Nov 24, 2020  
2020-21 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-21 Graduate Catalog

Admission to the College of Graduate Studies


Individual Graduate Program Application Deadlines

For students to be guaranteed consideration for admission into a graduate program, applications must be complete by the deadline. Incomplete applications will be held until all required materials have been received. Individual programs determine if an applicant’s file will be considered for review after the deadline. Applicants who wish to be considered for entry into a program for another term must submit a readmission application for the subsequent term. Submitted materials are retained for twelve months from the original submission.

Deadlines for application may differ for international and domestic students. Individual program deadlines may also differ from those of the College of Graduate Studies, so check individual programs for their deadlines. Refer to the deadlines both within and following the University Calendar for details. When there are two deadlines stated, the earlier deadline takes precedent for receipt of all application materials at the College of Graduate Studies.

General Admissions Policies

The University welcomes applications from individuals qualified for graduate study. Applications for admission should be completed online (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php) Upon receipt of all required materials, applications for degree-seeking students are forwarded to the individual program for consideration. In accepting admission to the College of Graduate Studies, a graduate student assumes responsibility for knowing and complying with the regulations and procedures set forth in this catalog as well as any amendments or revisions that may ensue.

Graduate applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and for some programs a master’s degree from an accredited institution is also required for admission. Under certain conditions undergraduate students with 90 semester hours of credit and ABM admits may be eligible to take graduate coursework. (See the sections on Undergraduate Student Eligibility to Enroll in Graduate Courses and Accelerated Bachelors to Masters [ABM] Pathways below.)

Applicants admitted to graduate programs as degree-seeking students are those working toward a graduate degree. Degree-seeking students must be recommended for admission by the graduate program/department and approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Students not seeking a degree are classified as non-degree-seeking students and are not admitted into a specific program. Non-degree-seeking students may take classes not restricted to students admitted into specific programs. Non-degree-seeking students are not permitted to enroll in graduate courses in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Non-degree-seeking students may take courses for a reasonable period of time as determined by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and are not eligible for financial aid.

Students interested in obtaining a teaching license or working on master’s +30 hours should apply for admission to either the Initial Licensing Track or the Master’s +30 Track.

All applicants to the College of Graduate Studies must have an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 (on a 4.00 scale) to be considered for unconditional admission. (Also see conditional admission.) Applicants who attended graduate school at another institution must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on all graduate work and a minimum of 2.75 on all undergraduate work to be considered for unconditional admission. International students on an F1 visa must meet requirements for admission.

Individual programs may have higher admission requirements than those of the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants should consult the program sections of the catalog for individual program admission requirements.

The College of Graduate Studies notifies all students of formal admission to individual graduate programs. Students pursuing a graduate degree must be fully admitted to the program prior their initial semester of coursework.

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 gain admission to MTSU, represents orally or in writing that such person has

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

Any applicant who misrepresents his or her credentials will be subject to disciplinary action from the University which may include dismissal from the University.

Admission as a Degree-Seeking Student

All applicants wishing to pursue a graduate degree at MTSU must formally apply for admission to the College of Graduate Studies as degree-seeking students.

All degree-seeking applicants should submit their materials to the College of Graduate Studies by the deadline for guaranteed consideration. (Some programs have earlier deadlines than that for general admission.) Please see individual program listings and/or contact the program director for further information. Domestic applicants wishing to be admitted to a graduate program should take note of the following:

  1. Submit an online application for admission at (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php).
  2. Pay a nonrefundable application and processing fee (required of all applicants) and a part of the online application.
  3. Order official transcripts certifying coursework from each college or university attended. Official transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly (or through an established clearinghouse) from the institution to MTSU and must be received prior to enrollment.
    1. If the applicant obtained or is obtaining the bachelor’s degree at MTSU, only transcripts of undergraduate work not completed at MTSU are required. This includes all undergraduate courses taken as transfer credits and applied to a degree as well as those not applied to a degree.
    2. If the applicant obtained the bachelor’s degree at another institution, that transcript is required. Transcripts of undergraduate work not completed at that institution are also required. This includes all undergraduate courses taken as transfer credits and applied to a degree as well as those not applied to a degree.
    3. If the applicant earned a graduate degree at another institution, that transcript is also required. Transcripts of all post-baccalaureate work not completed at MTSU are also required.
    4. Applicants whose degrees are from a university outside the United States are required to have their credentials evaluated by an acceptable evaluation service. All acceptable evaluation services are listed at www.naces.org/members.htm. A course-by-course report is required.
    5. Transcripts should be sent electronically to askgrad@mtsu.edu or, if necessary, mailed to College of Graduate Studies, MTSU Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.
  4. Provide letters of recommendation, supplemental applications, official test scores, resumes, portfolios, and other items as required by the graduate program. Refer to the relevant graduate program information section of this catalog to determine if additional application materials are required.
  5. Upon notification of admission by the College of Graduate Studies to a specific graduate program, the admitted student should contact the graduate program director for information on any required prerequisite courses.
  6. An applicant not meeting University or program requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student may appeal to the individual program for special consideration. If recommended for admission by the program, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies has final approval or denial authority.
  7. If an applicant fails to meet the deadline for submitting all materials for admission, it will be necessary for the applicant to reapply for admission. All materials submitted will be retained for one year from the date of submission. Students pursuing a graduate degree must be fully admitted to the program prior to their initial semester of coursework.

