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2. Admission - Graduate Students

Philosophy

Admission requirements for graduate study at UTSA are designed so that admitted students will have a high probability of success in graduate-level academic work. Graduate study is much more than a continuation of undergraduate work and should be considered only by those students with the capacity for independent thought and investigation.

Students seeking admission to a graduate program should visit the Graduate School's admissions Web site at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu for application forms and instructions.

Admissions Tests

Graduate programs at UTSA use selective entrance requirements in their admission of students. In addition to the University-wide admission requirements listed below, each graduate degree program specifies additional admission requirements, which may include scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) aptitude test, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), other standardized examinations, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a résumé, a portfolio, an audition, or other indicators of preparation for graduate study. Information on the GRE may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, www.gre.org, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000 or by calling 1-866-473-4373. GMAT information may be obtained from the Graduate Management Admission Council, www.mba.com, or by calling 1-800-717-GMAT. The institution code for UTSA is 6919, for both the GRE and the GMAT. At the time the student enrolls, the test score must be less than five (5) years old. UTSA Testing Services office also has information available on the GRE, GMAT, MAT, and other tests. Applicants should refer to individual degree descriptions for additional admission requirements.

Consistent with Texas Education Code, Section 51.842(b), any degree program that uses an applicant’s performance on a standardized test, other than scores obtained on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required of international applicants, to make decisions about admission or the award of competitive scholarships will compare the applicant’s test score with those of other applicants from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, to the extent such information is available. If an applicant’s performance on a standardized test is used for that purpose, it will be considered together with other criteria when making an admission or competitive scholarship decision and will not be used as the sole criterion for consideration of the applicant or as the primary criterion to end consideration of the applicant.

Select Graduate Admission Program

The Select Graduate Admission Program (SGAP) allows graduate programs to recommend for admission outstanding University undergraduate students with excellent academic records in their junior or senior year to remain at the University of Texas at San Antonio for a graduate degree. Graduate programs may nominate a select number of outstanding undergraduate students.

Undergraduate candidates may be extended an offer of admission conditional upon completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Additional information about the Select Graduate Admission Program is available at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu in the Graduate School, and from the Graduate Advisor of Record of each graduate program.

Graduate Classifications and Requirements

Classifications of graduate admission require approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, the administrative officer responsible for graduate education. The criteria for the various classifications of admission to UTSA are set forth below.

Graduate Degree-Seeking Student Admission

A graduate degree-seeking student is one admitted to a graduate degree program. Admission as a graduate degree-seeking student may be unconditional, conditional, or conditional on academic probation.

Unconditional Admission

In order to be eligible for unconditional admission as a graduate degree-seeking student, an applicant normally must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  2. Have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester credit hours or foreign institution equivalent of coursework taken.
  3. Have completed at least 18 semester credit hours (12 of which must be at the upper-division level) or foreign institution equivalent coursework in the area or areas in which the graduate degree is sought or in related areas as determined by the Graduate Program Committee for the proposed major.
  4. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
  5. Be recommended for admission by the Graduate Program Committee in the proposed major. The committee may examine a student on his or her previous preparation before a recommendation is made for the student to be admitted to the program.
  6. Have approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Admission is based on the last 60 semester credit hours, or foreign institution equivalent coursework, attempted in all undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate coursework. Students must list on the application for graduate admission all community colleges, colleges, and universities attended and request an official transcript from each institution attended be sent to the Graduate School. Official transcripts from the institution conferring the last degree must be on file at the Graduate School, prior to enrollment. UTSA graduates only need to order transcripts from any institutions not listed on the UTSA transcript. The Graduate School will obtain the UTSA transcript from the Office of the Registrar.

Conditional Admission

An applicant who has insufficient preparation in his or her intended graduate degree program, or who lacks certain supporting documentation required for unconditional admission, may be admitted conditionally to the graduate degree program upon recommendation of the Graduate Program Committee in the proposed major and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Conditions placed on admission may include:

  1. Holding a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  2. Submission of test scores or other indicators of preparation for graduate study that are unavoidably lacking at the time of admission.
  3. Completion of additional coursework or other study to remove deficiencies, with such makeup work to be in addition to the regular degree requirements; any undergraduate courses in addition to coursework to remove deficiencies must not exceed 18 hours and must be completed with a grade point average of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.
  4. Completion of a given number of semester credit hours and the achievement of a minimum grade point average, in no case lower than that required for a student to remain in the University as a graduate degree-seeking or special graduate student, if the student’s grade point average is less than that specified for unconditional admission. (See section on Academic Standing in Chapter 4, General Academic Regulations – Graduate.)

