The Office of Graduate Studies is responsible for processing graduate applications for new and returning students. All graduate programs at the University are administered through the Office of Graduate Studies, with each individual College that offers graduate programs having its own administrative responsibility for particular programs. Questions regarding admission to graduate study at the University may be addressed in the Office of Graduate Studies; questions regarding admission into a particular degree program may be addressed to the Dean of the College for that program. Applications including all required credentials for graduate study at Coastal Carolina University should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. Prospective students are advised to consult the program-specific application deadlines at Office of Graduate Studies. For programs with rolling admissions or soft deadlines, prospective students should submit a completed application at least thirty days prior to the opening of the semester in which they wish to enroll. A non-refundable application fee is required of all applicants.
The University offers graduate programs of study at the master, specialist, doctoral and graduate certificate levels. A complete list can be found at Graduate Programs A-Z.
Community Standards Requirements
All applicants are required to submit responses to a series of community standard questions on the graduate application for admission. Responses to these questions are initially reviewed within the Office of Graduate Studies. Some cases are referred to the Community Standards Committee for review. An applicant must satisfy the community standards portion of the admission application prior to the review of other documentation (transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.). This review process supports the University’s goal of maintaining a safe learning community. Failure to submit complete responses or the falsification of responses may result in revocation of the admission decision or dismissal after enrollment. Any incident resulting in a change to a community standards question subsequent to the submission of the application must be immediately reported by the applicant to the Office of Graduate Studies in writing. Failure to do so may result in the revocation of the admissions decision or dismissal of the applicant after enrollment. Further, it is the policy of Coastal Carolina University to prohibit Registered Sex Offenders from enrolling in courses or participating in campus activities. Failure to disclose registration at any time shall result in immediate dismissal.
The University reserves the right to place conditions on the admission of any student. In the event such action is taken, the conditions will be clearly explained in the letter of acceptance.
Upon admission to Coastal Carolina University, all degree seeking graduate students are notified and are required to notify the degree program coordinator/director of their decision to accept or not accept admission into the specified graduate degree program. Information about orientation is mailed to accepted applicants by the degree program.
Students admitted to graduate study are placed in one of two general categories: degree seeking graduate students or non-degree seeking graduate students.
Degree Seeking Graduate Students
Students are accepted into a graduate degree program based on the admission requirements within the program. Applicants are required to meet all standards for admission if they wish to pursue a degree program. Admission decisions are made by committees within each graduate program. Upon acceptance, the applicant is sent an acceptance letter or email and an acceptance form. The form must be completed and returned to the office indicated. Students admitted into a degree program are assigned a graduate adviser to assist in developing a plan of study. Before enrolling, students should consult with their adviser to ensure which courses will satisfy degree requirements.
Degree seeking students who fail to enroll in one or more major semesters (fall or spring) must submit a Readmit Graduate Application by filling out the Graduate School Application and selecting the Readmit option. (See Readmission of Former Students for more information.)
Valid Period of Admission
Admission to a graduate degree program is valid for one year with the approval of the coordinator/director. Students who are accepted for a specific semester and wish to defer initial enrollment must make this request in writing to the graduate program.
If an accepted applicant fails to complete a graduate course at Coastal Carolina University or part of the prescribed program within a year, the acceptance lapses and the student becomes subject to any new requirements that may have been adopted. If a student has not acted upon his/her admission after one calendar year, the student must reapply for admission.
Graduate students who were admitted to and enrolled in a graduate program under regulations other than those currently in force and who have not completed any Coastal Carolina University graduate courses during a period of three or more years are required to fulfill current admission requirements prior to returning to the University for additional graduate work. Upon readmission, such students become subject to current regulations of the institution and of the program to which they are admitted.
Time Period Allowed
A graduate student may choose to obtain a degree in accordance with the curricular requirements in force for the particular degree at the time the student first enrolls in the degree program or under subsequent requirements published while the student is enrolled as a degree-seeking student. However, the student’s choice is restricted to a specific catalog and the curricular requirements described therein.
Graduate students in certificate, specialist, and master’s programs have a period of six (6) years from the start of their program, inclusive and continuous, in which to complete degree requirements and claim the curricular rights of a specific catalog. Graduate students in doctoral programs have a similar period of ten (10) years. If continuing or returning students exceed their maximum time period, they must apply for re-admission and adopt the requirements set forth in the new catalog at the time they are readmitted to the degree program. Readmission is not guaranteed for students who exceed their maximum time period and is at the discretion of the admissions committee for each graduate program.
