+ and -’s of Rolling Admissions

Happy Friday all!  I wanted to venture into another hot button topic today because it’s something that not a lot of our students truly understand due to the fact that not a lot of other colleges and universities use it.  The Graduate School at the University of Saint Joseph uses a policy called “rolling admissions” which essentially means that students can apply to our insitution anytime they want.  Most other colleges and universities (particularly at the graduate level) require students to apply by a certain date if they’d like to start in a specific semester.   Because rolling admissions is a little bit different than what I would consider “the norm,”  here’s a breakdown of the pluses and minuses of rolling admissions:


  • Students can apply anytime during the year which includes before they finish their undergraduate program and/or just a few weeks before the start of a semester.  Students who just want to take coursework can actually apply and pay the application fee on a Monday, and send us a copy of their unofficial transcript (that meets the prerequisite requirements of their program of interest) and registration form for their six credits that same day and have everything processed on Tuesday.\
  • Information about the admission process goes out to the student via standard mail within one business day!
  • Students are generally compared to a standard produced by the individual department instead of all the other applicants which puts an increased focus on that student’s ability to meet the requirements that they feel their students need to be successful in the program. 
  • In the majority of our programs, the program to make an admission decision when that student’s admission requirements are complete instead of sitting around for months to be reviewed after the application deadline.  Students are generally notified of the admission decision within a 1-3 week time frame of their file being completed.


  • It puts a lot of emphasis on you, the student.  Nothing goes into motion until the student physically does something (completing the application, submitting all the application requirements, registering for classes after being admitted to a program, etc.) so there’s a lot of manual processes that can be complicated to the average student. 
  • Programs may only take the specific number of students that can fill their initial courses while pushing any remaining students in the middle of the admission process off to the next semester. 
  • Some departments will choose to review files as a group which can leave students waiting for information on their admission decision. 

The Bottom Line:

Rolling admissions can be a significant advantage to those students who don’t need a lot of assistance in the admission process.  Students are notified when their status changes faster, decisions are made by programs quicker, and students who apply and complete the process early stand a strong chance of admission so long as they meet the prerequisite requirements of the program.  If anyone has any feedback or questions about rolling admissions, please feel free to ask! 


Posted in Admission Requirements, Other Readings

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