Any conditions placed on the student’s admission are included in the notification of admission. If conditions placed on admission are not met within the time specified by the Graduate Program Committee as stated in the admission notice, the Dean will direct the Registrar to withdraw the student from the University. The student may petition for reinstatement under the provisions listed in this bulletin. (See “Graduate Reinstatement” in Chapter 4, General Academic Regulations – Graduate.)

Conditional Admission on Academic Probation

An applicant who fails to meet the requirements for unconditional admission and is admitted on a conditional basis may be admitted on academic probation upon recommendation of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. Such admission requires that coursework taken during the first semester be completed with a grade point average of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better. Failure to earn this average may result in academic dismissal.

Denial of Admission as a Graduate Degree-Seeking Student

If an applicant is not eligible for either unconditional admission or conditional admission, the applicant is denied admission as a graduate degree-seeking student. In such cases, the appropriate Graduate Program Committee may recommend the applicant’s admission or denial of admission as a special graduate student.

Special Graduate Student Admission

A special graduate student is one admitted to UTSA for the purpose of enrolling in master’s level and/or undergraduate courses without currently entering a degree program. An applicant who elects to enroll as a special graduate student normally must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign institution.
  2. Have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 30 semester credit hours or foreign institution equivalent of coursework for the baccalaureate degree as well as in all graduate-level coursework previously taken.
  3. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
  4. Be recommended for admission as a special graduate student by the authorized representative of the discipline offering the graduate course or courses desired. The authorized representative of the discipline offering the course is the discipline Graduate Program Committee acting through its chair or through its graduate advisor of record. If there is no Graduate Program Committee for the discipline, the chair of the department offering the discipline is the authorized representative. If the program is interdisciplinary, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research of the appropriate college is the authorized representative.

Admission is based on the last 30 semester credit hours, or foreign institution equivalent coursework, attempted in all undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate coursework. Students must list on the application for graduate admission all community colleges, colleges, and universities attended and request an official transcript from each institution attended be sent to the Graduate School. Official transcripts from the institution conferring the last degree must be on file at the Graduate School. UTSA graduates only need to order transcripts from any institutions not listed on the UTSA transcript. The Graduate School will obtain the UTSA transcript from the Office of the Registrar.

Special graduate students are eligible to take any master’s level or undergraduate courses for which they have the necessary prerequisites, provided that space is available, and that students have the approval of the course instructor. Students who wish to take a graduate course in a discipline other than that for which they have been authorized upon admission must obtain the approval of the authorized representative (as defined above) of the discipline offering the course.

Special graduate students are advised that:

  1. A maximum of 12 semester credit hours earned as a special graduate student may be applied toward a graduate degree, and then only when the student has been admitted as a graduate degree-seeking student and the credits earned for these courses have been evaluated and approved for this purpose by the appropriate Graduate Program Committee.
  2. When teacher certification is involved, approval of the director of the College of Education and Human Development Advising and Certification Center is required before the student enrolls to ensure that credit earned as a special graduate student can be applied to a graduate-level teacher certification program.
  3. To continue at UTSA as a special graduate student in a subsequent semester, the student must meet the standards required to remain at UTSA as indicated in the section on Academic Standing.

Denial of Admission as a Special Graduate Student

An applicant who is denied admission as both a graduate degree-seeking student and a special graduate student may be eligible for admission as a special undergraduate student, if admission requirements for that classification have been met. The applicant will need to submit an undergraduate application to be considered (see “Special Undergraduate Student Admission” in Chapter 2, Admission – Undergraduate).

Students holding bachelor’s degrees who are admitted as special undergraduate students may enroll in undergraduate courses only. If they wish to take courses at the graduate level, they must obtain permission from the course instructor and the department chair on the form provided for this purpose. Students may not have active applications at the graduate and undergraduate levels for the same term and year.

