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Application Guidelines

How to Apply to
Graduate School
The graduate admission policy of Oakland University is selective, and the process is competitive.

Applicants for graduate admission must present evidence that they have had the necessary academic preparation to enable them to pursue the graduate program for which they are applying.
 Download the How to Apply guide (PDF)
Download the How to Apply guide (PDF)


Prior to beginning the Online Application, carefully review the following application guidelines.


Graduate Certificates, Master's and Doctoral Degree program details can be found in the Graduate Programs Catalog.

  • If you have questions regarding program specific information, please contact the graduate coordinator/director listed on the program page.
  • General application/admission process questions can be sent to Graduate Admissions

Please note:

  • An application deadline means that the application for admission and all supporting documents/information must be received by Graduate Admissions by the deadline date 
  • Supplemental Program Applications

A supplemental application may be required for your program.  Review the list of supplemental applications to see if your program requires an additional application.

  • Transcripts

You must submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended. If you are a United States active duty service member or veteran you should also include your military transcript.

Submit official transcripts to:
Oakland University
Graduate Admissions
520 O'Dowd Hall
2200 N. Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4401

  • Recommendation Forms

The total required recommendation forms are published in the Application Requirements section specific to the graduate program for which the applicant is requesting admission. Unless the applicant has been out of school for more than five years, at least one of the Recommenders should be a faculty member who is able to judge the applicant’s preparation and ability to undertake Graduate Education.

All Students must fill out the Applicant required section and forward the Recommendation Form to your Recommenders to complete and submit the form directly to Graduate Admissions. Recommenders please e-mail the Recommendation Form from a professional email address to or mail to the address provided above. 

  • Test Scores

The institution code for sending test scores to Oakland University is 1497

  • International applicants:

International applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 visa must also complete and submit the International Student Supplemental Application Packet (PDF) and specified support documents. 

  • Personal Statements

Personal statements should be e-mailed to  Please note:  If you completed a personal statement as part of a supplemental application, you do not need to send a separate email. 

  • Supporting materials

Check your program requirements to see what other supporting documents are necessary to complete your application. 


All applicants are expected to submit their graduate application online and submit ALL application materials required for graduate admission. 

Graduate applications will not be reviewed until they are complete.

All applicants please note:
  • Recommendation Providers
    In addition to the online application, please submit the required number of recommendation forms for your program. Recommendations must come from those who are familiar with your academic and professional qualifications. Recommendation Form

Online Application Instructions:

  1. Click the button above
  2. Click "First time user account creation"
  3. Create your Login ID and PIN — remember this for future use
  4. Select the correct application for the degree you are seeking
  5. Fill out and submit the application 

Approximately one week after you submit your application you will have access to the “Status Check” feature in your application account.

  • Go to the Admissions login page in SAIL
  • Sign in using your Login ID and PIN you created when you started the online application process
  • Click on “Status Check” link

Web Application Status Descriptions

  • Incomplete — Missing Requirements:
    Your file is not yet complete. Scroll down to the "Requirements" section to see which application materials are missing. Requirements received will have a date displayed; outstanding materials will not include a date.
  • Complete — Ready for Review:
    Your file is now complete and ready to be reviewed for admission.

For academic programs that admit on a rolling basis, the review process typically takes 2-3 weeks from the date the file became "complete." For programs that review applications as a group, the review process begins after the deadline date and can take 4-8 weeks before decisions are announced. Learn more about the Admission review process.

  • Decision Made:
    This status indicates that a decision has been made.

Due to the high volume of mail received in Graduate Admissions, it may take up to 21 working days for your application documents to be entered into the system. Please allow the appropriate amount of time to pass before expecting to see these documents on the status check website.

After you have received your offer of admission from Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, the next step is to accept your offer of admission using the Admission Acceptance Form 

Graduate Programs

Application deadlines vary by program as well as by semester. 

To find your programs deadline dates, visit the program page in the online Graduate Catalog.

Special Graduate Status

Students seeking admission as special graduate or special doctoral status may be granted admission on a temporary basis to take courses while a student completes his/her application file.  Departmental approval is required. This status is granted one month prior to the beginning of the semester.

International Students
International students may be required to apply earlier than the deadline posted by the program. 

The final deadlines for international students

  • May 1st for the Fall Semester
  • September 1st for the Winter Semester
  • January 1st for the Summer Semester

International students should apply by the earliest deadline (program or international document deadline).

View admission deadlines in the graduate catalog


Applicants seeking a graduate degree or graduate certificate, but are unable to meet the deadline for filing required materials or credentials for admission may be granted temporary admission.  Applicants must provide a copy of a transcript providing evidence of a bachelor’s degree awarded and any specific evidence concerning their qualifications for graduate study as required by the department.

Students granted admission in the Special Graduate classification may take no more than a total of 12 credits and must meet the criteria specified for general admission requirements and specific program admission requirements before completing the second semester of registration.

Up to 12 credits earned in the Special Graduate classification may be applied toward degree or graduate certificate requirements if:

  1. a student is later admitted to a degree or graduate certificate program, and
  2. the credit is approved by the graduate program as appropriate to the degree or graduate certificate objective.

Admission as a special graduate student in no way assures subsequent admission to a degree or graduate certificate program. Degree or graduate certificate course requirements and program regulations prevailing for the semester of formal admission to a graduate program will govern the student’s program.

Students admitted to Special Graduate classification are not eligible to receive financial assistance.

Applicant Resources

Testing Agencies

Please note:  The institution code for sending test scores to Oakland University is 1497.

Foreign Transcript Evaluation Services