4. Admissions

4.1- Applications

Applications to GSAS are processed centrally through the GSAS Office of Admissions. Applicants are granted or denied admission only to specific degree or advanced certificate programs. Fordham GSAS admits students to research degrees, including the Master of Arts (M.A.), the Master of Science (M.S.), the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil), the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Programs and degrees offered by GSAS are listed on the GSAS Programs of Study page.

Applicants for graduate study must have received a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing. Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by the dean. Admission recommendations to the graduate school are made by program faculty. Admission recommendations are based on the applicant's potential and preparation for graduate work in the chosen field as well as the availability of faculty and facilities for the applicant's proposed research interests. After receiving the faculty's recommendations, the final decision regarding admission is made by the dean (see §1.2- Authority).

Fordham typically does not award degrees in the same field and at the same level in which a student has already earned a degree. For instance, if a student holds an M.A. in history from another university, they will not be admitted into the master's program in history within GSAS. The exception to this is the Department of Biology, which may choose to admit a student with a previous graduate degree in biology.

Applications to GSAS can only be submitted online.

4.2- Matriculation

Matriculated students are those individuals who have been accepted into a graduate degree program or advanced certificate program, are registered for classes or the equivalent, and are actively working toward a degree or certificate offered by GSAS. 

Students may not be matriculated in more than one degree program simultaneously, whether internal or external to GSAS, except in those instances where a joint- or dual-degree program has been established. GSAS cannot defer merit-based financial aid awards offered with admission to another academic term. Financial aid is offered for the entry term to which an applicant applies and is admitted. Applicants admitted to GSAS with a merit-based financial aid award who defer enrollment to a later entry term can be reconsidered for financial aid for the future entry term, subject to availability. Under certain circumstances, a student may be enrolled in an advanced certificate program while being simultaneously matriculated in a degree program (see §4.7- Advanced Certificates). Any other exceptions to this policy must be approved in writing by the dean.

For certain graduate programs, prospective students must possess a prior degree in order to matriculate in that program. Students who are in the process of completing such a degree (whether at Fordham or at another institution) at the time of their acceptance must subsequently submit an official transcript indicating that the degree has been awarded. If an official transcript is not received by mid-term of the student's first semester, a hold will be placed on the student's registration and records. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in writing by the dean.

4.3- Deferral or Change of Program and/or Degree

Admitted students may seek permission to defer matriculation by no more than two semesters. Newly admitted Ph.D. program candidates are generally not permitted to defer their start date. Any exceptions require the approval of the program director and the dean of GSAS. GSAS cannot defer merit-based financial aid awards offered with admission to another academic term. Financial aid offers are made for the entry term an applicant applies and is admitted. Applicants admitted to GSAS with a merit-based financial aid award who defer enrollment to a later entry term can be reconsidered for financial aid for the future entry term, subject to availability. If an accepted student wishes to reapply the following academic year, they must do so by submitting a new online application; they are not guaranteed admission upon re-application. Any exceptions must be approved in writing by the dean. Application materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores) typically remain on file for up to 18 months after their initial submission.

Any change of program and/or degree requires a new application, the recommendation of the department or program, and the approval of the dean.

4.4- Conditional Admission, Provisional Admission, and Modified Degree Requirements

Students admitted on a conditional basis must maintain a specified grade point average (GPA) or otherwise meet specified coursework requirements to resolve any academic deficiencies in their preparation. Such students are considered matriculated upon their registration/enrollment (see §4.2- Matriculation).

Upon satisfactory completion of the conditions outlined in the student's letter of acceptance, or when specified in a letter to the student from the department or program, the student is released from conditional admission status and will remain a matriculated student in good standing for so long as the normal requirements of GSAS and of the department or program are met (see §7. Degree Requirements). The department chairperson or program director will initially determine when the required conditions have been met, subject to the approval of the graduate school.

Students who do not complete the stated conditions satisfactorily will be dropped from the rolls of the University. Waivers to any specified conditions must be approved in writing by the dean.

Students may also be offered provisional admission, under which they are required to complete certain conditions, including but not limited to the submission of letters of recommendation or test scores, before admission will be granted. Students will not be considered matriculated until these conditions are met.

The graduate school reserves the right to modify degree requirements to include additional coursework for students whose academic preparation is deemed by the faculty in some way to be deficient. In particular, students for whom English is a second language (ESL students), may be required to complete additional English-language coursework (see §4.5- International Students).

4.5- International Students

In addition to the rules and regulations of the University, international students are expected to follow the rules and regulations established by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For further information and guidance, international students should contact the Office of International Services (OIS), which is a resource center for students and scholars from outside the United States. Information regarding immigration regulations and the benefits foreign students are eligible for under immigration law may be obtained from this office. All international students who have F or J immigration status are required to register with the OIS.

