|THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG|
|Table of Contents > Academic Policies|
4.4 ADMISSION CRITERIA
The Graduate School makes admission decisions based on a composite of qualitative and quantitative information that include, but are not limited to, the following: the applicant's statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, the academic standing of the student in program(s) in which the applicant has studied, relevant professional activities and achievements, admissions test scores, previous grades, and the recommendation of the faculty in the area to which the applicant is seeking admission. Each application is considered in the context of other applications to the same area, with due consideration given to the availability of space in the program at the time the student applies, the need to maintain a pool of students of superior potential, and other goals of the program. A department may set higher admission standards for doctoral students. Not every student whose credentials meet stated quantitative standards is admitted.
A person holding a bachelor's degree (or who is a senior) from a U.S. regionally accredited institution (or the foreign equivalent for an international applicant) is eligible for consideration for admission to the Graduate School of The University of Alabama.
An applicant may apply to only two programs at a time and, upon acceptance to each, pursue only two programs at a time. Application to each program will be considered separately. The timeline for each program is based on the admission term for each, the degree completion requirements of each, and so forth. A student who pursues two programs must apply for candidacy and meet the degree requirements for each program. See Degree Requirements for additional information.
Persons are admitted to a specific program of study as specified on the application. A request for a change of program or continuation beyond an original purpose is viewed as a new application and is subject to current procedures and standards.
Admission to graduate studies at The University of Alabama is valid for 12 months after the requested entrance date. In some departments, students must seek pre-approval if they wish to change the entrance date initially requested on their applications. International students requesting a change in their entrance date should also be aware that their TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of initial enrollment at the University. Should the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE become more than two years old prior to enrollment, the student will be required to retest and submit an acceptable score prior to enrolling. If a student applies but does not complete any coursework within 12 months of the requested entrance date, a new application and an accompanying appropriate fee must be submitted. If a student enrolls for classes but then fails to register for three consecutive years, the student must reapply for admission.
The dean of the Graduate School is the only person authorized to waive any requirement, admit applicants to the Graduate School, or otherwise notify applicants of the disposition of their applications.
Additional requirements may be stated in the divisional and departmental sections of this catalog.
Admission requirements are subject to change without prior notice. Being admitted to a graduate program does not mean that each course required in the student's program of study will be available each semester or in a specific semester.
Types of admission are described below.
An applicant whose credentials meet both of the following minimum requirements may be considered for regular admission:
These are minimum requirements; divisions or departments may set higher standards.
An applicant may be considered for conditional admission if he or she meets either the GPA requirement for regular admission (GPA of 3.0) or the entrance examination score requirement for regular admission.
These are minimum requirements. Divisions or departments may set higher standards or may not consider students for conditional admission.
A graduate student removes the
condition by earning an average of "B" or better in the first 12
semester hours of graduate-level work completed and by satisfying
any other conditions specified by the department or the Graduate
School at the time of admission. If the 12 hours are completed in a
term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on
the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that
term of enrollment.
The University complies with laws concerning readmission of service members.
student who has been admitted to or enrolled in The University of
Alabama Graduate School may ask for a military leave to fulfill a
U.S. military obligation. The student should notify the Dean of the
Graduate School of a call to military service and provide
documentation. Upon return from military service, the student also
should notify the Dean of the Graduate School of the intent to
return to graduate school and provide documentation of honorable
A student called to active military duty, unless dishonorably discharged, and eligible for readmission as defined by law, will receive an extension of the degree time limit equal to the term of eligible service, with a cap on the number of years in the extension. The extension is subject to the 5-year limit as applicable to readmission provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Section 484C of the HEA) and implementing regulations in 34 CFR Section 668.18.
ADMISSIONS EXAMINATION CRITERIA
Graduate admission examinations are required for applicants to most programs and must be less than five year old. Most departments require a score of 300 on the revised GRE test or a 1000 on the GRE general test. Some departments may allow substitution of the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for the GRE. Applicants to the Manderson Graduate School of Business are required to submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) although some departments allow the use of the GRE. Applicants should consult the department descriptions in this catalog or contact departments directly for more specific information about admissions examination requirements.
The following departments have received approval to eliminate or modify criteria for graduate admissions test scores:
Information concerning the GRE is available from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540. The GMAT and MAT are given by the testing services of The University of Alabama and by most colleges and universities and may be taken by appointment. Applicants should plan well in advance so the results of the required examination will be available when needed to support an application for admission. Braille editions of both the GRE and MAT can be obtained from The University of Alabama, Testing and Data Management Services, Box 870108, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0108.
