With over 15,000 students, East Tennessee State University presents a broad range of high-quality, fully accredited undergraduate and graduate programs. While the majority of students are from the state of Tennessee, students are enrolled from around the United States and many other countries.
Admission is available to degree-seeking undergraduates based upon a review of grades in high school courses, grades in college courses, scores on the ACT or SAT examination, and completion of specific high school courses in light of admission requirements. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Office of Admissions website for complete information on requirements and the application process.
The application for admissions is available online on the web at the Office of Admissions website. Students are encouraged to apply using the online application form. Official copies of transcripts (sent directly from the school or college or testing agency) are required and should be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Examination results from the ACT or SAT are accepted if provided on the official high school transcript. For additional information, please contact the Office of Admissions.
The Tennessee State Legislature enacted legislation entitled the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA), Tennessee Public Chapter No. 1061-SB No. 1325. All state public institutions of higher education in Tennessee must verify that students who receive state public benefits are U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States. Applicants must provide the Office of Admissions with this documentation. Contact the Office of Admissions for other acceptable documents.
US Citizens applicants can provide:
- A valid driver license or photo identification license from any state (except Utah and New Mexico);
- An official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory, except for Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010;
- A U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate;
- A valid, unexpired U.S. passport;
Applicants claiming to be an alien lawfully present in the United States can provide two of the following:
- Valid U.S. driver’s license or U.S. state photo identification card;
- U.S. permanent resident card (I-151, I-551, or I-551C);
- Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327);
- Employment Authorization Form (Form I-766);
- Valid unexpired foreign passport with valid visa;
- DS-2019 or IAP-66 (for J-1 Visa Holders);
- Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card;
- Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (I-20);
Applications for admission and fee payment classifications must be approved by the last day of registration (official census date) of a semester in order to be effective that semester. Immunization requirements are found under Policies and Procedures - health.
Complete and Correct Application Information
Applicants seeking admission to ETSU should be aware that failure to submit correct and complete application information shall be considered utterance of a false oath on an official document and may be ineligible for admission, or may be denied continuation of studies at the university, or may result in the immediate dismissal of a student without refund of fees, as determined by a judicial review board.
- An official transcript is one which is validated, issued, and mailed directly by the previous institution in a sealed institutional envelope to the Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 70731, ETSU, Johnson City, TN 37614.
- We do not accept faxed transcripts.
- We will accept electronic transcripts sent through a recognized third party transcript provider.
- If a school has a CEEB code, then we typically accept the credentials unless we have reason to suspect fraud.
- We check each transcript for the school seal and/or signature to determine if the transcript is official.
- We generally do not accept any copies of transcripts.
Verification of Educational Credentials
- If we receive a transcript from a school that does not have a CEEB code, then research is completed to determine if the school is recognized by the Department of Education in the state.
- We may also check the appropriate regional accrediting commissions in the United States; some list secondary schools.
- If a school is not recognized by a department of education or has no physical address, then we research, usually on the web, to determine if this is a for profit school or a diploma mill. Presenters of such diplomas would be required to complete the HSE examination for admission consideration.
- We verify standards of non-public schools through a list provided by the State Department of Education.
Home Schooled Students
- The transcript/diploma of a Tennessee home-schooled student must be an official copy from an approved home school organization as defined by state law (Tennessee Code Annotated 49-50-801) or be accompanied by a certification of registration from the local education agency which the student would otherwise attend.
- International admission requires a certified, translated transcript; a transcript in the original language maybe required.
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
PO Box 70731
106 Burgin E Dossett Hall
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614-1710
Phone: 423-439-4312, or toll-free 1-800-462-3878
- Admission of First-Time Freshmen
- Applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen shall be considered for admission using the following criteria.
- High School Graduation or Equivalency-Except as provided for below (f.1.), applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen must provide an official transcript showing graduation from high school.
- Minimum High School Grade Point Average-Applicants for degree admission as first-time freshmen must meet established minimum high school grade point average and/or ACT or SAT scores.
