Conditional Admission for University Programs

Conditional admission for universityAt every university where I worked in graduate admissions, prospective candidates asked if the school offered conditional admission.  In the early 2000’s at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, the answer was no.  In 2005 when I joined the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, IR/PS was offering conditional admission based on applicants retaking their GRE in hopes of improved scores.  The admissions committee then was stipulating an admissible student with low GRE scores must retake it before enrolling.  The approach was flawed because there was never a target score set for the applicant and I don’t know if a conditionally admitted student ever failed to improve the score.  One of my first policy changes was to eliminate conditional admission.  Then as Dean of Admissions at the Keck Graduate Institute, I also implemented a policy of no conditional admission.  These are three examples of graduate schools that do not offer conditional admission (or did not in the past).  Not all universities have the same policies, however.

Conditional admission is a surprisingly available option for many students applying to graduate and undergraduate programs.  I’ve recently taken a closer look at various programs at over six hundred schools and found the possibility of a conditional letter of admission is standard at many universities.  Here I break down some of the findings.

Masters programs offering a conditional letter of admission

Business, Management, Marketing, and related programs

There were 151 schools with these master’s programs in my sample that offer conditional letters of admission.

Some example schools:

  • Clemson University
  • James Madison University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Engineering and Engineering Technology programs

There were 62 schools with Engineering programs offering conditional letters of admission.  Among them are:

  • Central Michigan University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Social Sciences, including Economics programs

There were 43 schools with programs like anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, international affairs, sociology and others that offer conditional letters of admission.  Here are a few:

  • Auburn University at Montgomery
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Indiana State University
  • Marquette University
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City

Bachelor’s programs offering conditional letters of admission

Looking at this group not at the level of individual major led to over 415 schools offering a conditional letter of admission for bachelor’s degrees!  It was a surprise to see nearly 75% of the sample group with this option.  Many of the universities in groups above also were in these results.  A small sample of other universities includes:

  • Adelphi University
  • Alabama State University
  • California State University Northridge
  • Hawai’i Pacific University
  • Marshall University
  • Minnesota State University Mankato
  • New Mexico State University
  • Rider University
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Michigan – Flint

Now not all universities offer conditional admission for all programs at any degree level.  Indeed, some of these schools may have admissions officers that do not even realize they offer conditional admission.  Of course with any list style post, the information here is subject to change.

If you would like to learn more about how to earn conditional admission to these or other universities, contact me for a consultation.

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