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How to apply

At Oakland University, you’ll have the opportunity to reach your dreams academically, socially and professionally. You’ll have the chance to conduct research, advance your career, propel your learning potential and so much more. 

OU’s graduate admission policy is selective and the process is competitive. Applicants must present evidence that demonstrates the academic preparation needed to pursue a graduate degree. International students and Non-Degree seeking students should follow their specific application instructions.

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Steps to apply

The Graduate School at Oakland University offers easy steps to apply. Review the steps prior to applying to Graduate School.

Supplemental applications

Many graduate degree programs require a supplemental application as well as the online application. Visit the program  supplemental applications page to complete and upload the document to your application if it is required.

Application charge

There is a non-refundable, $45 USD charge for each new application submitted to the Graduate School at Oakland University. For more information including the application charge waiver and to see if you are eligible for a waiver code, visit the application charge page. 

Readmit program

If you were previously admitted to an Oakland University degree program and enrolled for courses but have not taken a course at OU within the last two years, you must reapply for admission.

Readmission is not automatic; deadlines for admission into a given semester may also apply for readmission and additional materials may be required. The graduate catalog current at the time you are readmitted will govern program requirements, policies and procedures.

Any student who is temporarily unable to attend class or must suspend their studies due to military service requirements will be readmitted with the same academic status they had when last attending the university.

Frequently asked questions

General questions

  1. How do I apply to a graduate program? 

    Students can apply to a graduate program by filling out and submitting the online application.
  2. How do I check the status of my application?

    Students can check the status of their application and required documents by logging into their account. You must enter your email and password that you created when you first applied.  

  3. What is the application fee for admission? 

    There will be a non-refundable, $45 USD charge for each new application submitted to the Graduate School at Oakland University. Please view the application charge tab for additional information.  

  4. Do I need to take the TOEFL exam? 

    Non-Native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency. Students with foreign academic credentials can provide proof of English proficiency with test scores from TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo. Visit the international page for more information. 

    A TOEFL exemption exists for students from countries where English is both the official language and the language of instruction in higher education. For more information visit our graduate catalog

  5. After you receive my online application with the required documents, how long will it be before I know if I have been admitted? 

    For academic programs that admit on a rolling basis (admission decisions made on a continual basis) the review process typically takes 2-3 weeks from the date the file become "complete." For programs that review applications as a group, the review process begins after the deadline date and can take 4-8 weeks before decisions are announced. Once the academic recommendation is received and a final decision is given, the Graduate School office will notify you of the admission decision. 

  6. How and when do new students register for classes? 

    Web registration is staggered by class standing and earned credit hours. New Students should register after their admission decision has been delivered. Visit the web registration information page at www.oakland.edu/regschedule for more information. 

  7. How do I transfer from another university to Oakland University? 

    If you are interested in "transferring" to Oakland University, you must complete the online application and meet the same admission requirements as any other graduate applicant. Upon admission to the Graduate School, your previous graduate coursework will be evaluated by the faculty adviser to determine transfer to Oakland University.  

  8. How do I transfer a graduate credit from another university to Oakland University? 

    Students enrolled in a graduate certificate, master’s, or doctoral degree program may transfer up to 49% of the credits required for the program, provided the transferred credits meet the requirements found in our catalog.  

  9. May I speak to an academic adviser regarding my graduate program? 

    Academic advising at the graduate level is conducted in the academic departments. Visit oakland.edu/grad/programs and click on the program of your choice. At the top of the page, you will find the contact information for the program coordinator who will answer any questions regarding the program. 

  10. When is the deadline for a graduate admission? 

    Deadlines for admission to a graduate program vary by academic program. Visit oakland.edu/grad/programs and click on the program of your interest. 

  11. How do I obtain a course catalog? 

    The graduate catalog is available online here

  12. As a graduate student, what financial aid might I qualify to receive? 

    Oakland University participates in a variety of financial assistance programs to help students pay for their educational expenses. Assistance can be awarded by Oakland University, Federal Government and by Private sources. Based on your FAFSA application, you may receive need-based loans or college work-study. If you do not have need-based eligibility, you may apply for non-need-based loans or regular student employment. 