Interested persons with restrictions that prevent the use of our online application should contact The University of Alabama, Graduate School, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118 or 1-877-UAGRADS; telephone (205) 348-5921; e-mail email@example.com.
Expedited Admission for University of Alabama Seniors. Undergraduate seniors in participating departments enrolled at The University of Alabama who have completed at least 91 hours, have overall GPAs of 3.0 or better, are recommended by the faculty in their departments, and wish to apply for admission to graduate study in their current fields may be eligible for an expedited admissions process by completing the Bachelor's to Master's/Doctoral program application. Students should contact the department or program for details. Students who plan to seek scholarships or fellowships are strongly encouraged to follow the application procedures outlined under "Regular Admission."
Irregular Postgraduate (IPG) Admission. A person who applies but is not admitted to the Graduate School may, on the recommendation of the department or division concerned and with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, seek admission as an irregular postgraduate (IPG) student, for the purpose of attempting to qualify for admission to the Graduate School. An applicant who is denied admission must not assume that this procedure is available to all; specific instructions will be given to those who are eligible.
Work taken as an irregular postgraduate cannot be counted as graduate credit at the time it is taken or at a later date. IPG students register as undergraduates and receive undergraduate credit for all work completed. Upon completion of the required program of IPG studies (no less than 12 semester hours of advanced-level undergraduate credit taken from full-time graduate faculty of The University of Alabama), the student must request a review of the application for admission to the Graduate School within 12 months of the initial requested entrance date, or a new application accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee must be submitted.
The University Scholars Program. The University Scholars Program is intended for gifted and highly motivated candidates for BA and BS degrees at The University of Alabama whose objectives include degrees at the master's or doctoral level. In participating University Scholars departments, with a closely integrated undergraduate and graduate program, qualified students begin graduate study in their senior year; such a program may lead to simultaneous completion of requirements for both master's and bachelor's degrees, each within its specified framework.
A student may enroll in only one University Scholars program.
Students in the University Scholars Program are classified as undergraduates until they complete requirements for their undergraduate degrees and therefore may not hold graduate assistantships until their classifications are changed to graduate status. At that time, University Scholars will also become eligible for graduate fellowships and scholarships.
Any department that offers a graduate program may, with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, participate in the University Scholars Program. The following programs currently are approved to participate in the University Scholars Program:
College of Arts and Sciences:
College of Commerce and Business Administration:
College of Communication and Information Sciences:
College of Engineering:
College of Human Environmental Sciences:
The following are minimum requirements; divisions or departments may set higher standards:
Phase I: Admission to Phase I is by invitation of the department and the dean of the Graduate School. Admission is chiefly determined by the faculty's estimate of a student's talents, motivation, and potential for graduate study. Students may also apply for admission to Phase I through their major department during the second semester of the sophomore year. Contingent upon completion of 61 semester hours of study and with a grade point average in all courses taken of not less than 3.3 (as computed without the plus/minus system), students are admitted to Phase I at the beginning of their junior year on recommendation of the departments to which they have applied. During the junior year, students will take between four and six courses in their major field, as advised by their departments, to prepare them for the work of Phase II. Students seeking admission to Phase I will be informed by their departments if their admission requirements differ from those specified here.
Phase II: Admission to graduate study is also by invitation and is facilitated by, but not dependent upon, participation in Phase I. On completion of no fewer than 91 hours (ordinarily at the end of the junior year), students may apply for and be accepted for admission to the Graduate School. They must have grade point averages of not less than 3.3 (as computed without the plus/minus system) in all courses. Transfer students are subject to the published residence regulations and must have completed the last 30 hours in residence. Admission to the Graduate School will be granted if the student has (a) met all the criteria above as well as other minimum requirements for graduate admission (see ďAdmission CriteriaĒ in this Catalog), (b) completed three-fourths of the hours required for the major and the minor, (c) met all requirements for the core curriculum, and (d) been recommended by the department to which he or she is seeking admission. (In special circumstances, departments may elect to invite an application and recommend acceptance of an applicant with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.)
Upon admission to the Graduate School, the student will begin a program of study leading to the master's or doctoral degree as approved by his or her department and by the dean of the Graduate School. The program of study for prospective University Scholars must be submitted to the Graduate School prior to the student's enrollment in graduate classes.
