University Admission Policies and Program Eligibility
Admission to Point Loma Nazarene University graduate programs is selective and is determined by university standards. Applicants are evaluated on their individual scholarly potential to complete graduate-level course work and curriculum requirements. It is expected that each student has adequate academic preparation for the intended major area of study. Students apply for admission to the university and eligibility to a specific program through the Office of Graduate Admissions. Acceptance to the university for post-baccalaureate study does not mean eligibility for a specific degree or certificate program. Program eligibility is determined by the appropriate academic department or school.
Program Eligibility Policies
Program eligibility is decided by the more specialized program standards within each academic department or school. Specific programs may require a national entrance examination and the meeting of other eligibility standards. Each student must satisfy all eligibility requirements for the specific program of interest and have an approved program of study filed with the Office of Records as part of the program eligibility process.
Graduate Program Eligibility Guidelines
Students should refer to the department or school website or in subsequent pages of this catalog for the specific program requirements for eligibility to the program for which the student is applying. Being admitted to the university does not guarantee acceptance into a specific graduate program.
Policy Regarding False Information
A student’s acceptance to a Point Loma Nazarene University post-baccalaureate program is contingent upon the truthfulness of the information contained in the application materials. Discovery of false information prior or subsequent to admission is grounds for immediate dismissal. Such dismissal results in the forfeiture of all charges, tuition, and fees paid as well as all academic credits earned. If the student is enrolled and attending courses at the time of dismissal, the resulting grade for those courses will be recorded as a grade of WF (withdrawal while failing).
Change of Program
If a graduate student wishes to change programs within the academic department/school, the student must file a change of program form with the Office of Records before course work may begin in the new program. Students who fail to file the form risk not receiving financial aid or credit for work done toward program completion. Students must meet all program eligibility requirements for the specific program of interest and have an approved program of study filed with the Office of Records. If a graduate student decides to change academic departments/schools within the university, the student must submit a new application for program eligibility to that specific academic department or school.
Re-Application for Admission
Students who decide to enroll in a different academic department or school of the university, progress from post-baccalaureate credential to graduate program, or begin a second graduate degree program must submit a new application online to the Office of Graduate Admissions as well as the academic department or school and meet all program eligibility requirements. Students who have not been enrolled for one calendar year from the last date of attendance must submit a new application through the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions. Students who have previously applied to the university and have not yet been accepted to the university or the academic department or school for which they applied may request a reactivation of their application, if within one year of the initial date of filing.
Graduate Student Services
Graduate student support services are comprised of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions, the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Student Financial Services, Graduate and Professional Studies Center for Student Success, the Office of Records, Information Technology Services, Ryan Library, and Common Knowledge Bookstore. These support services are available to graduate students through the respective branch campuses and online.
Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
Point Loma Nazarene University encourages the use of technology for learning, communication, and collaboration. It is the responsibility of students who utilize university resources to do so in a responsible, legal, and ethical manner. Users must respect the rights and privacy of others and act in compliance with all university policies as well as federal, state, and local laws.
PLNU reserves the right to restrict the use of its computer facilities and to limit access to its networks when faced with evidence of violations of policies or standards, of contractual obligations, or of federal, state, or local laws. The university has the right to remove or limit access to materials posted on or transmitted by its computers. By connecting to the campus network, the user agrees to the terms and conditions of the Acceptable Use Policy. Actions deemed detrimental or inappropriate when accessing university and Internet resources may be viewed by clicking Acceptable Use Policy.
Graduate Admission to the University
Before a student is considered for admission to the university for a post-baccalaureate program, the student must have on file with the Office of Graduate Admissions the following documents:
- Application: a completed Graduate Application for admission (application to be completed online);
- Letters of Recommendation: two or more letters of recommendation with at least one from a professional supervisor and at least one from an academic reference with direct knowledge of the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate education. In the case where a professional reference is not available, an additional academic reference is appropriate. In the situation where a recent academic reference is not available, an additional professional reference is appropriate;
- Fee: the application fee currently in effect (students seeking admission to programs in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry may request a waiver of the application fee based on financial need);and
- Transcripts: official transcripts showing completion of a baccalaureate and, if applicable, a higher-level degree from an institution that is accredited by a regional accrediting association with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.000 or higher (with the exception of the School of Education Credential Only and the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry each requiring a cumulative grade-point average of 2.750 or higher).
