Graduate Admission FAQs

Below are the answers to many common questions we are asked by applicants. There are several categories, and you can print or read through them all on this page, or "jump" to the section you are most interested in.

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Application FAQs

Q: Where can I find information about the types of programs and degrees offered?

A: The Graduate School Admissions website has a link to all graduate programs offered:

Q: What is graduate admission’s address?

A: Please mail all required materials to:

Cratis D. Williams Graduate School
Appalachian State University
P.O. Box 32068
Boone, NC  28608

If you are going to use UPS or FedEx, include our street address: 287 Rivers Street #232

Q: Is my application considered complete even if I have not taken the required test before the application deadline?

A: No.  Your application is only considered complete when you have submitted your application, paid your application fee, and the Graduate School has received ALL required documentation (official transcripts, test scores, recommendations).  Your application must be filled out and submitted - AND all materials received to be complete.

Q:  How do I pay the application fee?

A: If you did not choose to pay by credit card when you submitted your application, you must send a check or money order for $55 to the Graduate School.

Q: If I need the application fee waived, what should I do?

A: Application fees are not waived and are non-refundable.

Q: I submitted a non-degree application and will be submitting a degree/certificate application.  Can my application fee be waived and my transcripts used again?

A: If you submit your degree/certificate application in your FIRST non-degree term, you may request to have your degree application fee waived and your transcripts from your non-degree application applied to your degree/certificate application.

Q: What should I do if I make a mistake on my application (e.g., misspell my email address)?

A: Please email with your corrections.

Q: What if I attended an institution under another name?

A: On your application Education History section, you may enter the name you attended under.  Please do not enter the Institution name.

Q: Why do I need to provide an emergency contact person on my application?

A: We frequently send time sensitive information during the application and admission process. Should we be unable to reach you through the contact information you have provided, it is important that we have an alternative contact in order to send you important information regarding your application/admission.

Q: What is the difference between a deadline and early review date?

A: A deadline means you must have a submitted, paid application with all required documentation received by that date.  An early review date means that the program begins reviewing and making recommendations beginning on that date.  It is highly recommended that an application be COMPLETE by the early review date or a strong applicant may be denied admission if there are no more seats available.

Q: How do I find out the status of my application?

A: You may log into your application account and click ‘view status.' If you have not submitted your application or paid the fee, no paper documentation received will be recorded in your online application.  Any electronically received documentation will be available for view.

Q: Can my spouse/parents/significant other inquire about my application?

A: No. We are not permitted to disclose applicant to anyone but the applicant.

Q: Can I submit my application after the final deadline?  If I do, will it be considered?

A: No.  Once the deadline has passed, your application will no longer be available to edit.  You may email to request a term change.

Q: How can I change my application login username and/or password?

A: You may log into your application account and on the sidebar there are options to change your address, email, username and password.

Q: How do I know if my check will be applied to my application?

A: When you submit your application, please print out the confirmation page and mail the top portion along with your check or money order.  If you do not have this page, please make sure the applicant’s name is somewhere on the check or money order.

Q: I meant to pay by credit card, but I selected pay by check.  Can I still pay by credit card?

A: Yes, please email and request your payment method be changed to ‘credit card.'  Once you receive confirmation this has been done, log into your application account.  There is an option to pay your application fee online by credit card.

Q: My name has legally changed since I last attended ASU.  Will my name be changed with my application?

A: No. You must submit a change of name (Statement of Identity) form which is found on the Registrar’s website and submit any required documentation to the Registrar’s office.  Their website is:

Security Screening FAQs

Q: What are the security screenings?

A: Answering YES to any of the criminal questions will require a background check.  We also submit your name to the National Student Clearinghouse.  If you did not list an educational institution and it appears on the Clearinghouse report, we will add that institution to your educational history and request an official transcript.  This may delay the completion of your application.  PLEASE LIST ALL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ATTENDED ON YOUR APPLICATION TO AVOID PROCESSING DELAYS.

Q: What types of crimes would require a disclosure?

A: “Crime” or “criminal charge” refers to any crime other than a traffic-related infraction such as a speeding or parking ticket.  You MUST, however, include alcohol or drug offenses whether or not they are traffic-related.

Q: If I check “yes” that I have been convicted of a crime, am I automatically disqualified?  What happens if I choose “yes”?

A: If any of the criminal questions are ‘Yes’, then a background check will be required.  We will send you information on how to do this once your application has been submitted and the application fee received. Having a criminal background does not automatically disqualify you from attending; each case is reviewed by a committee and judged individually.

Q: If I have been convicted of a crime, what information is needed in the explanation?

A: Please provide a statement describing the circumstances that led to the charge and all penalties/punishments that you completed.  Include how this experience may have impacted you and what you have learned as a result.

Transcript FAQs

Q: Are faxed transcripts official transcripts?

A: Transcripts must be received directly from the Institution by paper or through an electronic transcript service (used by some universities).  Faxed transcripts are NOT considered official. If you collect copies of transcripts yourself, they must be still in the sealed institution envelope when we receive them.

Q: What transcripts are required?

A: All colleges/universities attended since you graduated from high school must be disclosed on your application and an official transcript must be submitted for each. This is true even if the courses transfered elsewhere. We can get any Appalachian transcripts for you, so you do not need to have those sent - but you must list that attendance on your application.  Also, high school transcripts are not required.

Q: Do I need to submit high school transcripts?

A: No.

Q: What if I attended a college while dually enrolled in high school?

