USF System Regulation USF3.008: Admission of Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Professional Students
Statement of Principles
In graduate admission decisions, multiple sources of information are used to ensure fairness, promote diversity and balance the limitations of any single measure of knowledge, skills, or abilities. The sources may include: undergraduate grade point average, letters of recommendation, personal statements, samples of academic work, portfolios, auditions, professional experience related to proposed graduate study, as well as nationally known, standardized test scores. It is the responsibility of each graduate program to select admissions’ criteria that best predict success in their specific field and to determine the weight given to each measure.
None of the sources of information, particularly standardized test scores, are used in isolation nor are such scores used in combination or separately to establish minimum or “cut off” scores. Program specific guidelines for the use of standardized test scores are developed based on the experience of a given college with its pool of applicants.
The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, located in C107, work together with the Office of Student Services to support the overall mission of USFSM.
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Each applicant to a graduate program at USFSM is required to meet the following minimum requirements:
- An applicant must have one of the following:
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and satisfying at least one of the following criteria:
- “B” average or better in all work attempted while registered as an undergraduate student working for a degree, or
- “B” or better average in all work attempted while registered as an upper division undergraduate student working for a baccalaureate degree.
- A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a previous graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. In cases where an applicant has a bachelor’s and a graduate degree at the time of admission, the credentials and GPA of the graduate degree will be the determining factor for admission.
- The equivalent bachelor’s and/or graduate degrees from a foreign institution. Bachelor’s degrees from institutions in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) are considered equivalent based on the Bologna Accord. For applicants with a 3‐year Bachelor’s Degree with less than 120 hours, from Non‐Bologna Accord Institutions, a transcript evaluation from a NACES member is required to confirm equivalency.
- Submission of standardized test scores is at the discretion of the graduate program. Applicants from countries where English is not the official language must also demonstrate proficiency in English by providing acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- All specific and additional requirements of the graduate program to which admission is sought (including requirements to submit standardized test scores) consistent with the Statement of Principle.
The College Dean must approve any exceptions to these requirements.
Additional Requirements of Programs
Colleges/programs may require additional application materials, such as resumes, writing samples, or letters of recommendation. These items may be sent as part of the overall graduate application packet. These materials will be forwarded to the appropriate program if sent with the application packet but they do not become part of the applicant’s permanent file.
Conditional Admission Criteria
A college may admit applicants conditionally pending satisfaction of remedial or program requirements. These conditions may include receipt of satisfactory scores on standardized tests, attendance in and satisfactory grade in specific core or remedial courses, etc. It is the responsibility of the college to track the student’s satisfactory completion of the conditions and notify Admissions when conditions are met. Failure to satisfy those conditions by the deadline established by the program will result in academic dismissal from the program. The College will coordinate with the Admissions Office.
Deferment of Admission Request
An applicant’s acceptance is granted for the semester and the particular program specified in the official acceptance notification. The applicant must validate that acceptance by enrolling for that semester. Applicants who fail to validate their admission may contact Admissions and request a Deferment of Admission. This request must be made in writing within 12 months of the initial requested entry date. If a request for Deferment of Admission is not received in the specified time, a new application and fee must be submitted. Deferment requests must also be received no later than the program or University application deadline for the semester desired, whichever is earlier. Applicants who were admitted provisionally upon receipt of official test scores and/or transcripts must supply those missing items prior to having their deferment decision processed by Admissions. International students must also provide a new financial statement dated no earlier than 6 months before the requested date of entry.
Denial of Admission / Appeal for Reconsideration Criteria
Applicants denied admission will be given timely notice by email or in writing. Denied applicants who meet the minimum standards may write the College to which they applied within 30 days of the date of denial to request reconsideration. The Appeal for Reconsideration Form request should present additional evidence of potential for academic success at USFSM and contain reasons why reconsideration is warranted. Applicants denied admission to degree programs are eligible to enroll as special (non-degree seeking) students. Non-degree seeking applications can be found on the USFSM website.
