College of Graduate Studies

The Texas A&M University System Board of Directors approved graduate degree programs at the master's level for Tarleton State University on November 26, 1969. Meeting in special session at College Station, the Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University Systems granted approval on December 4, 1969, for three initial master's-level programs, setting the Fall Semester of 1971 as the effective date of graduate course offerings for the programs.

Approved programs include the Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Criminal Justice, Master of Music, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Education.


The mission of the College of Graduate Studies is to promote excellence in graduate education through teaching, research, and service. The College of Graduate Studies, in conjunction with the Graduate Council, accomplishes its mission through the planning and development of policy and procedures related to graduate education; the recruitment, admission, and retention of qualified students; and by providing support and coordination of high quality course offerings and degree programs.

Evidence of these collective goals is that the graduates will demonstrate the following:

  1. Increased professional competence in the chosen field of study;
  2. Refined use of analytical methodology; and,
  3. Advanced preparation and skills in the academic discipline.


Administration of the College of Graduate Studies is the responsibility of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The Graduate Council, comprised of graduate faculty representatives from departments offering graduate programs, assists in establishing policies concerning the graduate school. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is chair of the Graduate Council and has the authority to act for the administration and the Council within limits of policy.

Graduate Degree Programs

Tarleton State University offers the Master of Education degree with majors in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, Kinesiology, and Counseling; the Master of Arts degree with major fields in English and History; the Master of Science degree with major fields in Agriculture, Agricultural and Consumer Resources, Biology, Counseling Psychology, Environmental Science, Human Resources Management, Information Systems, Kinesiology, Quality and Engineering Management, Management and Leadership, Mathematics, and Medical Laboratory Science; the Master of Business Administration degree; the Master of Criminal Justice degree; the Master of Music degree in Music Education; the Master of Science in Nursing degree with major fields in Nursing Education and Nursing Administration; and the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership.

Admission policies, program requirements, and comprehensive examination procedures for each of these graduate degree programs are specifically described within the appropriate departmental sections that follow.

College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Department of Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem SciencesAgricultureMS
Department of Agricultural and Consumer SciencesAgricultural and Consumer ResourcesMS
Department of Animal Science and Veterinary TechnologyAgricultureMS
College of Business Administration
Department of Computer Information SystemsInformation SystemsMS
Department of Management, Marketing, and Administrative SystemsBusiness AdministrationMBA
Department of Management, Marketing, and Administrative SystemsHuman Resources ManagementMS
Department of Management, Marketing, and Administrative SystemsManagement and LeadershipMS
College of Education
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesEducational LeadershipEdD
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesEducational AdministrationMEd
Department of Curriculum and InstructionCurriculum and InstructionMEd
Department of KinesiologyKinesiologyMS, MEd
Department of Psychology and CounselingCounselingMEd
Department of Psychology and CounselingCounseling PsychologyMS
College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Department of English & LanguagesEnglishMA
Department of Social SciencesHistoryMA
Department of Criminal JusticeCriminal JusticeMCJ
Department of Fine ArtsMusic EducationMM
College of Science & Technology
Department of Biological SciencesBiologyMS
Department of Chemistry, Geoscience, and PhysicsEnvironmental ScienceMS
Department of Engineering TechnologyQuality and Engineering ManagementMS
Department of MathematicsMathematicsMS
Department of Medical Laboratory SciencesMedical Laboratory ScienceMS
Department of NursingNursing AdministrationMSN
Department of NursingNursing EducationMSN

General Graduate Admissions

Admission to the College of Graduate Studies

Admission to the College of Graduate Studies is administered for the Graduate Council by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Applicants seeking admission must present the following credentials and materials indicating they possess the ability to pursue graduate work successfully:

  1. A formal application for admission. Application forms are available online through   For U.S. citizens, applications must be received one month prior to the regular registration dates indicated in the current University Calendar. A $30 application-processing fee must accompany applications of students who will be attending Tarleton for the first time or who have not been enrolled at Tarleton for one year.
  2. Official transcript(s) of all previous academic course work. The transcript must bear the date of bachelor's degree conferral or master's degree if applicable, and indicate that the applicant was in good standing at the last institution attended.
  3. GRE/GMAT/MAT scores if required by Major department.  Please check with your major department to see which exam, if any, is preferred.
  4. A 200-300 word essay addressing career and academic goals.

