Texas Tech University

 

[Minor revision–posted 8/19/16 (replaces 9/15/14 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 64.01: Admission to the Graduate School

DATE: August 19, 2016

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to specify the process by which students are admitted to graduate study at Texas Tech.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in July of even-numbered years, or as needed, by the Dean of the Graduate School with substantive revisions forwarded to the Graduate Council and the Provost and Senior Vice President.

POLICY/PROCEDURE

1.  General Admission Criteria

Admission to the Texas Tech University Graduate School is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the student has applied to a degree program or certain non-degree programs, the admission is dependent upon the recommendation of the department of proposed study. Only students who have submitted completed applications will be considered for admission. Students applying to degree programs should consult their prospective departments since many departments impose additional requirements. Departments may specify conditions of admission for any applicant they recommend for admission, but it is their responsibility to monitor such conditions.

The following general categories are used to evaluate all applicants for admission and competitive scholarships:

a.    Academic Records

All academic records may be considered. If the applicant's bachelor's degree is not complete when the application is made, six semesters or three years of course work are required. After the degree is completed, a final transcript showing the degree awarded must be submitted. The only exception is for accelerated bachelor-master's programs, sometimes called 150-hour programs.

b.    Test Scores

The only test scores required for admission consideration by the Graduate School are English proficiency scores for international applicants. International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency as part of their application materials. Academic programs may require additional standardized tests (e.g., GRE)c. Individual Profile

Profiles may include recommendations, research background, motivation, multilingual proficiency, undergraduate institution, presentations, portfolios, interviews, work experience, demonstrated commitment to a particular field of study, community involvement, family and socioeconomic background, and standardized test scores. Scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) should be no more than five years old. Verbal, quantitative, and writing scores will be considered separately. In accordance with Texas Education Code §51.842, the applicant's performance on a standardized test may not be used in the admissions or competitive scholarship process as the sole criterion for consideration of the applicant or as the primary criterion to end consideration of the applicant.

2.  Types of Admission

Admission is granted in the following non-degree and degree categories:

a.    Non-Degree Programs – Applicants seeking non-degree admission in any category must provide the same application materials as those seeking admission to a degree program (Refer to section 3, Domestic Applicants, or section 4, International Applicants, below). International applicants may be eligible to enroll as non-degree students depending on their visa category; therefore, international applicants are strongly urged to contact the Graduate School to find out if they are eligible for non-degree status before applying. Admission to a non-degree program is not a guarantee of admission to a graduate degree program at a later date, nor does it guarantee that credits earned in a non-degree program will count toward a graduate degree.

(1)    Post-Graduate (PGRD) – The PGRD category is for students who have earned an undergraduate degree and desire to take only undergraduate courses, typically for leveling purposes. In this status, a student may register indefinitely as a non-degree graduate student but cannot be appointed to teaching assistantships or research assistantships, nor are they eligible to receive an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University while registered as a PGRD student. Students in this category may not register for graduate courses. PGRD students are not eligible for financial aid. Admission decisions for PGRD applications are made by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

(2)    Graduate Temporary (GTMP) – A student in this category is considered a temporary non-degree student and may enroll for no more than 12hours. GTMP students are not eligible for financial aid. All GTMP students should be aware that completion of courses as a GTMP does not ensure that the student will be accepted into a degree program, nor does it ensure that any courses taken while enrolled as a GTMP will be accepted for credit if the student is subsequently accepted into a degree program. Admission decisions for GTMP applications are made by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

(3)    Teacher Certification (CERT or FCSC) – A student who desires to earn teacher certification through the College of Education (CERT) or the College or Human Sciences (FCSC) may apply for this type of non-degree status. Graduate courses may be taken, but if the student wishes to pursue a degree at a later time, only 12 graduate hours completed before admission to a degree program can be counted toward a degree.

The student must also apply through the College of Education or the College of Human Sciences in addition to the Office of Graduate Admissions. CERT and FCSC students may be eligible for financial aid if they are concurrently enrolled in a graduate degree-seeking program.

(4)    Continuing Professional Educational Development (CPED) – The CPED status is designed to meet the needs of professionals such as engineers, certified public accountants, architects, social workers, teachers, and others who require continuing professional educational development.

