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University Catalog

East Tennessee State University

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    East Tennessee State University
   
 
  Jul 20, 2017
 
 
    
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2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions



Application for admission to graduate study is open to any person with a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. The transcripts of applicants with bachelor’s degrees from nonregionally accredited institutions will be reviewed individually. If additional coursework is required to meet East Tennessee State University’s minimum accreditation standards for graduation, it should be specified at the time of admission.

All application materials become the property of the university and will not be forwarded or returned. Incomplete applications are maintained in an active file for 12 months, after which the file is purged. Files in inactive status for 12 months may be purged, after which the student will be required to resubmit all new application materials prior to the deadline dates for the term in which registration/enrollment is anticipated. All materials are available on the web at: http://www.etsu.edu/gradstud/.

Applicants seeking admission to the School of Graduate Studies should have complete applications on file by the following preferred dates: June 1 for the fall semester, November 1 for the spring semester, and March 15 for the summer session. These deadlines are for U.S. residents. International students should follow the calendar listed in the Admission of International Students section of this catalog. Individual programs may have earlier admission deadlines. For this information, students should contact the department whose program they wish to enter. Since decisions regarding financial support (fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships) for the academic year are normally made in March and April of each year, applicants seeking financial assistance and admission for the fall semester are advised to submit completed applications for review by March 1. Applications can be submitted electronically via the web at: http://goldlink.etsu.edu.

Applications for admission must be approved by the last day of registration (official census date) of a semester in order to be effective for that semester.

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 result in the immediate dismissal of a student without refund of fees, as determined by a judicial review board.
 

Application for Admission to a Master’s Degree Program

For admission to a master’s degree program in the School of Graduate Studies, a 2.5 undergraduate GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is required. Some master’s degree programs have higher requirements. Specialist, doctoral, and international students are subject to additional specific requirements and should refer to the appropriate sections in this catalog. Students with less than a 2.5 GPA who wish to apply must address the low GPA in the personal essay (see #4 below).

The following materials must be submitted before an applicant will be considered for admission:

  1. Payment of required nonrefundable application fee. Students who previously have been or currently are admitted as non-degree or degree-seeking graduate students may not have to pay the application fee.
  2. A completed application form.
  3. One official transcript from each undergraduate or graduate institution attended, except previous coursework taken at ETSU. Applications will not be considered without all transcripts.
  4. A personal essay.
  5. Additional materials required for admission to a specific program (see graduate program listings  in this catalog).

When all pertinent materials are received, the office of graduate admissions will review the application and, if university requirements are met, forward the materials to the graduate program for evaluation. Applicants must also be sure to submit all program requirements for admission (e.g., GRE, GMAT, letters of recommendation, etc.). or they will not be admitted to the graduate program. Recommendation for admission to a program is the primary responsibility of the graduate program coordinator or department admissions committee chair. Graduate program admission requirements are defined under Graduate Program Listings  in this catalog. Applicants denied admission may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Application for Admission to the Educational Specialist Degree Program

An applicant seeking admission to the specialist in education degree must hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. The following materials must be submitted before an applicant will be considered for admission:

  1. Payment of required nonrefundable application fee. Students who previously have been or currently are admitted as non-degree or degree-seeking graduate students may not have to pay the application fee.
  2. A completed application form.
  3. One official transcript from each undergraduate or graduate institution attended, except previous coursework taken at ETSU. Applications will not be considered without all transcripts.
  4. A personal essay.
  5. A photostatic copy of the teaching certificate.
  6. Fours (4) letters of recommendation.

When all pertinent materials are received, the office of graduate admissions will review the application and, if university requirements are met, forward the materials to the graduate program for evaluation. Students must also be sure to meet all program requirements for admission for their applications to be considered. Program admission requirements for the specialist degree are defined under the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in this catalog. Applicants denied admission may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Application for Admission to a Doctoral Degree Program

An applicant seeking admission to a doctoral degree program must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The following materials must be submitted before an applicant will be considered for admission:

  1. Payment of required nonrefundable application fee. Students who previously have been or currently are admitted as non-degree or degree-seeking graduate students may not have to pay the application fee.
  2. A completed application form.
  3. One official transcript from each undergraduate or graduate institution attended, except previous coursework taken at ETSU. Applications will not be considered without all transcripts.
  4. A personal essay.
  5. Official scores on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  6. Three (3) letters of recommendation.

