Frequently Asked Questions
Applying to and enrolling in graduate school is a major decision; to streamline that process for you, we've compiled some commonly asked questions and their answers below. Hover over each question to see its answer; click the question or answer link to take you to a page with more information about that particular topic.
How can I request a graduate catalog?
Graduate catalogs dating back to 2003 can be found on our "Archives" page. These catalogs are provided in PDF format for you to download or print. We do not currently offer bound printed copies of our catalogs. The most current catalog can be accessed online through UNH's Graduate Catalog page.
Where can I find the online application?
You can find instructions on how to apply to one of our programs, as well as a link to the online application, on our "Apply" page. Before starting an application, we encourage you to review the application requirements and deadlines for your chosen program. Questions regarding applications can be directed to the Graduate School at (603) 862-3000. We can answer general questions related to submitting an online application or application materials; for more specific program-related questions, we suggest you get in touch with your department directly, or call us and we can transfer you to the appropriate party.
Should I wait until I have all of my application materials ready before I submit the online application?
Although you may submit supplemental materials prior to completing/submitting the online application, we prefer that you send them after to ensure that they get matched to the appropriate application. Also, you will need your nine-digit UNH student ID number to request recommendation letters using our online form; this number will only be assigned to you after you have successfully submitted an online application. For more information about how to submit the application and necessary materials, visit our "Apply" page.
Can I apply to a graduate program that is different from the program in which I majored as an undergrad?
Yes. Provisional admission may be offered to applicants whose academic records and supporting documents indicate they are qualified to undertake graduate level coursework, but whose undergraduate preparation was not in the intended area of graduate study. Applicants offered provisional admission must meet the specific criteria (usually undergraduate prerequisite coursework specified at the time of their admission, or indicated in the catalog) as part of their graduate degree program. Review the application requirements for your chosen program on our "Programs of Study" page to determine if your chosen program requires any prerequisites.
I would like to apply but I am not sure that I can meet the deadline. Should I apply anyway?
Program deadlines refer to the date by which your entire application packet (online app and all supplemental materials) must be completed. However, applications may, under certain circumstances, be accepted after the deadline; you must check with your department directly to determine whether or not they will accept a late application. Program contact info can be found on department website, which are linked to on our "Programs of Study" page. Applications that have been started but not completed by a given deadline will be inactivated; if you are notified that your application has been inactivated but would like us to move it ahead to another term, please contact the Graduate School.
I submitted my online application but would like to make a change to it. How can I do this?
Once an application is submitted to the Graduate School, it can no longer be accessed by the applicant online. If you would like to make a change to your submitted application, please contact the Graduate School with your nine-digit UNH student ID number, the name of the program to which you applied, the term to which you applied, and the change(s) you would like us to make.
Will my application be processed without the fee? How can I pay the fee after I have submitted my application? Can the fee be waived?
Your application will remain incomplete and ineligible for review until the fee is paid. You can pay the fee online or by bringing a check for the fee payment to the Graduate School. Application fee waivers are available for McNair Scholars, current UNH Graduate Students starting another program, members of the armed forces (but not their families) and veterans, or undergraduates who participate in CFAR (Center for Academic Resources) and have been certified as eligible for a waiver based on their financial need status. All other applicants must pay the application fee ($65 for Master's/EDS/Ph.D. programs, $25 for certificate programs) in order to have their application completed and reviewed. If you are requesting a waiver please indicate this on your application and the reason you are requesting it.
I forgot my username/password combination for the online application and have been locked out. How can I unlock it?
To have your account unlocked and your login information reset, please contact our office with your first and last name and date of birth. If you need assistance accessing your Blackboard account, which is different from the online application form, please contact the UNH IT Help Desk at (603) 862-4242.
How can I check the status of my submitted application?
You may check the status of your application and review a list of items needed to complete your application using our online Blackboard system. After your application was submitted, you should have receieved an email containing your nine-digit UNH student ID number and a link to the Blackboard site where you can create your personal account. If you did not receive this email or cannot find it, please contact our office for assistance with setting up your Blackboard account, or visit our "MyUNH" page for instructions and a link to the Blackboard site
My program requires test scores; how can I submit these? Is it possible to waive a test score requirement?