(5)    Graduate Certificate (GCRT) – GCRT is intended to meet the supplemental educational needs of professionals. A graduate certificate program is comprised of a set of courses that provide a coherent knowledge base. These courses may be derived from more than one academic program and may be more practice oriented than the courses in a graduate academic program. Students applying for a graduate certificate program may not be required to submit GRE or GMAT scores, although some of the programs do require these scores. GCRT students may be eligible for financial aid if they are concurrently enrolled in a graduate degree-seeking program.

b.    Degree Programs

(1)    Admission to a master's degree program

(2)    Admission to a doctoral degree program

3.  Domestic Applicants

Domestic applicants are U.S. citizens and immigrant permanent residents. The following procedures should be followed in order for domestic applicants to be considered for admission to a graduate program at Texas Tech University. Applications will not be evaluated until all admission requirements have been met. All materials become the property of Texas Tech University and are not returnable or refundable. A completed domestic Graduate School application consists of the following:

a.    Application – Applications should be submitted at least three months prior to the date of intended enrollment. For an initial application, applicants should submit the ApplyTexas application, available online at www.ApplyTexas.org. Subsequent applications require the Graduate Application Change Form, which is available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/domestic/forms.php. Preferred deadlines for priority processing are June 1 for fall, September 1 for spring, and March 1 for summer. All institutions (including name and location) attended must be included on the application. Falsification of application information will void admission to Texas Tech University.

b.    Non-refundable Application Fee – An application fee, as approved by the Board of Regents, is required for the initial application and for any subsequent application.

Application Fee Waivers – the following groups of domestic applicants are eligible for an application fee waiver:

(1)    Texas Tech University System personnel (faculty and staff) who are employed at least half time, their spouses, and dependents under age 25 are exempt from this fee. The faculty/staff fee waiver form may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

(2)    McNair Scholars and GEM (National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering) Scholars will receive an application fee waiver by submitting documentation from the McNair Scholar coordinator at their current/former institution or by supplying proof of their GEM fellowship.

c.    Official Transcripts – The applicant must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution with substantially similar degree requirements as Texas Tech University; foreign institutions must be recognized by their government/government ministry or department to award undergraduate and/or post-graduate degrees. The applicant must submit an official transcript from each college or university attended, including any transcript for which no degree was awarded. This includes transcripts for schools at which the applicant received credit/grades for dual credit, extension, correspondence, and distance learning credit. Failure to list all institutions will be considered an intentional omission and may lead to forced withdrawal. Unofficial copies of transcripts are acceptable for evaluation purposes. Copies of all transcripts must be received before the application will be evaluated. All degrees earned must appear on an official transcript. The applicant who, because of current enrollment, cannot provide final transcripts at the time of application must submit transcripts of all completed study. Consideration may then be given for tentative admission upon the condition that final transcripts are provided within the initial semester of enrollment at Texas Tech. The applicant must have been in good standing in all schools attended at final matriculation.

d.    Resident Alien Card – Immigrant permanent residents must provide a copy of the front and back of their Resident Alien Card. Applicants with pending applications for permanent residency may submit alternative documentation (contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for a list of alternative documentation).

e.    Proof of Citizenship for Foreign-Born U.S. Citizens – Foreign-born U.S. citizens, including
U.S. citizens born abroad and naturalized U.S. citizens, must submit proof of citizenship. The following documents can be submitted to meet this requirement:

(1)    Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240)

(2)    Certificate of Citizenship – Naturalized citizens must submit a notarized copy of the Certificate of Citizenship form, available on our website (www.gradschool.ttu.edu) or in the Graduate School. Copies of the applicant's Certificate of Citizenship issued by the United States Customs and Immigration Service at the time of naturalization cannot be sent in lieu of this notarized form; it is illegal for the USCIS-issued form to be photocopied.

(3)    Birth certificate from the following American territories, commonwealths, and protectorates – U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Swains Island, the Panama Canal Zone before 1 October 1979, the Philippines before 4 July 1946, and the Northern Mariana Islands after 3 November 1986.

Citizens who cannot provide the documentation above should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to find out what other documentation may suffice.

f.    Residency Questionnaire – A Residence Questionnaire is required of all domestic Texas Tech University graduate applicants. The core residency questions are incorporated into the ApplyTexas application. However, the Residence Questionnaire is available through the Graduate School website (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/domestic/forms.php) for those applicants and current students who wish to be considered for residency reclassification. Applicants and current students wishing to be considered for residency reclassification must submit a Residence Questionnaire before the 12th class day of the semester for which they are seeking reclassification.