Exception Admission Criteria
The University may admit up to 10% of new enrollees as exceptions to the Board of Trustees minimum requirements. To be considered for an exception, applicants should present evidence that might account for the previous academic record and demonstrate potential for academic success. Examples of this evidence include excellent letters of recommendation from trusted academicians, performance in graduate courses taken as a post-bachelor’s student, professional experience in the discipline for a period of time, etc. Each request for a 10% exception must include a statement describing the special circumstances of the applicant. It is the discretion of the College to accept exception application requests.
Final Admission Criteria
Applicants accepted for admission whose official documents (transcripts and/or test scores) have been received by the Office of Admissions are admitted as “Final.”
Provisional Admission Criteria
Applicants accepted for admission whose official documents (transcripts and/or test scores) have not been received by Admissions are admitted provisionally pending receipt of these missing items. The required transcripts and/or test scores must be received before a third semester registration is permitted. If the missing documents are not provided by the end of the second semester of attendance, Admissions may place a registration hold on the student’s file.
A graduate student who is not registered and enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credits in a 12 month period is automatically placed in non-degree seeking (i.e. inactive) status. Students must be readmitted to the degree program to continue their studies. Re-admission is at the discretion of the program and is not guaranteed.
Eligibility for Readmission
- Students who have been Academically Dismissed from the University for Academic Dishonesty may not apply to any graduate program at USF System Institutions.
- Deadlines: The readmission application and all supporting materials must be submitted by the application deadline.
Additional Requirements for Readmission
In order to be considered for readmission, students must submit a new graduate application, application fee, and any required supporting materials.
The College may require new test scores (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL) and transcripts.
Students who are readmitted must meet the degree requirements and policies in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the time of readmission.
Prior Coursework taken at a USF System Institution:
Coursework taken at a USF System Institution prior to readmission may be accepted toward the degree requirements at the discretion of the College. However, all coursework taken when previously enrolled as a graduate student is included in the overall GPA. Refer to the Time Limitation Policy for time limits on coursework applied toward the degree. Students who completed the required coursework and were previously in doctoral candidacy do not have to retake courses older than eight years unless determined by the program. Students may be required to take new coursework at the program’s discretion. The decision to accept courses previously transferred to USFSM and applied toward the degree is at the discretion of the program.
Students must enroll for the semester in which their readmission is effective.
The readmission policy does NOT apply to inactive students wishing to enroll in a program other than the original admitting program. These students must submit an application for the new program of interest. Transcripts of any work completed while not attending a USF System Institution may be required.
Re-admission Following Non-enrollment
A graduate student who is not registered and enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credits in a 12 month period is automatically placed in non-degree seeking (i.e. inactive) status. Students must be readmitted to the degree program to continue their studies. Re-admission is at the discretion of the program and is not guaranteed. Refer to the Re-admission Policy in the Graduate Admissions Section for more information.
Update of Admission Request
If admission has not been granted because of a late application or missing credentials, the student must request that Admissions update the application for a future semester and specify the new enrollment date. The Update of Admission request must be made in writing within 12 months of the initial requested entry date and must be received no later than the program or University application deadline for the semester desired, whichever is earlier. Applications are held for only 12 months. If a request for change in entry date is not received in the specified time, a new application and fee must be submitted.
All graduate applications to USFSM must be submitted online. Graduate applicants are urged to submit accurate and complete information as early as possible. Applications and supporting documents received after the application deadline will be processed for the next available term.
Applications are reviewed by USFSM Admissions and the College. Once the Office of Admissions determines the application is complete, it will be forwarded to the college for review. The faculty (if applicable) will make a recommendation to the College Dean and Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, which in turn, will issue the official decision. The student will receive an official decision letter from the USFSM Admissions.
If you are a foreign graduate applicant, the graduate admission’s advisor will coordinate with the Global Engagement Office who will evaluate the financial statement after the student is admitted to determine eligibility for a student visa. Refer to the website for the Global Engagement Office for more information. Each of these offices may request additional documents from you to make a decision.
For a complete list of graduate programs and deadline dates please visit the Graduate Admissions website.
