Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Graduate Student

Visit Graduate Admission FAQs for more information.

Visit ODU’s comprehensive list of Graduate School Programs here. Each program page features an overview of the program, program highlights, and its requirements.

Each department has different requirements. Contact the Graduate Program Director (GPD) of the program you wish to apply to for specific details. Use the search box on the ODU website for easy access to each department’s directory. Or follow this link for a directory listing the GPDs by college.

You can find a list of GPDs listed by college here.

This depends on the department. It would be best to contact the appropriate Graduate Program Director for this information.

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

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.

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 Office of Student Financial Aid.

Graduate students are eligible for housing. For more information, follow this link or email

Yes, there is health insurance available for domestic graduate students through United HealthCare StudentResources. You may also review all the information we have on the Graduate School webpage here or email International students obtain their health insurance coverage through the Office of Visa & Immigration Service Advising. For more information, visit their page here or email

Open enrollment happens twice a year in the spring and fall. Students can enroll in their chosen plan per semester or for the full year. Students purchasing insurance by semester must re-enroll once the term ends. Fall coverage begins on August 1 and ends on December 31. Spring coverage begins on January 1 and ends on July 31. For more details or information, email

Unfortunately, payment plans are not available. Students must make their payment in full at the time of enrollment.

Yes, there is optional dental and vision coverage. These two options are both twelve-month policies, and they can be selected individually and separately from the health insurance coverage.

You are eligible to continue your enrollment for a maximum of 60 days. You must enroll for a continuation of coverage within 31 days of the expiration of your plan. COBRA is not provided under this plan.

United HealthCare has a sister company, UHOne, that offers a variety of health, dental, and vision plans that may meet your needs.

Graduate students earning $5,000 or more are eligible for the subsidy. The subsidy for the academic year is $1,100. The subsidy is paid by semester: $600 for spring and $500 for fall.

Graduate students not eligible are:

  • ODU Student Hourly or Research Foundation Casual Student Hourly
  • Regular Hourly Employees
  • Classified Staff and Faculty of any type
  • Graduate Students who receive funding that is paid through ODU or Research Foundation’s Accounts Payable
  • Graduate students receiving fellowships not associated directly with Old Dominion University or the Research Foundation

Admitted Graduate Students

Yes. Graduate Orientation is a self-enrolling course found in Canvas at this link: Graduate Student Orientation. Only registered ODU graduate students will be able to enroll using their MIDAS ID and ODU email address.

Complete registration through Leo Online. The summer and fall semester courses are available by March 7th and by October 7th for the spring. Visit the Registrar's site to view additional registration dates.

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

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.

Visit the Registrar's website for in-state tuition eligibility requirements. Please note that applications must be submitted before the beginning of each semester.

Teaching, research, and administrative assistantships are available to full-time graduate students and the availability of assistantships varies year to year. First, contact your graduate program director and notify them of your interest in a position with the department. Then you can search for positions outside of your program through Career Development Services and Student Engagement & Enrollment Services (SEES).

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 the fall and spring semesters. For more information on the GTAI Institute, email

Compensation is determined by graduate program directors and deans. The stipends vary by program and college. Contact your Graduate Program Director for specific qualifications and amounts.

No. The University does not allow this.

Yes. However, these situations must be approved by your Graduate Program Director.

Ph.D. teaching assistants with proper documentation may purchase a Faculty/Staff permit at the Commuter permit rate. Parking pass information is available on the Parking Services web page.

General FAQs

When you receive a continuance letter from the Graduate School, read the catalog excerpt, included in the letter, carefully. All the necessary steps you need to take to regain good academic standing are listed. Click here to read the Continuance policy.

If you do not know who your advisor is, contact your Graduate Program Director. You can search Graduate Program Directors by college and program here.

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 three circumstances when grades may not be calculated in the cumulative GPA. They are reinstatement from suspension, returning after an eight-year separation, and change of program. Please see the policies on GPA Following Separation and GPA Following Change of Program found in the Graduate Catalog.

All graduate 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, expired credits must be re-validated by examination before they can be applied toward the degree.

Yes, doctoral students who are finished with coursework and have passed their candidacy exams, but are still working on a dissertation, must be registered for at least 1 hour of dissertation credit (899) every semester through graduation. If the dissertation has been completed, students should register for at least one credit hour of doctoral credit (999).

Transcripts are provided by the Office of the University Registrar and can also be requested through Leo Online. Requests should be submitted at least five days before they are needed. For more information, please visit the University Registrar’s Forms page and click on Transcript Requests.