4.5.1- English Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit to GSAS prior to matriculation their official scores from at least one of the following English proficiency exams:

Official TOEFL, IELTS, DET, PTE Academic, and Cambridge English Qualifications scores should be sent directly by the testing service to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Fordham University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Our ETS Code for the TOEFL is #2259).

Minimum score requirements for most programs*

Exam Score
IELTS 7.0 band score
DET 120
PTE Academic 68
Cambridge English Qualifications 185 Overall Score on the B2, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency exam

*The Ph.D. in Computer ScienceM.S. in Computer ScienceM.S. in Data Science, and M.S. in Cybersecurity programs will consider applicants with the following scores:

Exam Score
IELTS 6.5 band score
DET 100
PTE Academic 59
Cambridge English Qualifications 176 Overall Score on the B2, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency exam

Exemptions from this requirement can be requested by the applicant in their application or in writing to the dean. Exemptions are generally permitted for international applicants who:

  1. are native English speakers from countries where English is an official language; and/or
  2. have completed, within the past five years, at least two years of study at an undergraduate or graduate institution in the United States or in a country where English is the official language of instruction. GSAS retains the right to request language evaluation from any applicant. The Fordham English Language Test (FELT), administered by Fordham's Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC), may be required for those students whose English proficiency scores do not meet GSAS program requirements. Additional coursework may also be recommended by the Institute of American Language and Culture (IALC). (See §4.4- Conditional Admission, Provisional Admission, and Modified Degree Requirements.)

Students are permitted to register for two GSAS courses during the academic term in which they are completing any IALC-recommended coursework, which generally occurs during their first semester of study.

Please note: Tuition costs associated with the learning of English as a second language are the responsibility of the student and will not be covered by a GSAS tuition scholarship. GSAS merit-based tuition scholarships are not applicable to the costs of additional coursework recommended by the IALC.

4.6- Non-Matriculated (Non-Degree) Students

Permission to register as a non-matriculated or non-degree student is awarded by GSAS and granted on a course-by-course basis.

Individuals who wish to register as non-matriculated/non-degree students must complete the online application and secure the necessary approvals. Continuing non-degree/non-matriculated students must complete the GSAS non-degree/non-matriculated application each semester and submit the completed form to the department chairperson or graduate program director for initial approval. The department will submit the form to the Office of Academic Operations and Support for review, final approval, and registration. Falsifying any information on this application, failing to file the application each semester, or failing to secure the necessary approvals will invalidate registration. The student remains liable for tuition and fees notwithstanding the validity of the registration.

Students who qualify for non-matriculated or non-degree registration will have earned an undergraduate degree with at least a B average in their major field of study and may fall into one of the following categories:

  • students not seeking a degree who wish to take courses for personal enrichment
  • students who wish to take courses pending application to a degree program
  • students who wish to take courses in order to transfer these credits to another graduate program in which they are matriculated

Students who are denied admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as matriculated students may not enroll in courses on a non-matriculated basis without the written approval of the dean. GSAS and Fordham University have no obligation to admit any individual who has registered as a non-matriculated student or to grant a degree to such a student, no matter how many credits have been completed.

Non-matriculated students may take up to 12 credits in GSAS, with the approval of the department chairperson and the dean. Approval for non-matriculated status for more than 12 GSAS credits is not normally granted. If extraordinary circumstances justify non-matriculated status for more than 12 credits, the student must obtain the explicit written recommendation of the department chairperson and the written approval of the dean. No more than 12 credits taken as a non-matriculated student may ultimately count toward any GSAS program of study; any exception to this policy requires the written approval of the dean.

Non-matriculated students who register for the first time are considered new non-matriculated students upon registration. Those who have registered for up to two years are considered continuing non-matriculated students. Students who have not registered for two academic years are again considered new non-matriculated students upon subsequent registration and must submit a new application for non-degree study.

4.7- Advanced Certificates

Non-matriculated students who wish to enter an advanced certificate program must apply online.

Matriculated students who wish to enter an advanced certificate program must apply online. The department evaluates the application for approval and then submits it to the GSAS Office of Admissions to be processed.

For more information on advanced certificate programs and how to apply, see the GSAS Programs of Study page.

4.8- Accelerated Master's Programs

Qualified Fordham juniors may apply for the accelerated master's in select GSAS programs. The accelerated master's program allows exceptional students to follow a plan to complete both their bachelor's and master's in a total of five years (4+1). Fordham undergraduate students apply during their junior (or equivalent) year, and if admitted to the accelerated program, they are eligible to take up to three GSAS graduate-level courses in their senior year which will count toward both the bachelor's and the master's degree. Upon graduation with their bachelor's degree, students can then complete the M.A. or M.S. degree in one year. No more than three approved GSAS graduate courses, in total, are permitted while students are undergraduates.

Please refer to the specific program or the accelerated master's programs web page for eligibility requirements (such as minimum GPA) and program participation. Programs that offer the accelerated master's are listed on the accelerated master's programs web page.