Texas Tech University

Graduate Admissions COVID-19 FAQ

We know that the unprecedented situation around COVID-19 creates challenges and anxiety for you in the application process. We want to take this time to assure you that we will continue to process applications and plan to resume all face-to-face classes Spring 2021. 

The COVID-19 health crisis has caused some closures of testing centers for the GRE/GMAT, although some have re-opened. As a result, the requirement for GRE scores is being waived for applicants for the academic year 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021).

GMAT scores are still needed for programs that require it.


Prospective Student Questions

Will my application or decision be delayed due to COVID-19?

We are continuing to process applications and decisions so there will not be any delays.

If I cannot pay the application fee due to economic hardship from COVID-19, can I get a fee waiver?

Please reach out to the department you are applying to and inquire about the department paying the application fee for you to use on your application.

What if I can't meet the GRE/GMAT requirements due to closed testing centers?

Due to the impacts on testing centers across the world, we are temporarily waiving the GRE test score requirements for all graduate programs for Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021. However, ETS has assured that the GRE General Test is available online through December 2020. The online test may be extended after that date, but there are also in-person testing centers open. For updates, visit https://www.ets.org/gre/.

If your program requires GMAT scores, please email rawlsgrad@ttu.edu about possible extension accommodations. GMAC currently has an online version of the GMAT available until 2020, and some in-person testing centers are open. For updates, visit https://www.mba.com/exams

How can I satisfy the English Proficiency requirements due to closed testing centers?

ETS is offering a Home Edition of the TOEFL in addition to in-person testing centers. More information can be found at www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home.

We will accept the Duolingo English Test as an alternative to the TOEFL and IELTS. You can take the exam at englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants

For more information on TTU Required English Proficiency proof, visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/InternationalProspectiveStudents.php.

Admitted Student Questions

What if I am unable to obtain a visa for Spring 2021 due to the US Embassies and Consulates being closed?

If you are unable to obtain a visa for Spring 2021, we are preparing to have you enroll in the term you were accepted for and receive remote advising and take online coursework. 

Please continue to check back for updates on the process for Spring 2021 admission.

If I received an offer of financial assistance for Spring 2021, will I still receive it if I defer to a future term?

We are currently in the process of determining our plan for Spring 2021. Please continue to check back for updates.

How can I access my admission letter?

You can download a formal PDF letter of admission. Login to your Application Portal and select the PDF icon on the right-hand side of your agreement.

International Visa and I-20 Information

I am worried that I will not receive my visa in time for Spring 2021. What should I do?

We recommend monitoring your home country's embassy or consulate webpage for visa appointment times to move forward with your plans to attend TTU in person in Spring 2021. Additionally, it is best to check with the embassy in your region for guidance. For a list of US Consulates and Embassies, please see www.usembassy.gov

What if I am unable to travel to or arrive in the US by the report date of January 4, 2021?

We are currently in the process of determining our plan for Spring 2021. Please continue to check back for updates.

I am outside the US and need an I-20 to get my F-1 student visa. What is the process?

TTU Graduate Admissions is currently creating an international student FAQ page with more information on general admission and the I-20 process. Please continue to check back for updates and the link to the new page.

In the meantime, here is some general I-20 information:
Once you are admitted to a TTU graduate program, you will receive an additional email with details regarding obtaining your I-20.

Once you provide the required documents needed for your I-20, our office will create and send it to you within 3-5 business days. Our business days are Monday through Friday.

You will have the option to receive a digitally-signed emailed I-20 or a physical I-20 mailed to you

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received reports of shipping delays when sending physical copies of the I-20.

Will a digitally-signed emailed I-20 be acceptable for my visa appointment?

Texas Tech University Graduate School has been given permission by the U.S. Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) to provide electronic signatures on I-20s due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the SEVP, they have coordinated with both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding the policy of electronic I-20s. Both agencies approve of this action.

Although this permission continues, we encourage you to verify with your country's US embassy that they will accept a digitally-signed I-20.

To see the documentation provided by SEVP, please visit the ICE Coronavirus page and click the "Frequently Ask Questions" section and PDF under the "Non-immigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools" heading.

If I choose to have my I-20 sent to me via express shipping, can I receive an unsigned soft copy before it is mailed to me?

No, unfortunately, we cannot provide an unsigned scanned copy of your I-20. Once your I-20 is shipped, you will receive an email with your SEVIS details. This email will contain all the information you need to schedule your visa appointment.

Traveling and Arriving in the US for Spring 2021

Are there currently any travel restrictions regarding who can travel to the US?

For more information on travelers that are prohibited from entering the US, please see the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page on restrictions here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html

However, there is additional information regarding travel for students from the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/national-interest-exceptions-from-certain-travelers-from-the-schengen-area-uk-and-ireland.html

Are there any quarantine requirements when I arrive in the US?

Currently, the CDC has lifted the quarantine requirements for international students. To view the CDC's recommended precautions, please visit their After You Travel web page. Please continue to check the CDC website for updates regarding COVID-19.

To see Texas Tech University's current safety policies and implementations regarding COVID-19, please visit the TTU Commitment Initiative website: https://www.ttu.edu/commitment/

Do I need to check-in with anybody once I arrive in the US?

Yes, you will need to check-in with your International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) counselor. Every student is assigned an international counselor based on the first letter of their last name/family name. You can schedule your appointment here: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/international/isss/appointments.php

What is Texas Tech University doing to prepare for safe classes for Spring 2021?

Please refer to the Texas Tech Commitment page to view the safety guides and plans for campus re-opening for Fall 2020: https://www.ttu.edu/commitment/.

OPT/CPT Information

How does COVID-19 affect the OPT/CPT process and student eligibility in the US?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has released a FAQ with common questions and concerns regarding various international student situations. We recommend viewing the FAQ PDF here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/coronavirus/covid19faq.pdf

According to the SEVP, as of July 15, 2020 -- "An F-1 student accrues eligibility for practical training whether they are inside or outside of the United States during the COVID-19 emergency if the student is in Active status in SEVIS and meets the requirements of their school's procedural change plans submitted to SEVP." This will apply to current TTU graduate students that have an active SEVIS status.

PLEASE NOTE: Your SEVIS record will show as PENDING until you arrive on-campus and meet with your ISSS counselor. Then your SEVIS status will change to ACTIVE. New students will NOT start their OPT/CPT eligibility until they arrive on-campus. 

Official Documents for Admission

I was told I had to provide my official transcripts, degree certificates, and test scores now that I am admitted. My university is closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. What are my options?

Transcripts and Degree Certificates

If you enrolled in on-campus classes for Summer 2020 or Fall 2020, you will have until October 1st, 2020 to provide us with your official documents. For more information, please visit our Admitted Student Tasklist: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/admissions/newstudents/checklist.php

We understand that it is difficult for many students to get their official documents currently. If you have your original transcripts, marksheets, degree certificates, diplomas, etc. with you, please bring them with you when you arrive on campus. Our office will make an official copy for our records and return the original documents to you.

If you are enrolled in online classes for Fall 2020, you will need to bring your official documents with you when you arrive on campus. For example, if you arrive on-campus for Spring 2021, your official documents would not be due until the 12th class day. If we have not received your documents, a hold will be placed on your registration account on March 1, 2021, and you will not be able to register for classes for the fall. 

If you additional questions not answered here, please contact us at graduate.admissions@ttu.edu.