Dec 05, 2023  
2022-2023 Shepherd University Catalog 
2022-2023 Shepherd University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Requirements

General Freshman Admission

A student applying for general freshman admission may submit an application any time after the completion of six semesters of high school.

Applicants must submit the following documentation for consideration by the admissions staff:

  • Completed Undergraduate Application for admission, available in the Office of Admissions or online at;
  • $45 application fee;
  • Official secondary school records documenting completion of the minimum high school academic unit requirements;
  • Results of the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The writing portion is strongly recommended.

The admissions and academic personnel of Shepherd University may require enrollment in stretch-model classes and/or other appropriate measures for a student whose high school record and/or standardized test scores indicate a deficiency in certain areas.

Required Units (Years)

4   English (including courses in grammar, composition, and literature)
3   Social studies (including U.S. history)
4   Mathematics (three units must be Algebra I and higher)
3   Science (all courses to be college preparatory laboratory science, preferably including units from biology, chemistry, and physics)
1   Arts
2   Foreign language (two units of the same foreign language)

Elective Units

It is recommended that the remaining elective units be chosen from the academic core (English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies) or subjects such as computer science, fine arts, humanities, and keyboarding.

Required Grade Averages and Test Scores

  • Minimum 2.0 academic grade point average (on a 4-point scale).
  • Minimum composite ACT score of 19 and/or SAT score of 950 (critical reading and math).

If the applicant obtains a 3.0 academic core GPA, a minimum composite ACT score of 18 and/or 900 SAT (critical reading and math) score is acceptable.

*Applicants who have been graduated from high school more than five years at the time of application for admissions do not need ACT or SAT scores unless requested by admissions or academic personnel. Students admitted without ACT or SAT scores are normally required to take a placement examination prior to course registration.

Conditional/Provisional Admission

If the student has not met one or more of the required GPA, test score, or number of high school units standards set by Shepherd University and approved by the Higher Education Policy Commission (academic 2.0 with 19 ACT or 950 SAT or academic GPA 3.0 with 18 ACT or 900 SAT), the application is forwarded to the director of admissions for final admissions decision.

If the student is offered provisional admissions by the director of admissions, he/she will be required to participate in the Shepherd Success Academy during the first semester of study.

The Success Academy will introduce students to many helpful campus resources as well as college transition strategies like time management, study skills, note-taking, and coping with test anxiety, to name a few. Students will meet weekly with a Success coach throughout the first semester to implement these strategies and review their academic progress.

Admission by GED Test

Non-high school graduates may be admitted if they attain a standard score of 410 (which is the state requirement for a diploma) on each of the five parts of the General Educational Development (GED) Test or an average standard score of 450 or above on the entire test or a total of 2250 points on the test. GED scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing center or county superintendent of schools in order to be considered official. GED students may not enroll at Shepherd University prior to the graduation date of their high school class. When extenuating circumstances exist, GED students who wish to enroll before their high school class has graduated may appeal for acceptance as freshmen to the director of admissions.

Applicants for admission who have held the GED more than five years at the time of application for admission do not need ACT or SAT scores unless specified by a specific program. Applicants holding the GED less than five years must submit scores from either the ACT or SAT. Students admitted without ACT or SAT scores are normally required to take a placement examination prior to course registration.

Home School Admission

Shepherd University makes every effort to accommodate the special circumstances of home schooled students during the admissions process. Applicants must submit the following documentation for consideration by the admissions staff:

  • Students under the umbrella of a degree-granting organization should submit evidence of the coursework completed and the level of performance;
  • In absence of such a document, a detailed portfolio describing the breadth of coursework should be submitted. This could include a research project, résumé, reading list, community service, athletic and/or artistic endeavors, and study abroad;
  • Official transcript from an accredited university or college (if applicable);
  • AP tests scores (if applicable);
  • ACT/SAT test scores, writing portion is strongly recommended;
  • Essay (highly recommended but not required).

General Transfer Admission

Applicants who have earned 26 college-level credits or 43 college-level quarter hours from another accredited college or university, have a minimum 2.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 point scale), and are in good standing at the institution last attended may apply as transfer students. They must submit the following documentation for consideration by the admissions staff:

  • Completed Undergraduate Application for admission, available in the Office of Admissions or online at;
  • $45 application fee;
  • Official transcripts from each college/university previously attended*;
  • Student Personnel Record Form if requested;
  • Students who have earned fewer than 26 college-level credits or 43 college-level quarter hours of coursework at another institution must submit copies of their high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores in addition to the required university transcripts. Both high school and university credentials will be used in the admissions evaluation.

*Shepherd University does not, under any condition, disregard college or university courses/credits taken or credits earned elsewhere. Failure to report enrollment at another college or university and failure to have transcripts sent to Shepherd are considered falsification of the admissions application form. Applicants found to be in violation of university policy are subject to disciplinary action, which may include expulsion.

Credit earned at other regionally accredited colleges and universities will apply when applicable toward a degree at Shepherd University. A student who is on academic probation or suspension at another institution is not eligible for admission to Shepherd University. Students seeking transfer admission to Shepherd University must be academically eligible to return to their previous institutions. Individuals who have been out of school for a period of at least two full academic years (24 months) may be considered for admission on academic probation if their grade point average is less than 2.0. During the period of probation, the individual must meet the regulations of the probation policy in effect at the time of attendance.

