Information for Graduate Admission Applicants

Updated July 16, 2020

Pacific Lutheran University has published a website that details the Campus Response and Recovery Updates: plu.edu/coronavirus. Additionally, the Office of Graduate Admission has provided information below for graduate admission questions related to COVID-19.

1. General Information

While not working physically at the Office of Graduate Admission on campus, all staff members are working remotely. They can be reached by sending an email to gradadmission@plu.edu, making a phone appointment, or calling our general phone at 253-535-8570.

In person events and information sessions have been transitioned to online for Summer and Fall. An overall schedule for all graduate programs is available on our Information Sessions page.

In person campus visits have been suspended. You can take a virtual campus tour with our virtual tour guide, Fiona, or take the self-guided virtual tour.

2. Graduate Admission Application Process

Graduate admission applications are processed through the Centralized Application Service (CAS) which offers NursingCAS, GradCAS, BusinessCAS.  PLU adapts their procedural adjustments in terms of transcript submission, test scores, and grades. See CAS’s website for its COVID-19 Application Updates.

Visit your program’s website for more information and/or guidance on deadline changes. Please note that if a program extends a deadline, you can view this information on their website.

Yes, both electronic and paper transcripts will be processed by your CAS as usual upon receipt.

US and English-Canadian Transcripts:
If your school cannot send official transcripts to the CAS by mail or electronically through Credentials Solutions, Parchment, or National Student Clearinghouse, CAS can accept official transcripts sent via email from the Registrar directly. Please refer this link to your school’s Registrar for more information.

For schools outside of the United States:
For applicants to the nursing graduate programs, credential evaluation report is still required. Visit World Education Services (WES) to follow the country-specific document requirements and arrange for your documents to be delivered to WES.  Also see WES notifications page to get its latest COVID-19 updates.

For other graduate programs, you can upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to the application portal. We can start the review process while waiting for the official transcripts to be delivered. If you are admitted to PLU, you will be required to submit official transcripts by the start of your first term of study.

Yes, test scores will be processed as usual upon receipt. However, we advise checking with testing services for their updates on their processes, including scheduling tests and ordering test results. Here are some links:

ETS (GRE and TOEFL)
Note: ETS is offering the GRE General Test at Home and the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
GMAC (GMAT)
Teacher Tests – WEST-B, WEST-E, NES
IELTS

Unofficial copies of test reports may be temporarily submitted to the application portal if an official report cannot be sent. If you are admitted to PLU, you will be required to submit an official score report by the start of your first semester of study.

For applicants to the education program, please see alternatives for WEST-B (Basic Skills). NES/WEST-E deadlines are June 1, 2021.

For TOEFL test, see the English Proficiency Requirement section for acceptable alternatives.

Email us at gradadmission@plu.edu for any questions.

The Centralized Application Service (CAS) does not factor non-graded credits (such as Pass/Fail grades) into any of the GPA calculations. (Nursing applicants please see additional information in the Nursing Graduate Programs section.)

Note: a grade of WF (i.e., equivalent of a withdrawn with penalty, withdrawn failing, etc.) is factored into GPA calculations as an F in NursingCAS. For more information on GPA calculations, review the NursingCAS help center.

For applications on GradCAS and BusinessCAS, GPA calculations are based on the grading system of the credit granting schools.

3. Specific Questions for Graduate Nursing Programs

The School of Nursing can make on-site lab exceptions for courses normally offered on-site but were moved to online temporarily during COVID-19 closure. The courses still must be an approved course listed on the comparable course guide. If your courses are not listed on the guide, you can submit a Prerequisite Review Request Form along with the course syllabi for a review.

The school of Nursing still requires a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) or better in each prerequisite course, Pass/Fail grades are not accepted. If this is a school mandated decision in issuing Pass/Fail grades, and it’s not optional, it would be accepted as an exception upon receiving official verification on the transcript, school website, or a notation from the school’s Registrar’s Office.

Please note that NursingCAS does not factor non-graded credits (such as Pass/Fail grades) into any of the GPA calculations.  And a grade of WF (i.e., equivalent of a withdrawn with penalty, withdrawn failing, etc.) is factored into GPA calculations as an F.

US and English-Canadian Transcripts:
If your school cannot send official transcripts to NursingCAS by mail or electronically through Credentials Solutions, Parchment, or National Student Clearinghouse, NursingCAS can accept official transcripts sent via email from the Registrar directly. Please refer this link to your school’s Registrar for more information.

For schools outside of the United States:
If you attended a school or earned your degree outside of the United States, you are still required to submit your coursework to World Education Services (WES) for a course-by-course US equivalency report. This report should then be sent directly to NursingCAS from the evaluation service along with the official transcripts sent by the schools. Visit World Education Services (WES) website to follow the country-specific document requirements and arrange for your documents to be delivered to WES.  Also see WES notifications page to get its latest COVID-19 updates.