Beyond these general requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies, departments may set additional standards for admission to degree programs, subject to administrative approval.

Categories of Admission

Enrollment in the College of Graduate Studies requires that students obtain the following:

  1. Admission to a graduate degree program
  2. Admission to a professional (graduate) certificate program
  3. Provisional admission for Tarleton undergraduates
  4. Admission as a non-degree seeking student
  5. Admission to an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's program

Admission to a Graduate Degree Program

Admission to any graduate degree program is granted by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the department of proposed study.

Admission-Good Standing

  • A minimum grade point average (based on a 4-point scale) of 2.5 on the last 60 hours of credit completed
  • GRE/GMAT/MAT scores if required by Major department.  Please check with your major department to see which exam, if any, is preferred.
  • Completion of specific departmental admission requirements and recommendation for admission from the appropriate department may be required for admission to the chosen field of study.


  • Students admitted under this category are placed on Academic Warning.  Students must achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average their first semester of enrollment or they will be placed on Academic Suspension (See Graduate Student Performance section).
  • Admission-Warning status is only granted to students who have between a 2.5-2.99 GPA and apply for a major under specific academic departments that DO NOT require GRE/GMAT/MAT scores.
  • Admission will not be granted to a student whose GPA is less than 2.5 on the last 60 hours of course work completed.
  • Completion of specific departmental admission requirements and recommendation for admission from the appropriate department may be required for admission to the chosen field of study

Admission to a Professional Teacher Certificate Program

  • Professional teacher certificate programs are open only to graduate students.
  • Admission to a professional teacher certificate program is granted upon the recommendation of the head of the department in which the program is offered and the submission of a certificate plan approved by the University Teacher Certification Officer.
  • Professional Teacher Certification is tied to admission to a graduate degree program in the College of Education.

Provisional Admission for Undergraduates. An undergraduate enrolled in a bachelor's degree program at Tarleton may be considered for admission to the College of Graduate Studies provided that the student:

  • Is within 12 hours of graduation
  • Is recommended by his/her major department
  • Has attained a minimum GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work
  • May take no more than 12 hours of graduate work while in provisional status

Note: No graduate course work may be counted toward an undergraduate degree. Exceptions apply to students admitted to an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's program.  No application is needed for provisional enrollment.  Students need to submit the Provisional Student Form to the College of Graduate Studies.  Students will submit a graduate application once they are awarded their bachelor's degree.

Admission as a Non-Degree Student

Applicants who designate that they do not choose to seek a graduate degree but who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college may be enrolled for course work in the College of Graduate Studies as Non-Degree Seeking graduate students. Students in this category may take up to 18 hours of course work. They waive the right to count more than 12 hours toward an advanced degree at Tarleton State University. In order to have any graduate course work count toward a master's degree, students must meet admission criteria to the College of Graduate Studies, and the degree program, at the time application is made and course work is taken.  This includes standardized test requirements, if applicable.

Non-degree students are not required to submit scores on the GRE or the GMAT. However, official transcript(s) which indicate the conferral of the bachelor's degree and good standing at the last college attended are required. Admission will not be granted to a student whose GPA is less than a 2.5 on the last 60 hours of course work completed.  Students seeking certain types of certification may be asked to submit GRE scores by their academic department.

An applicant to a degree program who appears to be admissible on the basis of the credentials submitted, but who is unable to supply all of the official records prior to registration may be admitted for one semester pending receipt of official transcripts. A student who is in special status has no assurance, however, that work completed while in this classification will be applicable toward degree requirements should he or she subsequently gain admission to a degree program.

