A non-refundable processing fee of $50 is required for application for admission to graduate study in Arts & Sciences. This fee is not credited to the student’s account. There is no application fee for admission as a non-degree seeking (post-baccalaureate) student.
William & Mary uses an online application system.
Additional information about admission to graduate study should be requested from the director of graduate studies in the program to which the applicant intends to apply. Beginning graduate students may enter in the fall, spring, or summer session of each year at the discretion of the program’s graduate committee. Applicants should be aware that deadlines for submitting the application package vary with the individual programs; consult the graduate program of interest for its application deadline or refer to the program’s website. Applications submitted after the program’s deadline may be evaluated if space is available. Non-degree seeking applicants should apply as non-degree seeking (post-baccalaureate) students through the Office of the University Registrar.
A student can be enrolled in only one graduate program in A&S, unless the programs are listed in this catalog as combination degree programs. Exceptions require written approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and the Directors of Graduate Studies for both degree programs. In general, exceptions will only be approved for students who have completed all of the coursework required for one of the A&S degree programs. A student cannot receive stipend or tuition funding simultaneously from more than one W&M degree program, unless the degree programs are listed as combination at the front of this catalog.
Some programs require additional supplementary information (e.g., GRE subject test score or a writing sample) to complete an application to their program. Consult the degree program’s admissions requirements regarding supplementary application material that must be received before your application can be given full consideration.
Applicants are required to provide official transcripts or marks statements and degree certificates from all institutions of higher education that they have attended. These documents will be considered official when transmitted in one of the following ways:
- Submitted in the institution’s sealed envelope and sent directly to the degree program to which you are applying by the Registrar at that institution. Be sure to provide the correct mailing address for the program to ensure that your transcript, marks statement, or degree certificate is received. If you do not use the correct mailing address, there is a good chance that your transcript will be misdirected, thus delaying your consideration for admission.
- U.S. institutions only may electronically submit transcripts to Wanda Carter in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research via the institution’s electronic vendor and using secure portals. A transcript sent electronically by the applicant or through open email or portals will not be accepted as official. Transcripts submitted electronically by an international institution will not be accepted.
- Submitted in the institution’s sealed and stamped envelope and either mailed or delivered by you to the program to which you are applying. The transcript must be placed by the Registrar at the institution in an official university envelope addressed to you. In addition to sealing the envelope, the Registrar at the institution must date and sign, stamp, or place the seal of the institution on the back flap. Upon receipt by the graduate program to which you are applying, if there are any signs that the envelope has been opened or tampered with in any way, the transcript will be rejected.
William & Mary reserves the right to assess whether transcripts submitted electronically or directly by the applicant in the institution’s sealed and stamped envelope will be considered official.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Scores
The results of all three portions of the GRE General Test must be received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Use the William & Mary institution code 5115 to ensure that your scores are sent to William & Mary. Only scores sent directly to William & Mary by ETS will be accepted. If you take the computer-delivered GRE General Test, your official scores will be available in your ETS Account and sent to the institutions you designated approximately 10-15 days after your test date. ETS releases electronic test scores to institutions every Wednesday and Friday after 6 pm. If you take the paper-delivered test, your official scores will be available in your ETS Account and sent to the institutions you designated within five weeks after your test date. For individuals testing on or after July 1, 2016, GRE test scores are valid for five years after your test administration date. For example, scores for a test taken on July 3, 2019, are reportable through July 2, 2024. For tests taken prior to July 1, 2016, scores are reportable for five years following the testing year in which you tested (July 1- June 30).
Official TOEFL or IELTS scores
If English is not your first language, your TOEFL or IELTS scores are required and must be sent directly to William & Mary by the Educational Testing Service or the International English Language Testing System. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid only for two years after the test date; only scores sent directly by either ETS or IELTS are accepted.
Upon the recommendation of the graduate program to which you are applying, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived for applicants who will have received a degree from a college or university in which English is the primary language of instruction. A transcript is required as evidence of successful instruction in English as a primary language. Contact the graduate program to which you are applying to request such a waiver.
Admitted graduate students whose first language is not English are required to take an English language proficiency test when they arrive on campus. This requirement includes those international students who have taken the TOEFL exam, taken the IELTS exam, or requested and received a waiver as a consequence of having earned a degree from a college or university in which English is the primary language of instruction.
