-by-course evaluation from an outside agency and the English translations of course descriptions are received by the Graduate School, evaluation of the course work can begin for admission or potential graduate transfer credit. Complete information about international transcript evaluation, along with a list of recognized credential evaluation agencies, is located on the Graduate School’s website.  The list of approved services includes:
    1. World Education Services, Inc.
    2. Educational Perspectives
    3. Educational Credential Evaluators
    4. International Education Evaluations
    5. SpanTran
  5. An official copy of the applicant’s TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores.
  • TOEFL minimum score of 80
  • IELTS minimum score of 6.5
  • Duolingo minimum total score of 105


  1. This requirement may be waived under certain conditions:
    1. Applicants from countries where English is the first language, such as the U.K. or Australia
    2. Applicants who received their degree from or have attended a U.S. university for at least one year. Grades received at the U.S. institution will have an impact on the decision to waive the English proficiency test.
    3. Each program may also review an applicant’s English skills based on the GRE/GMAT/PRAXIS/LSAT or other standardized test scores. Each program’s admissions committee may choose to waive the English proficiency test based on their evaluation of the applicant’s standardized test scores.
  1. Those applicants requiring an F-1 visa must provide certificate of finances that gives specific information on their ability to meet the financial demands of tuition, fees, and cost of living at the College of Charleston. The documentation to be provide includes:
    1. The certificate itself, completed and signed appropriately by all involved parties.
    2. Bank statements, and/or letters from the bank confirming the ability of the applicant to pay.

Professional Development for Certified Teachers

Certified educators can enroll in professional development courses through the School of Education Office of Professional Development in Education (OPDE). These courses, known as Professional Development Courses (EDPD) are used to modernize instructional strategies and offer content enrichment opportunities while leading to recertification points and pay scale advancements. For more information regarding professional development courses, contact the Office of Professional Development in Education at 843.953.7651.

Please note that EDPD courses differ from Catalog Courses. A Catalog Course has been approved as part of a course of study in a graduate-level program at the College of Charleston. EDPD courses are cannot count towards any master’s degree or graduate certificate at the College of Charleston.

60+ Tuition Exemption Program

South Carolina residents who are at least 60 years old quality for a tuition exemption under South Carolina State law (Section 59-111-320).  If you are 60 years old or older, and a resident of South Carolina you can apply as a degree or non-degree seeking student on a tuition-free basis.  While 60+ students do not pay tuition, there is a $60 application fee and $50 registration fee.  Students are responsible for paying any fees. Books and fees (i.e. application, lab, course, program fees) are not exempt. 

  • Students must apply and be admitted to the Graduate School.
  • Students must provide proof they have been an SC resident for at least 12 months. 
  • Students are required to complete U.S. citizenship verification upon admission (students can find instructions on how to verify Lawful Presence on the Office of Admissions website: https://admissions.cofc.edu/enroll/lawful-presence/index.php).

Applications and all required materials must be submitted prior to the deadlines indicated for the desired program. Information on materials and deadlines can be found on the list of degree and certificate programs. All graduate applications are reviewed by the individual programs, whether degree- or non-degree seeking. Participants may not be simultaneously enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses. Visit 60+ Tuition Exemption Program (Graduate School) for admission application instructions. 

Transient or Visiting

A student in good standing in any regionally accredited graduate school who wishes to enroll in graduate courses for credit with the intention of transferring this credit to his or her home institution may be admitted as a transient or visiting graduate student. This admission is valid for only one semester or one summer session but may be renewed any number of times upon reapplication. No transcripts are required for transient student enrollment, but a letter from the graduate dean of the home institution certifying the student is in good standing status must be provided. Transient/visiting students must also submit an application and pay the application fee.


Any student at the Graduate School who voluntarily withdraws from the institution or is dismissed for any reason must apply for readmission to re-enroll.