Admission to an Accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's Program

The 5-year bachelor’s-to-master’s degree program allows talented undergraduates at Tarleton State University an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at an accelerated pace.  Undergraduate students may double-count up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses toward a master’s degree and earn a non-thesis master’s degree in the same field within 12 months of completing the bachelor’s degree or obtain a thesis-based master’s degree in the same field within 18 months of completing the bachelor’s degree. Students entering the participating programs should be encouraged to place a focus on research as a part of their undergraduate/graduate plan.

Accelerated Degree Guidelines

The same department or program that awards the bachelor’s degree must sponsor the master’s degree.  This does not preclude master’s degrees in interdisciplinary graduate programs in which the sponsoring department participates, nor acceptance of the student in a closely related field, if the department granting the graduate degree recommends admission to the Graduate School.

Accelerated Degree Admission Requirements
  • Students must have a minimum accumulated grade point average of 3.5/4.0 at TSU.
  • No GRE or other standardized test score will be required unless the participating program or department requires it for admission to their program.
  • Students must have completed a minimum of 75 and a maximum of 108 credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement.
  • Transfer students must have completed a minimum of two semesters as a full-time student at Tarleton, a minimum of 24 hours.
Students should consult with their major department to see which options are available.
Dual Master's Degree

A Dual Degree program is designed to allow students to complete two master's degrees concurrently.  Participating programs will provide specific information on their master’s degree and possible combinations.

Students seeking the dual master’s degree must complete a minimum of 48 to 60 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate as prescribed by specific programs and as approved by the graduate faculty of supervising departments.

Dual Degree Guidelines
  • A dual master’s degree program allows students to work simultaneously completing studies in two (2) separate, but often related fields of study in order to earn two graduate degrees.
  • Leveling courses, if required in a non-related discipline, should be built in the degree and may result in an increase in total hours to be taken.
  • A general guideline for programs above 36 hours is 12 of the course work may be applied to both degrees.
  • At least 18 hours must be used in each of the individual fields.
Dual Master's Degree Admission Requirements

Applicants must be accepted into both programs at the time of admission and must meet the admission requirements for both degree programs.  Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in at least 12 graduate semester hours from an accredited College or University if applicable.

Students should consult with their major department to see which options are available.
Admission as a Post-Baccalaureate Student

An applicant who does not wish to pursue a graduate degree or graduate-level teacher certification program but who has earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution and who is in good standing at the last school attended may apply for admission as a post-baccalaureate student. These applications are received and processed in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Post-baccalaureate students are subject to all requirements and regulations that apply to undergraduates. They must meet the academic progress standards applicable to undergraduates and are subject to the same probation/suspension policies.

Admission as an International Student

Admission of international students to graduate programs will be based upon holding a valid U.S. equivalent bachelor's-level degree from an accredited college or university. The quality of the applicant's college-level work is judged from the scores, grade point average and writing sample. A nonrefundable processing fee of $130 (US) made payable to Tarleton State University must be included with the application. Along with the application, the student must include all previous university academic records officially translated in the English language. Applicants must provide official transcripts and evaluations of all previous university academic records. Evaluations must be done by recognized evaluation services and typically must adhere to standards of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and include items such as course names, course descriptions, course credit, course grades, grade point average, degree earned and the date earned as recommended by the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials. Applicants must provide official transcripts and evaluations of all previous university academic records. Evaluations must be done by recognized evaluation services and typically must adhere to standards of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and include items such as course names, course descriptions, course grades, grade point average, and degree earned and the date earned as recommended by the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials. The International Academic Program office can provide a list of evaluation service providers but it is the applicant's responsibility to secure and pay for the evaluation and to make sure it is done early enough to meet admission deadlines.

In addition to a signed application requirement and evaluated documents, the College of Graduate Studies requires a minimum admission score average (CGPA) of 3.0 for the Bachelor Degree, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 80 on the internet-based test, a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based test, or a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test, and evidence of a GRE or GMAT1 score, the applicant may be required to attend additional English classes to improve speaking and writing skills, or on the recommendation of the Head of the Department, may be required to take leveling classes in a particular field of study as instituted by the Department.  Students may substitute the IELTS for the TOEFL.