Additional specific requirements are listed under the sections pertaining to each doctoral program. When all pertinent materials are received, the office of graduate admissions will review the application and, if university requirements are met, forward the materials to the graduate program for evaluation. Students must also be sure to submit all program requirements for admission for their applications to be considered. Admission to the doctoral program is the primary responsibility of the program coordinator, program admissions committee chair, or designated representative(s). Applicants denied admission may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Admission of International Students

International students must meet the same requirements for admission to the graduate program that apply to citizens of the United States. An international student must have an equivalent four-year bachelor’s degree with at least a ‘B” average on various grading scales. European students with three-year Bologna bachelor’s degrees and Indian students with three-year bachelor’s degrees from Indian universities ranked A (3.01- 4.0) through the NAAC accreditation process will be considered to have equivalent four-year degrees. The B average requirement on various grading scales would indicate:

  1. 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  2. 16 on a 20-point scale;
  3. 80.0 from Chinese institutions;
  4. 1st Class, 2nd Class Honors, or 1st and upper 2nd Division from Indian institutions;
  5. Upper 2nd Class Honors on various British systems.

Other grading systems will be evaluated upon receipt of transcripts. An international student may apply for admission any semester. International student application materials should be received by: April 30 - fall semester; September 30 - spring semester; February 1 - summer session. The School of Graduate Studies must be notified of any change in the entering date after admission has been granted. Individual programs may have early admission deadlines and additional requirements. For this information, students should contact the departments whose program they wish to enter.

The following items must be received before admission will be considered:

  1. A completed application form with a nonrefundable application fee.

  2. Official or attested university records (including proof of all degrees received), with certified translations if the records are not in English. Records must be attested by the awarding institution; notarized copies and third-party attestations are not acceptable. Individual year marksheets from Indian institutions are required; summary marksheets will not suffice.

  3. A personal essay.

  4. Certification of English proficiency. Graduate students whose native language is not English must submit a score of 79 (Internet-based), 550 (paper-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the past two years; a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); successful completion of the English Language Services Program at Level 112; or have received a degree from an accredited U.S. institution. (All international students who receive a tuition scholarship or graduate assistantship must sit for an oral English proficiency interview immediately upon their arrival at ETSU.)

  5. Documented evidence of financial resources sufficient to support the student with at least U.S. $28,601 per calendar year during the period of enrollment. (Figure subject to change)

  6. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), if required.

  7. Letters of recommendation or rating forms, if required.

  8. All international students are required to have acceptable insurance coverage against illness and accidents. The health and accident insurance must be maintained throughout the student’s enrollment at ETSU.

  9. Qualified international students may be considered for graduate non-degree admission to ETSU only as (1) visiting students during vacation breaks from other collegiate institutions in the U.S.; (2) non-degree students enrolled in ETSU courses offered outside the U.S.; and (3) non-degree students enrolled in appropriate ETSU campus classes. Students in category 3 who are on ETSU DS2019 (J-1 status) must pursue programs of full-time study approved by the School of Graduate Studies, the Office of International Programs, and the appropriate academic division.

Admission must be granted, and financial documentation and degree confirmation must be received prior to issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 form needed to obtain a visa.

The university will not enroll any student who has not been approved initially or for transfer by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to attend East Tennessee State University. International students accepted for graduate study at ETSU will receive a letter of acceptance from the university. This letter and the SEVIS I-20 form furnished by the university must be presented to the consular officer of the United States to whom the applicant applies for a student visa. ETSU will not accept visas issued for admission to other colleges or universities. International students admitted to graduate study are encouraged to arrive on campus two weeks prior to the beginning of classes and should contact the Office of International Programs as soon as they arrive.

It is the responsibility of a nonimmigrant applicant to comply with current INS regulations in regard to collegiate enrollment. New Homeland Security regulations may prohibit the enrollment of an individual in B-1 or B-2 status.

The Office of International Programs administers the university’s international student (F status) and exchange visitor (J status) programs. Other nonimmigrant applicants may consult with this office.

Applicants denied admission may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In all cases the final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Admission Categories

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies is based mainly on academic preparation and potential, though the university retains the right to deny admission on nonacademic grounds, such as emotional maturity and personal deportment. Admission is denied to those applicants who do not qualify for one of the following subcategories of admission.

