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The mission of The School of Graduate Studies and Research is to enhance the success of graduate students and ensure the quality of all graduate programs at the University. The Graduate School provides the institutional perspective on graduate education, serves as the central organizational unit for graduate studies, and provides administrative support to graduate programs, faculty, and students. The Graduate School also promotes scholarship, research and professional development among graduate students and faculty.

Our Goals

The overall goal of graduate education at Norfolk State University is to provide advanced, discipline-specific knowledge, skills, and perspectives which prepare graduates to assume leadership roles and contribute to a profession, discipline or field. Master's degree programs build upon the foundation of undergraduate education and provide advanced knowledge, specialized skills, methodologies, and opportunities for independent learning. Doctoral degree programs provide the highest level of preparation for leadership roles and careers in teaching, research, and professional practice.

Our Programs

The University offers seventeen master’s degree programs housed in the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Science and Technology and in the Schools of Social Work and Education. Each master’s degree program consists of a coherent program of study which includes core and concentration coursework, electives, seminars, and other educational experiences, such as practicums, theses and creative scholarly projects.

The University offers three doctoral degree programs in Engineering, Psychology, and Social Work. Doctoral programs include core and concentration coursework, comprehensive and/or qualifying examinations, advanced research coursework, and preparation and defense of a dissertation. The aim of doctoral education is to prepare leaders who are grounded in the knowledge, theories and best practices of their disciplines and professions.

Graduates are expected to demonstrate competence and expertise in their fields, a global perspective, and the ability to engage in both independent scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration in knowledge development.

Tuition Assistance Fellowships

A limited number of tuition assistance fellowships are available to graduate students. Tuition assistance fellowships do not cover full tuition. Average awards are $3,000 per semester. All graduate students are considered for tuition fellowships. To receive a Tuition Fellowship, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 9 credit hours, have a grade point average above 3.0, and be in good academic standing in their program.  Students may also be recommended for the Fellowship by their Program Coordinator or Advisor. - Application

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate students may also apply for a limited number of graduate assistantships.  Assistantships are employment opportunities for graduate students to work in various departments throughout campus.  This can consist of assisting faculty and staff with a wide range of tasks, research, projects and assignments.  Students are expected to typically 15 weeks per semester and up to 20 hours a week.  Please note: All students receiving an assistantship are eligible for tuition assistance.  In addition, Out of state students receiving assistantships are eligible for the in-state tuition waiver.

Students must be full-time, registered for 9 credits or more and be recommended by their Program Coordinator or Advisor.  Students must be in good academic standing to receive an assistantship. 

Academic Departmental Assistantships: Each department handles their own selection of students. Please check with your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) to determine if funding is available within your academic department.   

Campus Assistantships: Other departments throughout the campus offer assistantships such as: Residence Life, Student Success Center, Writing Center, Budget Office, Office of Extended Learning and Testing Center.  Once you have been admitted, you can apply for any open positions.

Please view a current list of positions in NSU Handshake:


Other Awards

A number of research and teaching assistantships are available to graduate students in certain academic departments.  These assistantships are not available in all programs.  These are competitive grants and may include tuition/fees waiver; tuition/fees waiver plus stipend of up to $18,000; or stipend only. Generally, the review committees in the various programs determine eligibility based on several factors including grade point average. The assistantship is a 12-month award that allows the student to take up to 24 credit hours per year. It also requires the student to meet the specific departmental and university requirements on academic and assistantship responsibilities to maintain eligibility during the year and to request for renewal. Applicants should contact their academic department to find out what might be available.