The Catholic University of America

Archived January 13, 2010

I. Introduction
The Catholic University of America admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age or disability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the university. It does not discriminate against students or applicants for admission, or employees or applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or on the basis of sex, age or disability, in the administration of its educational or admissions policies or in any aspect of its operations.

The university has an obligation to ensure that students admitted into its academic programs are fully prepared and qualified to engage with a reasonable expectation of success. This is especially true of students for whom English is not their first language and students who have been educated abroad.

The Office of Admissions and the various academic units of the university involved in admissions decisions will comply with the university policy regarding minimum English proficiency using the standards and procedures outlined in this policy. Individual schools or departments may prescribe additional requirements that can be found in the appropriate section of the Announcements.

II. Admission to Graduate Studies
The application for admission may be submitted online at Application materials may be requested at or by contacting the Office of Admissions at tel. 800-673-2772 or tel. 202-319-5057. The academic deans of the various schools make decisions on graduate applications based on the recommendations of the admissions committees. Admission is granted only for the semester to which one applies. Those failing to register for the semester for which they have received acceptance must reapply for admission, unless permission for a one- or two-semester deferral is obtained from the dean of their school and notification is sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Deferral of admission does not guarantee deferral of scholarship.

Admission to study does not imply admission to candidacy for a degree, which is granted only after completion of required courses or examinations. Admitted students are required to submit a $200 nonrefundable enrollment deposit to hold his or her place in the class. The deposit is credited toward tuition and fees upon matriculation.


III. Application Requirements
The following materials should be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions, The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20064.

A. The completed application form and $55 nonrefundable application fee.

The application fee is waived only in the following cases:

• CUA undergraduates (while maintaining continuous enrollment)

• CUA graduate students applying for an advanced graduate degree (while maintaining continuous enrollment)

B. Official transcripts of all undergraduate coursework and postsecondary studies.

Applicants for graduate study will be expected to have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Their records should indicate that they are prepared to pursue advanced study and research in the field or fields in which they intend to specialize. Applicants who have received a bachelor's degree from a nonaccredited institution or who have completed an educational program equivalent to a bachelor's degree may be admitted if their undergraduate scholastic records indicate superior ability in the field in which they intend to specialize.

Transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar of the school(s) previously attended and should show degree(s) earned, courses completed toward the degree, grade earned in each course, and the basis of grading in effect at the institution. An applicant who is in the final year of undergraduate studies may be admitted provisionally pending receipt of a transcript showing conferral of the degree.

C. Official letters of recommendation.

Letters should be requested from officials or faculty members of institutions previously attended who are acquainted with the applicants' ability for graduate study. Employment supervisors may serve as recommenders when appropriate. Most schools require three letters; please refer to the school requirements for details.

D. Standardized examinations.

Most schools require the submission of standardized test reports such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Please refer to the appropriate school for details.

Official score reports, no more than five years old, must be submitted directly to The Catholic University of America by the testing service; student copies or photocopies will not be considered official. For information about the GRE, please visit or contact GRE-ETS, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000. CUA's test codes are GRE(5104), MAT (1042), and TOEFL(5104).

E. Statement of purpose.

Certain schools have specific guidelines for the preparation of the statement. If not specified, applicants should address the following in a statement of approximately 500-750 words:

• State your purpose for undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objective, research interests and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

• How would you describe your ability and commitment to undertake graduate

education at this time?

• What are your proposed career goals?

• What influenced your decision to apply to The Catholic University of America?

F. Additional requirements.

Specific schools may have other requirements such as an early application deadline, the submission of additional materials such as writing sample, portfolio, audition or interview. Please review the appropriate school entry for details.

International applicants and those who have studied outside the U.S. should carefully consult section IV of this policy.

IV. International Student Admission


A. Application Method

Because of the delays that often occur in obtaining and evaluating credentials, prospective international students should submit complete applications for admission well in advance of the beginning of the semester for which they are applying. Applications should be submitted to the Office of University Admissions no later than Feb. 15 for the fall semester (classes beginning in August) and Oct. 15 for the spring semester (classes beginning in January).

B. Required Credentials for International Candidates

International applications are considered complete when the Office of University Admissions has received the following:

1. The completed application form and $55 nonrefundable application fee.

2. Transcripts of all previous education equivalent to secondary and postsecondary

education in the United States; a certified translated copy if transcript is not in the English language.

3. Credential Evaluation of any non-U.S. degrees

  • Applicants for graduate programs who hold undergraduate degrees from foreign institutions or higher education must provide, as part of theapplication process, a degree equivalency evaluation from a reputable credentials evaluation service recognized by the University. This ensures that applications are given full consideration by University officials who may not be familiar with the education program of that specific institution.
  • Recommended agencies that can provide this service can be found at

4. Evidence of sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in the

academic program.

  • All students, regardless of U.S. immigration status, from countries and areas where English is not the common, spoken language must demonstrate a practical understanding of spoken and written English to benefit from instruction, study and examinations in that language.