- High School Course Requirements
- The following high school units are required for students who are not yet 21 years of age and who graduated from high school in 2012 or before.
4 units of English
2 units of Algebra
1 unit of Geometry or other advanced math
2 units of Natural/Physical Sciences, including at least one unit with a laboratory in either biology, chemistry or physics
1 unit of United States History
1 unit of Social Studies from world history, world geography, ancient history, modern history, or European history
2 units of the same foreign language 1 unit of Visual or Performing Arts
- The following high school units are required for students who are not yet 21 years of age and who graduated from high school in 2013 or after.
4 units of English 2 units of Algebra
1 unit of Geometry or other advanced math
1 additional unit of advanced math
3 units of Natural/Physical Sciences, including at least one unit with a laboratory in either biology, chemistry or physics
1 unit of United States History
1 unit of Social Studies from world history, world geography, ancient history, modern history, or European history
2 units of the same foreign language 1 unit of Visual or Performing Arts
- Standardized Examination Scores
- Applicants for admission as first-time freshmen who are under the age of 21 must present ACT or SAT scores from an exam taken in the past five (5) years. Applicants who are 21 years of age or older may submit ACT or SAT scores or scores from an approved nationally normed standardized assessment of mathematics, reading and writing.
- These scores may be used in the admissions process, advisement, and as a component in placement decisions, including placement into Learning Support.
Admission by Exception
- Freshman Applicants under the age of 21 who are deficient in high school units may be admitted under special circumstances based upon ACT or SAT scores and high school grade point average. The requirements include:
- Minimum ACT composite score of 21 (or equivalent SAT score) and up to two unit deficiencies.
- ACT score of 19 or 20 (or equivalent SAT Score) and a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale with up to two unit deficiencies. Vice Provost for Enrollment reviews these applications for admission
- A limited number of freshman applicants under the age of 21 who do not meet the requirements outlined above may be admitted through alternative admission. The requirements include:
- Tennessee residents must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or an ACT composite score of 17 (or equivalent SAT score).
- Non-residents of Tennessee must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.3 on a 4.0 scale or an ACT composite score of 19 or higher (or equivalent SAT score).
Freshman Admission (over age 21)
- Freshman applicants age 21 or older who are high school graduates and provide an official high school transcript certifying the receipt of a regular, state, or honors diploma are eligible for admission.
- Admitted students age 21 or older without ACT/SAT scores less than five (5) years old will be required to complete a placement exam prior to enrollment.
Admission with the HSE (High School Equivalency Diploma)
- Admission of Students with a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE)
- Applicants for freshman degree admission may present either the GED or the HiSET exam in lieu of a high school diploma. In addition applicants under the age of 21 must provide ACT or SAT test results.
- Students must provide an official copy of HSE results that indicate a passing score on the battery of tests and a passing score on each subsection of the test.
International Student Admission
- Students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents (international students) are required to submit proof of successful completion of secondary education. Applicants who have attended institutions of higher education must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended.
- International freshman applicants under the age of 21 who graduated from a U.S. high school must submit official ACT or SAT scores.
- International freshman applicants who completed secondary education in countries other than the U.S. are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores.
- International applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency by submitting one of the following:
- Paper-based TOEFL score of 500, computer based TOEFL score of 173 or Internet based TOEFL score of 61.
- Proof of successful completion of level 112 English in an approved ELS program.
- ACT reading and English scores of 19.
- SAT evidence based reading score of 500 on the new SAT or critical reading score of 450 on the old SAT.
- Two semesters or three quarters of college-level English composition from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education with a grade of C- or better.
- Evidence of English proficiency as demonstrated through successful completion of writing-intensive courses from an accredited U.S. institution.
- Minimum of one year of attendance as an exchange student in or graduation from a U.S. high school as reflected on an official high school transcript.
- Results from another nationally recognized, comparable, standardized English proficiency exam that indicates requisite English proficiency.
