Graduate Bridge Program / Graduate Non-Degree

Graduate Bridge Program (GBP)

The Graduate Bridge Program (GBP) is a graduate-admission designation, for up to one full consecutive academic year (SU-AU- SP, in any order), which allows under-prepared students, and others in special circumstances, to have graduate standing before entering a program and a full load of prerequisite and/or degree-applicable coursework. 

How GBP is used in our program

Applicants whose undergraduate qualifications do not meet our program's prerequisites and/or the minimum qualifications of the Graduate School (specifically, a 3.0+/4.0 GPA) may be considered for GBP status upon review of their standard OSU Graduate School Application. Admission of a student to the GBP permits our graduate program to closely monitor the student's performance in graduate coursework while allowing the student to make progress toward degree completion.

Moving from GBP to degree-seeking status

To move from GBP status into degree-seeking status the student is expected to meet whatever requirements were stated by the MSE or WE Graduate Admissions Committee prior to admission to GBP status.

Welding Engineering GBP students, by default, are asked to earn an A- or greater in at least two graduate level courses. These courses are to be in the graduate program to which the student was admitted, unless otherwise permitted.

Materials Science and Engineering GBP students must determine with the advisor prior to enrolling the minimum requirements necessary to be petitioned into the degree track.

With successful completion of this requirement the GSC will petition the Graduate School to change the student's status from GBP to degree-seeking. No transfer of credits from GBP to the degree is necessary; credits earned as a GBP student simply become graduate credits used to satisfy degree requirements.


Graduate Non-Degree (GND) status

Note: Students whose ultimate goal is a Master's or Ph.D. in MSE or WE should not enter the GND, but instead make use of the GBP described above.

Graduate non-degree (GND) students are admitted to the university but not to a specific degree-granting graduate program. This permits access to enrollment in graduate-level courses without prior acceptance into an MS or PhD degree program. As its name implies, GND students cannot earn a degree in this status.

Originally used to allow access to graduate-level courses to maintain certification in certain professions, GND status can also allow students to "test drive" graduate level courses. Likewise, students who simply have an interest in continued learning, and are not interested in completing a degree, may take graduate courses in GND status. GND can be thought of as "grad level continuing ed".

Apply to enter GND status

Apply for GND status
Non-degree study is maintained by the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions and is not overseen by the Welding Engineering or Materials Science and Engineering graduate programs.

Important limitations

Students in the GND program should be aware of its limitations.

No degree 
As its name implies, GND students cannot earn a degree in this status. Students should not think of this path as a "backdoor" into earning the credits required for an MS or PhD degree. No degree will be granted to a GND student who has completed degree requirements but was never officially admitted into an MS or PhD degree track.

No more than ten (10) credits 
If a GND student is later admitted to a graduate degree program, no more than ten credit hours of semester graduate credit accumulated while in this non-degree classification may be counted toward the graduate degree.

[Ref. Graduate School Handbook Sec 2.4 "Graduate Non-Degree"]

Students in the GND program may only transfer TEN graded grad credits with them from GND into their MS or PhD program. 

Limited advising and communication
The GND program is overseen by the Office of Admissions, not the MSE or WE graduate programs. Admissions can provide only cursory instruction and oversight; enrollment procedures, fee payment deadlines, and other requirements are the responsibility of the student. Also, Admissions cannot advise on which course would be best for the student.

Helpful resources:

Apply twice--GND + MS/PhD
A student must apply to the GND program. This is a simple process in which the student completes an online application (selecting GND), pays the application fee, and provides transcripts proving completion of a Bachelor's degree (see link above).

To enter a degree granting track, the student must apply online again selecting the program and degree sought. Along with the application, fee, and transcript(s), the applicant must supply three letters of reference, a Statement of Purpose, resume, and test scores (as required). For general application instructions for our graduate degree programs see "Applying to MSE-WE Graduate Programs".

If the student's ultimate goal is an MS or PhD, then the student should enroll in the Graduate Bridge Program described above, or directly to the MS or PhD degree, as the student's GPA permits.

Must transfer GND credit
If admitted to a degree-granting track, the student must petition the Graduate School to transfer up to ten GND credits into the degree track. In other words, the Graduate School does not assume that the credits should be moved and must be instructed to do so.

To petition the Graduate School to transfer credits, log in to and follow the Transfer of Graduate Credit process (view PDF instructions).



Please contact Mark Cooper, Graduate Studies Coordinator for the MSE and WE Graduate Programs.


Taking undergrad courses

The GND program is designed for students who already hold a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree in a relevant field. For students who do not hold a BS or MS, but are interested in taking individual undergrad courses, please consider OSU's Extended Education program.