Application Priority Dates
Point Loma Nazarene University accepts students for admission in fall, spring, and summer semesters. Applications received 30 days prior to the start of the semester are given priority consideration. Application priority dates can be found on the Graduate Admissions website at www.pointloma.edu/gradapp.
Individual academic departments and schools evaluate whether or not the student applicant meets the eligibility requirements and notifies the Office of Graduate Admissions regarding the program eligibility decision. The Office of Graduate Admissions will, in turn, notify the student applicant. Program eligibility is dependent on the student’s acceptance to the university.
Admission Application Fee
An application fee (see Tuition and Fees ) must accompany each post-baccalaureate application. The fee is non-refundable. Applicants to the School of Theology and Christian Ministry may request a waiver of this fee based on financial need.
Candidates may be admitted officially to the university upon receipt of all materials (see above). However, candidates may be allowed to begin classes with provisional status if they have not submitted an official transcript but have filed an unofficial copy (showing completion of a baccalaureate and, if applicable, a higher-level degree) and a receipt showing that official transcripts have been requested. Financial aid will not be available to provisionally admitted students until they have been admitted formally to the university and have been removed from provisional admission status. After the first semester of provisional status, subsequent registration is suspended until full admission status is confirmed.
Admission under Exception
Applicants who do not meet the minimum standards for admission, but who can demonstrate an exceptionally rich experiential background and/or have shown a dramatic change in academic performance, may petition the academic department or school for a special review of their status. The academic department or school reviews the petition along with the student’s application package and determines the merits and appropriateness of the request.
In order to apply for admission under exception, the applicant must also provide a statement outlining the applicant’s reasons and justification for requesting an exception to admission policies with supporting documentation. The applicant is also required to schedule an interview with a Point Loma Nazarene University academic advisor from the school to which the applicant is applying.
Following the interview, the academic advisor submits a summary of the applicant’s interview and petition package to the department chair or dean of the school. Students admitted under the Exceptions Policy with a GPA less than 2.750 will be admitted with conditions and must achieve a grade point average of 3.000 or better in their first semester (or first six (6) units). The Graduate Professional Studies Admissions Exceptions Committee or designee is the final authority for admission under exception policy.
There is no exceptions policy for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
Graduate Standing and Appeals
- Graduate Special Standing. This status is assigned to students who are not pursuing a degree or credential program. A maximum of six (6) units of appropriate course work taken as a special standing may be used in a graduate program. Graduate students in special standing are not eligible for financial aid. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for assistance with the Graduate Special Standing process and a Graduate Special Application for Admission.
- Graduate Regular Standing. This status is granted to a student who has met all admission requirements. Applicants are notified of their status in their first semester of enrollment.
- Appeals. Any appeals must be made by the candidate through the program director and school dean to the Associate Vice President for Admissions.
International Student Admission
PLNU is approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to admit non-resident students under an F-1 Visa for the purpose of pursuing a graduate degree on a full-time basis. Full-time enrollment is defined as six (6) units per semester. An F-1 student is a non-immigrant who is pursuing a “full-time course of study” toward a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the United States designated by the DHS. Once the educational or professional objective has been attained, the F-1 student is expected by the U.S. government to return to her/his residence abroad. An I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) for a non-immigrant student is issued by the university after the student has submitted all required admission materials and has a confirmation of admission to PLNU.
Required Documentation for International Student Admission
The following documentation is required for admission of international students:
- Application: a completed application for admission;
- Letters of Recommendation: two or more letters of recommendation, as required by the appropriate program to which the student is applying;
- Fee: the application fee currently in effect (students seeking admission to programs in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry may request a waiver of the application fee based on financial need);
- Transcripts: official transcripts showing completion of a baccalaureate and, if applicable, a higher-level degree from an approved institution (NOTE: transcripts of academic work outside the United States must be evaluated by an approved credentialing service agency);
- Affidavit of Support: as required for all international students by the U.S. government, an original copy of financial certification no older than six months that shows adequate funds for the program of study (NOTE: though required only for the first year of attendance, the applicant should indicate how the remaining years during program completion will be financed); and
- Proof of Language Proficiency: The university requires a score or 216 (computer-based) or 550 (paper-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination or a score of 80 on the TOEFL IBT. (NOTE: PLNU’s college code is 4605; international students who receive a bachelor’s degree from a U.S.-approved post-secondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction may receive a waiver of the TOEFL).
International students are encouraged to contact the Director of International Student Services at the university for more information at (619) 849-2524 or may contact that office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.