- Students who cannot demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in English may be offered conditional admission to study English at the ELS Center on ETSU’s campus. Admission must be granted and financial documentation and degree information must be received prior to the issuance of an I-20 or IAP-66 form needed to obtain a visa.
- Students enrolled pursuant to an F visa must have and maintain medical and hospitalization insurance as a condition of initial and continued enrollment at the institution.
- In addition, the following procedures have been established:
- In the letter of admission, in the I-20, and in the DS-2019, all international, nonimmigrant students will be informed of this requirement, of the extent of coverage required, which may vary slightly from year to year, and of the approximate cost to obtain the coverage.
- All international, nonimmigrant students will be required to enroll in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. The only exception to this requirement will be international, nonimmigrant students who have a scholarship that includes the purchase of an insurance policy on their behalf. This policy must meet or exceed the level of coverage provided to participants in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.
- Students will be covered for twelve months. Exception to this rule will be made in the case of international students who abandon their F status, by leaving the U.S., by changing to another nonimmigrant status, or by adjusting status to that of an immigrant.
- Students under Practical Training will not be required to purchase the coverage. Students under Practical Training, however, may purchase the coverage during the period of training.
- Once the insurance premium is paid, there will be no refunds.
Admission of Transfer Students
- Applicants for degree admission as transfer students will be considered for admission using the following criteria.
- Evaluation of transfer coursework and grade point average on college-level coursework.
- Students who have completed fewer than 12 semester credit hours will be considered for admission based on their high school record consistent with the freshman admission policy.
- Transfer applicants must provide official transcripts of credit from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
- Transfer applicants must provide proof of high school completion either by an official high school transcript or HSE results.
- Transfer applicants may be required to meet certain transfer GPA requirements for a subset of courses for admission to specialized programs at the discretion of the department offering the program.
- Students will be considered for admission in a manner that is consistent with ETSU’s academic retention standards and readmission criteria for its native students.
Transfer GPA Calculation
- Transfer applicants must meet the grade point average requirements based on the number of attempted college-level hours below:
- Transfer applicants who do not meet the standards outlined above and who have not been enrolled in any institution of higher education for a minimum of three years may be admitted through individual review by the Vice Provost for Enrollment or his/her designee.
Grades transferred to ETSU will not be reflected in the student’s overall GPA at ETSU. Courses completed at other institutions will be counted toward the cumulative number of hours earned but the grades will be entered in such a way that they are not calculated in the student’s overall ETSU GPA.
Additional information about transfer of credit is available in the “transfer of credit” policy.
Transfer of Undergraduate Credit (Non-Traditional Credit)
- ETSU will review for possible credits earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended.
- Consideration for transfer of courses will be given to the appropriateness and applicability of the credit earned to the courses offered at ETSU.
- Credit earned from institutions of higher education accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (or corresponding agencies for other states and regions of the United States) will be evaluated for direct application toward a degree.
- Credit earned at institutions outside of the United States that are recognized by the corresponding country’s Ministry of Education or similar agency will be evaluated for direct application toward a degree.
- Credit earned through non-regionally accredited institutions or nonaccredited international institutions of higher education will be reviewed for possible transfer credit on a case-by-case basis at the request of the student. In order to have the credit considered, the student must file a petition with the appropriate academic department. Credit will be recorded on a student’s record only after the appropriate academic department(s)and the dean have reviewed the course(s) and determined it to be equivalent in content to an ETSU course(s) and approval is issued by the Vice Provost for Enrollment Services.
- The Office of Admissions will evaluate credit for university-wide use based on historical precedent, course descriptions and titles, current articulated program information, and/or review by the appropriate ETSU college dean and faculty.
- Credit earned in remedial or developmental courses is not transferable for college-level credit.
- A student who completes a Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) at a Tennessee community college is guaranteed that ETSU will accept those courses taken in fulfillment of the TTP.
- Courses that have no direct ETSU equivalent will be transferred as either lower division or upper division general elective credit and may, as appropriate, be applied as elective credit toward the student’s degree.