To assist in the admissions process, the following is your Application Checklist
- Complete the Graduate Application
- Pay the non-refundable application fee ($30)
- Submit an official transcript showing the bachelor’s or significant progress toward completion of the bachelor’s degree. Applicants who received a degree from a USF System institution are not required to submit a transcript. It is the applicant’s responsibility to have the transcripts(s) translated before submitting them as part of their admission credentials. All foreign post-secondary transcripts must be evaluated by one of the credential evaluation services identified on the USFSM website and published by the appropriate international admissions office. Transcripts not originally issued in English must be accompanied by a translation from one of the approved evaluation services. Documents signed by a notary or other public official with no educational affiliation will not be accepted.
- Submit the Student Immunization and Medical History Form
- Request that the testing agency for the GRE or GMAT send scores directly to the USFSM Office of Admissions
- Complete Conduct Clearance Policy questions (if necessary)
- Review Florida Residence Policy for tuition purposes
- Sign-in to OASIS to monitor your admission status
USF System Regulation USF4.0107: Fees, Fines and Penalties
All applicants are required to submit an application fee of $30.00 for each graduate program to which they seek admission.
If applicants attended a USF System institution as a former degree-seeking student or non-degree-seeking student those applicants will also be required to submit the application fee. Applicants have the option to pay their application fee by credit card (Discover, MasterCard, or Visa) or by E-Check (personal checking/savings account) through Graduate Online Application or OASIS. All application fees submitted are non-refundable.
Conduct Clearance Policy (Legal Disclosure Statement)
USF System Policy 30-018: Admission of Students with Prior Conduct Issues
All graduate applicants are required to answer the Conduct Clearance questions on the graduate application. The applicant will not be notified of the admission decision until answers to the two questions have been received and cleared by the Assistant Vice-President for Student Success and Engagement or designee, if warranted.
GKT (General Knowledge Test)
The Florida General Knowledge Test (GKT) is one the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations for K-6 certification. Basic skills are evaluated through the General Knowledge Test that has 4 subtests: Essay (50 minutes), English Language Skills (40 minutes), Reading (40 minutes), Mathematics (100 minutes). Candidates must pass all four sections of this exam to be eligible for admission. Applicants for the Master in Arts, Elementary Education program should submit official test scores to the USFSM Office of Admissions.
GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
Applicants to programs requiring the GMAT must submit to USFSM GMAT scores earned within five (5) years of the desired term of entry. Official scores must be submitted to USFSM directly from the Pearson VUE Testing Service, but applicants may provide unofficial copies of their test scores to expedite the processing of their applications. Any offer of admission based on unofficial scores will not be finalized until official scores from Pearson VUE are received. The following are the Pearson VUE institution codes for USFSM:
- X9R-MQ-01 M.B.A., USFSM
- X9R-MQ-41 Hospitality Management, USFSM
Applicants who have taken the GRE may not have to submit a GMAT. The GMAT requirement may be waived at the discretion of individual graduate programs. Please contact the USFSM Office of Admissions directly for additional information.
GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
All applicants to programs requiring the GRE must submit to USFSM GRE test scores earned within five (5) years of the desired term of entry. Official scores must be submitted to USFSM directly from the Educational Testing Service, but applicants may provide unofficial copies of their test scores to expedite the processing of their applications. Any offer of admission based on unofficial scores will not be finalized until official scores from ETS are received. The institution code for the USF System (including USFSM) is 5828 and applies to all tests administered by ETS. The GRE requirement may be waived at the discretion of individual graduate programs. Please contact the USFSM Office of Admissions directly for additional information.
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Transcripts and Other Documents
One (1) official transcript from all institutions of higher learning where the applicant has earned a degree is required. Former USF System institution students should not submit their USF transcript because it is already on file. Applicants may provide unofficial copies of transcripts to expedite the processing of their applications. Any offer of admission granted based on unofficial transcripts will not be finalized until official transcripts are received in a sealed envelope from the Office of the Registrar where the applicant attended. All transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant’s responsibility to have all foreign post-secondary transcripts translated and evaluated before submitting them as part of the graduate application packet. Students applying while still completing an undergraduate degree must submit transcripts of at least six (6) semesters of completed undergraduate work. Final transcripts showing the award of a bachelor’s degree will be required if an applicant is admitted and enrolls.