Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog


Undergraduate Admissions Policy and Procedure


With over 14,000 students, East Tennessee State University presents a broad range of high-quality, fully accredited undergraduate programs. While many of our 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, and grades in college 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 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, 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.

Undergraduate Admission Policy

Updated: 6/30/21

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.

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.

  1. Admission to ETSU does not guarantee admission to specialized or limited enrollment programs.
  2. Admission Requirements by Type
  • First-Time Freshmen

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. Click here to read the complete policy.

  • Transfer Students

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. Click here to read the complete policy.

  • Readmission

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. 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. Click here to read the complete policy.

  • International Student

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. Click here to read the complete policy.

  • Second Undergraduate Degree

Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.

  • 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.

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.

Application and Transcript Verification Information

Applications for admission are required to be submitted by the date specifified on the admissions website. 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. Proof of immunization is required and details can be found under Academic Policies and Procedures .

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.

Transcript Verification

Acceptable Formats

  • 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 documents@etsu.edu

Inspection Process

  • 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 Students

  • International admission requires a certified, translated transcript; a transcript in the original language is required

Office of Undergraduate Admissions PO Box 70731

106 Burgin E Dossett Hall

East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN 37614-1710

Email: admissions@etsu.edu

Phone: (423) 439-4312, or toll-free 1-800-462-3878

Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA)

Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials

It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person:

  1. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
  3. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.

Transfer of Undergraduate Credit

I. Transfer or Acceptance of Undergraduate Credit

  1. Credit earned at other institutions of higher education may be transferred as equivalent to ETSU courses or as electives. 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.
  2. In order to have the credit from a non-regionally accredited institution or non-accredited international institution 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 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.
  3. ETSU will accept courses taken in fulfillment of a Tennessee Transfer Pathway (TTP) at a Tennessee community college.
  4. Credit earned in remedial or developmental courses is not transferable for college-level credit

II. Prior Learning Credit for an Undergraduate Degree

  1. Credit for prior learning will be based on 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).
  2. 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. Sources of prior learning assessment include, but are not limited to:
  • ACT/SAT credit for first-year English
  • Advanced Placement Exams (AP)
  • Cambridge exams
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Dantes - Subject Standardized Tests
  • International Baccalaureate Exams
  • Service in the armed forces

 (click here for the full policy)

III. 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.

IV. 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.

V. 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. Email: admissions@etsu.edu Phone: (423) 439-4312, or toll-free 1-800-462-3878

Procedure on Credit Evaluation

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions evaluates undergraduate credit based on historical precedent, course descriptions and titles, current articulated program information, and/or review by the appropriate ETSU college dean and faculty. Students may be required to submit documentation (e.g. syllabus) prior to transfer credit being approved. (click here for the full procedure)

For general education transfer courses not listed on the equivalency table, a student may submit a request for review by the General Education Review Committee using the General Education Course Review Form.

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

  1. A period of at least four years (48 months) has elapsed since the candidate last attended an institution of higher education.
  2. The candidate has not previously been granted academic forgiveness according to this or a similar provision at any institution of higher education.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Students in Academic Fresh Start will be subject to ETSU’s academic retention standards.
  8. Academic Fresh Start does not alter financial aid requirements and regulations.
  9. Once applied, Academic Fresh Start is irrevocable.

Additional information is available from the Undergraduate Admissions Office at (423) 439-4213. Fresh Start Contract

Additional Admission Special Topics

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.