Test scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the testing service provider using CEEB code 3918. We will only accept official copies of test scores (i.e. those sent from the testing service provider); unofficial copies sent by the applicant cannot be used toward your application. You may request a test score waiver following the procedures outlined on our "Test Scores" page. Test score waivers must be approved by both the department/program to which you are applying and the Graduate School. You will be notified via email once a decision has been reached regarding your waiver request.
Do I have to submit a transcript if there are still courses in progress where I am enrolled?
Yes. We require transcripts for all college attended for 2 semesters or more, even if credits were transferred to another school and even if courses are still in progress. Transcripts for institutions where work is still in progress will be added to your application packet. Once in progress work is complete and/or your degree is conferred, you must send an updated copy showing final grades and/or proof of degree. You also need to send transcripts that contain grades required for prerequisites, if your program has any, even if you did not attend that particular institution for 2 or more semesters. Transcripts from US institutions must be official: we encourage applicants to have their institutions send transcripts to us directly, but you may also forward an unopened, signed envelope containing your transcript to us. We will accept unofficial copies of transcripts from international institutions for application review purposes only.
How do I qualify for the in-state tuition rate?
In order to qualify for the in-state tuition rate, applicants must have been a New Hampshire resident for at least 12 months prior to the time you would start your degree program. You may fill out the Statement of Residency form and return it to our office with the needed supplemental materials (if any). The form has three separate options; you need only fill out the option that best applies to you. Instructions on how to choose the appropriate option are provided on the form, and you may contact the Graduate School at (603) 862-3000 with any questions. This form is not required to complete your application, but, if admitted, you will need to submit the form before you can register for classes.
How long will it take for me to receive a decision regarding my application? How will I be notified that a decision has been reached?
Most admissions decisions are made 6-8 weeks after your completed application packet has been sent to your department for review. Some programs may reach a decision sooner or later, however, depending on the size of the applicant pool and the review/deadline schedule for the program. You will be notified of your decision via email, and your application status will also be posted for you to view on Blackboard.
If my application is rejected, can I appeal the decision or apply for a different term?
If your application is not recommended for admission, you may appeal that decision for the same term to which you applied by emailing our office a statement detailing your desire to be reconsidered as well as any additional information that may help the department reevaluate your application (e.g., new test scores, new letters of recommendation, grades for course work taken). If you wish to reapply for a different term, you may do so by notifying our office and specifying to which term you would like your application materials moved. Before deciding to move your application, however, it is important that you check with your department to determine if new application materials such as letters of recommendation or test scores will be needed to review your application.
What is Accelerated Master's admission? Am I eligible to apply for Acclerated Master's?
Accelerated Master's refers to a program for UNH seniors only in which the undergraduate degree is completed at the same time you begin taking courses for your Master's degree. Accelerated Master's does not mean that you will get your decision earlier than other applicants. UNH seniors who are interested in applying to an Accelerated Master's program should indicate their interest when asked on the online application.
I am a UNH senior interested in applying for the Acclerated Master's program. How do I determine the term to select on the application?
UNH seniors seeking to apply to an Acclerated Master's program may select either the fall or spring term during their senior year. For example, a senior graduating in May, 2016, with his/her Bachelor's degree would be eligible to apply for Accelerated Master's status for either fall, 2015, or spring, 2016. Please visit the "Accelerated Master's" page for more information, or contact our office with questions.
After I have been admitted, is there a deadline by which I need to respond to my admission offer?
Unless it is indicated in your admissions letter or requested by the department, there is no deadline for responding to your offer. Please note that you will not be considered a student and will not be able to register until you respond to an offer. Departments/programs may have their own deadlines for decisions on awarding financial assistance to accepting applicants. If you are not accepting the offer of admission, a prompt response would be appreciated so an offer could be made to another applicant. When you are ready to notify us of your decision, please visit our "Admission Response" page for instructions on how to do so.
