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General Frequently Asked Questions

I'm thinking about applying to ODU for graduate school....

Q: What graduate programs are offered at Old Dominion University?

A: For a comprehensive list of our Graduate Programs by college, please visit the Office of Admissions website. For a more detailed description of graduate programs, you can view/print the graduate catalog from the Office of Graduate Studies' website.

Q: How can I find out what graduate courses are being offered at ODU?

A: You can access the course schedule through Leo Online.

Q: What are the GRE requirements for admittance to ODU?

A: The GRE requirements differ by department. For specific information, you should contact the Graduate Program Director of the program to which you are applying.

Q: How do I contact the Graduate Program Director for the program that I am interested in?

A: Graduate Program Directors are listed, with contact information, organized by college and program on the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Q: Do the grades I earn as a non-degree seeking student apply to my overall GPA?

A: Yes, all courses taken for credit at ODU, whether you are a degree or a non-degree seeking student, will count toward your cumulative GPA.

Q: Will the credits I earn as a non-degree seeking student be applied towards my graduate degree once I am enrolled in a program?

A: This will depend on the department. It would be best to contact the appropriate Graduate Program Director for this information.

Q: I'm a transfer student. Will I be able to transfer my credits?

A: Yes, but only courses can be transferred; your GPA will not transfer. The University only allows a maximum of 12 graduate credits to be transferred from another institution. Ultimately, the final decision as to whether credits will be "applied" to your ODU graduate program will be determined by the appropriate Graduate Program Director.

Q: Can graduate students receive financial aid?

A: Graduate students typically rely on federal loan programs, graduate assistantships, scholarships and work study programs to finance their graduate education. Students must be degree seeking and enrolled at least half-time in Master's or doctoral level classes to receive up to $20,500 in Federal Direct Stafford Loans. For more information on sources of financial aid for graduate students please visit the Financial Aid website.

I've already been admitted to a graduate program at ODU....

Q: Is there an orientation offered for graduate students?

A: Yes. New Graduate Student Orientation is offered in the fall and spring semesters. More information on Orientation can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Q: When and how do I register for classes?

A: Registration can be completed via LEO Online through myodu.edu. Course schedules are available by March 7 for summer and fall semesters, and by October 7 for spring semester. Important registration dates can be viewed at www.odu.edu/registrar.

Q: How many credits do I need to take to be considered a full-time graduate student?

A: Students must be enrolled in nine credits per semester to be considered a full time graduate student at ODU. In a summer session, six credit hours are considered a full load.

Q: What is the maximum number of credits I can take as a graduate student?

A: No more than 12 credit hours per semester may be carried by a graduate student, except in unusual circumstances, with the permission of your Graduate Program Director.

Q: Am I eligible for in-state tuition?

A: To apply for in-state tuition, students must first meet the university requirements which are explicitly stated here. Applications must be submitted prior to the beginning of classes at the start of the semester.

Q: How does a graduate student obtain an assistantship?

A: Teaching, research, and administrative assistantships are available to full-time graduate students who meet the requirements listed under the Graduate Assistantship Guidelines. Availability of assistantships varies from year to year and assistantships are awarded by individual graduate academic programs. Contact the appropriate Graduate Program Director for more information.

Q: Can graduate students be teaching assistants?

A: Yes. Teaching assistantships are available through individual programs. All graduate students selected as teaching assistants must pass the Graduate Teaching Assistant Instructor (GTAI) Institute, offered at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. For more information on the GTAI Institute, please visit the Office of Graduate studies website.

Q: How are graduate students compensated for assistantships?

A: Financial awards are determined by the graduate program and college dean. Stipends vary by program and college. For specific qualifications and amounts, please contact the appropriate Graduate Program Director.

Q: Can I hold an assistantship and be an adjunct instructor at the same time?

A: No. The university does not allow this.

Q: Can I hold an assistantship and have an internship during the same semester?

A: Yes. However, these situations must be worked out with the appropriate Graduate Program Director.

Q: Can I obtain a faculty parking pass as a graduate assistant?

A: Ph.D. students and teaching assistants may apply for a faculty parking pass. Master's level graduate assistants who are not teaching may not apply for a faculty parking pass. More information about obtaining a faculty parking pass is available at the Parking Services website.

I'm currently working toward completing my graduate degree at ODU....

Q: How can you be reinstated after you have been suspended?

A: A written request for reinstatement must be submitted to the appropriate Graduate Program Director. More information on reinstatement can be accessed on the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Q: Do graduate students have the opportunity for grade forgiveness?

A: No, at ODU there is no grade forgiveness for graduate students by course substitution (i.e. taking a course and only counting the higher grade). There are two circumstances when grades may not be calculated in the cumulative GPA. Please see the policy on GPA following Separation and the policy on declaration or change of major or program found in the graduate catalog. You can access the graduate catalog at http://www.odu.edu/ao/gradstudies/.

Q: Is there a time limit for finishing my graduate degree?

A: Master's students have six years, and PhD students have eight years to finish their degree from the time they are first enrolled in the program. If degrees are completed outside of this time limit, the credits must be re-validated by examination before they can be applied toward the degree.

Q: Do doctoral students have to be enrolled after completion of their course work?

A: Yes, doctoral students who are finished with coursework and have passed their candidacy exams, but still working on a dissertation, must be registered for at least 1 hour of dissertation credit (899) every semester through the semester of graduation.

Q: How do I receive or send out a copy of my transcripts?

A: Transcripts are provided by the Office of the University Registrar and are issued through www.leoonline.odu.edu or upon written request using the form provided here. Requests should be submitted at least five day before they are needed. For more information please visit the Registrar's website at www.odu.edu/registrar.