Readmission Following Academic Dismissal

Students who have been academically dismissed may apply for readmission after one calendar year, with the following conditions:

  1. The student will provide updated application information and a new statement of goals, which will address the student’s plan for success in the future.
  2. If the application for readmission is successful, the program director and Graduate School will provide the student with an acceptance letter that lists specific parameters that must be met for completion of the student’s program which include, but are not limited to:
    1. The remaining required courses
    2. The specific grades that must be achieved to maintain a 3.000 GPA
    3. A timeline for completion of the program
  3. If the student is readmitted to the program, he/she must meet with the program director and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School to review their acceptance letter.  A signed copy will be placed in the student’s file.
  4. For cohort-based graduate programs, special conditions or restrictions on readmission may apply.

Other Applications for Readmission

Students may apply for readmission when their matriculation has been closed due to inactivity, when they have failed to enroll at the end of an approved Leave of Absence, when they have exceeded the program completion time limit, or following withdrawal from their program. Readmission is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The student will provide updated application information and a new statement of goals, which may address the student’s previous performance and will describe the student’s plan for future success.
  2. If the application for readmission is successful, the program director and Graduate School will provide the student with an acceptance letter that lists specific parameters that must be met for completion of the student’s program.  Parameters for completion typically include, but are not limited to:
    1. The remaining program requirements
    2. A timeline for completion of the program
  3. For cohort-based graduate programs, special conditions or restrictions on readmission may apply.

The Dean of the Graduate School must approve all applications for readmission.  If a readmitted student fails to meet the parameters of his or her readmission, it is at the discretion of the program and/or the Graduate School to permanently remove the student.

Applying to the Graduate School

Admissions requirements for each graduate program differ; students are highly encouraged to review the requirements under each program of study .

All admissions materials can be submitted to gradstud@cofc.edu or mailed to:

The Graduate School
Randolph Hall, Suite 310
College of Charleston
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for admission into most programs at the Graduate School are as follows:

Term Application opens Priority* Final Application Closes
Fall Domestic August 1 January 15 July 1 July 2
Fall International August 1 January 15 March 1 July 2
Summer Domestic August 1 January 15 April 1 April 2
Summer International August 1 January 15 January 15 April 2
Spring Domestic June 1 November 1 December 1 December 2
Spring International June 1 July 15 September 1 December 2

*Candidates who submit a completed application by the priority deadline will automatically be considered for Graduate School and/or graduate program funding.

Graduate Degree Programs

Not all graduate programs accept applications for spring or summer admission. Some programs may have a deadline prior to those stated above. Please see the individual programs  for their specific application deadlines.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Not all graduate programs accept applications for spring or summer admission. Some programs may have a deadline prior to those stated above. Please see the individual programs  for their specific application deadlines.

Graduate students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program of study leading to a degree, and who wish to pursue a simultaneous graduate certificate within the Graduate School must apply to the certificate program. The application fee will be waived by the Graduate School for currently enrolled students.

Students currently in a graduate certificate program who wish to enroll in a degree program must adhere to the admissions requirements of that program. Materials provided during the certificate application process may be included in the master’s application; the certificate student must supply any additional materials required by the degree program.

Non-Degree and International Applicants

Non-Degree Applicants

Fall: Rolling
Spring: Rolling
Summer: Rolling

International Applicants

If your program of interest has a deadline that falls prior to those stated below, you must abide by the program deadline.

Fall: January 15, priority; March 1, final
Spring: July 15, priority; September 1, final
Summer: January 15, final

Appeal of Admissions Decision

The Graduate School will respond to all students who request review of the decisions of the faculty of the academic programs to deny admission. Such appeals will be considered only if based upon appropriate cause. An applicant should only appeal if there is substantial new information that the committee was not aware of at the time of the original decision. An applicant should not appeal just to request a second review of the application. Appeals are heard by the Graduate Appeals Committee - led by the Associate Dean (or Dean’s Designee), with four program directors (not to include the director for the program of the applicant).