Your application will be verified in accordance with the standard process.

Yes, the PTE process is being performed as usual and your PTE will be completed once all official transcripts are received.

Yes, during the AU period (i.e., the process used to send updated transcripts and update GPA calculations), your transcripts will still be processed and your application will be verified in accordance with the standard process. Log in to your application and access the CAS Applicant Help Center for more information about the Academic Update process and timeline.

Yes, both electronic and paper evaluations will be processed as usual upon receipt. However, we advise checking with World Education Services (WES) to determine if there have been any disruptions to their processes.

4. COVID vaccination requirements for clinical rotations

In order to begin clinical rotations, students must meet all agency compliance requirements including COVID vaccinations. The School of Nursing will consider alternative placements to accommodate students due to COVID vaccine requirements, but is unable to guarantee alternative placement. If no alternative placement is identified, the students who do not meet the vaccine requirements will not be able to complete the nursing program due to the inability to complete clinical coursework.

Students are encouraged to receive the vaccine as early as possible to avoid any delay in their academic program.

Each clinical partner agency sets its own requirements for employees and nursing students. At this time, all major hospital entities and community health clinics and private practices with whom the School of Nursing has a clinical agreement have mandated such individuals obtain a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine by October 18, 2021, per the governor’s mandate.

The exceptions granted by PLU for medical or religious/right of conscience reasons do not apply to the clinical partner agencies. Students seeking approved medical or religious exemptions must submit a request to their placement coordinator once they have been assigned to a site.

The clinical agreements between the School of Nursing and our partner agencies detail the terms under which each site will provide on-site educational experiences. These agreements account for regulatory requirements, accreditation expectations, and other guidelines, and the sites have been approved as meeting specific educational and clinical regulations. These agreements include provisions requiring students to adhere to agency policies relevant to their clinical experiences.

Every major hospital or clinical agency with whom the School of Nursing has a contract and in which we have placed students for clinical rotations has mandated the vaccine for employees and learners.

Each clinical partner has set its own deadline for requiring individuals to complete the vaccination(s). Some agencies may also require a waiting period after the second dose as part of their timeline. You must have completed your vaccinations by the deadline set by your placement site.

Absent an exemption from the placement site’s requirement, failure to meet your placement site’s deadline may cause a delay in the start of your clinical rotation and thus may hinder your ability to complete the program.

The School of Nursing does not determine exemptions for the clinical sites. The exceptions granted by PLU for medical or religious/right of conscience reasons do not apply to the clinical partner agencies. Students seeking approved medical or religious exemptions for their clinicals must submit a request to their placement coordinator who will submit it to the site on their behalf. Consult the placement coordinators in the School of Nursing for more details.

Each clinical partner will determine its own process for accepting requests for exemptions. The length of time to receive approval should be considered, as it may cause a delay in the start of your clinical rotation, and there is not a guarantee that a request for exemption will be granted.

The School of Nursing is required to have a copy of your vaccination card on file in the event that our clinical partner agencies request an audit of a student account. Students will be provided a link to upload their card prior to the start of their first semester.  If you do not have proof of vaccination and have not been granted an exemption by your placement site, you may not be permitted by the clinical site to work in its clinical setting.

5. English Proficiency Requirement

PLU has not changed the English Language Proficiency requirement for graduate admission. Applicants whose native language is not English still need to demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the ways outlined in the course catalog: Demonstrated University-level Proficiency in the English Language.

We accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, which is available everywhere that TOEFL iBT testing is normally available, except Iran. The TOEFL at home option is identical in content and scoring to the regular TOEFL iBT taken in a testing center. See your program’s website for specific TOEFL score requirements.

We accept the TOEFL ITP Plus for China which was taken before the TOEFL iBT test was not available in China. We only accept TOEFL ITP Level 1 Test (Intermediate to Advanced) and obtain a minimum test score of 627 (CEFR C1) for graduate admission.

Request official TOEFL ITP Plus scores to be sent to Pacific Lutheran University, enter Institution Code 4597.

We accept the Duolingo English Test which was taken when TOEFL iBT test, TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, or TOEFL ITP PLus for China were unavailable due to COVID-19. Applicants must have a minimum Duolingo English Test score of 105 for admission. You can request on Duolingo website to send results to Pacific Lutheran University.

Since TOEFL test centers have been reopened and the TOEFL Home Edition is available worldwide, except Iran, we do not accept Duolingo English Test which was taken after August 2021.

Yes, we still offer the International Pathway Program (IPP) which is designed for international students who do not meet the English language proficiency requirement for admission to the PLU graduate program of their interest. Upon completion of the IPP program, students will be considered for admission to graduate study at PLU. Contact us for more information, gradadmission@plu.edu.