The international applicant must have a reliable financial sponsor. A sponsor is obligated to endorse all expenditures for the applicant during the entire course of study. Note that a copy of all financial statement documentation must be included with the admission packet.

International applicants must submit two passport-style color photos taken within six months of application. Additionally, Tarleton State University requires that all students have medical insurance with coverage in the United States. Students may wish to purchase insurance through the University upon arrival.

All application materials must be sent to the Office of International Programs. Applications cannot be processed and an I-20 cannot be issued until all materials are received and the applicant is admitted in the College of Graduate Studies.


Students planning to pursue a master's program in business may submit GMAT scores instead of GRE scores.

Enrollment in Graduate Courses

Graduate Advisor and Student's Advisory Committee

The graduate coordinator/advisor, designated by a department, assists students in planning their initial course work prior to granting of admission to the program of study. Before seeking enrollment in any course that might be applied toward a master's degree, students must consult their advisors. A temporary advisor will be available to those enrolling for the first time in an off-campus course.

After receiving admission to the College of Graduate Studies and enrolling for graduate courses, the student should consult with the graduate advisor concerning appointment of an advisory committee. The advisory committee is responsible for guiding and directing the student's entire academic program, which includes initiating all academic actions concerning the student, developing the degree plan, meeting required deadlines, and administering the comprehensive testing prior to conferral of the master's degree. Moreover, the advisory committee, as a group and as individual members, is responsible for counseling the student on academic matters, and in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Thesis or Dissertation Committee

A thesis or dissertation committee must be graduate faculty.  The committee composition may be decided by the student in consultation with their graduate advisor and generally follows as:

1. Chair (experienced graduate faculty member from the student's academic department)

2. Committee member from the student's department or closely-related discipline within the department or college

3. Committee member in a closely related discipline from a department within the college or from another college where their expertise is suitable for the research question or design

4. A fourth committee member can be allowed for additional expertise with the graduate dean's approval.

Campus and Off-Campus Enrollment

Graduate courses are offered on the Tarleton State University campus in Stephenville, and in selected off-campus locations approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Academic Load

Load for a full-time graduate student is 9 semester hours in the fall or spring semester, and is 6 semester hours in the summer terms.

Master's Graduate
Semester Credit Hours Fall/Spring Summer
Maximum Load1612
Doctoral Graduate
Semester Credit Hours Fall/Spring Summer
Maximum Load1212

Students with financial aid/scholarship(s) should refer to the Financial Aid website for additional information, regarding aid, during the full-time summer term.

Graduate Student Performance

Every student enrolled in the College of Graduate Studies is required to maintain a high level of performance and comply fully with the policies of the institution. The College reserves the right to suspend any graduate student who does not maintain satisfactory academic standing or fails to conform to University regulations.

Students who have achieved admission are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA on work completed at Tarleton. If in a particular semester a student's cumulative or overall GPA falls below the 3.0 GPA minimum, he/she will be given notice of unsatisfactory academic performance. The student must attain a 3.0 cumulative GPA during her or his next period of enrollment; failure to do so will result in suspension for one long semester or the summer term. A student must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average every semester upon returning from the suspension. A graduate student is allowed one suspension. If poor academic performance results in a second suspension, the student will be permanently dismissed from the university.

At the end of any grading period, if a student's overall GPA falls below 2.0 he/she will be automatically suspended.

Students who have been admitted on Academic Warning must achieve a 3.0 GPA or greater their first semester of enrollment.  If requirements are not met, admission will be rescinded, and students will be placed on Academic Suspension.

Post-baccalaureate students are subject to the academic progress policies applicable to undergraduates at Tarleton State University.  Academic deficiencies of students in this category will be calculated according to the current undergraduate probation/suspension policy, however, undergraduate courses taken in conjunction with graduate courses will be used to determine academic standing.

Graduate students who are on first-time suspension must reapply (including the $30 application fee) to the College of Graduate Studies for reinstatement.

Grading System

Graduate degree credit is allowed only for A, B, and C grades. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required:
  1. For all courses included in a degree plan
  2. For all courses comprising the major field
  3. For courses comprising the concentration field, if one is selected

Courses taken at Tarleton may not be repeated at another institution for degree credit. If a course is repeated at Tarleton, the better grade in the course shall be counted in computing the student's grade point average.

