General University Graduate Admissions Requirements
Admission to the College of Graduate Studies is open to anyone holding a bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited college or university. A foreign degree must be equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's degree and must be accredited by its regional or national accreditation agency or Ministry of Higher Education. Applicants should have completed undergraduate or graduate work of sufficient quality and scope to enable them to successfully pursue graduate study. Tennessee Tech University offers equal educational opportunity to all persons, without regard to race, religion, sex, age, creed, color, national origin, or disability.
Students are admitted to Tennessee Tech University through a cooperative effort of the Graduate College and the departments, colleges, and schools of the University. When the Graduate College receives the student's application material, an official file is established. The department then reviews the application file and makes a recommendation to the Graduate College. The Graduate College notifies applicants as soon as a decision has been reached.
Applicants must submit the following for consideration:
An application for admission;
Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate credit from all institutions attended;
Letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant's scholastic and professional accomplishments;
Graduate admissions test scores, as defined by the major department;
One-time application fee payment at the graduate level; and
Any other applicable requirement described in this policy or required by the major department or division to which the applicant is applying.
In order to be admitted to a degree program in any academic unit, applicants are also required to meet any additional standards set by the department, school, or college. Applicants are selected on a competitive basis and, therefore, admission is not granted to all applicants who meet only the minimum requirements. In addition, academic programs may have additional requirements such as portfolios, proficiency examinations, professional licensing, etc.
Individual program requirements are described in the Tennessee Tech University Graduate Catalog and on department websites. Requirements are subject to change. The Graduate College no longer accepts hard-copy (paper) applications. Please visit the Graduate College web site for detailed program admission requirements, deadlines, and to begin the on-line application process.
All graduate applications must be accompanied by a one-time non-refundable graduate application fee ($35.00 for domestic applicants; $40.00 for international applicants). Applications received without the application fee will not be processed.
All credentials become the property of the University and will not be forwarded or returned. If the applicant does not enroll, credentials will be maintained in active files for 1 year, after which they will be destroyed. After that time, candidates must reapply for admission and submit a new set of credentials if they wish to be admitted to the Graduate College.
An applicant who was previously enrolled in a graduate program but had a break in enrollment, excluding the summer term, must reapply.
Applications for admission to the Graduate School must be submitted by the due dates defined on the college website (International students must submit applications at least six (6) months in advance.) Applications for readmission should be filed not later than 2 weeks before the first day of registration. All applicants for admission into the following programs must submit satisfactory official scores on the required admission test.
College of Arts and Sciences
GRE® General Test (GRE)
College of Business
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or GRE® General Test (GRE)
College of Education, Master's & Ed.S.
Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or GRE® General Test (GRE)
College of Education, Ph.D.
GRE® General Test (GRE)
College of Engineering
GRE® General Test (GRE)
School of Nursing
Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN licensing examination (to be verified by the School of Nursing)
All International Students
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or International Language School (FLS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) and the appropriate test as required by colleges
Each application must be supported by official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate credit from an accredited institution (for a list of accrediting agencies recognized, refer to the U.S. Department of Education website) and letters of recommendations if required by the major department from persons acquainted with the applicant's scholastic and professional accomplishments. If admission is granted pending receipt of application credentials, the student must submit the required items before the end of the first semester during which the student is enrolled. Within the limits of academic reason, either the departmental chairperson or the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies may require additional information and verification of credentials submitted in support of an application for admission.
The requirement of minimum test scores either for admission, readmission, or candidacy is determined by individual departments or divisions, subject to approval by the respective college-level committees, college dean, and the Graduate School Executive Committee.
All application materials become the property of the University and will not be returned to the applicant regardless of whether admission is approved or denied.
It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person:
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees for diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
Has successfully completed the required course work for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.