- Prior Learning Credit
- When awarding credit for prior learning the university will use generally accepted principals and best practices, and recognized guides to ensure appropriate awarding procedures are followed.
- Procedures for awarding credits based on prior learning have been developed in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges principles and policies related to the transfer of credit and the Recommended Standards in Prior Learning Assessment Policy and Practice of Tennessee Public Colleges and Universities (August 7, 2012).
- ETSU will review for possible credit evidence of prior learning as provided through standardized exam scores, training provided by non-collegiate institutions, or experiential learning. Possible sources of prior learning assessment include:
- Service in the armed forces
- Dantes - Subject Standardized Tests
- Advanced Placement Exams (AP)
- ACT/SAT credit for first-year English - Requests for this credit should be directed to GenEdReview@etsu.edu.
- International Baccalaureate Exams
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Cambridge exams
- Departmental course challenge exams may be available for undergraduate courses, for which a fee is charged. To be eligible, admitted or enrolled students with satisfactory academic standing, as determined by the appropriate academic department, may request a comprehensive challenge examination. Students may not take the challenge exam in a course previously taken for credit. A grade of “P” for pass (satisfactory performance) or “F” for fail (unsatisfactory performance) is determined by the academic department and entered into official records.
- ETSU may award credit for experiential learning for applicants to approved degree programs on well-documented activities and experiences at the appropriate educational level and evaluated based on clearly developed outcomes for the courses or program for which credit is awarded.
- When awarding credit to students who are veterans or military service members the university will reference the Joint Services Transcript (JST), DD-214, and/or transcripts from the Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and Coast guard Institute (CGI). The university will use the American Council on Education (ACE) for awarding credit for military experience, educations, and/or training obtained during military experience.
- If military experience, education and/or training are equivalent to a course offered by ETSU the credit will be applied for the equivalent course. Otherwise, appropriate course credit will be granted for elective credit.
- Should credit not be captured through ACE recommendations, veterans and service members have the opportunity for prior learning assessment through other means. (refer to 1. above)
- Military veterans and service members have the opportunity to request that excessive credits applied to transcripts which may affect their financial aid eligibility be removed from the transcript.
- Prior learning credit awarded by another Tennessee public institution will be recognized by ETSU.
Credit by Correspondence or Extension
Students may apply credit earned by correspondence or extension from regionally accredited institutions toward the completion of a degree at ETSU, provided that the hours earned by correspondence or extension or a combination of the two does not exceed 25% of the hours required for the degree.
Credit for Service in the Armed Services
ETSU will award credit for military training courses in the Armed Services of the United States as recommended by the American Council on Education in the publication Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Veterans may submit the following transcripts for consideration.
- Army - Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript (APUS).
- Navy/Marine - Sailors-Marine Corps American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART).
- Air Force - Community College of the Air Force Transcript.
- Coast Guard - Coast Guard Institute Education Transcript.
In addition to the forms mentioned above, an individual may submit a DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, a DD295, or an official transcript from Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) subject standardized tests administered by Education Testing Service or other official documentation of completion of military training. No credit is awarded for MOS, rates, and ratings. Military credit will not satisfy writing, oral communication, or using information technology proficiency requirements. Questions regarding military training credit should be referred to the Admissions Office.
Dual Admission for Tennessee Community College Students
Dual admission provides an opportunity for some Tennessee community college students to be admitted to the university early during the community college enrollment. Those who plan to earn the A.A, A.S. or A.S.T. may be advised by the university faculty throughout the collegiate experience to ensure ease of transition and appropriate course completion.
Tennessee Transfer Pathway
A student who completes a Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) at a Tennessee community college is guaranteed that ETSU will accept those courses taken in fulfillment of the TTP.
Courses that have no direct ETSU equivalent will be transferred as either lower division or upper division general elective credit and may, as appropriate, be applied as elective credit toward the student’s degree.
