Sep 25, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission to Degree Programs

Graduate Admissions
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 44, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217

Admission to a graduate program at MSU Denver requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with the exception of the 3+2 program in accounting, which allows students to enroll concurrently in both an undergraduate and graduate program. Master’s degree programs may determine whether to accept students for enrollment only in the fall or in fall and spring semesters. Check the website of the individual degree program to determine its procedures. A non-refundable $50 application fee applies. The Graduate Admissions Application is available on the Office of Graduate Studies website,

The Application for Admission and all credentials received by the University will be valid for two semesters beyond the term of application. After this time the files will no longer be maintained for applicants who do not complete their application, and for applicants who were accepted but did not enroll. Applicants wishing to attend MSU Denver after this period must submit a new application, application credentials that were not submitted and are outstanding, and the $50 application fee for domestic students or the $50 fee for international students.

Domestic Resident Admission Guidelines

 Minimum university guidelines include the following:

  • Acceptance into a master’s degree program requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or a minimum index score that combines GPA with a standardized test score. Some programs allow conditional admission in which students may be admitted with qualifications not meeting these standards. Applicants should check the program website and/or contact a program advisor for details. 
  • Completion of a standardized test (GRE, GMAT, etc.) may be required for admission into a master’s program. Programs determine specific requirements for this element, so students should check the program website and/or specific program section of the catalog.
  • A cover letter, brief essay, or writing sample is required. Programs determine specific requirements for this element. Students should check the program website and/or specific program section of the catalog.
  • At least one letter of recommendation or contact information from someone who would recommend the applicant is required. Programs determine specific requirements for this element. Students should check the program website and/or specific program section of the catalog.
  • Official transcripts from all prior institutions are required. 
  • Foreign transcripts must also have an official English translation done by a certified translator, if applicable, and a professional, course-by-course evaluation showing equivalency to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.  World Education Services,, or Education Credential Evaluators,, are recommended professional transcript evaluation service providers.

The Graduate Admissions Application is available on the Office of Graduate Studies website,

International Student Admission Guidelines

International students must:

  • complete all of the same requirements as domestic students;
  • submit the required immigration documents for issuance of an I-20. 

International Students must be proficient in English prior to being accepted to Metropolitan State University of Denver.  MSU Denver accepts either TOEFL or IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency.

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Obtain a minimum score of 76 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT). An official score must be sent directly from TOEFL Services; MSU Denver’s institution code is 4505. Scores older than two years are not acceptable.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Obtain an overall band score of at least 6.0. An official score must be sent directly from the testing company. Scores older than two years old are not acceptable.

Deadlines for international student admission are available on individual program websites. A non-refundable $50 application fee applies.

The Graduate Admissions Application is available on the Office of Admissions website,

Transfer Student Admission Guidelines

  • No more than 9, graduate-level, transfer credits (semester hours or equivalent) will be accepted for any program. These credits must have been completed no longer than six years prior to the admission term and must be from a regionally accredited, U.S. institution or equivalent. 
  • Programs have discretion over acceptance of transfer courses. A minimum grade of “B” is required for each transfer course. Applicants should check the program website and/or contact a program advisor for details.

Conditional and Provisional Admission Guidelines

Conditional and/or provisional admission is possible in some programs. Each master’s degree program determines whether or not to allow conditional and/or provisional admission, as well as the criteria for conditional and provisional admission to its program. Generally, a provisional admission is applied when a student has not submitted all of the necessary paperwork for admission, i.e., complete transcript, standardized test score, etc. A conditional acceptance is recognized as a department or program requiring a specific “condition” that the student must meet. This could be achieving a particular GPA or other such requirements.  Students should check the program website and/or program section of the catalog to determine if this status is available and the details.

Students who do not fulfill the requirements set forth by the program may be dismissed.

Non-degree-Seeking Admission Guidelines

Students may be admitted to any of the graduate degree programs with a non-degree-seeking status. For detailed information, refer to the non-degree admissions policies and procedures located on the program’s website and/or specific program’s section of the catalog. Non-degree-seeking students do not qualify for financial aid and must re-apply and pay a new application fee in order to become degree-seeking. Completing coursework as a non-degree-seeking student does not guarantee admission into a degree program.

Standard Fees

An application fee is required of all applicants for admission to the University. This fee is nonrefundable and will not be applied to tuition.

Domestic Student Application Fee: $50

International Student Application Fee: $50

Matriculation Fee: $50

Tuition Classification

A student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state student for tuition purposes at the time of admission. This classification is based on information supplied by the student on the application for admission and is made in accordance with the Colorado Tuition Classification Law (Title 23, Article 7, of the Colorado revised Statutes). Once determined, a student’s tuition classification status remains unchanged unless clear and convincing evidence that a change should be made is presented. If a student believes that he or she is entitled to in-state status, the student must submit their request, along with evidence of in-state status to the Office of Admissions by the published deadline dates. Details on University policies and procedures as they pertain to the Colorado Tuition Law, the forms and deadlines can be found at

The tuition classification statute requires that, in order to qualify for in-state status, a student must have been domiciled in Colorado for one year or more immediately preceding the first day of the semester for which such classification is sought. Domicile for tuition purposes requires two inseparable elements: (1) a permanent place of habitation in Colorado and (2) intent to remain in Colorado with no intent to be domiciled elsewhere. Some examples of connections with the state that provide objective evidence of intent are: payment of Colorado state income tax as a Colorado resident, permanent employment in Colorado, ownership of residential real estate property in Colorado, compliance with laws imposing a mandatory duty on any domiciliary of the state, such as the drivers’ license law and the vehicle registration law and registration to vote. Other factors unique to the individual can also be used to demonstrate the requisite intent.

Any questions regarding the tuition classification law should be directed to the Tuition Classification Officer with the Office of the Admissions. In order to qualify for in-state status for a particular semester, the student must prove that domicile began no later than one year prior to the first day of classes for that semester. Refer to the Academic Calendar  for deadlines to submit the proper request.

The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) allows residents of the 16-member states/ U.S territories (Alaska, Arizona, California, Gaum, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) to request the WRGP tuition rate for graduate programs at MSU Denver. To be considered for the WRGP tuition rate, which is currently the same as in-state tuition, you must apply and be accepted into one of MSU Denver’s master’s programs or graduate level certificates. Once accepted and before the census date, you must apply by completing the WRPG PDF and returning it to Please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website for more information and Frequently Asked Questions.