With over 14,000 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. 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.
- Transcripts can be emailed from the reporting institution to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
Undergraduate Admission Policy
- ETSU admission decisions are based on application, high school graduation or equivalency, academic performance in high school, assessment scores (ACT, SAT, or other), completion of high school requirements with grades earned in those courses, and/or transfer credit.
- East Tennessee State University will make reasonable accommodations which may include, but are not limited to, course substitutions and other academic adjustments when necessary to ensure equal access for students with disabilities. East Tennessee State University does not discriminate against applicants for admission on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class.
- Admission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs.
- Admission Requirements by Type
The Office of Admissions will consider a prospective student’s completed application and required supporting documentation for undergraduate admission to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and will issue a written Notice of Decision. This policy applies only to prospective students who apply as first-time freshmen and who are not International Applicants. The admission process for International Applicants is conducted pursuant to the Undergraduate Admissions Policy for International Applicants. Admission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee. Click here to read the complete policy.
The Office of Admissions will consider a prospective transfer student’s application for admission as an undergraduate to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The Office of Admissions will issue a written Notice of Decision after reviewing a prospective transfer student’s admission application and required supporting documentation as described hereinbelow. Admission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee. This policy does not apply to International Applicants. International Applicants should review the Undergraduate Admission Policy for International Applicants. Click here to read the complete policy.
The Office of Admissions will consider an application from a previously admitted degree-seeking undergraduate student for readmission as an undergraduate to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The Office of Admissions will issue a written Notice of Decision after reviewing a prospective student’s application and required supporting documentation as described hereinbelow. Readmission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee. Click here to read the complete policy.
- Undergraduate Non-Degree Students: Dual Enrollment, Gifted/Talented, Undergraduate Special, and Visiting
The Office of Admissions will consider a completed application for admission as a non-degree seeking student to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The Office of Admissions will issue a written Notice of Decision after reviewing a prospective student’s admission application and required supporting documentation as described hereinbelow. ETSU may charge a one-time nonrefundable application fee. Click here to read the complete policy.
The Office of Admissions will consider an International Applicant’s completed application and required supporting documentation for undergraduate admission to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and will issue a written Notice of Decision. Admission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee. Click here to read the complete policy.
- Second Undergraduate Degree
Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.
Authority: Tennessee Code 49-7-10 Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Non-discrimination on the Basis of Handicap); Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 49-6-1009, amended 2019.
Tennessee Transfer Pathway Policy
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.
Other 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.
Transfer of Undergraduate 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 (Non-Traditional 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.
Academic Fresh Start Policy
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. The student will need to contact the Office of Admissions to request an application for Academic Fresh Start.
Academic 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.
Academic Fresh Start Procedure
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.
Admissions Special Topics
Advanced Placement Credit
ETSU participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Advanced Placement course participants who score 3, 4, or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Tests will be awarded credit. A grade of ‘P’ for passed hours will be awarded in appropriate degree courses. A list of Advanced Placement examinations, minimum score requirements, ETSU courses fulfilled, and semester hours of credit is available in the Nontraditional Credit Guide, which can be obtained from the Office of Admissions. An official transcript of AP credit must be provided from the CEEB.
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 throughout the collegiate experience to ensure ease of transition and appropriate course completion.
Academic Common Market
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
Admissions Appeals Policy
If a prospective student is denied admission to ETSU, the individual may file one (1) appeal. Click here to read the complete policy.
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.
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.