Non-degree Seeking Graduate Students
The category of non-degree admission is available for qualified students with reasons for earning graduate credit without a degree objective. Credits earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward degree requirements only upon approval by the academic unit offering the degree. Non-degree seeking students are not assigned advisers. However, they may consult with the designated graduate coordinator/director within the College about both specific and general information. Students holding non-degree admission are advised to contact the graduate coordinator/director in the academic area where a particular course is offered as to their eligibility to register for the course.
Non-degree seeking graduate applicants must submit an official academic transcript demonstrating successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution in this country or its equivalent at a foreign institution based on a four-year degree. Teachers taking graduate courses as non-degree-seeking students may submit their teaching certificate in lieu of transcripts.
Non-degree seeking students who fail to enroll in one or more major semesters must reapply by filling out the Graduate School Application and selecting the Non-Degree option.
Students admitted in a non-degree classification are not eligible for student financial aid.
To gain admission as a degree seeking student, the non-degree classified student must submit a degree seeking application for graduate admission including the application fee. Official academic transcripts of all previous college work will be required. A maximum of twelve (12) graduate credit hours taken as a non-degree seeking student may be applied toward degree requirements in a program.
Transient (Visiting) Student
An applicant seeking to take graduate courses at Coastal Carolina University while regularly enrolled in another (home) institution is a non-degree seeking transient student and should follow the non-degree seeking admissions procedures. The applicant is advised to secure approval from the Academic Dean or University Registrar at the home institution to ensure that the course(s) will transfer.
An applicant who has attended another regionally accredited institution for graduate credit in any capacity, regardless if credit was earned, after completion of a bachelor’s degree is a transfer student. Graduate transfer credit must have been earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association* at the time the course work was completed. The only exceptions to this standard are transfer credits from foreign institutions and transfer of course work completed at an institution accredited by a recognized accrediting body or the acceptance of credit for military education. A maximum of twelve (12) graduate credits for academic courses completed with grades of B or better may transfer to master’s programs and a maximum of thirty (30) graduate credits may transfer to the Ph.D. program. Completion dates for transfer credits must fall within the maximum time period allowed for a degree.
Evaluation of Transfer Credit
Graduate students transferring to the University from another college or university who would like to apply transfer credits toward the University’s graduate degree requirments should have their transcripts evaluated by the program coordinator/director of the degree pursued. It is only through such evaluation that prospective and current graduate students will know which transferred courses may be applicable toward the University’s graduate degree requirements. The University reserves the right to determine what credit, if any, for graduate courses taken elsewhere will be counted toward a degree program. Decisions as to transfer course applicability, in terms of courses as well as maximum transfer hours, are made at the academic level where the graduate degree program is offered. Students transferring courses into the University should consult the graduate program regarding the criteria for transfer credits. Transfer graduate credit must be approved by the Chair of the department of the course, the Dean of the course, the Graduate Coordinator/Director and the Dean of the College where the student seeks to have the credit applied. A student cannot be awarded more transfer credit for a course than the original institution awarded.
Students cannot receive degree credit for a course taken at Coastal Carolina University if they have received transfer credit for an equivalent course taken previously at another institution. Similarly, transfer credit will not be awarded if a Coastal Carolina University equivalent, regardless of the grade earned, appears on the Coastal Carolina University academic record. Credits earned at another institution while a student is on suspension, academic or non-academic, from Coastal Carolina University are not transferable and cannot be applied toward a degree or used in improving the grade point average.
Grade point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of all work in the student’s career at Coastal Carolina University. Credits earned at other institutions and transferred to Coastal Carolina University may be used to satisfy program requirements but will not be calculated as a part of the GPA.
*The regional accrediting associations are: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Graduate credit is not awarded or accepted for experiential learning or other types of credit for life experiences which occur prior to the student’s matriculation into a Coastal Carolina University graduate program and which have not been under the supervision of the University.
Senior Citizen Admission
Senior citizens (60 years of age or older) who are legal residents of South Carolina may be eligible to attend classes on a space available basis without the payment of tuition (excludes required miscellaneous and course fees) provided the applicant meets the regular admission requirements and other standards of the University and the graduate program pursued. Under the free tuition program, senior citizens cannot register until the day prior to the first day of the course for the term in which they wish to enroll. Degree-seeking senior citizen students in their last semester may register concurrently with traditional continuing students. Senior citizens may apply as degree or non-degree seeking graduate students.