Academic Fresh Start
Academic Fresh Start is a plan of academic forgiveness available to transfer and readmission students. Candidates may apply for Academic Fresh Start prior to admission or readmission as a degree-seeking student or at any time after enrollment by filing an application with the Office of Admissions, requesting the Academic Fresh Start.
Fresh Start Eligibility
- A period of at least four years (48 months) has elapsed since the candidate last attended an institution of higher education.
- The candidate has not previously been granted academic forgiveness according to this or a similar provision at any institution of higher education.
- A student who has been granted Fresh Start in the past is not eligible for a second opportunity.
Those meeting the above criteria must complete and file the Academic Fresh Start Contract form and the appropriate application for admission.
- The student’s permanent academic record will remain a record of all course work and will include “Granted Academic Fresh Start” and the effective date. However, courses taken and previously failed will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA. Courses with a D grade will also be excluded from the GPA calculation and total credits earned when a C or better is required in the student’s current major. The GPA and total credits earned will reflect all other courses for which passing grades are earned.
- The current major will be considered the major the student has selected at the time the Academic Fresh Start is applied. Courses excluded from the GPA calculation will not be reviewed or reconsidered should the student change majors Academic Fresh Start has been applied.
- Grades for courses transferred from other institutions will be included in the GPA and are subject to ETSU’s policy on use of transfer courses in GPA calculations.
- The application of retained credit toward degree requirements will be determined by the requirements in effect when the Academic Fresh Start is conferred. Specific program requirements must also be met.
- Previously satisfied learning support placement requirements will not be forfeited upon conferral of an Academic Fresh Start. Academic Fresh Start applicants who did not satisfy learning support placement requirements at the time of previous enrollment must meet current learning support requirements.
- ETSU will honor an academic forgiveness plan offered at another institution so long as it is clearly noted on the official transcript from the previous institution.
- Students in Academic Fresh Start will be subject to ETSU’s academic retention standards.
- Academic Fresh Start does not alter financial aid requirements and regulations.
- Once applied, Academic Fresh Start is irrevocable.
Additional information is available from the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 423/439-4213.
- All former ETSU students who have not been enrolled for one major term (Spring or Fall) must apply for readmission.
- In order to be readmitted, students who have attended no other institution of higher education after enrollment at ETSU must be eligible to return to ETSU based on the university’s retention standards or must have served the appropriate academic suspension period to be eligible for re-enrollment.
- In order to be readmitted, students who have attended another institution of higher education after enrollment at ETSU must meet the transfer admission requirements outlined above.
Special Student Admission
Dual Enrollment/Joint Enrollment
Admission of Joint/Dual Enrollment of high school students and academically talented/gifted students
- Dual enrollment: a high school student taking one or more college course(s) for which the student will be awarded both high school and college credit.
- Joint enrollment: a high school student taking one or more college course(s) for which the student will earn only college credit.
- A high school student who has completed his/her sophomore year in high school may be admitted for either joint enrollment or dual enrollment to complete university courses based on the following criteria:
- The applicant must have a minimum 3.2 high school GPA on a 4.0 scale.
- The applicant must have a minimum ACT composite score of 19 with no subscore below 19 or appropriate score on the Acuplacer exam or other approved exam.
- The applicant must have approval from the high school and, if under the age of 18 years, approval from a parent or guardian to enroll.
- The applicant must submit an official high school transcript.
- The student may not enroll in more than seven (7) semester hours per term.
- The student must meet any prerequisite requirements to enroll in a specific course.
- A student with unique talents may be granted permission to enroll in specific courses with approval of the Director of Admissions.
Early Admission of First Time Freshmen
- The minimum requirements for applicants in this category are as follows.
- Completed the 9th 10th and 11th grades with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 based on a 4.0 scale;
- An ACT Composite score of 25 or a comparable SAT score;
- A written statement from their high school principal specifying the college courses that will be substituted for the remaining high school courses needed for high school graduation; and
- Written endorsements from their high school counselors and from their parents or guardians.