Non-Degree-Seeking Graduate Student Admission

An applicant who wishes to enroll in courses without pursuing a degree at UTSA should apply for admission as a non-degree-seeking graduate student. In order to qualify as a non-degree-seeking graduate student the applicant must:

  1. Hold at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign institution.
  2. Have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 30 semester credit hours or foreign institution equivalent of coursework for the baccalaureate degree as well as in all graduate-level coursework taken.
  3. Be in good standing at the last institution attended.
  4. Be recommended for admission as a non-degree-seeking graduate student by the authorized representative of the discipline offering the graduate course or courses desired. The authorized representative of the discipline offering the graduate course is the discipline Graduate Program Committee, acting through its chair or through its graduate advisor of record. If there is no Graduate Program Committee for the discipline, the chair of the department offering the discipline is the authorized representative. If the program is interdisciplinary, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research of the appropriate college is the authorized representative.

Admission is based on the last 30 semester credit hours, or foreign institution equivalent coursework, attempted in all undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate coursework. Students must list on the application for graduate admission all community colleges, colleges, and universities attended and request an official transcript from each institution attended be sent to the Graduate School. Official transcripts from the institution conferring the last degree must be on file at the Graduate School. UTSA graduates only need to order transcripts from any institutions not listed on the UTSA transcript. The Graduate School will obtain the UTSA transcript from the Office of the Registrar.

Non-degree-seeking graduate students may register for any master’s level or undergraduate course for which they have the necessary prerequisites, provided that space is available and that they have the approval of the course instructor. Students who wish to take a graduate course in a discipline other than that for which they have been authorized upon admission must obtain the approval of the authorized representative (as defined above) of the discipline offering the course.

Non-degree-seeking graduate students are advised that:

  1. Credit earned as a non-degree-seeking graduate student will not count toward a degree at UTSA.
  2. If the student plans to obtain a graduate degree at UTSA, an application for admission should be made as either a graduate degree-seeking student or a special graduate student.
  3. When teacher certification is involved, approval of the director of the College of Education and Human Development Advising and Certification Center is required before the student enrolls to ensure that credit earned as a non-degree-seeking graduate student can be applied to a graduate-level teacher certification program.

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International Graduate Student Admission

Applications from non-U.S. citizens or nonpermanent residents will be processed as international.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Meet the graduate admission requirements as a degree-seeking applicant.

  2. Prove proficiency in the English Language by taking either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examinations. For qualifying minimum IELTS scores, refer to the Graduate School Web site (http://graduateschool.utsa.edu). Scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the ETS or IELTS testing center, copies of scores are not accepted as official. At the time the student enrolls, the official test score must be less than two (2) years old. Our institution code is 6919.

      TOEFL Internet TOEFL Paper IELTS
    English Language Assessment Program (ELAP) Exempt 100 600 7
    Graduate Admission Qualification* 79 550 6.5

    * The minimum score required on the TOEFL. Individual degree programs may have higher TOEFL or IELTS requirements for their various programs. Consult the Graduate School Web site (http://graduateschool.utsa.edu) for more information.

    Participation in UTSA’s English Language Assessment Program (ELAP), before registration, is required of students with TOEFL scores below 600 (paper version) or 100 (Internet based) or an IELTS score below 7. Based on this assessment, students needing additional instruction in English are required to enroll in appropriate English for International Students (EIS) courses.

    TOEFL scores may be waived for international students from countries where English is the official language spoken; or for noncitizens of the United States earning a bachelor’s degree or higher in the United States or other countries where English is the official language.

    Applicants from the following countries are exempt from submitting the TOEFL or IELTS score:

    American Samoa Guyana
    Australia Ireland
    Bahamas Jamaica
    Barbados Liberia
    Belize New Zealand
    Canada (except Quebec) Sierra Leone
    Dominica Trinidad/Tobago
    Grand Cayman United Kingdom
    Grenada U.S. Pacific Trust

    IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge English for Speakers of Other Languages (Cambridge ESOL) Examinations, British Council, and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia. For more information, visit www.ielts.org.

    TOEFL is an examination written by The Educational Testing Service for The College Board. For more information, visit www.ets.org/toefl.

