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Admission

Types of Admission

Admission to the Graduate School is under the control of the Dean of the Graduate School and to whom application for admission must be made and to whom all correspondence should be addressed on the subject.

Four types of admission exist:

  1. Clear admission under which the student is eligible to work toward a graduate degree;
  2. Probationary admission under which the student is eligible to work toward a graduate degree but with the provision that the student earn a B average on coursework the first semester or summer session of registration or be placed on academic suspension;
  3. Provisional admission under which an individual is permitted to take graduate courses for one semester only, under the provisions described below;
  4. Post-baccalaureate admission under which the student already holding a bachelor's or master's degree is eligible to take graduate courses but may apply only a limited number of these courses toward a graduate degree.

Graduate applications for admission are available online at http://www.applyTexas.org. Official transcripts from each college/university attended must be sent to the Graduate Office at least 30 days prior to entering. Stephen F. Austin State University will accept credit or recognize degrees only from institutions accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies.

For many programs, an applicant must present General Test scores either on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or, in the case of business study, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). To determine which programs require a GRE or GMAT test, see the Table of Programs and Degrees in this bulletin.

Under certain circumstances, an applicant may be granted provisional admission or temporary post-baccalaureate admission without having taken the GRE. In such cases, the student must provide GRE scores during the first semester or summer session of enrollment.

An applicant whose native language is not English must present satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must score at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL, 79 on the Internet­based TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS.

An applicant for admission to graduate study must either (1 ) be in the final year of undergraduate work (2) hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, or (3) have completed 95 or more semester hours of undergraduate work here and be approved for graduate study as an overlap student (see Overlap Program elsewhere in this bulletin). An applicant admitted to the Graduate School must enroll within one semester of admission. Thereafter, the applicant must reapply for admission.

The application process will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Admission and Scholarship Policies for Graduate and Professional Programs, which was adopted by the 77th Session of the Texas Legislature, and which amends Chapter 51 of the Texas Education Code.

Admission Criteria

In general, a student may be granted clear, probationary, or in a few instances, may be granted provisional admission. All students seeking admission to a graduate program should consult criteria directly with the graduate program adviser of the department in which they wish to study for specific admission. Each department has the authority to set admission standards higher than the general criteria set by the university; departmental criteria thus outweigh university criteria.

Clear Admission

Clear admission to a degree program is generally granted when an applicant has an overall undergraduate grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and a 2.8 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, exclusive of freshman level courses.

Admission requirements for the M.B.A. and M.P.A. (Accounting) programs are listed in the College of Business section of this bulletin.

For clear admission requirements to the M .F.A., M.S . (Forestry), M .A. (Psychology), M.S.W., Ed.D. and Ph.D. degree programs, see the respective program descriptions elsewhere in this bulletin. In all cases, an applicant must be recommended for admission to a graduate degree program by the major department and the appropriate academic dean. No applicant will be granted clear admission until all official transcripts and GRE or GMAT scores, if required, are received by the Graduate Office.

Probationary Admission

An applicant failing to achieve clear admission to graduate study may be considered for probationary admission by having an overall grade-point average of 2.3 on a 4.0 scale and consent of the program adviser. The departmental graduate program adviser may require test scores and/or a combination of other factors, such as professional experience, to meet the requirements for probationary admission. An applicant must be recommended for admission to a graduate degree program by the major academic department and the appropriate academic dean.

A student granted probationary admission must earn a B average on coursework the first semester or summer session of registration or be placed on academic suspension.

Provisional Admission

For all graduate degree-seeking students, applicants unable to supply all the required documentation prior to the first semester of enrollment, but who, based on previous academic performance, appear to meet the requirements for clear admission, may be considered for provisional admission. This status requires the recommendation of the appropriate department and the approval of the dean. It is valid for one regular semester or two summer sessions only.

Complete and satisfactory credentials must be received by the Graduate School and reviewed by the department prior to the beginning of the following semester of work. If this does not occur, the person will not be permitted to continue as a degree-seeking student. A maximum of 12 hours or graduate-level coursework taken under provisional status may be applied toward a degree.

Those applicants seeking the M.B.A., M.P.A. (accounting), Ed.D., or Ph.D. degrees are not eligible for provisional admission.

A student granted provisional admission may be considered for an assistantship or other form of financial support for one regular semester or two summer sessions only under this status.

Post-Baccalaureate Admission

A student already holding a baccalaureate or graduate degree may be admitted to graduate study on post-baccalaureate status. On this status a student may take courses for the purpose of qualifying for a graduate degree program, professional development or personal enrichment. There are restrictions and limitations on the application of post-baccalaureate hours toward a graduate degree. Upon gaining admission to a degree program and with the approval of the graduate adviser, the department chair and the dean, the post-baccalaureate student may apply a maximum of six credit hours earned with grades of B or better to a thesis program or 12 credit hours earned with grades of B or better to a non-thesis program. The exception is that ALL hours earned in an SFA certificate program can be considered for transfer into a graduate degree program.

To be admitted to post-baccalaureate study, the applicant must present proof of holding at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. A GRE score is not required, but may be required if the student decides to later apply for regular admission.
Post baccalaureate admission is not available for graduate study in the College of Business.

Overlap Program Admission

The Overlap Program permits qualified undergraduates to pursue a limited amount of graduate study concurrently with undergraduate study. A maximum of 12 credit hours is allowed. Graduate courses taken in the program, however, are not applicable toward the baccalaureate degree. Unless enrolled in the M.P.A.C. (accounting) program, an Overlap Program student is ineligible for a graduate assistantship until the completion of the baccalaureate degree. An M.P.A.C. (accounting) student with 12 or fewer hours remaining on the undergraduate degree plan who has been admitted to graduate study is eligible for an assistantship.

To be eligible for the Overlap Program, a student must be enrolled at SFA and must have achieved at least 95 semester hours of undergraduate credit. A student with fewer than 115 hours of undergraduate credit must present a 3.0 grade-point average both overall and in the major field. A student with 115 hours or more of undergraduate credit, however, may be admitted to the Overlap Program by presenting a 2.5 grade-point average overall and a 2.8 grade-point average in the major field. Any student admitted to the Overlap Program must reapply for full graduate admission when the undergraduate degree is completed.

To be admitted to the Overlap Program a student should:

  1. Apply to the Graduate School,
  2. Complete an Overlap Application,
  3. Obtain the recommendation of the graduate program adviser in the major department.
  4. Obtain the recommendation of the appropriate academic dean.
  5. Obtain the recommendation of the graduate dean.