Admission as a Non-Degree-Seeking Student

Non-degree-seeking student admission is available to qualified applicants who wish to enhance their post-baccalaureate education but do not seek a graduate degree. International students on an F1 visa may not be admitted to graduate study as non-degree-seeking students. Non-degree-seeking students are not eligible for financial aid. Applicants wishing to be admitted as non-degree-seeking graduate students should take note of the following:

  1. Submit an online application for admission (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php).
  2. Pay a non-refundable application and processing fee (required of all applicants and a part of the online application.
  3. Order official transcripts certifying coursework from each college or university attended. Official transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly (or through an established clearinghouse) from the institution to MTSU and must be received prior to enrollment.
    1. If the applicant obtained or is obtaining the bachelor’s degree at MTSU, only transcripts of undergraduate work not completed at MTSU are required. This includes all undergraduate courses taken as transfer credits and applied to a degree as well as those not applied to a degree.
    2. If the applicant obtained the bachelor’s degree at another institution, that transcript is required. Transcripts of undergraduate work not completed at that institution are also are required. This includes all undergraduate courses taken as transfer credits and applied to a degree as well as those not applied to a degree.
    3. If the applicant earned a graduate degree at another institution, that transcript is also required. Transcripts of all post-baccalaureate work not completed at MTSU are also required.
    4. Any domestic applicant whose degree is from a university outside the United States is required to have their credentials evaluated by an acceptable evaluation service. All acceptable evaluation services are listed at www.naces.org/members.htm. A course-by-course report is required.

Transcripts should be sent electronically to askgrad@mtsu.edu or, if necessary, mailed to College of Graduate Studies, MTSU Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

  1. Not all courses offered at the University are available for non-degree-seeking students. Non-degree-seeking students are not permitted to enroll in graduate courses in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. Enrollment in specific courses may be limited to degree-seeking students only. Information concerning eligibility for specific graduate courses may be obtained from individual departments. It is advisable to speak with a graduate program director before enrolling in any graduate course.

Non-degree-seeking students who wish to change to degree-seeking status must meet College of Graduate Studies’ admission requirements and specific graduate program admission requirements to be eligible for consideration.

  1. If transfer to a degree-seeking program is approved, appropriate semester hours earned while a non-degree-seeking student may be applied toward a degree program if approved by the graduate program director and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In general, applicants may not apply more than 6 credit hours taken while in non-degree-seeking status toward any degree program.
  2. Only students seeking an Education Specialist or Doctoral degree or the College and University Teaching Certificate may enroll in 7000-level courses in the Department of Elementary and Special Education and Womack Educational Leadership Department. Non-degree/certificate-seeking students are not permitted to enroll in 7000-level courses.

Hours Before and After the Master’s Degree for Teachers

Teachers may count graduate credit received toward the next pay raise, depending upon policies of their Local Education Agency (LEA). No credit will be given for repeated work. The student must follow all licensure processes regarding any additional endorsements earned and/or processes for initial licensure. If students are seeking endorsement or licensure they will need to work with the Office of Teacher Licensure in the MTSU College of Education to make sure all relevant and appropriate steps are completed for the MTSU College of Education to make such recommendations to the State Department of Education. The student is responsible for maintaining current knowledge of which graduate courses and hours are acceptable for licensure. Students pursuing graduate coursework for a pay raise in their school/district must work through their school/district to make sure the student has what is needed by their school district.

Undergraduate Student Eligibility to Enroll in Graduate Courses

Undergraduate students at MTSU with 90 semester hours of credit may be allowed to take up to 12 semester hours of graduate coursework. Undergraduate students wishing to take graduate courses must obtain permission from their undergraduate advisor, the graduate program director, and the College of Graduate Studies by filling out the “Application for MTSU Undergraduate Students to Take Graduate Work” form at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php in “Forms for Current Students.” Permission is not guaranteed. Not all graduate courses are offered to undergraduate students. If courses are taken for graduate credit while an undergraduate, they may be applied toward a graduate degree at the discretion of the individual graduate program if the earned credit is not used toward the granting of another degree. Alternatively, up to 12 hours of graduate courses may be applied toward the undergraduate degree. An undergraduate substitution form must be completed and processed by the student’s home college in order for the student to receive undergraduate credit. Undergraduates admitted to an approved Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) pathway are permitted to apply a limited number of graduate courses taken while an undergraduate to both their undergraduate degree as well as to their future master’s degree program.

Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) Pathways

High achieving undergraduate students enrolled in select majors and intending to pursue a master’s degree in certain programs may apply to participate in the Accelerated Bachelors/Masters (ABM) pathway. The pathway allows undergraduate students an opportunity to complete select requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously.