  3. Submit a financial statement guaranteeing the ability to pay all expenses while a student at UTSA if attendance under the F-1 (student) visa is anticipated. The statement may be sent from a parent or guardian when endorsed by a bank or other reliable institution, or from a U.S. citizen who will accept responsibility for the student’s financial needs.

  4. The application, nonrefundable application fee ($80 online), and official supporting credentials should be on file in the Graduate School by the appropriate application deadline. The nonrefundable application fee is also charged upon reapplication for admission following academic dismissal. See “Application Deadlines and Fees” below.

The above criteria serve as guidelines for admission for international students. The credentials of each applicant are examined on an individual basis by the Graduate School and the appropriate Graduate Program Committee, with admission granted only to those who show promise of success in graduate study at UTSA.

Academic Fresh Start

An applicant who has earned a baccalaureate degree under the Academic Fresh Start statute, Texas Education Code, § 51.931, will be evaluated on only the grade point average of the coursework completed for that baccalaureate degree and the other criteria stated herein.

Procedures for Teacher Certification (Standard or Supplemental) at the Graduate Level

An applicant who desires to work on teacher certification in BBL EC–6 Generalist or ESL EC-6 Generalist and who holds a bachelor’s degree should apply as a graduate degree-seeking student to the Graduate Program Committee for the M.A. in Bicultural-Bilingual studies or the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language for teacher certification. A student who is simultaneously seeking a master’s degree should apply for admission to the master's degree program.

Students interested in graduate teacher certification programs in BBL EC–6 Generalist and ESL EC-6 Generalist must complete an application to the Graduate School in the College of Education and Human Development, and an application packet for admission to the Teacher Certification Program. Admission to graduate school does not automatically admit a candidate to Teacher Certification, nor does the completion of degree requirements guarantee completion of Texas certification requirements. However, students must be accepted to graduate school before they can be accepted to the Teacher Certification Program. Students must meet the requirements for graduation for the M.A. in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies or the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, and also meet the TExES state requirements for certification to complete their program.

Information and application materials for graduate teacher certification in the two certification areas identified above are located on the COEHD Web site (http://education.utsa.edu/) and are submitted to the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies. Upon review of the application for teacher certification by the department Coordinator, potential candidates will be notified of their status with regard to admission to the Teacher Certification Program.

Any student seeking a teaching certificate in the state of Texas must meet the basic state requirements for admission to the Teacher Certification Program as well as the UTSA admission requirements. This includes passing scores on the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA). A legal ID is required to be certified as a teacher in the state of Texas. For further information on these and other requirements, please review the application materials located on the COEHD Web page.

Criminal History Checks

UTSA students must submit to a criminal history background check every semester they interact directly with any minor(s) or legal adult(s) of diminished capacity as a requirement for course completion. Students who are unable to meet the criminal background check standards for the school districts may not be able to complete a course or the Teacher Certification Program. An ISD or other school field-based entity may deny placement of students with a criminal background. If a student is rejected twice by districts in one semester because of criminal history, students will not be able to continue in the program until such time as the criminal background check is cleared. If the offense is one that will preclude field work altogether, the student will be dismissed from the Teacher Certification Program. In accordance with Sec. 53.021, Texas Occupation Code, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) may suspend or revoke a teacher certificate or refuse to issue a teacher certificate for a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for a crime that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the teaching profession. A legal ID is required to be certified as a teacher in the state of Texas.

Fitness to Teach Policy

The College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) has a responsibility to the educational community to ensure that individuals whom the University recommends to the State of Texas for teaching certification are fit to join the teaching profession. All teacher candidates in the UTSA Teacher Certification Program are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to teach children and youth. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of University coursework and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions all teachers should possess. The UTSA Fitness to Teach policy addresses these important aspects of teacher preparation. The Fitness to Teach policy can be accessed from the COEHD Web site.

Recommendations for teacher certification (to the Texas Education Agency) are made by the College of Education and Human Development Certification Officer only after all requirements have been met and the student has officially requested such recommendation.

Information summarizing education certificate and endorsement requirements is available from the College of Education and Human Development Advising and Certification Center and online at the COEHD Web site under Certification Programs.

Programs are subject to change without notice due to changes in the state’s certification and/or program approval requirements.