International students having adequate preparation for graduate study may apply for admission, but applications should be filed at least six (6) months prior to the anticipated date of enrollment. In addition to the requirements mentioned in the paragraphs above, all students from non-English-speaking countries must submit proof of adequate training and ability in the use of English as evidenced by a satisfactory score on recognized and acceptable tests administered in the student's home country. Normally, it is expected that an applicant will submit a score of at least 525 (71 internet-based or 197 computer-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or base score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 48 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE). A TOEFL score of at least 550--79 internet-based or 213 computer-based or a PTE score of 53 is required for Engineering, M.B.A. and Nursing. If admitted to the Graduate School such students shall have as a condition attached to their admission the requirement of the English Placement Test, prior to enrollment, at Tennessee Technological University. If the examination reveals that the student does not possess an adequate command of English, the student will be required to enroll in noncredit remedial English courses (ESL 1010- 20) and will be required to reduce the graduate course load accordingly.
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
International English Language Testing System
International Language School
Pearson Test of English
Arts & Sciences, Education
Business, Engineering, Nursing
Applicants may also submit an English Proficieny Score from Duolingo.
Applicants must also give satisfactory proof of sufficient funds to cover all of their expenses including travel.
The Graduate School will not knowingly consider for admission any person who has entered the United States via an immigration visa issued for another university until that person has been enrolled in that university; thereafter, the usual transfer procedures would be implemented. International students who wish to transfer from another university to Tennessee Tech must submit the usual materials required for initial admission; additionally, each applicant must furnish:
official transcripts from the current institution;
a verification statement from that institution's international student advisor;
photocopies of Form I-20 ID (front and back), the passport, the visa, and Form I-94.
Only transfer credit from an accredited university is permitted; each student is expected to complete a full program of study at Tennessee Technological University.
In cases where the undergraduate record may furnish insufficient evidence of any applicant's potential for success in graduate study, additional qualifying examinations may be administered by the department in which the applicant proposes to study. The cost of the tests will be borne by the applicant.
If admission is approved, Form I-20 will be issued as follows: not later than June 1 for the fall term, November 1 for the spring term, and April 1 for the summer term. These dates are consistent with immigration regulations and apply to all F-1 non-immigrant students including those transferring from other U.S. institutions and those who are already enrolled at Tennessee Tech who wish to change from one degree program to another.
International students who are deficient in either written or spoken English are required to enroll in ESL 1010-1020 and to earn a grade of at least "C" in each course; waiver of this requirement may be permitted on the basis of satisfactory scores on the English Placement Test.
Enrollment in a program is contingent on the student receiving an appropriate visa.
A lawful permanent resident of the United States (holder of a "green card") may be required to take the English Placement Test or other tests to determine proficiency in English and the necessity for taking courses in English.
The residence of a dependent student is presumed to be that of his/her parents. Residence (for fee-paying purposes) is interpreted to mean where the parents are domiciled. Unless the contrary appears from clear and convincing evidence, it is presumed that an emancipated person does not acquire domicile in Tennessee while enrolled as a full-time student at any public or private institution of higher education in the state. A student once classified as an out-of-state student will continue to be so classified unless a review of classification is requested. An emancipated individual who is working full time (30 hours per week or more) in Tennessee may register for up to seven (7) hours per term at in-state rates while establishing permanent residency.
A graduate assistant is classified as an in-state resident for fee-paying purposes only while he/she is a graduate assistant. Residency will be reviewed when assistantship ends.
Change of residence status for tuition purposes is never automatic. A request for review must be made to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and adequate information must be provided by the student to warrant a review of resident status. Many factors, such as full-time employment for an extended period, are taken into consideration when a student's resident status is reviewed. If the review is negative, a request for exception may be filed with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and, then, the Graduate Studies Executive Committee.
If Tennessee residency is approved, the classification change shall be effective at the next registration after the approval has been granted.
The major department or division and College of Graduate Studies will classify applicants as Full, Provisional, or Special Standing.
This category indicates that the student has an adequate background for pursuing graduate work and that all minimum requirements for admission to graduate standing have been met.
This category indicates that the student does not qualify for full standing due to deficiencies in meeting specific program requirements. "Provisional Standing" is not equivalent to "conditional" admission for the purpose of international student enrollment.
The College of Graduate Studies will change a student's Provisional Standing to Full Standing when the deficiencies identified at the time of admission are removed, provided, at the sole discretion of the department and college: the deficiencies are cured prior to the completion of 15 graduate hours; or after acceptable completion of 9 graduate hours if the sole deficiency is caused by an unacceptable admission exam. A student's failure to remove the deficiencies by the deadline established by Tennessee Tech will result in a registration hold being placed on future registrations until such time as the deficiencies have been removed.