The bachelor's degree normally will be awarded at the commencement immediately following satisfactory completion of the first year of graduate study and attainment of a total of 128 semester hours of credit or the minimum required by the college. Graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above) taken in the senior year/first year of graduate study may count toward both the bachelor's and graduate degrees. No more than 15 graduate-level hours (numbered 500 and above) may be dual counted towards both the bachelorís and graduate degree. Interested students should check with their departments for specific coursework requirements. Participants in the University Scholars Program are exempt from the degree limit of 36 hours in a single department. The master's or doctoral degree will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for these degrees. In some cases, the bachelor's and master's degrees may be awarded simultaneously; the completion of the master's degree, however, may require an additional time period.
Nondegree Admission. An individual who is interested in earning graduate credit but who is not an applicant for a graduate degree at The University of Alabama may be admitted for nondegree studies with the recommendation of the department or program in which the course is offered and approval of the Graduate School dean. Admission may be granted to a qualified student holding a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or the equivalent for international applicants, or to a graduate student in good standing at another U.S. regionally accredited graduate school. Nondegree application forms are available at the Graduate School's Website.
International applicants for nondegree status must submit transcripts (with English translations) and a diploma showing degree earned. They also must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based version, a score of 79 on the iBT, a 6.5 on the IELTS or 59 on the PTE. Applicants also must meet all current immigration requirements.
Nondegree admission is granted for attending special institutes and workshops, for meeting professional training requirements, for taking off-campus courses, or for special conditions approved by the dean of the Graduate School. Departments may set restrictions on the number or type of classes in which nondegree students may enroll, may limit nondegree enrollment to one semester only, or may prohibit nondegree admission. A maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate work may be taken as a nondegree student and later applied to the credit-hour requirements for a degree, if the student is later admitted to a degree program. Individuals enrolled as nondegree students cannot register for more than 12 hours without providing written verification to the Graduate School that they do not plan to pursue graduate degrees at the University. No more than 12 semester hours of this nondegree coursework can be evaluated for degree credit. Application of any nondegree credit toward an advanced degree will be contingent upon an evaluation made after the student has been admitted to the Graduate School to pursue a degree program. Responsibility rests with the student to observe the limitations imposed on credit hours, coursework, and transfer of credit. Procedures and online application for this type of admission are available at the Graduate School's Website. Students who have had an application to a degree program formally rejected are not eligible for nondegree status.
If a student is not eligible for consideration for conditional or regular admission to a degree program, the grades the student earns as a nondegree student will not make the student admissible for the degree program.
Each student taking nondegree courses through the University's programs offered at international sites must submit an official transcript (with an English translation) and a diploma showing a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution (or the equivalent for an international applicant).
Nondegree students are not permitted to hold graduate assistantships. Nondegree students may not be eligible for federal financial aid and loan programs. For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, Box 870162, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35487-0162 ; telephone (205) 348-6756.
Admission of International Students. Applicants who are citizens of countries other than the United States are welcome at The University of Alabama. Highly qualified students from around the world have been extremely successful in our graduate programs, and the contributions made by our international students in the areas of teaching, research, and general cultural enrichment have been great. Standards for admission and financial aid are extremely competitive, ensuring academic excellence.
Interested students should visit our online application center to apply electronically. Applicants with restrictions that prevent the use of our online application should contact the Graduate School, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118, U.S.A, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The request should contain information on the student's citizenship, formal academic preparation, English language ability, standardized test scores, financial situation, proposed major, and date of entry. Requests for application materials receive initial reviews from the Graduate School dean's office.
The fall semester begins in August and is considered the beginning of the academic year, and international students are strongly advised to plan to begin their studies then. Many of our departments and programs will consider applications for the spring semester, which starts in January, but fewer openings for new students are available at that time.
The University of Alabama recognizes that, to be accurately evaluated, applications from international students require more time and more supporting information than do domestic applications. For this reason, international applicants applying from outside the U.S. are encouraged to have complete applications, with all supporting documents, at least 180 days before the beginning of the semester for which application is made. All applications must be complete at least 120 days before the beginning of the semester for which application is made. Some departments have earlier deadlines; applicants should contact the departments in which they are interested to obtain information about department deadlines and other requirements. Applications completed after the deadline will automatically be considered for the following semester. The student whose application is completed well in advance of our deadlines is more likely to be admitted and to receive admission and immigration materials in time to make travel arrangements.
Each international application must hold the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelorís degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for graduate admission. While individual departments may have more stringent requirements, bachelor degrees from Bologna Accord certified institutions are considered to meet this criterion.