Declaration of Previous College Work Attempted

Students are not at liberty to disregard previous college work attempted. All students applying to UTSA must list all colleges attended on their UTSA application for admission. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of the application, withdrawal of any offer of acceptance, cancellation of enrollment, permanent dismissal from the University, or other appropriate disciplinary action.

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Application Deadlines and Fees

Master’s Level

Applicants for admission as master’s degree-seeking, special, or non-degree-seeking students may apply for admission as early as nine months before the beginning of the semester in which they wish to begin graduate study. Because of the time needed to prepare graduate summaries, applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed at least one month before the application deadline. Application forms and instructions are available on the Graduate School Web site at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu or from the Graduate School.

Master application deadlines may vary by program. Please consult the Graduate School Web site for more information and application requirements. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her application meets the deadline set by the graduate program. Applicants should also note some programs grant admission only for the Fall semester. Some master’s programs may have priority application deadlines. Please contact the appropriate academic program or visit the Graduate School Web site at http;//graduateschool.utsa.edu for more information.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure completion and submission of application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with the Graduate School by the appropriate application deadline.

Doctoral Level

Doctoral application deadlines may vary by program. Please consult the Graduate School Web site at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu for more information and application requirements. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her application meets the deadline set by the doctoral program. Applicants should also note that most programs grant admission only for the Fall semester, but some do offer Spring admission. Consult the Graduate School Web site for Spring application deadlines.

Students enrolling in cooperative or joint programs between UTSA and other institutions must satisfy admission requirements (including deadline dates) of the other institutions as well as those of UTSA.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure individuals providing recommendations are aware of these program-specific deadlines, so that the program can assess your complete file as quickly as possible.

UTSA Graduate Nonrefundable
Application Fees
UTSA graduates or degree candidates $30
Non-UTSA graduates $45
International applicants $80

Admission Procedures

Each applicant for admission is responsible for ensuring that all required official application materials (completed application form, nonrefundable application fee, test results, required transcripts, etc.) are on file in the Graduate School by the application deadlines. Admission is not granted until the applicant’s file is complete. Documents submitted in support of an application become the property of UTSA and will not be returned.

Students granted admission to a master’s program at UTSA, who do not register for courses the semester of admittance or for the following long semester must reapply for admission.

Doctoral students who are admitted but do not register for courses the semester of admittance are required to reapply and pay a nonrefundable application fee for the next available term, by the application deadline. Any subsequent application for admission must be in accordance with current admission requirements and deadlines. New transcripts, test scores, and other supporting documents are required after one academic year, since files for admitted students who do not register for courses are not retained after that period. (See program descriptions in “Chapter 6, Graduate Program Requirements and Course Descriptions,” of the UTSA Graduate Catalog for specific program admission requirements.)

Readmission

Master’s and doctoral level students returning to UTSA who have attended other institutions of higher education since they were last enrolled at UTSA must submit an official transcript from each institution. Eligibility for readmission of any former student depends on the student’s academic status at the conclusion of the last UTSA semester of enrollment and performance on any subsequent college or university work attempted. Readmission must be recommended by the appropriate Graduate Program Committee.

Master’s Level

UTSA master’s students who have attended a semester but have not been in attendance for two full years are required to reapply and submit an application for graduate admission, and pay a nonrefundable application fee (see application fee table), by the application deadline.

Doctoral Level

UTSA doctoral students must be enrolled every semester unless specified otherwise by the Graduate Program Committee. Doctoral students who have not been in attendance for one semester and do not have an approved leave of absence must submit an application for graduate admission, and pay a nonrefundable application fee (see application fee table), by the application deadline.

Military Service

Students who withdrew from the University to perform military service (not including Texas National Guard Training exercises) will not have to requalify for admission and may be readmitted by the Office of the Registrar upon a request made within one year of being released from active military service. A returning student must submit in writing a statement indicating he/she did not attend another university during this time. If a returning student has attended another institution long enough to receive grades, the student must reapply to the University. A returning student may be eligible for the same financial assistance provided before the student’s withdrawal. If the student was deployed in combative military operations outside the United States, he or she will be readmitted regardless of how much time has passed since initial admission. Any test scores the student previously submitted will be accepted and any course credit previously earned will be applied.

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