This category denotes that the student has declared a non-degree graduate objective. Students who declare a non degree graduate objective or transient students who have been admitted to graduate schools of other institutions are assigned to Special Standing.
Admission to the Graduate School in any of the categories described above does not imply acceptance to candidacy for a graduate degree. The requirements for candidacy are explained elsewhere in this publication.
Individuals who wish to enroll in graduate level courses and who do not wish to seek graduate degrees (non degree graduate students under the category of Special Standing), must submit an application, application fee, and proof of having earned the baccalaureate degree. Students admitted under this category of Special Standing must submit official transcripts of degree conferral's no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment, or will be denied registration in subsequent semesters.
Change of Classification
Students who have been admitted to graduate study with Provisional Standing may, upon the approval of the departmental chairperson (or Program Director for students in the Ph.D. programs) and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, request and be granted Full Standing after removing any entrance deficiencies noted at the time their applications for admission were approved. Deficiencies may be removed by:
establishing credit in the courses recommended by the departmental chairperson as necessary to remove a deficiency, or any group of courses which the departmental chairperson may approve as a suitable substitute for the listed courses; the courses used for removal of deficiencies must be passed with a grade of "C" or better and these courses will not be counted in the graduate program nor in the computation of the graduate quality point average;
the completion of at least nine (9) semester credits of graduate work, including six (6) semester credits in the major field, with a minimum quality point average of 3.0 for students who entered with a questionable undergraduate background; and obtaining satisfactory scores on admission tests.
In any instance, a student must apply for reclassification to Full Standing prior to the completion of 15 graduate hours. Students who have been admitted to graduate study with Special Standing are not eligible for reclassification until their graduate and undergraduate records have been evaluated by the department in which they wish to major. Credit earned while in Special Standing may not be counted toward a degree until approved by the major departments but in no case will more than nine (9) semester credits be counted.
Admission of Faculty Members to Graduate Studies
Any faculty member may register for credit courses offered by the University. Faculty members with full-time responsibilities to the University may not register for more than six (6) credit hours per semester. No member of the faculty who holds tenure or professorial rank is eligible to become a candidate for a graduate degree; however, an instructor on temporary appointment may qualify for candidacy. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate School Executive Committee; such approval will be granted only in unusual circumstances.
Admission of Seniors to Graduate Courses
A senior who needs less than a normal semester's work to complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, and who gives indication of being able to achieve Full Standing in the Graduate School at the conclusion of the undergraduate program, may take sufficient graduate credit (6000 level or below) to fill out a normal schedule, subject to the approval of the departmental advisor, course instructor(s), chairperson of the department(s), and the Director of Graduate Studies. If the student would not qualify for Full Standing but would qualify for Provisional Standing, he/she may take such 5000-level courses for graduate credit as may be approved by his/her departmental advisor, chairperson of the department(s), and the Director of Graduate Studies. A Tentative Graduate Advisory Committee and a program of study must be developed prior to the completion of nine (9) credit hours of graduate work to be counted toward degree requirements.
A senior who gives indication of being able to achieve Full Standing in the Graduate School may elect up to nine (9) hours of graduate courses (6000 level or below) for undergraduate credit upon approval of his/her departmental advisor, course instructor(s), chairperson of the department(s), and the Director of Graduate Studies. Credit earned in this manner may not later be counted as graduate credit. If the senior would not qualify for Full Standing but would qualify for Provisional Standing, he/she may elect up to nine (9) hours of 5000 level courses upon approval of his/her departmental advisor, course instructor(s), chairperson of the department(s), and the Director of Graduate Studies.
When a senior earns graduate credit, that credit falls under the Special Standing regulation that is described in a previous section of this catalog regarding "Admission Classification." Specifically, the student is cautioned to remember that not more than nine (9) semester credits earned in Special Standing can be counted for graduate degree purposes.
