Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


ETSU Pride  

East Tennessee State University invites qualified candidates to apply for admission to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will consider a prospective student’s completed application and required supporting documentation for admission as a degree-seeking or non-degree graduate student to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Click here to read the complete policy.

Complete and Correct Application Information. Applicants seeking admission to East Tennessee State University (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

The Graduate School will consider a prospective student’s completed application and required supporting documentation for admission as a degree-seeking or non-degree graduate student to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Please click here to read the complete policy and view the graduate degree-seeking admission requirements, or here to read the complete policy for non-degree seeking students. 

Required application materials, which must be submitted prior to the program deadline, include:

A completed application

A non-refundable application fee

Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including a transcript that reflects the individual has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. For the purposes of admission, unofficial transcripts are encouraged.

A GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale (for US citizens or US residents) or 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale  (for international applicants)

A personal essay

Any required program materials

Applications for admission as a degree-seeking student are reviewed by the academic program faculty who make a recommendation of admit, waitlist, or deny to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the final determination for admissibility. Applicants will receive a written notice of decision through the application portal. Students offered admission will need to accept or decline the offer in the portal. An offer of admission will include the program and start term to which a student is admitted. Applicants who are denied admission are welcome to revise their application materials and apply to the same or different program.

Admission Categories

Applicants offered admission will also be informed of their admission category, as follows:

Unconditional Admission: A prospective graduate student may be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student if the individual has fulfilled all the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the criteria of the program to which the applicant applied. Click here to read the complete policy.

Unconditional Admission with Provision(s): A prospective graduate student may be accepted under this category if the individual is in the process of completing prerequisite courses or degrees, or needs to submit official transcript(s), or their credentials are less competitive. Click here to read the complete policy.

Admission of International Students

International students must meet the same program-specific requirements for admission to the graduate program that apply to citizens of the United States. In addition, international students have the following requirements:

  1. 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 National Assessment and Accreditation Council (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.
  2. Other grading systems will be evaluated upon receipt of official transcripts. Please note that the ETSU School of Graduate Studies provides this general GPA converter as a free service to convert country-specific grades to a 4.0 scale. Applicants whose transcripts come from a country with multiple grading systems may wish to pursue a more specific GPA converter (such as offered by World Education Services (WES)).
  3. 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.
  4. In addition to the required materials listed above, international students will also need to submit the following to be considered for admission:

1. 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. 

2. Provide proof of English proficiency in one of the manners approved by the Graduate Council and published by the Graduate School on its admissions website

  1. Qualified international students may be considered for graduate non-degree admission to ETSU, (See Visiting Students Admission Category.)
  2. Applicants denied admission may appeal this decision in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School In all cases the final decision to admit or reject an applicant rests with the university through the Dean of Graduate School. Please click here to read the complete policy

Enrollment of International Students

International students who are offered admission to ETSU, should know the following:

  1. The ETSU International Programs and Services Office will contact admitted students with guidance on issuance of I-20, health insurance requirements, and other requirements for enrollment at ETSU. 
  2. International students may enroll in fully online programs of study if present in the United States under an immigration status, other than student, that permits study. Alternatively, admitted students may enroll full- or part-time in online classes if accessing them from outside the United States and having the intent to remain outside the U.S.
  3. 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.
  4. The university will not enroll any student who has not been approved initially or for transfer by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 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 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (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.
  5. It is the responsibility of a nonimmigrant applicant to comply with current INS regulations in regard to collegiate enrollment. New Department of Homeland Security regulations may prohibit the enrollment of an individual in B-1 or B-2 status.
  6. The ETSU 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

Medical Insurance for International Students

  1. 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.
  2. In addition, the following procedures have been established:
    1. In the letter of admission, in the I-20, and in the IAP-66, 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Once the insurance premium is paid, there will be no refunds.

The ETSU International Programs and Services Office will contact admitted students with guidance on issuance of I-20, health insurance requirements, and other requirements for enrollment at ETSU.

Appeal of Admission Denial

This policy specifies the appeals process if a prospective student is denied graduate admission to East Tennessee State University. Please click here to read the complete policy. 

ETSU Accelerated Bachelors to Masters Degree Program

High performing undergraduate students may complete both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at an accelerated pace. Students may apply as many as twelve (12) credits of graduatelevel coursework toward both of their degrees.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Formalized articulation: Graduate programs that wish to set up formalized articulated programs will be encouraged to create articulation agreements between the affected bachelors and masters programs.  Articulation agreements require the cooperation of the undergraduate and graduate programs and faculty, and must be approved by the College Curriculum Committee(s), College Dean(s), Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Council, Academic Council and ETSU President.

Deferral Policy

Occasionally, students who have been accepted to a graduate program are unable to start it in the term to which they applied; therefore, it is important that students follow the Deferral of Admission timeline to request that the start term be delayed to a future term (up to one year from the initial term of admission). An approved deferral keeps the student from having to re-apply to the program. Please click here to read the complete policy.

Graduate Academic Fresh Start

A former ETSU graduate student who previously had a poor academic performance at ETSU such that they would be unable to achieve academic good standing at ETSU in the desired program even if upon returning they earned grades of B or higher in the first semester may be eligible for admission into a new graduate program or for readmission into the student’s previous graduate program under the Graduate Academic Fresh Start Program. A student may only be granted one (1) Graduate Academic Fresh Start. A student who was dismissed for academic misconduct is not eligible for Graduate Academic Fresh Start Program.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Students applying for admission under Graduate Academic Fresh Start must follow all normal processes for admission to the Graduate School and file a Petition for Graduate Academic Fresh Start (Graduate Academic Fresh Start Petition Form).

This policy is independent of financial aid regulations. Financial aid requirements at the time of application will apply. Therefore, a Graduate Academic Fresh Start applicant should check with his/her financial aid counselor for guidance.

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 Graduate School. 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

A student may pursue two graduate programs simultaneously as follows:

  1. Two master’s programs;
  2. A master’s program and a graduate certificate program;
  3. A doctoral program and a graduate certificate program; or
  4. A doctoral program and a master’s program.

Please click here to read the complete policy. 

Graduate Certificate Programs

When credit is transferred into a graduate certificate program, the Graduate School 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 Graduate School.

Admission of Faculty Members

Tenure track, clinical faculty, or administrative staff may be admitted to a graduate program at ETSU as a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student and may retain graduate faculty status under certain conditions. Please click here to read the complete policy.

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

The Dean of the Graduate School must approve all transfers of graduate credit. (Application for Transfer of Graduate Credits).  Click here to read the complete policy.