I have been admitted for one term but would like to start my program during a later term. Is this possible?
Yes. You may change your admission term to a later time, or defer, for up to one year from the term to which you initially applied. If you wish to defer, please notify our office in writing with your name, program, term applied to and the term you wish to defer to. Your request will then go back to the department for review. Note that if you choose to defer you may be reviewed against the applicant pool for the deferral term, and you are not automatically guaranteed admission. Please also note that some programs admit for fall only or spring only, and this also applies to deferrals (i.e. you cannot defer to the spring term for a program that only admits students during the fall).
I responded to my offer of admission online but have changed my mind. How can I update my application with my new decision?
Once you have responded online to an offer of admission, you will not be able to access it again to change it. If you wish to change your decision, please contact our office and provide the following information: your first and last name; your nine-digit UNH student ID number; the program and term to which you applied and were offered admission; the updated decision that you would like us to add to your record. Once a new decision is entered, it may 1-2 business days for this to be reflected on your Blackboard account; if you had previously declined an offer but are now accepting it, it may take 1-2 business days for the decision to be processed and your student record created so that you may register for courses.
After I make my decision, what do I do next?
If you decline your offer of admission and have notified us of that decision, you do not need to do anything further. If you have accepted your offer of admission, congratualtions and welcome to UNH! Depending on your individual circumstances (e.g., accepted to Accelerated Master's, accepted with an offer of an assistanship, etc.), there are different things that you will need to do in order to prepare yourself for life as a UNH graduate student. Details for new students can be found on our "Getting Started" page; if you have questions or difficulties, please contact our office at (603) 862-3000 for assistance.
How do I file an "Intent to Graduate?" When should I file it?
You should file your Intent to Graduate form at the beginning of the semester in which you expect to graduate. You can file the intent online through your Blackboard/MyUNH account. Please visit our "Graduation" page for complete instructions on how to file online. Deadlines for filing are posted on our calendar and usually have mid-semester cut-off dates. If you are not completely certain that you will be finished by the end of the term, we still recommend that you file. Should you not graduate as planned, you will be required to submit a new intent to graduate for a future term. Intents filed after the posted deadline will be charged a $25 late fee but can still be done online. After the final deadline has passed, students who wish to file must contact the Graduate School directly.
How many thesis credits should I register for?
During their degree program, students completing a thesis option must enroll for at least 6 but not more than 10 thesis credits. The exact number of credits varies by program and is determined by individual program faculty; please refer to the Graduate Catalog for more detailed information about a specific program's requirements.
Do I have to format my thesis/dissertation a certain way before I can submit it?
Yes; in order to submit a thesis or dissertation for credit, it must be formatted a certain way to ensure proper binding. Specific instructions regarding thesis and dissertation formatting can be found in the Graduate School's Thesis and Dissertation Manual.
My committee member is in a foreign country; can I scan my signature page to them and have them email it back?
No. In order to successfully complete the thesis/dissertation requirement, you will need to submit a signature page to the Graduate School that is signed in ink by each of your committee members. This may require careful planning, as you will need to mail that signature page to this committee member to sign and then have them mail it back to you. Please refer to the Graduate School's Thesis and Dissertation Manual for more information about successfully completing and submitting a signature page.
How do I submit my final thesis/dissertation copy?
Thesis/dissertation submission is now available online via the UNH ETD website. Prior to submitting, please refer to and follow the Thesis/Dissertation Submission Instructions to ensure proper submission.
I'm completing a Directed Research Project/Portfolio/Final Paper; do I need to submit this to the Graduate School?
No; only students completing an official thesis or dissertation as part of their program's completion requirements need to submit copies of their work to the Graduate School. Capstone projects other than theses/dissertations must be submitted to your department; please refer to the Graduate Catalog for more detailed information about a specific program's requirements.
How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony?