The grading system for graduate students is:

  • A-Excellent, 4 grade points per semester hour
  • B-Good, 3 grade points per semester hour
  • C-Fair, 2 grade points per semester hour
  • D-Not Passing for graduate course work. Course must be repeated.
  • F-Failing
  • I-In-Progress (for thesis courses only)
  • K-Incomplete
  • PR-In-Progress (for dissertation courses only)
  • S-Satisfactory (for completion of 6 hours of thesis and 12 hours of dissertation courses only)
  • W-Withdrawal from course, no grade designated
  • WF-Withdrawal failing (included in GPA)
  • Z-Research or practicum courses for which only grade given is for final three hours enrolled. Exclusive use for Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The grade K shall be recorded for a student only in case of extraordinary circumstances. This entry is used only in such cases after the instructor and his/her department head have concurred that the incomplete entry is justified. A grade of K must be made up by the end of the next semester and in all cases before registering for the next sequential course. If this grade is not made up within the prescribed time limit, it automatically becomes an F.

Internships in Education not completed during the first semester of registration will receive a letter grade of K (incomplete). Registration will be permitted for the following semester, at which time a letter grade will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the required work. If the work is not completed during the subsequent semester, the previous semester's K will become NC, and a letter grade of F will be placed on the transcript for the subsequent semester's work.

Completion Time Limit

Course credits more than six years old at the anticipated time for degree completion may not be counted for a degree. Credits are considered to be earned when they are recorded on the official transcript.

General Requirements for the Master's Degree

Semester Hour Minimum

The candidate must earn graduate credit amounting to a minimum of 30-36 semester hours.

Credit for Problems Courses

Courses at the 300- and 400-level may be counted toward the degree upon a written recommendation of the student's advisor and approval of the chair of the department in which the course is offered and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Students taking such courses for graduate credit will be expected to complete course requirements different from those ordinarily included for undergraduates. The number of individual problems courses taken for credit toward the degree and the approved undergraduate courses is limited to a combination of no more than 12 hours.  Courses used for this purpose must have the 586 graduate-level designated number.

Undergraduate courses taken for leveling or as undesignated electives are used in the calculation of the semester and cumulative grade point averages and thus determine one's academic standing.

Limitations on Transfer Courses

Upon the recommendation of the advisory committee and the head of the major department and the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the University may accept as many as 12 hours of graduate work completed at another regionally accredited institution. Course work in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A, B, C, etc.) are given (for example CR, P, S, U, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Credit for course work submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours.

A maximum of 12 hours from courses that have been applied or counted toward a completed graduate degree program may be transferred into a Tarleton master's degree or doctoral program with the approval of the academic department in which the degree is sought. A maximum of 12 hours from a completed master's degree from Tarleton may be counted toward a second master's degree with the approval of the academic department. All courses accepted in transfer must have been completed within six years of the time that the student will complete his/her graduate degree program at Tarleton.

No academic work completed by correspondence may be applied to graduate degree programs.

Admission to Candidacy for Master's Degree

Full admission to Graduate Studies is a prerequisite to admission to candidacy for the master's degree. A graduate student may be admitted to candidacy when his / her advisory committee files an approved degree plan accompanied by the student's application for candidacy. The advisory committee will not file a degree plan until the student has completed at least 12 semester hours of graduate credit with an overall B (3.0) GPA.

Degree Plan

A graduate student's degree plan includes those courses listed for degree credit on the official degree plan form. All courses on the approved degree plan must be completed with a satisfactory grade to meet requirements for the degree. Changes in an approved degree plan can be made by recommendation to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies by the student's complete advisory committee and head of his or her major department.

Courses listed for graduate credit on the approved degree plan in which the student has received a final grade may not normally be removed from the degree plan, although courses acceptable for graduate credit may be added. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the student's advisory committee, head of his or her major department, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Degree Major

All degrees require a minimum of 18 semester hours to be completed in the student's major field.