Degree Seeking Students
For admission an applicant must have completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution, must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or more on a 4.0 scale, and must have the recommendation of the graduate committee in the program in which he or she intends to study for a degree. The requirement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 can be waived. The petition for such a waiver is handled by the Arts & Sciences graduate program to which the candidate is seeking admission, with approval for the waiver at the discretion of the Committee on Graduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
All recommendations for admission, except for non-degree seeking students, must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Arts & Sciences. No student will be admitted later than one month before the start of the semester. Because of the time required to process visa applicants, no foreign student may be admitted later than three months before the start of the semester.
All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six years from the first term of enrollment in the master’s program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service.
All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within seven years from the first term of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, excluding periods of approved leave and military service. For a student enrolled in a master’s program in Arts & Sciences who subsequently advances to candidacy in the doctoral program in the same field, the terms of enrollment in the master’s program will count towards the seven-year limit for the doctoral degree unless otherwise stated in the letter of admission.
Non-Degree Seeking (Post-Baccalaureate) Students
Graduate courses in Arts & Sciences (courses numbered 500 and above) are restricted to degree-seeking students. In special circumstances, individuals who wish to take graduate courses but are not considered degree-seeking students may be allowed to apply to William & Mary as a non-degree seeking (post-baccalaureate) student through the Office of the University Registrar. Prospective students should contact the program of interest for consideration. Only individuals who have been approved by the program will be allowed to register. Non-degree seeking students will need to obtain permission from the instructor and the program director of graduate studies prior to admission.
The Permission for Graduate Course for Unclassified Student form is available through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, from the program where you intend to take classes, and on the website of the University Registrar. Complete the form and have it signed by the instructor, the Director of Graduate Studies in the department or program, and the Dean of Graduate Studies and return it to the Office of the University Registrar with your Non-Degree Seeking Application for admission. Students must present evidence to the Office of the University Registrar that they have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Generally, non-degree seeking students must present academic or other credentials comparable to those of regularly admitted students. Non-degree seeking students must reapply each semester.
Transfer of Graduate Credit
On the recommendation of the student’s graduate program committee, and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, a student who has matriculated into a graduate program in Arts & Sciences may transfer up to six hours of graduate credit earned at another accredited institution of higher learning and apply these six credits toward the credits needed for an advanced degree in Arts & Sciences. The credits must have been earned in courses appropriate to the student’s program at William & Mary, must fall within the time specified by the general Arts & Sciences requirements for degrees, and cannot have been used by the student to satisfy any undergraduate or other graduate degree requirements. An official transcript must be provided to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Credit may be transferred only for courses in which the student received a grade of B or higher, and will not be counted in compiling his or her cumulative grade point average at William & Mary.
Graduate Degree Credit Earned by Non-degree Seeking Students
Credit for graduate courses taken at William & Mary by a student (not undergraduate) before degree admission to a graduate program in Arts & Sciences or while registered through the Office of the University Registrar at William & Mary as a non-degree seeking student may be carried over into a graduate degree program if:
- the action is recommended by the director of the student’s graduate program and approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research;
- the amount does not exceed 12 credits;
- the work has received grades of B or better;
- the work is not more than two years old; and
- the student applies for and is granted formal admission into a graduate degree program in Arts & Sciences.
A retroactive credit form may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.
Graduate Degree Credit Earned by William & Mary Undergraduate Students
No graduate-level credits earned as an undergraduate at William & Mary can be used to meet the requirements for an Arts & Sciences graduate degree without written approval from the program’s graduate committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research after the student has been admitted to the graduate program.
With written approval from the program’s graduate committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, an admitted graduate student may apply toward an advanced degree in Arts & Sciences part or all of the graduate-level credit earned at William & Mary as an undergraduate. The credits must have been earned in courses appropriate to the student’s graduate program in Arts & Sciences and cannot have been used by the student to satisfy any undergraduate degree requirements unless the student has been admitted to an approved accelerated degree path (see Public Policy ). Credit can be considered for acceptance only for courses in which the student received a grade of B or higher. See the section on Grading and Repeated Courses for information on repeating an Arts & Sciences graduate course to earn graduate degree credit in Arts & Sciences.
Campus Safety - Clery Act
William & Mary complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, commonly known as the Clery Act. Crime statistics and the annual Campus Safety Report are available from the Office of Compliance & Equity.