All students who have completed their degree requirements and successfully filed an "Intent to Graduate" form are eligible to participate in the Durham commencement ceremony. UNH Graduate School: Manchester Campus (GSMC) students are eligible to participate in either the Durham- or Manchester-based ceremony. GSMC students wishing to participate in the Manchester ceremony must notify the UNH Manchester Graduate School of their commencement plans. In addition to May graduates, Master’s students who will be completing their degree requirements for September graduation are eligible to participate in the May ceremony. If you wish to walk in the ceremony but will not be completing your degree until the next term, you do not need to file an intent to graduate for May but you will need to register to participate in the ceremony on the University Events and Programs "Commencement" site.
When will my diploma arrive?
Diplomas are mailed by the Registrar’s Office after the commencement ceremony date and take an average of 6-8 weeks to arrive. If you do not receive your diploma within the 6-8 week window following graduation, please contact the Registrar's Office.
My diploma has arrived but my name is misspelled/does not appear as I would like it to. How can I change that?
If your name is not spelled or displayed the way you would like it to appear on your diploma, please email the Registrar's Office. Please include in the email your complete name; the last 4 digits of your UNH student ID; the semester you graduated; the name of your program; and how you would like your name to appear. Please indicate the reason for your email in the subject line (e.g. "Change of name for diploma printing") to ensure prompt attention and delivery to the correct person. If any of the other displayed information is incorrect, such as your program name or degree type, please let the Graduate School know so that corrections can be made.
Student Registration/Academics FAQ
Can I take graduate-level courses without being formally enrolled in or admitted to a graduate degree program?
Yes. You can take up to 12 credits at the graduate level as a non-degree, continuing education student; if you are admitted into a graduate degree program after taking non-degree courses, some or all of these credits may be transferrable into your program, but you must remember to petition to have the non-degree credits transferred to your degree program. After enrolling in 12 credits as a non-degree, continuing education student, you must apply and be admitted to a degree program in order to continue taking classes. You can sign up for non-degree credit courses directly through the Registrar’s Office. Please note that some courses require prerequisites or departmental permission in order for you to sign up. You may want to contact the instructor of your desired course(s) directly to ensure that you meet eligibilty requirements for taking that particular class.
How many credits can I transfer into a graduate degree program?
You can transfer no more than 8 credits from an outside institution, no more than 12 credits from UNH continuing education courses, or no more than 12 total UNH and outside institutional credits into a graduate degree program. Transfer credits may not exceed 12 in total (e.g., 8 from an outside institution and 4 UNH continuing education) even if this means that you don't transfer in the maximum number of credits in a given category (e.g., you may transfer 4 outside insitutional and 8 UNH continuing education, even though the maximum amounts for either catagory are higher). Transfer credit forms can be found on our "Forms and Policy" page.
What is the difference between full-time and part-time status?
Your status is generally determined by the number of credits you are enrolled in during a given semester. Typically, registering for 9 credits or more will give you full-time status while registering for 8 or fewer credits results in part-time status. Students on an assistantship, however, need only register for 6 credits per semester in order to remain full time. Continuing enrollment (i.e., registering for either GRAD 900 or GRAD 999) also qualifies you for full-time status. There are differences in the tuition and fees assessed to students based on their status; please review the most current UNH graduate tuition and fees chart for information on differences in payment requirements for full- and part-time status students.
If I am in a Durham-based graduate program, can I take courses in Manchester? If I am in a Manchester-based program, can I take courses in Durham?
This depends on the specific program in which you are enrolled; some departments place restrictions on where courses can be taken. Generally, though, courses can be taken at either campus, regardless of your program's "home" location. Some of these courses may require special permission from the instructor, so it is best to contact the department directly to determine if you would be able to take a course offered at the other campus location. Department contact information can be found in the UNH Department Directory, or you may contact the Graduate School and we will point you to the appropriate person.
Can I change from one graduate program or campus to another?