Gifted and Talented Admission
An academically talented/gifted student in grades 9-12 in public or private high schools in Tennessee whose program of study is planned on an individual basis by a multidisciplinary team may, with the endorsement of the high school and the university, enroll for prescribed courses and earn university credit if such a student has a GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 basis and if such a placement is part of the student’s planned Individual Education plan. Students may register for no more than seven (7) credits when enrolled in this program.
Visiting Student Admission
The classification of Visiting Student is provided to persons enrolled in a degree program at another institution who wish to take a limited number of classes at ETSU. Students must be in “good standing” at their home institution and provide proof through either an official transcript or letter of good standing.
Undergraduate Special Students, Non-Degree
This admission is available to persons over 18 years of age. Students admitted as Undergraduate Special Students are not required to submit full application materials (official transcripts or standardized test scores). This category applies to persons who:
- Plan to enroll only in undergraduate courses
- Are not admitted into an undergraduate degree program
- Plan to enroll in a limited number of courses
Admission of Undergraduate Special Students will be through the ETSU Undergraduate Admissions Office. For more information contact the Office of Admissions.
Second Undergraduate Degree
- Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from ETSU or any other regionally accredited institution of higher education may apply to earn a second bachelor’s degree. Applicants for second undergraduate degree admission must submit official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
- Academic requirements for the successful completion of a second undergraduate degree can be found in the policy for academic degree requirements.
Admissions Special Topics
The Academic Common Market is an interstate agreement between southern states for sharing academic programs not readily available in the home state. Participating states allow residents who qualify for admission to enroll in specific programs in other states to pay at the In-State rate in the state where the program is offered. Students who are participating in another program which covers out-of-state tuition (including, but not limited to, Public Performance Scholarships, Honors-in-Discipline, or Border Waiver) are eligible.
Academic Common Market Programs at ETSU and listing of state coordinators
Academic Common Market Program Policies
Enrollment of Disabled Persons and Persons Over 60 Years of Age
- Disabled persons who are domiciled in Tennessee and who have a permanent disability which totally incapacitates them from employment and persons 60 years of age or older may audit courses without the payment of regular maintenance fees. The student is responsible for any course or online fees associated with the class.
- Disabled persons described above and persons 65 years of age or older who are domiciled in Tennessee, may enroll for credit without the payment of regular maintenance fees. The student is responsible for a service fee required to defray the cost of record keeping and any course or online fees associated with the class.
*Note: Disability Services may be reached at 423-439-8346, TDD/ Voice 423-439-8370, Fax 423-439-8489. D. P. Culp Center Room 326
Residency Classifications (Fee Payment)
ETSU shall, in the admission or readmission process, assign each student a residency classification using approved regulations for classifying students instate or out-of-state for the purposes of paying university fees and tuition and for admission purposes. Residency information may be obtained from the Office of Admissions for undergraduate applicants. Those who have applied for in-state classification and not received the classification may appeal the decision to the Residency Appeals Committee.
It is the responsibility of a nonimmigrant applicant to comply with current INS regulations in regard to collegiate enrollment. INS regulations may prohibit the enrollment of an individual in B-1 or B-2 visa status.
International Programs and Services administers the university’s foreign student (F status) and visitor exchange (J status) programs. Other nonimmigrant applicants may consult with International Programs.
The office also coordinates study abroad, overseas university partnerships, exchange programs, and the International Education Study Abroad Scholarship. (423) 439- 7737
Courses taken while participating in exchange programs may be transferred to ETSU and may fulfill graduation requirements while tuition, fees, and sometimes room and board are paid at ETSU rates. See International Programs for more information.
Information may be obtained from International Programs and Services.
Milligan College/Emmanuel Christian Seminary
Full-time students (12 credits or more) may take courses at Milligan College and Emmanuel Christian Seminary. Courses taken through this agreement may be used for elective credit only. Students who wish to cross enroll under this plan may obtain additional information from the Office of the Registrar, Burgin E. Dossett Hall, Room 101.