    Other financial assistance may be available through a Graduate Assistantship. Graduate Assistantships are offered through the academic departments. Contact your program coordinator for more information. For the full list of Financial Aid options visit www.oakland.edu/grad/financial-assistance

  13. What is my student number? 

    Your student number is your Grizzly ID Number. It is typically listed towards the bottom of the incomplete and admission letters. 

  14. If I am an out-of-state or international student, how can I change my residency rates? 

    You must contact the Registrar's Office and inquire about Residency Reclassification after receiving admission to your graduate program. You can call 248-370-3450 or email [email protected]

  15. How does an international student receive an I-20? 

    After the admissions office determines that your file is complete and you have been accepted into the program, your file is sent to the International Students and Scholars Office, where your I-20 is prepared and mailed to you along with your official admission letter and other helpful information. 

  16. If I am an international student, do I need to attend an orientation? 

    YES! The office of International Students and Scholars coordinates a special program to meet your needs. They will provide you information regarding your orientation. 

  17. How do I transfer my F-1 visa at my current school to Oakland University? 

    The F-1 Transfer Form is required if you are currently attending a college or university within the United States. Submitting the F-1 Transfer Form does not automatically transfer your SEVIS record. During the application process, the form is only used to confirm if you are currently in status. Once admitted, your International Advisor at your current institution must release your SEVIS record to Oakland University. Contact our International Students and Scholars Office if you have any questions about the SEVIS transfer process at 248-370-3358 or email [email protected]

  18. Are there additional application requirements for international students? 

    Additional application documents can be found on our international page

Application questions

  1. What are "official" transcripts? I sent a copy of my transcript with my application. Is that sufficient?

    Official transcripts are sent from the registrar's office of the institution(s) you attended directly to our office (Graduate School, O'Dowd Hall Room 520, 586 Pioneer Drive, Rochester, MI 48309). To speed up your admission process, request all domestic transcripts to be delivered electronically to [email protected]. 

    Copies issued to students may be used for application review but official transcripts are required to finalize the admission process

  2. Do I need to have my Oakland University transcript sent to Graduate Admissions?

    No. We will obtain your OU record for your file. You do not need to make a formal request.  

  3. If I had my previous college transcripts sent to Oakland University when I was an undergrad, do I need to request them again for graduate school? 

    If you graduated with a bachelor's degree from OU in the past year, we can obtain all transcripts you previously submitted for your undergraduate program. If it has been more than one year, you may need to request the transcripts as your undergraduate record is no longer accessible to Graduate Admissions. 

    Some academic programs need to see the actual grades you received for prerequisite coursework so you may be required to request them again. After we process your application, you will be notified if previous college transcripts are required. 

  4. I won't finish my bachelor's degree until just before the semester to which I am applying. Is that a problem? 

    Most graduate programs accept applications for admission from students who are still completing their bachelor's degree. Any admission decision will be made contingent upon the successful completion of degree. You will be required to submit an official transcript with your degree posted in order to finalize the admission process. Some programs may require that you complete your degree prior to applying for admission. 

  5. What is a transcript evaluation? 

    A transcript evaluation is required for all students with foreign academic credentials. If you studied in an educational system other than within the United States, you are required to furnish a detailed transcript evaluation. Visit our international students page for more information. 

  6. I am a citizen of another country but have worked in the U.S. for 10 years. Do I need to take the TOEFL? 

    All Non-US citizens are required to provide proof of English proficiency. Time spend working in the US is not used to determine proficiency. Foreign students are encouraged to take the TOEFL, Duolingo, or IELTS exam. 

  7. I took the TOEFL 2.5 years ago, do I need to retake the exam? 

    Educational Testing Services only retains test scores for 2 years. Students who complete the TOEFL more than 2 years ago will be required to retest. Student copies of dated scores are not sufficient. You must be able to provide an official exam score report sent directly to Oakland University by ETS. Visit ETS for more information. 

  8. I took the GRE in 1990, can I use those scores? 

    GRE test scores are "good" for 5 years. Educational Testing Services only retains GRE scores for 5 years. Student copies of dated scores are not sufficient. You must be able to provide an official exam score report sent directly to Oakland University by ETS.  

  9. How can I submit non-required documents to be included with my application?  

    You can't. Only the listed required documents will be assigned to your application file. If you submit non-required documents, they will be discarded. 

Graduate School

O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2700

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.