The graduate major requires an undergraduate background of at least 24 semester hours, including 12 advanced hours. However, graduate students who have taken 18 hours of advanced undergraduate education courses as a prerequisite for a teaching certificate may be admitted to a Master of Education degree program.

Research and Practicum Requirement

All students seeking a master's degree must have credit for an approved research course.


Not every graduate program at Tarleton requires a thesis for completion of a master's degree. The Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science, and some majors in the Master of Education degree provide a thesis option.

Students must have full admission to a degree program and the permission of the department head to enroll in thesis. A thesis will not be accepted unless a student has completed a minimum of six semester hours of thesis course work (588). The Thesis Manual, which contains details regarding the preparation and submission of a thesis for approval, is available on the Graduate College website. Students who plan to pursue a thesis should obtain a copy of this manual early in their graduate program.  A thesis proposal must be submitted to the Graduate Office at least one semester prior to a thesis submission.

Thesis Credit. Students who pursue a thesis are required to enroll each semester in at least one thesis course until the thesis is completed. Those who make satisfactory progress will be given the grade of I. Once the thesis has been approved and accepted, the final six semester hours of thesis will be assigned the grade of S. The thesis grade of S is not included in the GPA calculation for the degree major or minor. Only six hours of thesis credit will count towards the 30-36 required hours.

Microfilming and Copyrighting of Theses and Dissertations

All theses, dissertations and abstracts completed by graduate students at TSU are sent electronically to UMI/ProQuest of Ann Arbor, MI, for microfilming to be available worldwide.  ProQuest publishes all master's thesis abstracts in Master's Abstracts which is distributed on a subscription basis. The abstract of a given thesis is restricted to 150 words; and for a dissertation, 300 words. Mathematical formulas and other illustrated materials in the abstract are equated to the number of words that will occupy the space in determining its length.

The author wishing to copyright a thesis or dissertation must pay an additional cost of $55. However, if the document contains extensive use of material copyrighted by another author, the author of the document must certify that the material is used with the written permission of the other copyrighted author.

Copy quality must be acceptable to the Graduate Office. The fee for binding the thesis copies is $37.50. The fee for binding the dissertation copies is $87.50. The student may request that additional copies be bound for $12.50 each. This process is carried out through the Graduate Office.

The Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for any of the master's degrees at Tarleton must satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination. A graduate student must be admitted to candidacy for a degree before he/she will be allowed to take the comprehensive examination.

The policies and procedures for the comprehensive examinations are available in the office of the department head of the student's major field of study. Early in their degree program students should review the requirements for taking the examination. Some departments require both oral and written examinations, which must be scheduled early in the semester in which they are to be administered. Consult the University calendar for deadlines for submission of comprehensive examination results to the College of Graduate Studies.

The oral examination, when required, is conducted by the student's advisory committee. A representative of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will be invited to participate in this examination.

Students whose performance on the comprehensive examination is unsatisfactory may reschedule an examination at the next regular administration, or, at the discretion of the advisory committee and head of the department involved, at an earlier date. Unless departmental requirements are more limiting, students who attempt the comprehensive examination three times and are not successful will be dropped from the graduate program.

Application for a Degree

Candidates for a degree must complete the online graduation application not later than the dates specified in the University Calendar.  Students must have a current graduate degree plan on file in the Graduate Office before applying to graduate.

To be considered for degree conferral, a candidate must be in good standing with the University. All contractual and financial obligations to the University must be satisfied.

Pathways To The Doctorate Program: A Texas A&M System Initiative

The Pathways to the Doctorate is a program dedicated to increasing the number, quality, and diversity of master's and doctoral graduates across all disciplines within The Texas A&M University System. Consisting of twelve universities as well as the Health Science Center, the System spans the State of Texas. This enables the System universities to recruit top students from a variety of geographical, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural environments. The Pathways to the Doctorate is one approach to Closing the Gaps Program in Texas. The goal of the Pathways to the Doctorate Program is to attract high achieving students within The Texas A&M System to pursue careers in higher education. This program will help produce some of the next generation of faculty.

