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Home » Policies » Graduate School Academic Policies » 1. Admission and Matriculation

1. Admission and Matriculation

The Rackham Graduate School administers applications for graduate and graduate/professional degrees in more than 190 master’s and doctoral programs. The application and information about procedures, requirements, fees, deadlines, and links to descriptions and requirements of individual graduate programs, are available online. Persons seeking a professional degree not offered by Rackham but by another school or college of the University should contact the appropriate admissions office.

Persons holding master’s or doctoral degrees are usually not eligible to apply for study in the field of specialization and level for which they already have a degree. Admission to a master’s program in the same field may be allowed if the previous master’s program was not accredited. Those enrolled in a master’s program who wish to apply to a second master’s program in a new field must comply with regulations for dual degree programs (section 7.2).

A scholar who has been awarded one doctorate may apply to the Graduate School for a second doctoral program. The second doctorate must be in a new field or for a different doctoral degree in the same field. Such a request requires the recommendation of the chair and faculty in the second doctoral program. Students may not, under normal circumstances, enroll in two doctoral programs simultaneously. Those seeking an exception must submit a “Petition for Modification or Waiver of Regulation” to the Dean of Rackham with a letter of explanation for the request.

Only when enrollment is necessary for professional development may University of Michigan faculty of professorial rank be admitted for graduate work for credit or earn a Rackham degree. Faculty may do so only with the approval of their chairs and deans of their departments or schools, and with the approval of the Rackham Dean. Faculty may not enroll in degree programs offered by their own departments (or schools, if these are equivalent units).

A student who has been permanently dismissed from an academic program of the Rackham Graduate School because of academic or professional misconduct, or who has withdrawn voluntarily rather than participate in an investigation of allegations of academic or professional misconduct, may not apply to or enroll in any other Rackham program for five years from the date of dismissal or for the period specified in the letter of dismissal.


1.1 Admission Graduate Programs

Regular admission is granted to applicants who satisfy all admission requirements of the Graduate School and who have been recommended for admission by the program to which they have applied. The Graduate School must receive an official transcript (i.e., one bearing the official seal of the school and the Registrar’s signature) indicating award of the bachelor’s degree or equivalent for a student to have regular admission status.

Conditional admission may be granted to applicants who do not satisfy all admission requirements of the Graduate School. An applicant granted conditional admission must fulfill one or more of the following requirements before any degree milestone (i.e., taking preliminary or qualifying exams, advancing to candidacy, or receiving the degree) will be recorded in the official academic record or any transfer credit will be accepted:

  • A student who has finished an undergraduate degree or has been admitted before completing the requirements for a bachelor’s degree must submit to Rackham Admissions a final official transcript or other official certificate indicating satisfactory completion of all coursework and the title of the degree and date of its conferral. An applicant with a University of Michigan undergraduate degree does not need to provide a transcript.
  • An admitting graduate program may require a student to complete a prescribed set of courses with stated minimum grades within a specified number of terms, or to maintain a stated minimum grade average for a specified number of credit hours or prescribed courses. When these conditions are fulfilled, the student must check with the program to be sure that these are recorded.

1.2 Admission as Non-Candidate for Degree

Non-Candidate for Degree (NCFD) is an admission status granted to qualified applicants who want to take courses for graduate credit but who do not want to pursue a degree. Applicants, for instance, may seek to continue their professional development; students in good standing in another graduate school may want to take a graduate course at Michigan; and others may want to increase their knowledge or test their capabilities in a graduate setting.

Applicants for NCFD status may either select a specific department or program, or apply to be admitted to the Graduate School more generally (section 3.10). NCFD students admitted to a department or program are limited to no more than two terms of enrollment. NCFD students admitted to the Graduate School may elect no more than two courses, and may continue for an additional term only upon successful completion of their courses and with permission from Rackham. Requirements and application forms are available online.

Persons who have been dismissed from a Rackham program for reasons of academic or professional integrity are ineligible for admission to NCFD status for five years from the date of dismissal or for the period specified in the letter of dismissal.

The Rackham application fee is non-refundable and subject to change.

Last updated: June 23, 2017 - 8:02pm