International Graduate Admission
Citizens of countries other than the United States of America who apply to Coastal Carolina University graduate programs must meet the University’s graduate admission requirements in addition to any requirements specific to the chosen degree program. All international applicants must:
- Submit a completed degree seeking application for graduate admission to the chosen program;
- Provide original or certified copies of all certificates, transcripts, and degrees (If these documents are not in English, then official translations must be included as well.);
- Submit the required standardized test results; and
- If a non-native speaker of English, provide official results from tests taken within the last three years or one of the following acceptable means of documenting English language proficiency consistent with success in graduate programs. (Note that higher scores may be required of some graduate programs so applicants are urged to consult their desired program to identify whether a higher score is required.):
- A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based (PBT) or 79 on the internet (iBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL);
- A minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam;
- Certificate of Completion of level 112 of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) from an ELS Language Center;
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic with a score of 59;
- Cambridge CAE (Certificate of Advanced English ) with a minimum level of C1;
- Cambridge CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) with a minimum level of C1;
- MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) with a score of 77;
- TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) with a score of 745;
- Duolingo score of at least 100;
- Bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education within the last three years.
For more information international applicants should consult the Center for Global Engagement.
Transfer credit from foreign colleges/universities is reviewed within the Center for Global Engagement. Foreign transcripts must be translated into English and evaluated course-by-course to the American grading system and course equivalencies. This service can be obtained through any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Members can be found on the website: http://www.naces.org/members.html. International course work will be reviewed by the Center for Global Engagement for transfer in coordination with the Dean of the student’s degree program and the Dean of each course in review.
Conditional Letter of Admission
Applicants who meet all admission requirements for their respective programs, except for the English language requirement (#4 above) and required levels of any standardized tests that would need to be completed in English will be issued a conditional letter of admission valid for one calendar year which includes specific detail of the materials that need to be submitted to move to full acceptance and matriculation into the respective graduate degree program.
Financial Resource Verification and Supporting Documents for Visas
Upon being fully admitted to Coastal Carolina University’s graduate program, students who will spend at least part of their graduate degree program in the United States will be required to submit a Confidential Financial Statement showing adequate funds for one year of study in their chosen program as a requirement for the issuance of support documents to enable the student to apply for the correct student visa. For more information international students should consult the Center for Global Engagement. Additional information regarding the visa process may be found at http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html Under no circumstances should students come to Coastal Carolina University without first receiving the formal acceptance letter and appropriate travel documents. Individuals already in the U.S. who are out of status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will not be permitted official registration.
International students attending Coastal on student visas are required to purchase the University insurance plan or show proof of a comparable plan acceptable within the Center for Global Engagement, which is responsible for issuing visa-related documents.
Applicants may receive provisional admission in certain programs if they do not meet the stated admission requirements. The decision to offer provisional admittance to a program is made by the program admissions committee. Students who are provisionally admitted are limited to 12 graduate credit hours of coursework. Upon satisfactory completion of coursework with a B or better in each course, provisional status may be lifted.
Appealing the Admissions Decision
A graduate applicant who is denied admission may submit a written appeal for reconsideration provided the student presents new or updated academic information, additional test scores, a statement describing extenuating circumstances, and/or other evidence which supports the readiness for graduate study. Appeals are reviewed by the College Admissions Committee, the Dean of the graduate program and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
Readmission of Former Students
A graduate student enrolled as a degree-seeking student who leaves the University in good standing and fails to enroll in one or more major semesters (fall or spring) and does not attend another institution need only submit a Graduate Readmit Application by filling out the Graduate School Application and selecting the Readmit option in order to return to the University. Summers do not count as major semesters in this instance.
A student who has previously attended Coastal as a graduate degree-seeking student who leaves the University in good standing, fails to enroll in one or more major semesters, and attends another institution must submit complete official transcripts of all collegiate-level work attempted during the absence from the University and the Graduate Readmit Application to be considered for readmission. Such applicants must meet the requirements for transfer admission. Summer does not count as a major semester in this instance.
Non-degree graduate students who leave the University in good standing and fail to enroll in one or more major semesters must submit a Graduate Non-Degree Application by filling out the Graduate School Application and selecting the Non-Degree option.
Dual or Additional Graduate Degree(s) Admission
Dual Graduate Degrees
Students who wish to pursue two degrees at the same level (master’s and/or certificates) must submit an application for each program, pay an application fee, and be admitted to both programs. Students may pursue concurrent degrees only with approval of the appropriate graduate program coordinator(s) and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
Students admitted to two degree programs will be subject to the following requirements:
- A committee composed of a minimum of one graduate faculty member from each program and one additional member appointed by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research will review and approve the two programs of study. Moreover, the Directors and Deans of both graduate programs must approve the two plans of study before submission to the Office of Graduate Studies. Courses applied to both programs of study must be identified.
- Concurrent programs of study must be reviewed and approved simultaneously. Students who add a degree program while completing a first degree must have both programs approved as explained in #1 above.
- Students must meet all requirements for both degrees. No more than twelve (12) credits from one program of study may count towards a second program. Some graduate programs may not allow 12 credits. Thus, students should consult with Coordinators of their academic programs.