To qualify for admittance to an ABM pathway, undergraduate students must have at least a 3.25 inclusive GPA and have completed at least 75 undergraduate credit hours. They must have a minimum of two semesters remaining at MTSU. Individual ABM pathways may have additional admission requirements (see individual programs). In order to apply, contact the ABM coordinator for the pathway. Once admitted to the pathway, students must complete an ABM contract which can be found on the College of Graduate Studies website (mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php).

A student may withdraw from an ABM pathway at any time by informing the ABM pathway coordinator and respective undergraduate program and graduate program coordinators (or designees) in writing of their intent to withdraw. Withdrawal is considered permanent, and a student who withdraws may not re-enter the same ABM pathway.

Students will be dismissed from an ABM pathway for failure to maintain satisfactory levels of academic progress, which includes

  1. failure to meet the general ABM pathway guidelines and specific program requirements;
  2. failure to maintain an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in any term;
  3. interruption of the undergraduate course of study for more than three terms, without the prior consent of the undergraduate and graduate program coordinators (or designees).

A student who either withdraws or is removed from an ABM pathway may apply to the College of Graduate Studies for admission to a graduate program, but will do so as a typical applicant and provide all application materials required of other non-ABM pathway students. Such students may still count the graduate credit they earn toward the completion of their undergraduate requirements, but may only use these courses toward their graduate degree requirements with the approval of the graduate program coordinator, provided the minimum grade was met.

A grade of B or higher is required for all graduate courses that satisfy ABM pathway requirements.

Some majors may have an ABM pathway for a specific concentration within a master’s degree program. If an ABM pathway student changes into a concentration outside the pathway, the student must make up the graduate hours needed to meet the minimum credit hours requirement for the graduate program concentration selected. In this case, the graduate hours taken as an undergraduate then only count towards the undergraduate degree, and more hours are needed at the graduate level.

Upon successful completion of the ABM Pathway, students must submit an application (including application fee) to the College of Graduate Studies. Additional application requirements will be waived, and the student will be admitted to the program automatically. Upon acceptance to the MTSU graduate program, students will be considered graduate students and will pay graduate tuition for all remaining graduate courses.

ABM Pathways currently accepting applicants:

  • M.B.A. Business Administration (B.B.A., Business Administration; B.B.A., Management)
  • M.F.A. Recording Arts and Technologies (B.S., Audio Production)
  • M.S. Management (B.B.A., Management)

Auditing Courses

A student who chooses to audit a course is one who enrolls and participates in a course without expecting to receive academic credit. The same registration procedure is followed and the same fees charged as for courses taken for credit. An audited course is not applicable to any degree or certificate.

Regular class attendance is expected of an auditor. Students interested in auditing a course should discuss course requirements with the instructor prior to enrolling. Failure to meet course requirements may result in an auditor being removed from the course at the request of the instructor. A successful audit will be recorded on the transcript with the designation NC. Any petition to change from audit to credit or credit to audit must be processed by the last day in the semester in which a class may be added to the student’s schedule of classes. Requests to change from credit to audit after the deadlines must be approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Admission of MTSU Faculty Members and/or Administrators

Members of the faculty and/or administration of MTSU are eligible for admission to the College of Graduate Studies just as any other applicant. They may not take over 6 semester hours of coursework during any semester. Faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher or administrators of equivalent ranks may not be admitted to any doctoral program. If instructors who are in a doctoral program are appointed to assistant professor rank, they must discontinue the doctoral program.

Conditional Admission

Occasionally degree-seeking applicants may not meet all the requirements necessary to be recommended for unconditional admission. For example, they may have a low undergraduate grade point average or have low test scores. However, the overall application materials may suggest there is substantial potential for academic success, thus making outright denial counterproductive. In these cases, conditional admission into the College of Graduate Studies may be granted by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the graduate program. Students admitted conditionally will be Non-Degree-Seeking students until conditions are met. Continuation as a degree-seeking student within an individual academic program is contingent upon fulfilling specific requirements stipulated at the time of admission. Monitoring of any conditions is the responsibility of the program. Once a student has met the conditions, they will re-apply to the specific program. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible to hold graduate assistantships or receive federal financial aid until all conditions of admission are satisfied.

Readmission (Reenrollment)

A previously enrolled student may reapply online on the College of Graduate Studies website (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). A readmission application is required from any student who missed one or more semesters (excluding summers), regardless of the reason. For non-degree-seeking post-baccalaureate students, readmission is granted at the discretion of the graduate dean and is subject to space limitations with degree-seeking students given preference for enrollment.

For degree-seeking students, each graduate program may have a specific readmission policy and should be contacted for information. Readmission requires the recommendation of the graduate program and approval by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Some graduate programs regularly allow readmission for individuals who have missed no more than one semester or if the “stop-out” period is less than one year; others are more restrictive due to program capacity, curriculum, and ongoing quality improvement. Students seeking to be readmitted must meet the requirements of new applicants.