Unconditional Admission – A graduate student accepted unconditionally is a degree-seeking student who has fulfilled all of the School of Graduate Studies requirements and the criteria of the department to which the applicant is applying.

Conditional Admission – This category of admission is designed for applicants who are in the process of completing prerequisite courses or degrees or whose credentials are less competitive. Conditional admission may not be granted when significant admission criteria are missing, such as required standardized testing, sufficient letters of recommendation, or in the case of international students, proof of an equivalent U.S. accredited undergraduate degrees.

Conditions will be outlined in the admission letter and must be removed by the date specified. If no date is specified, they must be removed prior to the completion of 15 graduate credit hours or one calendar year, whichever is later. The student must submit a request for unconditional status. The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies will approve or deny the request upon recommendation from the degree program coordinator or program admissions committee. A student who has not met the conditional requirement deadlines will not be allowed to continue to register as a degree-seeking student and cannot be admitted to candidacy until the conditions have been met. Ultimately, failure to meet conditions of admission will result in dismissal from the program.

Visiting Student Admission – Admission as a visiting student is reserved for students who plan to earn a limited number of credits for transfer to a college or university where they are enrolled for a degree program. Visiting students may be admitted with a letter of good standing from the college where they are enrolled for a graduate degree program and with completion of a non-degree application.

Graduate Non-Degree Admission – This category of admission is for individuals who wish to enroll in graduate courses but who are not admitted to a graduate program at ETSU. These students are expected to have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must submit an official transcript verifying the bachelor’s degree prior to the end of the first term of enrollment. If official proof of degree is not submitted prior to the end of the first term of enrollment, the ETSU transcript showing credit earned in non-degree status will not be released. Departments may exclude non-degree students from designated courses, and it is a department’s prerogative to require nondegree students to have its approval prior to registering for any class. ETSU cannot assure a non-degree student that all or any work completed in this status will apply toward a degree. A student may petition to have a maximum of nine credit hours accepted for transfer credit upon subsequent admission to a degree program.

Second Graduate Programs 

A student holding an earned master’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution may qualify for a second master’s degree by completing a minimum of 21 semester hours of ETSU graduate work for thesis programs, or 24 hours of ETSU graduate work for non-thesis programs, approved by the student’s advisory committee. All specific program requirements, with the possible exception of electives or duplicative courses, must be met for the second degree. Such requirements include the comprehensive exam or culminating experience, such as thesis, project, strategic experience, etc. A student with a prior master’s degree or doctoral degree may also, in warranted circumstances, have a reduced program of study in a graduate certificate program (as long as all required coursework is completed and courses are within matriculation time limits) with the approval of the student’s graduate program coordinator, advisory committee (if applicable), and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In all cases, students must take at least 50% of the certificate program coursework or a minimum of six hours of coursework (whichever is greater) at ETSU in order to complete certificate requirements. Please consult the curricula of individual graduate certificates for further information.

Dual Degree Programs

In warranted circumstances, a student may seek admission simultaneously to (1) two master’s programs, or (2) a master’s program and a graduate certificate program, or (3) a doctoral program and graduate certificate program. Prior to admission to the second program, approval must be granted by the graduate program coordinator in each program and by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. All requirements of both programs and the School of Graduate Studies, including matriculation limits, must be met. With the exception of formal articulated dual degree programs, students will not be permitted to enroll simultaneously in a master’s degree and in a doctoral program at ETSU.

Graduate Certificate Programs

When credit is transferred into a graduate certificate program, the School of Graduate Studies rules for transfer of credit will apply. Students who have taken non-degree coursework at ETSU or other universities may petition to transfer up to nine hours into a graduate certificate, but in all cases students must take at least 50% of the certificate program coursework or at least six hours of coursework (whichever is greater) at ETSU in order to complete certificate requirements. Some graduate certificates have specific rules about transfer of credit, and so the graduate certificate curriculum in the catalog should be consulted. Students currently enrolled in a master’s program or doctoral program may not be enrolled in a certificate that duplicates their work in a master’s or doctoral program concentration.