Through a variety of activities such as seminars and workshops, inter-institutional exchange programs, a mentoring program and an annual research symposium with System-wide participation, the Pathways program aims to:

  • Create a pathway for talented students to pursue graduate education
  • Foster opportunities for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to collaborate and to foster innovative research and interpersonal communication skills
  • Enlighten and encourage students and teachers (K-12 through college) to see that science and technology are essential to lead a life of discovery and fun
  • Help meet faculty needs as post-secondary enrollment grows and current faculty retire

Admission to the College of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program

The program is a cohort model. Students are admitted annually. The focus of the Ed.D. program is on educational leadership in the Pk-16 environment. The degree program is predicated on the scholar-practitioner model. Graduates of Tarleton's Ed.D. program will be active consumers of educational research and subsequently able to utilize research knowledge and skills in the Pk-16 setting.

Admission to the Program

The admission process is a three-stage process. Stage 1 is the screening process, which includes submission of all appropriate documents by the deadline of April 1. Stage 2 is the evaluation process, review of a writing sample, and personal interviews. Stage 3 is the selection stage. During stage 3, the admissions committee determines the applicants most appropriate for admission to the doctoral program. Admission to the program is full admission; there is no conditional or probationary status.

Application Packet

On or before April 1, the College of Graduate Studies in Stephenville must receive all of the following items:

  • Official transcripts including completion of a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 on all graduate work
  • Minimum of 18 semester credit hours of graduate or undergraduate work in administration, management, leadership, or equivalent
  • Minimum of four (4) references – two from persons holding a doctorate (current TSU EDAD faculty may not complete the reference forms)
  • Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); cannot be older than 5 years
  • A leadership portfolio (materials should be in a loose leaf or spiral binder for best organization)
Course Work

The doctoral program curriculum consists of 72 semester hours in educational leadership, research tools, specialization area, and electives. Course work taken more than 10 years previous to the date of graduation will not apply toward the degree. Undergraduate or master's level work taken as leveling is generally not acceptable as doctoral level credit. Should any master's level work be applied to the degree plan, approval must be made by the director of the doctoral program and the dean of the graduate college.

The grading system for doctoral students is the same as for master's level students. Unsatisfactory performance in the program, a cumulative GPA below a 3.0, will result in probation for one semester and if not improved in the subsequent semester, suspension from the program. Any appeals are made to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies through the doctoral committee.

Doctoral students unable to maintain the cohort pace may request a leave of absence through their advisor and graduate committee.

Dissertation and Committee Role

A doctoral dissertation is required of all students in the program. Topics must be approved by the doctoral advisor(s), the doctoral committee and the dean of the graduate college. The student must enroll in a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation. A grade of In Progress (PR) will be recorded each semester until the dissertation is successfully complete. Upon completion of the dissertation, the dissertation committee chair will record a grade of satisfactory (S) for the last 12 hours of the dissertation.

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will orally defend the final product to the dissertation committee and a representative of the College of Graduate Studies. Students whose performance is unsatisfactory will work with their advisor to reschedule an examination in the next semester.

Policies and procedures for all requirements for this program may be found in the Ed.D. Educational Leadership handbook, available in hard copy and online.

Application for a Degree

See instructions under application for a degree in the master's section.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships for graduate students are available in most academic departments that offer a master's or doctoral program as well as other university support areas. Most assistantships are considered as a staffing function of the department in which the applicant wishes to study.

A graduate student must meet the following requirements in order to hold a master's assistantship:

  • Be admitted into the graduate college
  • If teaching, must have a minimum of 18 graduate hours in the field to be taught
  • Have a satisfactory GRE score (if applicable) and a satisfactory undergraduate GPA
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 graduate GPA
  • Be in good standing with the Graduate College
  • Be enrolled in and complete at least 6 hours of graduate credit each term (3 hours for the entire summer session)

Applications for such positions must satisfy both the Graduate School and department requirements. Academic excellence and maturity are the primary qualifications.

Dr. Linda M. Jones, Dean
Administration Annex II, Room 100
Box T-0350
(254) 968-9104