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 a 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.

Goals

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

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

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

College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of Wildlife, Sustainability and Ecosystem SciencesAgricultural and Natural Resource SciencesMS
Department of Agricultural and Consumer SciencesAgricultural and Consumer ResourcesMS
Department of Animal Science and Veterinary TechnologyAgricultural and Natural Resource SciencesMS
College of Business Administration
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of Accounting, Finance and EconomicsAccountingMAcc
Department of ManagementBusiness AdministrationMBA
Department of ManagementHuman Resources ManagementMS
Department of Marketing and Computer Information SystemsInformation SystemsMS
College of Education
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of Curriculum and InstructionCurriculum and InstructionMED
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesEducational AdministrationMED
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesEducational LeadershipEDD
Department of KinesiologyAthletic TrainingMSAT
Department of KinesiologyKinesiologyMS
Department of Psychological SciencesApplied PsychologyMS
College of Health Sciences & Human Services
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of CounselingClinical Mental Health CounselingMS
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences & Public HealthMedical Laboratory ScienceMS
Department of NursingNursing AdministrationMSN
Department of NursingNursing EducationMSN
Department of Social WorkSocial WorkMSW
College of Liberal & Fine Arts
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of Communication StudiesCommunication StudiesMA
School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic StudiesCriminal JusticeMCJ
School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic StudiesPublic AdministrationMPA
Department of English & LanguagesEnglishMA
Department of Fine ArtsMusic EducationMM
Department of Social SciencesHistoryMA
College of Science & Technology
COLLEGE/DEPARTMENT MAJOR DEGREE
Department of Biological SciencesBiologyMS
Department of Chemistry, Geoscience, and PhysicsEnvironmental ScienceMS
Department of Engineering TechnologyQuality and Engineering ManagementMS
Department of MathematicsMathematicsMS

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 www.ApplyTexas.org.   For U.S. citizens, applications must be received one month prior to the regular registration dates indicated in the current University Calendar. A $45 application-processing fee must accompany each application.
  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 Statement of Purpose addressing career and academic goals. (600 words or less)

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-Good Standing
  2. Admission-Warning
  3. Admission to a Professional Teacher Certificate Program
  4. Admission-Provisional for Tarleton Undergraduates
  5. Admission as a Non-Degree Seeking
  6. Admission to an Accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's Program
  7. Admission to a Dual Master's Program

Admission-Good Standing

  • A minimum grade point average  of 2.5 (based on a 4-point scale) 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.

Admission-Warning

  • 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.

Admission-Provisional for Tarleton 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, or other programs where the use of undergraduate courses towards graduate degrees was specifically approved through the curriculum process.  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 Seeking 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. All programs will meet SACSCOC requirements for program length.  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.

Admission to a Dual Master's Program

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.
Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate 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 academic warning/suspension policies.

International Admissions

Admission of international students to graduate programs will be based upon:

  • 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 non-refundable processing fee of $145 (US) made payable to Tarleton State University must be included with the application.  
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic coursework.  Evaluations must be completed by a recognized member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) and include items such as course names, course descriptions, course credit, course grades, grade point average, degree earned and the date earned.  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.
  • A minimum score of 80 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or a minimum score of 6 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 
  • GRE/GMAT/MAT scores if required by Major department.  Please check with your major department to see which exam, if any, is preferred 
  • Financial guarantee and statement from a reliable financial sponsor.  A sponsor is obligated to endorse all expenditures for the applicant during the entire course of study
  • Submission of 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.

Applications cannot be processed and an I-20 cannot be issued until all materials are received and the applicant is admitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

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.

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.

Academic Load
Master's Student
Semester Credit Hours Fall/Spring Summer
Maximum Load1612
Full-time96*
Doctoral Student
Semester Credit Hours Fall/Spring Summer
Maximum Load1212
Full-time66*
*

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 GPA 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 semester. 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.  A student's cumulative GPA is calculated based on coursework attempted at Tarleton State University and a student's overall GPA is calculated based on coursework attempted at Tarleton State University plus any applicable transfer coursework.  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.

At the end of any grading period, if a student's overall GPA falls below 2.0 he/she will be automatically suspended and cannot enroll for one semester.

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.

Graduate students who are on first-time suspension must reapply (including the $45 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.
  • F0-Failed course, never attended class
  • FX-Failed course, last date of attendance was before the last day of class
  • F-Failed course, last date of attendance was the last day of class
  • 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

Credit for Problems Courses

Students taking Problems courses (5086) 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.

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 State University.

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 Requirement

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

Thesis

Not every graduate program at Tarleton requires a thesis for completion of a master's degree. Please check with your academic department to determine which degrees 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 (5088). 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.

Students who pursue a thesis may be 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 degree.

The Comprehensive Assessment

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

The policies and procedures for the comprehensive assessment 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 the assessment. Some departments require both oral and written assessments, 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 assessment results to the College of Graduate Studies.  If the student's advisory committee decides an oral assessment is required, a representative of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies may be invited to participate.

Students whose performance on the comprehensive assessment is unsatisfactory may reschedule an assessment 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 assessment 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 no later than the dates specified in the University Calendar.  Students must have a current graduate degree plan on file in the College of Graduate Studies 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.

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:

  • Admission into the College of Graduate Studies
  • If teaching, must have a minimum of 18 graduate hours in the field to be taught
  • Satisfactory GRE score (if applicable) and a satisfactory undergraduate GPA
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 graduate GPA
  • Be in good academic standing
  • 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 College of Graduate Studies and department requirements. Academic excellence and maturity are the primary qualifications.

Dr. Barry Lambert, Dean
Administration Annex II, Room 100
Box T-0350
(254) 968-9104
blambert@tarleton.edu
www.tarleton.edu/graduate

Dr. Credence Baker, Assistant Dean
Administration Annex II, Room 100
Box T-0350
(254) 968-9104
cbaker@tarleton.edu
www.tarleton.edu/graduate