A student whose first language is not English must submit an official score report for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE). The minimum score for admission to a degree program or for nondegree admission is 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 79 on the iBT. The minimum IELTS score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 6.5. The PTE minimum score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 59. TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of intended initial enrollment at The University of Alabama. Should TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores become more than two years old prior to enrollment, the student will be required to retest and submit an acceptable score before enrolling. The TOEFL. IELTS or PTE will not be required from any applicant who has earned a degree from an accredited U.S. college or university within the past three years. The Test of Spoken English (TSE) is recommended for international students who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships. For information on registering for the TOEFL, or TSE available worldwide, IELTS and PTE visit the testing center websites or contact U.S. embassies, consulates, USIS offices, Institute of International Education offices, AMIDEAST offices, and other organizations concerned with international education.
The University of Alabama offers intensive English language instruction to prepare students for further academic study at colleges and universities in the United States. In addition, the University maintains (through the English Language Institute) the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP), a program that all graduate assistants with any teaching or instructional activities who are non-native speakers of English must successfully complete before they are allowed to teach. Students are recommended for ITAP by their departments. For information about these programs write to the Director, English Language Institute, Box 870250, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0250, U.S.A. Admission to the English Language Institute does not constitute admission to a graduate program at The University of Alabama.
Students whose applications to the Graduate School are approved will receive housing and health-service information, a letter of admission, and an immigration document (usually Form I-20 or DS-2019). Upon arrival in Tuscaloosa, students should report to Capstone International Programs and Services in order to obtain registration materials and information on the special orientation session for international students that is held prior to the beginning of each semester.
Nonresident foreign students who are offered graduate assistantships are limited to a maximum.50 FTE (half-time) assistantship. Additional employment outside the University is not permitted.
Students are encouraged to direct any questions they may have concerning immigration, housing, or the health service to the Director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Box 870304, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0304, U.S.A. Questions concerning admission procedures should be directed to the Graduate School.
Requirements and deadlines for submitting applications are subject to change; applicants should review the specific instructions on the application forms for current requirements and deadlines.
Students who have provisional language admission are accepted to the Graduate School but must attend full-time intensive English language instruction at the English Language Institute (ELI). The student must complete the ELI's Intensive English Program with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the advanced levels (levels 4, 5, and 6) or earn a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 79 on the iBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS before he or she will be allowed to enroll in graduate courses, hold teaching assistantships, or hold internally funded research assistantships. Students who have provisional language admission are eligible to hold only externally funded research assistantships.
NOTE: In special circumstances, a student may initiate the following requests to his or her department chair. The student's request and the specific course to be taken must be approved by the student's department, advisor, course instructor, ELI, and the Graduate School:
When a student with provisional language admission begins enrollment in graduate courses, he or she must meet all other requirements for conditional admission, as in the Admission Criteria section of this Catalog.
International graduate applicants should inform the Graduate School that they wish to be considered for provisional language admission, when they submit their graduate application forms.
International Bridge Program. According to current University of Alabama graduate policy, "each international applicant must hold the equivalent of a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for graduate admission." The University of Alabama International Bridge Program is intended for the international graduate applicant who holds a three-year bachelor's degree from a country where that credential is not deemed equivalent to the four-year U.S. bachelor's degree. By completing a fourth year, or bridge year of undergraduate study at The University of Alabama, an international student from a recognized foreign institution with a three-year bachelor's degree will have the opportunity to enter graduate study without completing a separate four-year bachelor's degree. The student will complete a "bridge year" of University of Alabama undergraduate coursework and then begin the graduate degree program.
International applicants interested in the International Bridge Program should consult the list of participating departments that are approved to accept applications for the bridge program. If the intended major is listed as participating, then the international applicant will apply for the International Bridge Program following the same graduate application process as other international graduate applicants to the degree program. International applicants may apply electronically using the Graduate School 's website or the print application forms. International applicants meeting the Graduate School 's and department's minimum GPA, GRE, and TOEFL requirements for regular admission to a graduate degree program and who receive the department's recommendation will be considered for admission in the International Bridge Program. Students admitted into the International Bridge Program will hold a regular graduate admission for a degree program, but will first complete the bridge year of University of Alabama undergraduate coursework and then begin graduate study to complete their graduate degree program.
Each department that participates in the International Bridge Program will provide a written description and specific departmental requirements for their bridge students. Bridge year requirements include the following, at a minimum:
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG