Application materials are available online or from the Office of Graduate Admissions. For program-specific requirements, refer to subsequent program sections.

  1. Submit an application form along with a nonrefundable processing fee.
  2. Arrange for the required transcripts to be sent directly from each regionally accredited institution attended. Unofficial transcripts may help expedite the admission process, but full admission will not be granted until official transcripts have been filed.
  3. Submit professional references on the program-specific recommendation form downloadable from the Graduate Admissions website. Appropriate references might include (1) current or past professor, (2) current or past supervisor, (3) academic or business professional. (See specific program requirements for references.)
  4. For applicable programs, arrange for submission of an official report of required standardized test scores. Unofficial scores may help to expedite the admission process, but full admission will not be granted until official scores have been filed.

When an application is complete, it will be evaluated by an admissions committee. The applicant will receive official notification of the committee’s decision from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Due to the confidential nature of some items of information required for admission, the University reserves the right to reject any applicant without stating a reason.

Requirements for International Students Seeking F1 Status

In addition to the standard admissions application procedures, international applicants must complete the steps listed below in order to be considered for admission to Gardner-Webb University.

  1. Proof of English proficiency in reading and writing must be provided. Test results from the following are accepted.
    1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 500 (paper-based), 173 (computer-based), or 61 (internet-based)
    2. International English Language Test System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 5.0
    3. SAT or ACT scores may be used in lieu of TOEFL or IELTS with minimum scores met
    4. Student holds a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in the United States
    5. Primary language is English verified by the Office of Graduate Admissions
  2. Transcripts of college credit received from institutions outside the United States must first be submitted to World Education Services, Inc., (WES) or an approved similar evaluation service for a course-by-course evaluation before being submitted. Please email for a complete list of evaluators. This must be done prior to enrollment at Gardner-Webb.

In addition to the items listed above, international applicants planning to study in the United States must submit the following documentation.

  1. Passport: A copy of a current passport is required as part of the admissions material.
  2. Visa Status: A copy of any current U.S. visa must be provided.
  3. Documents to Show Financial Responsibility: A copy of the most recent bank statement showing sufficient balance to cover financial support for first year of school is required. This can be the bank account of the prospective student, a family member, or other.
  4. International Student Information Form: Please submit this completed form with other admissions materials in order for the University to issue a Form I-20. The Form I-20 is necessary for an international applicant to apply for a student visa at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate.
  5. International Students Transferring from Another U.S. Institution: Please submit the International Student Transfer Form, in addition to the International Student Information Form. Also, please submit copies of your current Form I-94, current Form I-20, and current student travel visa.

The visa status of students residing in the United States during the time of study will determine the availability of online and distance study. All students studying in the United States must follow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations regarding online and distance courses. International students residing outside the United States are eligible for admission to fully online programs.

Additional information and international student forms may be obtained by emailing

Types of Admission Status

Admission for graduate study at Gardner-Webb University is granted in the following categories.


An applicant who meets all criteria for admission to any degree program may be granted full acceptance.


Depending on program-specific admissions criteria, an applicant who does not meet the formal requirements for full acceptance may be granted provisional acceptance. A student accepted provisionally must meet any specified stipulations before being granted full acceptance.

In most instances students must meet the stipulations of provisional acceptance within the first six hours of graduate work completed at Gardner-Webb. Any exceptions to the six-hour policy must be agreed upon by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and director/coordinator of the program at the time of the provisional acceptance decision and specified in the acceptance letter.

If the terms of the provisional acceptance are not successfully met, the student may reapply for admission after one year. The program graduate faculty will make the decision on whether to readmit, and if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply.


In a program which permits conditional acceptance, an applicant whose file is in the final stages of completion may be permitted to enroll in a first semester of study on the condition that the file be completed prior to registration for a second semester. When the file is complete, it will undergo an administrative review to determine whether the requirements for provisional or full acceptance have been met. Students who fail to complete their file by the end of the first semester of study may reapply for admission to the program once it is complete.


A student entering the School of Graduate Studies to take courses for professional or career enhancement may enroll as a non-degree-seeking student. A maximum of six credit hours may be taken as a non-degree-seeking student and applied toward a degree at Gardner-Webb.


Transient status is assigned to an applicant from another recognized graduate institution who enrolls at Gardner-Webb to take courses for transfer to the institution in which he or she is a degree candidate. A transient student must submit an abbreviated application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies and a letter from the dean or director of the program in which he or she is regularly enrolled indicating good standing. See program sections for additional information if applicable.

Readmission of Former Students

Any student who does not register for three consecutive terms (summer counts as one term) must apply for readmission and be readmitted before resuming graduate work. Specific schools or programs may require updated references, verification of current licensure, and/or updated criminal background check as part of the readmission process.

Transfer of Courses for Graduate Credit

Transfer credit will not be accepted for any course in which students earned below a grade of "B." When transfer credit is requested for graduate courses that were graded on a P/F basis, approval of credit for courses in which the grade was a P will be decided on a case-by-case basis. A student may not take courses for transfer credit from another institution while on suspension or probation.

A student seeking to transfer courses must complete the Approval of Graduate Course Credit form located in the Registration folder in WebbConnect. Please note there is a processing fee associated with each course transfer request. See Expenses for more information.

Incoming Students

The primary purpose of the transfer of credit policy is to grant incoming students credit for graduate work previously completed.

With the approval of the coordinator/director of the program and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, a maximum of six credit hours may be accepted from a regionally accredited graduate school toward the fulfillment of requirements for a degree, certificate, or add-on licensure program. Additional program-specific guidelines related to transfer credit hours are listed below.

DBA: Maximum of eight transfer credit hours allowed.

MA in Mental Health Counseling: Maximum of nine transfer credit hours with consideration of three additional hours through an appeals process.

MA and Certificate Programs in Education: Transfer credit may not be possible because of the modular curriculum and cohort approach of these programs.

EdS and EdD in Organizational Leadership: No transfer credits allowed.

EdD in Curriculum and Instruction and EdD in Educational Leadership: Maximum of nine transfer credit hours allowed.

MS in Strength and Conditioning: Maximum of nine transfer credits allowed.

DNP-FNP, DNP-PMHNP, and Post-Doctoral FNP or PMHNP Certificate: Maximum of nine transfer credit hours for graduate-level courses in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and/or Health Assessment.

Physician Assistant Studies Program: No transfer credits allowed.

Credit will not be given for courses taken more than six (6) calendar years before acceptance to graduate study or for courses required to earn another completed degree. Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Gardner-Webb must have prior written approval to take courses from another institution for transfer credit.

Currently Enrolled Students

Currently enrolled students are expected to take the appropriate courses offered by Gardner-Webb. However, permission may be granted to take courses offered by other institutions when the appropriate course is not offered by Gardner-Webb or when it is more convenient for the University to approve a course for transfer than to offer the course by special arrangement. Students must satisfy licensure competencies as well as perform satisfactorily on program comprehensive exams. In addition, Registrar Services must have an original transcript on file showing the transfer course(s) before Commencement, or the student’s graduation may be delayed.

Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Students

Academically strong students at Gardner-Webb University may be permitted, under special circumstances, to register for graduate courses with the permission of the faculty member teaching the course and the appropriate graduate coordinator/director or dean/chair of the school/department. Graduate-level courses may not be counted toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degree.