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

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

I am receiving a TA/RA or scholarship from my department.
  

If you are receiving Spring 2021 funding from your program or department, such as a TA/RA or scholarship, it will be up to your department whether they will require online attendance for Spring 2021 in order to keep your funding award. Funding received from your department is not guaranteed if you defer to a future term and is up to the department's discretion.

I am receiving a DGSA or a Recruitment Fellowship award from the Graduate School.

If you are receiving Spring 2021 funding from the Graduate School and cannot attend on-campus, you must attend Spring 2021 online with the following requirements:

If you received the Distinguished Graduate Student Assistantship, you must enroll in 9 credit hours online.

If you received the Recruitment Fellowship, you must enroll in 6 credit hours online.

If you have any questions regarding the DGSA or Recruitment Fellowship, please email gradfellowships@ttu.edu for more information. 

If you are unable to enroll online for Spring 2021 and cannot fulfill the online funding requirement, you have the option to defer your application to Fall 2021 without your funding award. However, your department may be able to reconsider you for funding for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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

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 obtain a visa for Spring 2021?

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. We encourage you to contact your department regarding online course availability and registration for Spring 2021.

If you plan to enroll online for Spring 2021, please update your Visa Status Form. If you do not have access to your Visa Status Form, please email graduate.admissions.international@ttu.edu and we will email your form to you.

If you are unable to attend online for Spring 2021, you have the option to defer your application to Fall 2021. However, if you are receiving departmental funding or Graduate School funding, please see the information in the Admitted Student Questions section above.

I am an international student and want to defer my application. What should I do?

If you are unable to obtain a visa for Spring 2021 and are unable to attend online, if you want to defer your application, please email graduate.admissions.international@ttu.edu requesting your deferral. Please put "DEFERRING FROM SPRING 2021 to FALL 2021" in the subject line of your email and indicate your intention to defer in the body of the email.

We will create a new Fall 2021 application on your behalf and forward it to the department for their review for admission and funding consideration. We are unable to defer your admission without the department's approval. Because it is a new academic year, the department must confirm whether they will re-admit you into the program for Fall 2021.

If you are receiving department funding, please also include your department contact or graduate advisor in the email so they are aware of your intention to defer. REMINDER: Deferred funding is under the discretion of the department. 

Because the new start of classes date for Spring 2021 has been changed to January 20, do I need to have my Spring 2021 I-20 changed?

If you received your Spring 2021 visa or have a visa appointment scheduled, you can request an updated I-20 through your Visa Status Form.

You should have received an email from graduate.admissions.international@ttu.edu wherein we linked you to fill-out your Visa Status form. This form is what will be used to determine which students need an updated I-20. We are requesting that ALL STUDENTS save this link and continue to update it as their status changes.

If you have requested an updated I-20 via your Visa Status Form, we will email you your digitally signed, updated I-20 as soon as possible. If you require an additional manually-signed, physically shipped I-20, please see the I-20 FAQ for physical mailing options. 

Priority will be given based on visa appointment times. Our goal is to complete all I-20 update requests within two weeks.

What if I am unable to arrive by January 20, 2021 for the spring semester?

Students who have travel difficulty or otherwise may arrive after the first day of class for the spring semester may request a late arrival letter.

Please email graduate.admissions.international@ttu.edu to request a late arrival letter. In the subject line of your email, please write "SPRING 2021 - LATE ARRIVAL LETTER." In the body of your email, please include your name and application number, as well as indicate your request for a letter. 

Please include or CC your department contact in this email so they are also aware of the late arrival. 

We can provide a late arrival for students to arrive no later than the 20th class day, which is February 16, 2021.

The letter will document for visa and border immigration officials that your late arrival is approved and that the university assures that all requirements will be met to maintain your visa and academic status.

We will expect you to work with your department to register for classes and make sure you are able to maintain your academic progress. You will also need to work with your International Student Counselor to make sure you are scheduled for your check-in appointment as soon as possible after you arrive. This is so your counselor can register you in the SEVIS system. 

If I am deferring, when can I receive my I-20 for Fall 2021?

If you are deferring to Fall 2021, your application will be re-reviewed by the department and you will not be able to create your Fall 2021 I-20 until a decision has been made. If you are readmitted, you will receive an email confirming your admission to Fall 2021.

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

TTU Graduate Admissions has created an international student I-20 FAQ page with more information on general admission and the I-20 process. Please visit the following link: Graduate Admissions I-20 Frequently Asked Questions.

Additionally, 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 November 1, 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.

I need to show my original copies of my documents to someone in the Graduate School Office in order to remove holds on my account. What is the process?

Due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the Lubbock area, we have decided to keep minimum staff in the Graduate School office.

If you come in person to the Graduate School to provide your official documents, there will be a sign instructing you to complete a form, clip your original documents to the form, and place inside a provided envelope. We will notify you within 2 weeks when you can come to pick up your documents.

We hope this situation changes soon so that we can meet you in person and provide more face-to-face service, but for now, in order to keep everyone safe, this will be our current process.

I need to have documents sent to me internationally. Are there any shipping delays or concerns I should be worried about?

Due to disruptions in the global supply chain in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, FedEx has announced a surcharge on all FedEx Express international parcel and freight shipments beginning April 6, 2021. 

Beginning November 2, 2020, the surcharge amount for some FedEx Express international parcel and freight shipments originating in Europe and MEISA will increase. Please note that the name of the surcharge will change from Temporary Surcharge to Peak Surcharge. 

For more information on updated FedEx surcharge amounts, please visit the FedEx website. 

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