4.  International Applicants

All applicants who are not U.S. citizens or immigrant permanent residents are considered international applicants. International students must have a visa type that allows for academic study. Undocumented immigrants are eligible to apply for graduate admission consideration and must apply as international applicants. The following procedures should be followed in order for international applicants to be considered for admission to a graduate program at Texas Tech University. Applications will not be evaluated until all admission requirements have been met. All materials become the property of Texas Tech University and are not returnable or refundable.

The Graduate School has the following priority deadlines for international applications:

• January 15 for summer and fall
• June 15 for spring

International applicants may apply after the deadline. However, the Office of Graduate Admissions cannot guarantee that there will be sufficient time for late applications to be entered and reviewed by our office, for departments to review late applications, and for late applicants to make any necessary visa/travel arrangements if admitted. The ApplyTexas online application closes within a few days of the international deadlines.

A completed international Graduate School application consists of the following:

a.    Application – For an initial application, applicants may submit the ApplyTexas application available online at www.ApplyTexas.org Subsequent applications require the Graduate Application Change Form, which is available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/domestic/forms.php.

b.    Non-refundable Application Fee – An application fee, as approved by the Board of Regents, is required for the initial application and for any subsequent application.

Application Fee Waivers – the following groups of international applicants are eligible for an application fee waiver:

(1)    Texas Tech University System personnel (faculty and staff) who are employed at least half time, their spouses, and dependents under age 25 are exempt from this fee. The faculty/staff fee waiver form may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions.

(2)    Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) Fellowship recipients will receive an application fee waiver upon confirmation of their fellowship in the VEF database.

c.    Official Transcripts – The applicant must have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution. Foreign institutions must be recognized by their government/governmental ministry as a degree-granting institution. A list of acceptable credentials for international graduate admission consideration is available on the Graduate School website. The applicant must have been in good standing in all schools attended at final matriculation.

An applicant must submit an official transcript from each college or university attended, including transcripts/marksheets for each semester. An applicant who, because of current enrollment, cannot provide final transcripts at the time of application must submit transcripts of all completed study. Consideration may then be given for tentative admission upon the condition that final transcripts are provided within the initial semester of enrollment at Texas Tech. Applicants must submit at least six semesters of coursework to be eligible for admission consideration.

d.    Official Degree Certificates/Diplomas – The applicant is required to submit an official copy of the degree certificate, diploma, or official statement that the degree has been granted. Provisional certificates are not considered diplomas.

Texas Tech University requires a degree that is equivalent to a U.S. undergraduate degree. Texas Tech University does not equate three-year bachelor's degrees from any country to be equivalent to a comparable Texas Tech University-earned bachelor's degree; holders of such bachelor's degree are not eligible for graduate admission. A list of acceptable credentials for graduate admission is available on the Graduate School website (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool).

e.    Official English Translations of Transcripts/Diplomas – International applicants must also provide an official English translation of all transcripts and diplomas/degree certificates if the documents are not provided in English by the issuing institution. The Office of Graduate Admissions will not accept public notary-certified translations. If official English translations are not supplied by the applicant's institution(s), the applicant must provide a translation done by an American Translators Association-certified translator. A list of ATA-certified translators is available online at www.atanet.org/onlinedirectories.

f.    Proof of English Proficiency – All international applicants must provide proof of English proficiency before their applications can be considered for admission. This test is waived only for graduates of U.S. universities or universities in English proficiency-exempt countries. Applicants who have completed at least two consecutive years at a college or university in the U.S. or in an English proficiency-exempt country are also exempted from the English proficiency requirements. Texas Tech University considers the following countries to have English as their native language: Australia, Canada (except the Province of Québec), Commonwealth Caribbean countries (Anguilla, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands), Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), and the United States. Applicants may submit one of the following measures of English proficiency:

(1)    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language; www.toefl.org) – The minimum TOEFL score required is 550 (paper-based version) or 79 (internet-based version). The TOEFL score must be received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Texas Tech University's institutional code is 6827. TOEFL scores are valid for only two years. Applicants may provide a copy of their Examinee Score Report for application evaluation purposes; screenshots of the TOEFL results from the ETS website are not acceptable.

(2)    IELTS (International English Language Testing Service; www.ielts.org) – The minimum IELTS required score is an overall band score of 6.5 on the Academic version; IELTS General Training results are not acceptable. There is no IELTS institution code for Texas Tech University. IELTS scores are valid for only two years.

(3)    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic; http://pearsonpte.com) – The minimum required PTE Academic score is 60. PTE General and PTE Young Learners results are not acceptable. There is no PTE Academic institution code for Texas Tech University. PTE Academic scores are valid for only two years.