General Entrance Examinations

Master’s degree programs at the Graduate School may require an entrance examination. The exams most commonly accepted are the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Applicants should refer to the program of interest to understand which examination is required for acceptance to that program. The results of these examinations are valid for up to five years. The Graduate School will not consider examination results older than five years for entrance into a graduate program. For more information regarding these entrance exams please refer to the specific program .

Note: The Graduate School will not release copies of test scores submitted from testing agencies.

Health Requirements

All students are required to complete a health form and show proof of immunization. These records must be uploaded directly to Student Health Services.  All incoming students who are not in compliance with the College of Charleston immunization policy will have a registration hold placed on their account.  Visit the Student Health website at https://studenthealth.cofc.edu for instructions on how to upload immunization records.  Physical exams are not required.

Post-Admission Policies

All students of the College of Charleston are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the policies that pertain to their course of study. Policies include, among others, those within this Catalog, the Student Code of Conduct, and the Non-discrimination and Harassment Policy. The College of Charleston reserves the right to change the schedule of classes and cost of instruction at any time within the student’s term of residence. Students are also responsible for staying informed of individual program academic policies. We recommend that students remain in contact with their program director and the Graduate School regarding any policy changes.


Applicants may submit unofficial and/or incomplete transcripts for preliminary review during the admission process.

Unofficial and/or incomplete transcripts are defined as, but not limited to:

  • Paper or electronic transcripts lacking final grades or posted degrees
  • Paper or electronic transcripts that have been copied or scanned 
  • Electronic transcripts provided directly by the applicant
  • Paper transcripts provided directly by the applicant, either in an unsealed envelope or an envelope not stamped or sealed by the institution’s registrar

Once an applicant has been accepted, official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities are required prior to enrollment in the Graduate School.

Official and complete transcripts are defined as:

  • Paper or electronic transcripts reflecting final grades and posted degrees where applicable
  • Paper transcripts provided directly from the student in a sealed envelope from the institution’s registrar 
  • Paper transcripts provided directly from the institution in a sealed envelope 
  • Electronic transcripts provided directly from the institution, sometimes via a third-party service like Credential Solutions or the National Student Clearinghouse

The Graduate School must have an official transcript reflecting an earned bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment.

Note: The College of Charleston will not release copies of education records/transcripts received from previous institutions.

Verification of Lawful Presence

Section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended in 2008, requires that, to attend a public university in the state, a student must be a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States. College of Charleston is required to verify the status of all students prior to their enrollment. The Board of Trustees of the College has approved a verification process to comply with the law.

Procedures for U.S. Citizens

Every student must provide proof of U.S. citizenship before being allowed to register for coursework. Students may verify their lawful presence in one of the following ways:

  • File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal-Student Aid) to College of Charleston- our code number is 003428;
  • Present a valid South Carolina driver’s license issued after January 1, 2002;
  • Present a current U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport that has not been expired more than 10 years
  • Present an original U.S. or U.S. Territory Birth Certificate (not hospital certificate), Certification of Naturalization, U.S. Government-issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad of Certificate of Citizenship.

Every student must provide proof of U.S. citizenship before being allowed to enroll.

Questions about the College’s policy and procedures regarding this matter may be sent to lawfulpresence@cofc.edu.

Procedures for Non-U.S. Citizens

Your admissions officer will verify your lawful presence in the United States when you apply to and enroll in the College. When your document expires or your status changes you must provide a copy of your current or renewed document to the Center for International Education. Students are not allowed to attend classes unless their lawful presence proof documents are current.

Proof of Lawful Presence Documents for Non-U.S. Citizens:

  1. Current Permanent Resident Card
  2. Current Visa Documentation (NOTE: If you are in F1 or J1 status, your lawful presence will be confirmed by the Center for International Education.)
  3. Any other appropriate document which verifies lawful presence in the United States in accordance with the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (“SAVE”) operated by USCIS.

Completion of a FAFSA or possession of a South Carolina driver’s license is not sufficient proof of lawful presence without one of the above documents.

NOTE: International students should contact the Center for International Education by phone at 843.953.7661 or by email at studyabroad@cofc.edu.