For graduate programs, the mechanisms for establishing sufficient English language proficiency and the standards used are established and administered by the University admissions office in partnership with the Dean of Graduate Studies and the appropriate deans.

Students who cannot demonstrate a sufficient level of competency in the English language will be advised to continue their language study before reapplying for admission. At the discretion of the Office of Admissions and the appropriate dean, students with a borderline level of proficiency may be provisionally admitted to an academic program provided that the appropriate dean's office and Admissions has agreed upon an initial plan to improve the student's language competencies. The student's ability to continue in the academic program is contingent upon the successful fulfillment of the terms of the initial academic plan.


  • The university would not require individuals who have received a bachelors or graduate degrees from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Proficiency minimums required for application to The Catholic University of America:

Source of Evaluation

Acceptable standard


(Test of English as a Foreign Language)







(20 in each category)



ELS (English Language Service)

Completion of level 112

CUA's Intensive English Program

Completion of completion of level 100 course and cumulative GPA of 3.0 plus "adequate" evaluation by the Director of Program

C. Proficiency Standards for Graduate Programs

At the Graduate level proficiency requirements for satisfactory participation in the program can vary considerably from one course of study to the next. Individual graduate programs may not be served by the above stated minimums. For those programs where the minimum is higher, please visit .

D. Provisional Admission of Students with Borderline English Proficiency

A student who cannot document that he or she meets the standards indicated above may potentially be admitted to an academic program if the Request for a Waiver Form is initiated in the Dean's Office and approved by all relevant administrative offices.

E. Additional Requirements for Issuance of Immigration Documents for F-1 or J-1 status

International students who need to have immigration documents issued by CUA on their behalf must be able to document their financial ability to cover the costs of their studies in the U.S. These costs include tuition, living expenses, health insurance, fees, and other costs associated with living and studying in the U.S.

V. Provisional Admission
Provisional admission may be granted for one semester to an applicant who is missing one or more required documents, such as a final, official transcript, but is otherwise deemed suitable for admission. Such applicants may be requested to secure a notarized statement concerning their academic career from an authoritative source. Admission is provisional for one semester and the student must submit the required documents in that semester. An applicant with strong academic credentials may be accepted provisionally while completing prerequisite courses for a specific degree program.

VI. Students with Disabilities
Disability Services, designed to support and encourage the integration of students with disabilities into the mainstream of the university community are provided through the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS). To be eligible for services at CUA, students must register with DSS and submit documentation of disability. Recently admitted students are encouraged to contact DSS beginning June 1 to begin the registration process. For more information on services or documentation requirements and registration procedures, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services at tel. 202-319-5211, TTY tel. 202-299-2899 , e-mail or visit the DSS Web site at

VII. Admission of Non-Degree Students
An applicant who does not wish to pursue a degree program at The Catholic University of America but who wishes to follow courses independently or in a program required for a certificate, either for credit or as an auditor, may apply for admission as a non-degree seeking student. Standard tuition and fees apply to students who take courses as non-degree or audit status. The application must be accompanied by the specified application fee and supported by official transcripts of all previous postsecondary education. In lieu of a transcript, a properly qualified student who is working toward a degree at another institution may submit written authorization for temporary enrollment at this university from the cognizant dean of that institution.


In the case of an applicant who has received a bachelor's degree from a non-accredited school or who is deficient in preparation, admission as a non-degree seeking student may be granted. After three courses are completed with a grade of B or better, students may apply for degree seeking status. By law, a student visa can be issued to an international applicant only for the purpose of enrolling in a full course of study that will lead to the attainment of a specified educational or vocational objective, as defined in The Code of Federal Regulations at 8 CFR 214.3(k)(4) and 214.4(a)(1)(x). The application of an international student as a non-degree student will be evaluated according to these criteria.

Admission as a non-degree student is limited to a single semester or summer session, unless renewed by the dean of the school for registration in subsequent consecutive semesters or summer sessions. No fee is charged for such renewal. A non-degree student who does not enroll in consecutive terms or who enrolls in a different school must submit a new application for admission, which must be accompanied by the application fee.

A non-degree student who wishes to be considered for admission to a degree program must submit the application and supporting documents ordinarily required for admission to the degree program. Since the mere accumulation of courses will not satisfy degree requirements, one should consult the appropriate dean or department chair before enrolling. A non-degree student may take up to a maximum number of nine graduate credits.

VIII. Readmission
A student who has withdrawn from the university, or who is presumed to have withdrawn because of failure to maintain continuous enrollment, must apply for readmission. An application for readmission is subject to the same scrutiny as is an application for original admission. The student may be required to adhere to degree requirements adopted since original matriculation or to special requirements imposed as a condition of readmission, such as repetition of certain examinations or courses. A student who has been withdrawn for more than ten years may not be eligible for readmission.

An applicant for readmission is required to pay the $55 non refundable application fee.