- Students must complete both programs within seven (7) years of the initial admission term. Completion of the degree requirements for the two programs need not be at the same time.
- Students completing two degrees will be responsible for submitting and paying for two applications to graduate (one for each diploma to be issued).
Additional Graduate Degree
Students who have completed a graduate degree at Coastal Carolina University or another institution may have a maximum of twelve (12) hours approved for an additional master’s degree or thirty (30) hours approved for a doctoral degree. Courses must be approved by the Director/Coordinator of the program, the Dean of the program, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
Similarly, former degree-seeking students at Coastal Carolina who withdrew from their program prior to completion can only apply a maximum of twelve (12) graduate credit hours toward degree requirements in a new program.
Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree programs allow high-performing Coastal Carolina University undergraduate students to complete a combination of a bachelor’s and master’s degree on a potentially accelerated time frame. For students that meet the criteria, the use of dual credit (courses that can be used by both degrees) can reduce the total combined enrollment by up to 9 credits, which is a typical graduate semester load.
Undergraduate students in participating degree programs are eligible to apply for approval of an accelerated education plan if they have completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate course work (or are enrolled in the semester when they will do so) and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.4. Students applying to the program must submit an “Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program Plan” listing the proposed dual credit courses, with endorsements by their undergraduate advisor and department chair, the director and department chair of the relevant graduate program, the undergraduate and graduate program dean(s) or their designee(s), and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, who has final authority for approving accelerated education plans. The form must be submitted each semester in which the student will enroll in a dual credit course.
Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above, including up to 3 credit hours of project/ research work) may be used for dual credit, and the courses must fulfill the degree requirements for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees identified in the Program Plan. A maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate courses in the master’s program may be applied to the bachelor’s program. Courses in which the student earns below a B will not be counted toward the student’s graduate degree requirements. The combined bachelor’s/master’s degree must have a minimum combined total of 150 credit hours. Individual undergraduate and graduate programs that opt to participate in an accelerated graduate degree program may specify which courses are eligible for dual credit. Since programs are not required to participate in accelerated graduate degree programs, students are advised to speak with their program advisors regarding opportunities and specific requirements.
The Accelerated Graduate Degrees Program does not replace Transitional Study. The Transitional Study program requires a 3.0 grade point average, does not require a program plan, and does not allow dual credit (courses must be designated for either undergraduate or graduate credit only). Undergraduate students cannot take more than 12 total credits of graduate coursework from the two programs combined (Accelerated Graduate Degree and Transitional Study).
Completion of graduate-level course work in the accelerated program does not require or insure acceptance into the graduate degree program. Students wishing to continue towards a master’s degree must apply formally to the CCU graduate school by submitting the appropriate application and all required supporting documents. Students in the accelerated program are not eligible for graduate appointments for financial aid until their bachelor’s degrees have been awarded.
Auditing a Course
Auditing a course may be done by a student who seeks to take a course(s) and who does not intend to earn University credit for the course(s). Approval is made for one semester and is made on a space-available basis. Auditing a course consists of attending classes. A student who audits a course is not responsible for assignments or examinations. No credit may be earned in an audited course by examination or otherwise. No audited course may be repeated for credit at a later date. Course work not taken in a traditional format may not be audited.
Proof of Citizenship
Coastal Carolina University students must present proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. before enrolling. This policy has been adopted by the University’s Board of Trustees in order to comply with section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, which requires that lawful presence in the United States is verified before enrollment at any public institution of higher education. Verification of immigration status for non-citizens will be conducted by International student officials. For other students, a proof of citizenship verification process has been adopted to deter and prevent false claims of citizenship by unlawful aliens attempting to evade the eligibility requirements of section 59-101-430.
Students who are not verified as citizens during the Federal Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) process must present proof of citizenship in the form of one of the following acceptable documents:
- Copy of the South Carolina driver’s license if the student first became a licensed driver in the state after January 1, 2002, or a copy of a valid driver’s license issued after January 1, 2002, from one of the following states (if your state is not on this list, it is not eligible): Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine (license issued after November 15, 2008), Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, or Wisconsin;
- A Certified Birth Certificate indicating that you were born in the United States or a territory of the United States;
- Current U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport that has not been expired more than 10 years;
- Certificate of Naturalization – (USCIS Form N-550 or N-570);
- U.S. government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
- Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561); or
- Unexpired U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID Card (DOD DD-2)
The University can accept photocopies of birth certificates and other citizenship documents so long as we reserve the right to demand production of the certified original in the event we have any questions about whether the copy is true and accurate, or in the event any of the information on the copy is unreadable.
Orientation of New Graduate Students
Colleges and/or degree programs offer orientations for new graduate students. Information is mailed to students once they are accepted into degree programs.