Advanced Admission for Undergraduates

A senior, lacking no more than nine semester hours for graduation at East Tennessee State University, may register for graduate coursework. The total course load for a senior enrolled for graduate coursework may not exceed 12 credit hours. Requirements for the undergraduate degree must be completed during the semester in which the student is allowed to register for part-time graduate work. Petition forms, available in the School of Graduate Studies, must be signed by the undergraduate department chair and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Admission of Faculty Members

Tenure track faculty or administrative staff holding faculty rank are ineligible to receive a graduate degree from ETSU. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies upon recommendation by the appropriate department chair and college dean when graduate study at ETSU will be a special advantage to the university and when graduate study elsewhere is not feasible. Members of the ETSU faculty may be admitted to the School of Graduate Studies as non-degree students through established procedures. A faculty member will not retain graduate faculty status while matriculating in a graduate program.

Criminal Background Investigation

In Tennessee and nationally, due to legislative and accreditation requirements, many schools, childcare, and health care facilities require that students in health-related professions be required to submit to a Criminal Background Investigation (CBI) before participating in any educational/patient care activities at their sites. These educational/clinical activities are an essential requirement for graduation or subsequent licensure and the inability to complete this requirement may result in as student’s failure to meet the graduation requirements of certain ETSU College of Public Health and College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences programs. Students must be aware that they will be required to do the following:

  1. Truthfully answer all questions, including those pertaining to felony convictions, on the student undergraduate or graduate application. Students who do not answer the questions truthfully and completely shall not be eligible for acceptance or enrollment. Discovery that the section dealing with felony convictions was not completely or truthfully answered by an enrolled student may result in dismissal.
  2. Complete a CBI prior to participating in internship, field placement, or cooperative experiences at an affiliated institution that requires a CBI, as determined by the academic department.
  3. Notify the Program Chair of any criminal charges within five (5) working days of their occurrence during enrollment in the program. Failure to notify the Chair of such events may result in immediate dismissal.
  4. Check departmental guidelines for procedures for obtaining the CBI.

Requirements for Entering Teacher Training Programs

  1. All students wishing to enter approved teacher training programs shall be required to:
    1. Agree to the release of all investigative records to the administrator of the selected teacher training program;
    2. Supply a fingerprint sample and submit to a criminal history records check to be conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI); and
    3. Sign an authorization and release form provided by the department or board, authorizing a qualified Tennessee licensed private investigation company by and on behalf of the board to complete a criminal history records check.
  2. As used in subdivision (a)(l), “qualified Tennessee licensed private investigation company” means a company that is licensed by the department of commerce and insurance, insured with at least three million dollars ($3,000,000) worth of errors and omissions insurance and carries sufficient indemnification coverage.
  3. Any reasonable costs incurred by the TBI in conducting an investigation of an applicant shall be paid by the applicant. The applicant shall be provided a copy of all criminal history records check documentation. In lieu of additional criminal history records checks for subsequent applications to the selected teacher training program, the applicant may submit copies of the applicant’s initial criminal history records check documentation and shall not be required to pay any additional costs.
  4. Any criminal history records check performed pursuant to this section shall not be submitted and used for the criminal history records check required under ‘ 49-5-4 13 for employment by an LEA or child care program as defined in ‘ 49-1-1 102. [Acts 2007, ch. 454, ‘ 1.]

Transfer of Credit

Students may petition the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies (Application for Transfer of Graduate Credits) for the transfer of a maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit earned from ETSU or other regionally accredited U.S. and approved international institutions, if grades of “B” (or equivalent) or higher were received (“B-” grades do not transfer.) In order to qualify for transfer, requested courses will be evaluated with respect to content, learning outcomes, and credit hours. Students may be required to submit documentation (e.g., syllabus) prior to transfer credit being approved. ETSU coursework solely is used to compute the grade point average; non-ETSU transfer work is not computed in the GPA.

All non-ETSU transfer credit must be completed prior to the term of graduation so that the transfer process can be completed in a timely manner early in the graduation term. Transfer of credit may not be initiated after the graduation intent deadline, and official transcripts must be received by the midpoint of the graduation term.
The degree program time limit (matriculation limit) will begin with the registration date of the first course applied to the degree requirements, including transferred courses. Credit earned prior to the degree time limitations specified in this catalog will not be approved for transfer and transfer credit cannot be revalidated if it later exceeds the matriculation limits.

Credit cannot be transferred from a completed degree program into a current degree program. Extension or continuing education hours will not be transferred for credit. In general, credit earned at international institutions cannot be transferred, and petitions to transfer international credit are reviewed only if accompanied by a professional course-by-course evaluation.