High school courses that have been accepted by a community college for credit under a special arrangement between a high school and a community college are not eligible for transfer. Transfer articulation agreements do not apply to these credits.

All grades and credits transferred to Shepherd University are posted on the student’s permanent record exactly as received from all other colleges and/or universities with the following provisions: 1) plus and minus signs will be ignored, 2) D and F grades can be replaced only if earned within the first 60 hours attempted, and 3) for admission purposes, all grades on the student’s transcript(s) will be used in computing the grade point average.

Community College Collaborations


Shepherd University has collaborated with Blue Ridge Community and Technical College (BRCTC), Frederick Community College (FCC), Hagerstown Community College (HCC), Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC), Montgomery College (MC), and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to offer students unique educational opportunities provided by both institutions. To view specific admission criteria, click on the name of the community college listed above.

Credit Hours Transfer Policies

Students who transfer from a regionally accredited junior or community college are allowed a maximum of 72 semester hours toward the 120 credit hour minimum for graduation from Shepherd University. In compliance with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, students who have completed more than 72 hours of coursework may select the courses they wish to have evaluated as part of their semester hours of credit counted toward graduation. The total number of credit hours earned will be calculated in the student’s overall grade point average. Credits from universities that do not have regional accreditation are assigned on the basis used by the state university in the state where the nonaccredited university is located.

After enrollment at Shepherd University, a student may not transfer to this institution any courses in major, minor, or teaching fields except by advance permission of Shepherd faculty. Advance permission will be required to take any course at another institution and transfer it to Shepherd University. (See  Academic Policies  for details.)

International Student Admission

International students applying for admission to Shepherd University must submit the following:

  1. Completed admissions application, available in the Office of Admissions or online at
  2. Nonrefundable application fee of $45;
  3. Demonstration of both written and spoken English proficiency. Such proficiency can be established by the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) administered by the Education Testing Service. A minimum score of 550 on the paper test, 213 on the computer test, or 79 on the internet test is required for admission to Shepherd University. The institutional code is 5615. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted with a minimum score of 7, or an SAT score of 450 on the critical reading portion.
  4. Original or certified (attested) copies sent directly from your institution(s) of all academic documents including official academic records which show grades, dates and course titles as well as diploma(s) or certificate(s) awarded. These documents should be in original language of issue. Official English translations must be provided. Copies of the originals are not acceptable in lieu of the original documents;
  5. Official university transcript(s) if the applicant has credit from a postsecondary institution. The transcripts must be evaluated by an international academic credential evaluation service. The costs associated with this evaluation will be the applicant’s responsibility;
  6. Documentation of financial support:
    1. If the student or student’s family will fund the student’s studies at Shepherd University, the student must submit an official bank statement showing the availability of the required amount in U.S. dollars. Bank statements must be no older than six months.
    2. If a private sponsor (relative, friend, etc.) will be supporting the student, the sponsor must provide a letter declaring intent of sponsorship and an official bank statement showing the availability of the required amount in U.S. dollars. Bank statements must be no older than six months.

It is strongly recommended that application be made six months before the semester begins to ensure timely processing of the application and SEVIS materials. Having health/hospitalization insurance is also strongly recommended.

Readmit Admissions

Individuals who have attended Shepherd University as degree-seeking students and have left Shepherd for more than two consecutive regular semesters (not including summer sessions) must apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions. Students who have left Shepherd University on academic suspension must reapply for admission, regardless of semesters removed.

Applicants for readmission must submit the following documentation for consideration by the admissions staff:

  • Application for readmission, available in the Office of Admissions or online at As part of the readmission process, approval from the offices of Financial Aid, Business, Registrar, and Student Affairs will be required. The student must be in good standing with each of these offices to gain readmission;
  • A $45 application fee;
  • Applicants for readmission who have been academically suspended, who have been placed on academic probation, or who have below a 2.0 grade point average will be required to meet with the director of the Academic Support Center before the Office of Admissions can process the readmission application;
  • The health record is kept for only five years. If a student’s original health record is older than five years, then a new one is required.
  • If on campus housing is desired or required (see section on Residence Life), the residence hall application and a deposit check of $200 ($100 advance room payment and a $100 damage deposit) should be submitted to the Office of Residence Life after readmission and submission of the $100 enrollment deposit to the Office of Admissions.

Early Action Plan

Shepherd University offers early action to students whose first college choice is Shepherd. Under early action, qualified applicants who have submitted all required documents for admission by November 15 will receive notice of decision within 10 business days. This plan is designed to reduce the burden of the admissions process for those applicants who are considered highly desirable for admission by the university and who fully intend to enroll. A student applying for admission under the Early Action Plan should possess academic qualifications that meet minimum admissions standards at the end of the sixth semester of high school. These students must meet all the admissions requirements outlined in the Shepherd University Catalog. Students interested in applying under the Early Action Plan should contact the Office of Admissions at Shepherd University for further information.