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Non-Degree Admissions

If you want to take graduate courses without pursuign a graduate degree, you have three options:

  1. Advanced Special Student Status,

  2. Visiting Graduate Student Status, or

  3. Golden Identification Cardholder Status (for Senior Citizens)

Explore this section to learn more.

Advanced Special Student Status

Although the primary mission of the Graduate School is to conduct programs of graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees, the Graduate Faculty will admit qualified non-degree students as Advanced Special Students, to the extent that resources allow. Advanced Special Students are ineligible to receive merit-based financial aid from the university, including graduate fellowships and assistantships.

Applying as an Advanced Special Student

To qualify as an Advanced Special Student, you must:

  • Have achieved a cumulative 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) average for work done at the undergraduate level; OR
  • Have earned a master’s, doctoral, or a post-baccalaureate professional degree (MD, JD, DVM, etc.) from a regionally accredited institution; OR
  • Have attained a score that places you in the upper 50th percentile of an appropriate national standardized aptitude examination, such as the GRE, GMAT, or Miller Analogies Test; OR
  • Provide a letter of support from the graduate director of the degree program in which you plan to take a course.

To apply, you must:

  • Submit a completed online application, which includes uploading official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a personal statement, and
  • Pay the $75 application fee.

Applicants seeking Advanced Special Student status who are interested in establishing Maryland residency should complete the Residency Classification Form. By default, all Advanced Special Students who do not complete this form will be charged out-of-state tuition. For information on Residency Classification, including requirements for Maryland residency, please visit the Registrar’s website.

Deadline

The deadline for application as an Advanced Special Student is the first day of classes for the semester in which you plan to attend. View the university’s academic calendar to see when each term begins.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m an international student; can I apply for Advanced Special Student status?
If you are NOT a US citizen or permanent resident, please contact International Student and Scholar Services to determine if you can apply for Advanced Special Student status. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident with international credentials, you may apply for Advanced Special Student Status.

My baccalaureate degree is from a nationally-recognized institution outside of the United States. Am I required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score to apply for Advanced Special Student status?
The same requirements for submission of the TOEFL or IELTS that apply to degree-seeking students apply to applicants for Advanced Special Student status.

How long can I remain an Advanced Special Student?
Admission to Advanced Special Student status will continue for five years. If there is no registration in two consecutive academic semesters (Fall and Spring), the admitted status will lapse and a new application will be required.

Will being an Advanced Special Student affect future admissions decisions?
Successful completion of courses taken as an Advanced Special Student does not guarantee admission to a graduate degree or certificate program. Each program may accept such courses in satisfaction of program requirements to a maximum of 12 credits, contingent on admission to the degree or certificate program and on the approval of the faculty in the program. For consideration of admission to a degree program at a later time, the student must submit a new application.

I’ve completed a semester as an Advanced Special Student and want to apply to a degree program. What steps must I take and how can I have my Advanced Special Student credits transferred to my degree program if accepted?
Please contact your prospective graduate degree program for information on applying Advanced Special Student credits to graduate degrees.

Can my Advanced Special Student status be revoked?
Yes. Advanced Special Students must maintain a 2.75 grade point average. Advanced Special Students whose grade point average falls below 2.75 will not be permitted to register.

Am I able to use campus services as an Advanced Special Student?
Yes. Advanced Special Students are entitled to use the same services accorded to other graduate students, such as parking, library privileges, and use of the campus athletic facilities.

What fees are associated with being an Advanced Special Student?
Advanced Special Students must pay all standard tuition and fees for all courses, including undergraduate classes. For further information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s website.

Can Advanced Special Students hold assistantships on campus?
No. Students with Advanced Special Student status are not eligible to hold appointments as Graduate Fellows or Graduate Teaching, Research, or Administrative Assistants, or to receive other forms of merit-based financial aid.

What is the deadline to apply and to register for courses?
The deadline for application as an Advanced Special Student is the first day of classes for the semester in which you plan to attend. View the university’s academic calendar to see when each term begins.

I have been admitted as an Advanced Special Student. Now what?
Review the Advanced Special Student Checklist to help you get acclimated to campus and begin your studies.

Visiting Graduate Student Status

A graduate student matriculated in another graduate school who wishes to enroll in the University of Maryland Graduate School and who intends to return to the graduate school in which he or she is matriculated, may be admitted as a Visiting Graduate Student. 

To apply for Visiting Graduate Student status, you must submit a completed online application and pay the $75 application fee.

If you are matriculated in a US institution, you must submit:

  1. A personal statement,
  2. A letter from the Graduate Dean at your home institution confirming that you are in good academic standing and that courses taken at the University of Maryland will be transferred to your home institution, and 
  3. A letter from the University of Maryland department that will be hosting you confirming that you will be taking courses in that department. 

NOTE: Transcripts, letters of recommendation, and GRE/GMAT test scores are not required.

If you are NOT matriculated in a US institution, you must submit:

  • A personal statement,
  • A letter from the Graduate Dean at your home institution confirming that you are in good academic standing and that courses taken at the University of Maryland will be transferred to your home institution, and
  • A letter from the University of Maryland department that will be hosting you confirming that you will be taking courses in that department.

NOTE: Transcripts and letters of recommendation are not required. TOEFL or IELTS scores may be required.

Golden Identification Cardholder Status (for Senior Citizens)

The university’s services and courses are available without charge to US citizens who are:

  • Residents of the state of Maryland,
  • 60 years of age or older, and
  • Retired (not engaged in gainful employment for more than 20 hours per week).

Individuals who meet these requirements may apply for graduate admission, either as degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking students, and must meet all admissions criteria.

Once admitted, these students will be issued a Golden Identification Card. Golden ID cardholders may register for courses in any session on a space-available basis and use the library and other University facilities during the time they are enrolled in courses. Golden ID cardholders may register during the first week of classes for up to 3 courses; they may not pre-register. Tuition will be waived for Golden ID cardholders, but mandatory fees must be paid.

Please visit the Registrar’s website for more information on the Golden ID registration procedures.

Contact Information

The Graduate School
University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
College Park, MD 20742

301-405-3644
gradschool@umd.edu