Yes. Students who wish to change campus locations or to a different program of the same degree type (i.e. Master's to Master's, Ph.D. to Ph.D.) or from a Master's to a Ph.D. within the same department are required to fill out and submit a "Change of Degree" form. Students wishing to change from a Master's-level program into a Ph.D. within the same department/program must also submit a "Change of Degree" form, as well as two new letters of recommendation. Students wishing to change into a completely different department (e.g., Sociology to English) are required to complete a new online application for the program you wish to switch into. In most cases, new letters of recommendation and a new personal statement essay will be required. Also, if switching into a program that requires test scores as part of the application, you will need to either supply those scores, if they are not already on file, or request a waiver.
What is "continuous registration?"
All graduate students, except those granted a leave of absence, are required to maintain continuous enrollment (i.e. GRAD 900 or GRAD 999) each semester of the academic year until their degree is formally awarded. You may meet this requirement by registering for either course credits, research, or continuing enrollment. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment will have their degree status discontinued and will need to petition for reinstatement or readmission to their program in order to continue working toward their degree.
What does "degree status discontinued" mean?"
In accordance with our continuous registration policy, all graduate students, except those granted a leave of absence, are required to register for either course credits, research, or continuing enrollment each semester of the academic year until their degree is formally awarded. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment, or those who fail to register by the final registration deadline in a given semester, will have their degree status discontinued (DSD). Students may reinstate during the same term in which they were discontinued only if that term is still active; if the term is not currently active, then they will need to reapply for admission. Please note that students cannot graduate during a term in which their degree status has been discontinued. Refer to the Graduate Catalog's registration policies for more information on continuous registration and how to reinstate/reapply if your status was discontinued.
I am a graduate student at the UNH Graduate School Manchester Campus (GSMC); do I still need to register every semester?
Yes; all graduate students, regardless of their campus location, who are not currently on a leave of absence are required to register for either course credits, research, or continuing enrollment each semester of the academic year until their degree is formally awarded. Students who do not maintain continuous enrollment, or those who fail to register by the final registration deadline in a given semester, will have their degree status discontinued and will need to petition for reinstatement or readmission to their program in order to continue working toward their degree. Refer to the Graduate Catalog's registration policies for more information on continuous registration and how to reinstate/reapply if your status was discontinued.
How long do I have to complete my degree?
All graduate work for any Master's degree must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation (i.e. your first semester of enrollment following admission) into the program. All graduate work for the doctorate must be completed within eight years of matriculation into the program or within seven years if the student entered with a Master's degree in the same field. Doctoral students must be advanced to candidacy within five years after matriculation or within four years if the student entered with a Master's in the same field. More detailed information regarding Master's and doctoral degree requirements can be found in the current Graduate Catalog.
What if I can't complete my degree within the stipulated timeframe?
Students who need extra time to complete their program or advance to candidacy can submit a "Petition for Exception to Academic Policy" in order to request extra time. The petition must be fully supported by the student’s adviser and department. Students may be asked to provide a timeline detailing the expected completion of the degree.
I would like to request a Leave of Absence from my program. How do I do this?
Students who, because of extenuating circumstances, are unable to pursue their graduate program may request a leave of absence for a maximum of one calendar year. Such circumstances may include medical reasons, military obligations, family emergencies, or hardship. A leave can be requested by filling out and submitting a "Leave of Absence" request form, along with any appropriate documentation, to the Graduate School prior to the term for which the leave is requested.
I would like to withdraw from graduate school. How do I do this?
A student may withdraw from the Graduate School during any semester by obtaining a withdrawal form. This form should be signed by the student's adviser and the dean of the Graduate School. Please follow the instructions included on our "Withdrawal from Graduate School" request form in order to obtain a withdrawal form from our office.
Tuition and Aid FAQ
Where can I find the current Graduate School tuition rates and fees?
The most current information regarding graduate-level tuition and associated fees can be found on the Business Services website's tuition and fees chart. Note that tuition rates and fees will vary based on status (full-time versus part-time).
I am a graduate student in Manchester; where can I find current information about tuition and fees at the Manchester campus?
The most current information regarding Manchester campus graduate-level tuition and associated fees can be found on the Business Services website's Manchester Campus tuition and fees chart. Tuition charges will vary based on residency (in-state versus out-of-state), and graduate programs offered in Manchester also require different fees, such as parking, than porgrams offered in Durham.