Admission of Transfer Students
An applicant for admission who has begun a graduate program at another college or university may be considered for admission to the Graduate School of Tennessee Technological University on a transfer basis. Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent graduate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies at least equivalent to those of students enrolled in the institution's own graduate degree programs. It is anticipated that such an applicant will have maintained a "B" average in prior graduate study and will be in good standing at the institutions previously attended. If transfer admission is approved, the student's grades that are accepted for transfer will not be included in this institution's GPA calculations. The number of transfer credits utilized for degree purposes is determined by the program department, at their sole discretion, and in accordance with SACSCOC Accreditation Standard 9.2. In certain instances a competency examination may be administered to validate credit.
International students who wish to transfer to Tennessee Tech from another Graduate School must submit the usual materials required for initial admission. Additionally, each applicant must furnish official transcripts from the current institution as well as a statement from that institution's international student advisor. The applicant must also submit a bank statement verifying that sufficient funds are available for the applicant's living and collegiate expenses, as well as photocopies of the passport, visa, I20-ID and I-94.
Admission of Non-degree Graduate Students
Admission to some graduate courses is available to persons who do not seek a graduate degree. Each applicant must submit to the Graduate School an application and proof of having earned the baccalaureate degree. Students admitted under this category of Special Standing must submit official transcripts of degree conferral's no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment, or will be denied registration in subsequent semesters. When the student declares a degree major, the student will then pay the admissions application fee.
International students on an F1 Visa are not eligible for admission as non degree students.
Non-degree graduate students are placed in Special Standing (see Special Standing section) and are permitted to take such undergraduate and graduate courses as are approved by individual advisors. Not all courses offered at the University are available for non degree students. Information concerning the availability of specific courses can be obtained from individual departments. A Non-degree graduate student subsequently admitted into a graduate program may submit previously earned graduate credit hours to the program to review. The department will determine at their sole discretion, and in accordance with SACSCOC Accreditation Standard 9.2, the number of credit hours it will accept towards such a degree.
Admission as a non degree graduate student is not the same as admission as an "additional bachelor's" student. The admission status of an additional bachelor's student is explained in the following section of this catalog.
Admission as an Additional Bachelor's Student
An additional bachelor's student is a post-baccalaureate student but is not a graduate student and should not be confused with a non degree graduate student. An additional bachelor's student is usually working toward a second undergraduate degree or taking undergraduate or graduate courses for undergraduate credit with no degree objective in mind. Additional Bachelor's students Apply through the undergraduate admissions office and are not counted as graduate students. An additional bachelor's student should not register for a graduate course without prior consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies; graduate credit will not be granted for graduate courses taken while in the additional bachelor's status. A student who wishes to pursue a graduate degree should make application in the Graduate School Office.
Admission to Class as an Auditor
An auditor is one who enrolls in classes on a noncredit basis, is expected to attend class, but is not required to hand in assignments or to take examinations. If the instructor is not satisfied with the attendance, the instructor may assign a grade of "W." A student who audits must be admitted to the University as a regular or special student.
Admission to class as an auditor requires the consent of the instructor and the approval of the Director of Records and Registration. The applicant should secure the Audit Registration form from the Office of Records and Registration. Fees for audit courses are the same as those for credit courses.
Readmission of Former Students
A former graduate student at Tennessee Technological University who is not currently enrolled at the University must file an application for readmission. The application may be obtained here and should be filed no later than two (2) weeks before the first day of registration of the semester of anticipated enrollment.
Many students enroll for graduate study with financial benefits provided by the Veterans Administration. A student who anticipates receiving VA benefits should keep in mind that enrollment cannot be verified until the student files with the Graduate School an approved program of study or teacher licensure plan. Certificate of satisfactory process can be verified for no more than two (2) semesters of academic probation.
Any covered individual will be able to attend or participate in the course of education during the period beginning on the date on which the individual provides to the educational institution a certificate of eligibility for entitlement to educational assistance under chapter 31 or 33 (a "certificate of eligibility" can also include a "Statement of Benefits" obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) website – eBenefits, or a VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization purposes) and ending on the earlier of the following dates:
1. The date on which payment from VA is made to the institution.
2. 90 days after the date the institution certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the certificate of eligibility.
Tennessee Tech will not impose any penalty, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a covered individual borrow additional funds, on any covered individual because of the individual's inability to meet his or her financial obligations to the institution due to the delayed disbursement funding from VA under chapter 31 or 33.