(4)    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (Cambridge CPE; http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/proficiency) – The minimum required Cambridge CPE grade is C. There is no institutional code for the Cambridge CPE. The Cambridge CPE is valid for life.

(5)    Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (Cambridge CAE; http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-qualifications/advanced/) –The minimum required Cambridge CAE grade is B. There is no institutional code for the Cambridge CAE. The Cambridge CAE is valid for life.

(6)    ELS English for Academic Purposes Program (www.els.edu) – Texas Tech will accept completion of Level 112 of the ELS English for Academic Purposes program. An official transcript and certificate of completion must be submitted.

g.    Proof of Financial Support (OPTIONAL) – If a student is admitted to a graduate program, the Office of Graduate Admissions will then determine if there is enough financial information to issue an I-20. If there is, the I-20 will be issued by the Office of Graduate Admissions (or, in some situations, by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services) and mailed to the student. If financial information is needed, it should be in the form of proof of liquid assets converted to U.S. currency. This statement should not be sent to the department. A statement of support from the sponsor must accompany the bank statement; a Financial Support Affidavit is available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/international/forms.php. Students should check with the Office of Graduate Admissions about the current amounts needed in their bank accounts. These amounts include tuition, books, living expenses, mandatory international student insurance, etc. Amounts will vary depending upon the program to which the student is admitted and any financial assistance awarded by the department.

h.    Passport Biographical Page (OPTIONAL) – This page will be used only if an international applicant is admitted and an I-20 needs to be issued. This document is not necessary for application evaluation purposes.

5.  Conditional Admission for English Proficiency

Prospective international students who meet the minimum academic requirements for admission consideration except for proof of English proficiency may apply for conditional admission through ELS University Admissions (www.els.edu/en/UniversityAdmissions). If an international graduate student is admitted conditionally, the student must complete Level 112 of the ELS English for Academic Purposes program plus any additional departmental requirements before beginning an academic program at Texas Tech University. Please note that some programs will still require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT results, even if the applicant is applying for conditional admission for English proficiency.

6.  Application Changes

a.    Request to Change the Initial Entry Date –Students who wish to defer admission to a semester for which they did not originally apply must submit the Graduate Application Change Form plus a $50 non-refundable application change fee. Automatic readmission is not guaranteed; departments will consider students on a case-by-case basis. The Office of Graduate Admissions will notify the student of the department's decision via the Raiderlink portal.

b.   Add/Change Application – Applicants who wish to add or change their application major must submit the Graduate Application Change Form plus a $50 non-refundable application change fee. Applicants should also contact the department to which they are applying for the add/change in order to find out if they need to submit any additional department-specific materials.

c.    Readmission to the Graduate School – Students who fail to register or who leave school during a spring or fall semester must submit the Graduate Application Change Form plus $50 non-refundable application change fee. Automatic readmission is not guaranteed; departments will consider students on a case-by-case basis. The Office of Graduate Admissions will notify the applicant of the department's decision via the Raiderlink portal.

7.  Academic Integrity in the Application Process

All prospective graduate students applying to Texas Tech University are expected to adhere to the university's Statement of Academic Integrity (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentconduct/academicinteg.php). This includes entering all secondary and post-secondary institutions attended on applications for admission as well as submitting official academic credentials from all secondary and post-secondary institutions attended. Not providing that information on the application or not submitting all academic credentials is considered falsification of academic records and will result in the voiding of the application or other disciplinary action.

8.  Application Appeals

Texas Tech University graduate applicants have the right to appeal admissions decisions. The appeal must first be filed with the graduate program coordinator in the academic department responsible for the admissions decision. The department will reconsider the application and inform the applicant of its decision on the applicant's request for reconsideration; a copy of the decision will be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Admissions. An unfavorable ruling at the department level may be appealed to the Graduate School in writing within 30 days of the date on the correspondence that the applicant received from the academic department's decision on the initial appeal by submitting a formal letter of appeal to the Director of Graduate Admissions. The appeal will be forwarded to the Student Affairs Committee of the Graduate Council for its review. Decisions will be made within 30 days and the applicant, the department, and the Director of Graduate Admissions will be informed in writing of the Student Affairs Committee's decision. Applicants can only appeal once, and decisions resulting from an appeal are final. Application fees are non-refundable regardless of the result of an appeal.

Operating Policies & Procedures