I applied for department aid during the application process. How will I know if I am offered department funding?
If the department you applied to is able to offer you funding, you will generally be notified by them directly. Some programs offer funding when they admit an applicant while others only offer funding after a student has accepted their offer of admission. We encourage you to contact your department directly for questions about funding. Department contact information can be found in the UNH Department Directory, or you may contact the Graduate School and we will point you to the appropriate person.
What is the difference between department/Graduate School-awarded aid and financial aid awarded by the UNH Financial Aid Office?
Financial aid awarded at the department level is typically in the form of grants, assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. The Graduate School also offers limited financial aid in the form of Dissertation Year and Summer Teaching Assistantship Fellowships. These forms of aid entail either direct funding with no additional time commitment or tuition benefits/a stipend in exchange for a weekly working commitment of 20 hours. The UNH Financial Aid Office primarily offers work study and federal or private loans to graduate students who have filed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the university deadline of March 1. Please visit the Financial Aid Office website for more information on federal, institutional, and non-UNH sources of aid, or call (603) 862-3600 to set up an appointment with a financial aid counselor.
How do I file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
Filing a FAFSA can be done through the UNH Financial Aid Office. Please note that the university deadline for filing a FAFSA is March 1; applications filed after that date may not be considered for federal aid for the upcoming academic year, or may be considered for substantially less financial aid than applicants who have filed on time. Links to the FAFSA, as well as instructions on how to complete it, can be found on the Financial Aid Office's "Apply for Aid" page.
What is an assistantship?
An assistantship is a form of departmental financial aid that includes a tuition/partial fee waiver and living stipend to be paid to the student in exchange for a working commitment of 20 hours per week. These hours are usually spent assisting professors, teaching undergraduate courses, running/maintaining labs, or performing other duties specific to your department or program. Assistantships are typically awarded on a yearly basis and are generally renewable, provided that enough department funding exists to cover the student's waivers and stipend. Graduate assistants are required to attend a mandatory orientation at the beginning of their first semester on the assistantship; information related to the orientation, inlcuding time/location information and a list of documents to bring to the orientation, can be found on our Graduate Assistant Orientation page.
What are Dissertation Year and Summer Teaching Assistant Fellowships?
These fellowships are specifically designed to offer aid to doctoral candidates and graduate teaching assistants respectively; applications for these fellowships are offered annually, generally in late fall and winter. Dissertation Year Fellowships (DYF) are designed to provide financial relief to Ph.D. students at candidacy by offering a stipend and waiver of doctoral research/mandatory fees for the period of the award. Summer Teaching Assistant Fellowships (STAF) are intended to support research or study during the summer for individuals who have held a Teaching Assistantship position during the academic year and have performed exceptionally well as a both a TA and student. Both of these fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis by the Graduate School. When available, application instructions and materials for these fellowships can be found on our "Graduate Aid Forms and Processes" page.
What is a Graduate School travel grant and how do I know if I am eligible for one?
Travel grants are monetary awards available to assist graduate students presenting papers and poster sessions at professional meetings and conferences. Travel grants will not exceed $200 per student per conference, or $400 per student per year. Students seeking a travel grant must make a request for one prior to the date of their conference or meeting. Students receiving travel grants will be expected to participate in the Graduate Research Conference during Graduate Student Appreciation Week, which is held each year in early spring, and their names will also be posted on the Graduate School's website. Students may now apply for travel grants online using our "Travel Grant Request Form."
Besides the Graduate School and Financial Aid Office, where else can I look for information on obtaning financial aid?
You should first contact your department to see what types of aid they may offer directly, as well as discpline-specific agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, that they may recommend you contact for additional financial aid opportunities. UNH also subscribes to the Sponsored Programs Information Network (SPIN) database; SPIN provides detailed and timely information about thousands of federal, non-federal, and international funding opportunities, including grants, fellowships, and other awards. Searches can be initiated through general keywords or specific criteria categories. As access to this network requires a subscription and license agreement, it is recommended that you only access SPIN from campus.