 A: If a prior school was a dual enrollment during high school you may request a waiver of the transcript.  If attendance was continued after high school graduation, an official transcript is required.

Q:  What if I attended ASU previously?  Do I need to request an official transcript?

A: If you attended or are currently attending ASU, you do not have to pay to have ASU transcripts sent, but you still must list that you attended ASU on your application.

Q: If I studied abroad, do I need to submit the transcript from the foreign school?

A: You may need to request official transcripts from your study abroad institution depending on how the coursework is shown on your home institution transcripts.  If it is listed as transfer credit, the official transcript will be required; if it is listed clearly as study abroad credit and the coursework and grades are on your home institution transcript, then no official foreign transcript will be required.

Q: How many copies of my transcripts need to be sent?

A: One official transcript from every college/university you have attended is required.

Q: How many copies of my transcripts need to be sent if I’m applying for multiple programs?

A: One official transcript is required; however you must request that the transcript be applied to each of your applications.  Please email with this request.

Q: Can I submit transcripts, etc., before I submit my actual application?

A: Yes you may.  Please mail all official transcripts to the Graduate School.  We will keep this documentation on file for one year.

Q: Do I need to list ASU in the Educational History?

A: Yes.

Recommendation FAQs

Q: May my recommenders send a paper recommendation?

A: Electronic recommendations are preferred; however, paper recommendations are possible and must be originals; copies will not be accepted.  They must be received in a sealed envelope signed across the flap by your recommender. Most programs prefer that the recommendation form be used. Contact to request a copy of the paper recommendation form.

Q: What can I do if my recommender is delaying my application’s processing?

A: Contact your recommender to see if they received the request.  Remind them of your application deadline.  You may resend a recommendation request by logging into your application account, click on ‘view status’ and there is an option next to the recommender name to resend the request.  You may also send an email to to request it be resent.

Q: How is my recommender notified to complete a recommendation?

A: Once you complete the recommender pages in your application and click the ‘Send’ button at the bottom of each page, an email will be sent to your requested recommender with detailed instructions.

Q: If I wish to have the right to examine the recommendation letters upon admissions and enrollment into Appalachian, will my recommenders know that I have selected this option?

A: Yes.  They will see that your have not waived your rights to view their recommendation.  Some recommenders will not submit a recommendation unless you DO waive your rights.

Q: Are there any types of unacceptable recommenders?

A: Family members may not be recommenders. Academic recommendations should be your first choice; for some program employer recommendations are also a good idea if the employment is related to the discipline (such as teaching, counseling or business). Character references or references from well-known people are not as desirable if they do not know you as an employee or student.

Test Score FAQs

Q: How current do required test scores need to be?

A: Test scores must be no more than 5 years old.

Q: My test scores are older than 5 years.  May I still use them?

A: If your test scores are older than 5 years, you must make a request to the program to accept the scores and the Graduate School must also approve the request.  If approved, these scores must still be received in an official format (i.e., on a graduate school transcript or by having your previous graduate school’s Registrar’s office verify they received the scores, date taken, and scores (with percentiles) recorded.

In very competitive programs, old scores will be a disadvantage.

Other FAQs

Q: What do I do if I need to change my term, recommender or program?

A: If you wish to change any of the above, please email with your request.  Terms and programs must be specified.

Q: What happens when my application is complete?

A: Applications will be referred to the appropriate departments only when your application has been submitted, the fee paid, all required documentation has been received and all security screenings have been completed. Departments vary in the amount of time they take to act on applications -- depending on the size of the applicant pool a recommendation may take up to 3 weeks.

Q: What are the different types of acceptance and what do they mean?

A: Unconditional admission is offered when you have met all minimum requirements.

Tentative admission is offered when you are still currently enrolled in your degree program.  Official transcripts will be required showing your posted degree before you will have a student record and can register for classes. 

Provisional admission is offered when you do NOT meet minimum requirements or if the program wishes the applicant to maintain or meet certain requirements during the first term of admission.

Q: Once my application is decisioned, when can I expect to receive the mailed decision letter?

A: Recommendations received by the programs are processed on a daily basis. You should receive a decision letter at your permanent address in 3-4 days.

Q: How am I notified when a decision has been made about my application?

A: A letter is mailed to your permanent address.  Also when you view your status, you will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance.

Q: Can I find out my admission decision by email or phone?

A: Graduate School policy does not allow for disclosure of the admission decision by phone or email.  Log into your application account and click on ‘view status’ for decision information.  This will be followed by a letter to your permanent address.

Q: I have never received my decision letter; what should I do?

A: Your application may still be referred for review and you should contact the program.  If a recommendation has been made, a decision letter is mailed to your permanent address.  You may request another copy of the letter from

Q: Can I have a copy of my decision letter sent to another address?

A: All correspondence from Appalachian is always mailed to your permanent address.

Q: My application was referred to the department a long time ago.  What should I do?

A: Please contact the program to see when their admissions committee will be meeting to make a recommendation concerning your application.

Q: If I misplaced my applicant response form, what should I do?

A: You may log into your application account, click on ‘view status’ and send an electronic response.

Q: How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?

A: You are responsible for finding a graduate assistantship.  If you indicated on your application that you were interested in one within your program, contact your program director.  If you indicated interest outside your program, the Graduate School website has positions listed on its website:

Q: Where can I find information about graduate assistantships? Financial aid? Scholarships?

A: Assistantships and scholarships may be found on the Graduate School Admissions website:

Financial Aid’s website is: