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Section 4
Graduate Admissions


Admissions Requirements | Application Process (how it works) | Deadlines or Search Individual Program Deadlines
Application Checklist | Residency Policy | Application Documents Policy
Additional Requirements of Programs | Admission Status Information (provisional, conditional, etc.)
Readmission Policy | Change of Program (also see Section 7 - Change of Graduate Degree Program | Students with Disabilities Policy


Office of Admissions

University of South Florida
Office of Admissions
4202 East Fowler Avenue, SVC1036
Tampa, Fl 33620-5816

Website:
E-mail:
Phone:
813-974-3350
Fax: 813-974-7343
TTY:
813-974-4488
Interim Director for Graduate Admissions:
Elizabeth O’Connell, Ph.D.

University Admissions Criteria and Policies

USF Regulation USF3-018: Admission to the University of South Florida
 http://generalcounsel.usf.edu/regulations/pdfs/regulation-usf3.018.pdf

Statement of Principles
In graduate admission decisions, multiple sources of information should be 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, should be used in isolation nor should such scores be used in combination or separately to establish minimum or “cut off” scores. Program specific guidelines for the use of standardized test scores should be developed based on the experience of a given department with its pool of applicants.*

* Adapted from the GRE Guide to the Use of Scores 2003-2003.

Admission Requirements Each applicant to a graduate program at the University of South Florida is required to meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. An applicant must have one of the following (a, b, or c):
    1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and satisfying at least one of the following criteria:
      1. “B” average or better in all work attempted while registered as an undergraduate student working for a degree, or
      2. “B” average or better in all work attempted while registered as an upper division undergraduate student working for a baccalaureate degree.
    2. A bachelor’s degree with a “B” average or better from a regionally accredited institution and a previous graduate degree with a “B” average or better from a regionally accredited institution.
    3. The equivalent bachelors and/or graduate degrees from a foreign institution.
  2. Submission of standardized test scores if required by the graduate program.  For Graduate Programs that require the GRE, the Personal Potential Index (PPI) may be required.  Refer to individual program admission requirements for information.
  3. Applicants from countries where English is not the official language must also demonstrate proficiency in English* in one of the following ways:
    1. By providing scores of 79 or higher on the internet based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)
    2. By providing a score of 6.5 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
    3. By providing a score of 53 or higher on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A)
    4. By earning a score of 153 (or equivalent) on the GRE Verbal exam.
    5. By earning a baccalaureate or higher degree at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
    6. By earning a baccalauareate or equivalent degree at a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction (must be documented on the transcript  or on an official Certificate of Medium of Instruction from the Institution).
  4. All specific and additional requirements of the graduate program to which admission is sought (including requirements to submit standardized test scores) consistent with the above Statement of Principles.

The Program Chair and College Dean must approve any exceptions to these requirements before they will be considered by the Office of Graduate Studies.  Such a request must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies with justification and documentation.

*International students who are seeking employment as a teaching assistant (in departments that offer them) must meet additional English Language Requirements.

Application Process (How it works)

Graduate applicants are urged to submit accurate and complete information as early as possible. Applications and supporting documents received after the application deadline will not be acted upon but will will be kept on file for up to one year. At the request of the applicant or graduate program, they will be processed for the next available term.

Please note if the graduate program is a Direct Receipt Program  (http://www.grad.usf.edu/graduate-admissions-direct-receipt.asp). For Direct Receipt Programs application materials should be uploaded with the on-line application AND the hard copies should be sent directly to the program (NOT to the Office of Admissions.) All inquiries regarding application status should also be directed to the Program. 

The Graduate Admissions Office and the Graduate Program review your application for admission to the Office of Graduate Studies. Once the graduate program reviews your eligibility for its graduate program they will forward their decision to the Graduate Admissions Office which in turn will issue the official decision.

If you are a foreign graduate applicant, the International Services Office (http://global.usf.edu/isss/prospect.html) will evaluate your financial statement after you are admitted to determine your eligibility for a student visa.  Your financial statement must be dated within 6 months of starting the degree program. 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 Office of Graduate Studies website at: http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs.php

Graduate Admission Application Deadlines

 The University deadlines for graduate admission are listed below.  However, many academic programs have earlier deadlines that those established by the University, or may admit only for a specific term.  A few programs may have later deadlines, if approved by the Graduate Council.

Applications must be received by the approved Graduate Program deadline.  However, Graduate applications and supporting materials should be submitted well in advance of the published program deadline, especially for those applicants who are interested in being considered for assistantships, tuition waivers, and fellowships.  Applicants who want to be considered for Office of Graduate Studies fellowships must have all application documents on file at USF prior to the program’s application deadline OR February 15, whichever comes first.  Applicants should check with the prospective Program to determine if there is an earlier deadline for consideration of fellowships the Program may offer. 

University Graduate Admission Deadlines***

  Admission in
Spring 2014
Admission in
Summer 2014
Admission in
Fall 2014
University Application Deadline October 15, 2013 February 15, 2014 February 15, 2014
University Application Deadline for
Professional Programs
October 15, 2013 February 15, 2014 June 1, 2014
***As some Graduate Programs may have earlier or later deadlines that the University Deadline, applicants should check the individual Graduate Program listing to confirm the Graduate Admission Date:   http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs/search_all.php  or   http://www.grad.usf.edu/catalog.php

Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process aplpications after the published deadline if space exists within the Program.  Check with the Program for availability.

Admission applications and supporting materials must be received by the application deadlines as posted online at: http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs/programs.asp

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

In addition to meeting the publixhed application deadline for the Program of interest, all  immigration documents should be submitted as soon as posssible, but must be on file at USF no later than the processing deadlines*:

FallSpringSummer
International Applicants Applying from outside the US:May 1September 15January 15
International Applicants Applying from within the US:June 1October 15February 15

*for programs with later admission application deadlines, all materials, including application and supporting documents, must be submitted by the international processing deadline noted above

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the program deadline; and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates.

Application Checklist (To-Do-List)

To assist you in the admissions process the following is your To-Do-List. To expedite the processing of your application, please upload a copy of all of your supporting documents when you submit your application online.  You will also need to send official transcripts and test scores during the application process.

  1. Fill out the Graduate Application online
  2. Pay the Application Fee
  3. Send Transcripts of all prior post-secondary courses taken  (including translations and evaluations for international transcripts)
  4. Have official Test Scores sent to USF
  5. Review and respond to the Conduct Clearance Policy (Legal Disclosure Statement)
  6. Reivew the Florida Residency Policy for Tuition Purposes and provide documents, if needed

  1. Graduate Application: https://secure.vzcollegeapp.com/usf/

Applicants should also check with the Graduate Program to determine if they require any additional, supporting documents beyond the ones listed here.  Admission requirements may be found in the Program listing in the Catalog.  Applicants are encouraged to upload a copy of each supporting document required by the Program through the online applicatoin.  You may upload documents after the application has been submitted.  

  2. Application Fee:

All applicants are required to submit an application fee of $30.00 USD for EACH graduate program (USF Regulation USF4-0107: Special Fees, Fines and Penalties http://generalcounsel.usf.edu/regulations/pdfs/regulation-usf4.0107.pdf. If you attended USF as a former degree seeking student or non-degree student then you will also be required to submit the application fee. Applicants have the option to pay their application fee by credit card (Discover, Master Card, Visa) or by E-Check (personal checking/savings account) through the Graduate Online Application. The Online Graduate Application will not be uploaded if the application fee is not paid. ALL APPLICATION FEES SUBMITTED ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

  3. Transcripts:

One (1) official transcript from all institutions of higher learning where attended by the applicant is required (reference USF Policy 10-044). Former USF students should not submit their USF transcript; it is already on file. Applicants may provide unofficial copies of transcripts to expedite the processing of their applications. Please upload them through the online application. Any offer of admission based on unofficial transcripts will not be finalized until official transcripts are received in a sealed envelope from the Office of the Registrar where they attended. All transcripts must be in English; it is the applicant’s responsibility to have transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of their graduate application packet. If applying while still completing an undergraduate degree, you 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.

*All foreign transcripts that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Documents signed by a notary or other public official with no affiliation to the institution of higher learning will not be accepted. Some graduate programs require a course-by-course evaluation. In the event that the University receives documentation that is questionable, or suspicious in any way, the university will require the applicant to obtain a course-by-course evaluation from a foreign transcript evaluation service. Refer to the Graduate Admissions’ website for a list of evaluation services (http://www.grad.usf.edu/graduate-admissions.asp).

  4. Test Scores:

GRE (Graduate Record Examination): http://www.gre.org
Applicants to programs requiring the GRE* must submit GRE test scores earned within five (5) years of the desired term of entry. Official scores must be submitted to USF directly from the Educational Testing Service, but applicants may provide unofficial copies of their test scores to expedite the processing of their applications. Any admission granted using unofficial scores will not be finalized until official scores from ETS are received. The institution code for USF is 5828 and applies to all tests administered by ETS.

*The GRE requirement is determined by the individual graduate programs. Please contact your program of interest directly for additional information.  Editor's Note: GRE has a new score scale; scores listed on the Program pages in this catalog may reflect the old scale.  Refer to the GRE Concordance Tables to see how the scores compare:  http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/gre_guide.pdf

GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test): http://www.gmac.com
Applicants to programs in the College of Business should submit GMAT** scores earned within five (5) years of the desired term of entry. Official scores must be submitted to USF 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 admission granted using unofficial scores will not be finalized until official scores from Pearson VUE are received. The following are the institution codes for USF administered by Pearson VUE.

 
VP9-M4-23
VP9-M4-04
VP9-M4-97
VP9-M4-80
VP9-M4-21
VP9-M4-01
VP9-M4-25
VP9-M4-18
VP9-M4-67
VP9-M4-86
VP9-M4-17
VP9-M4-66
VP9-M4-40
VP9-M4-74
VP9-M4-48
VP9-4J-76
Ph.D. in Business Administration
Executive M.B.A.
M.B.A., Full Time
M.B.A., Part Time
M.B.A., USF Polytechnic Lakeland
M.B.A., USF Sarasota-Manatee
M.B.A., USF St. Petersburg
Masters in Accountancy
M.A. in Economics
M.S. in Finance
M.S. in Management
M.S. in Management Information Systems
M.S.M. in Marketing
M.S.R.E. in Real Estate
M.S. in Entrepreneur in Applied Technology
Health Administration, College of Public Health

**Applicants may not have to submit a GMAT if you have taken the GRE. Please contact your program of interest directly for additional information.

MCAT
For those programs that may require or accept the MCAT, the test typically must be taken within the last five (5) years; check with the Program for specific requirements.

English Proficiency Tests
Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting acceptable scores on one of the English proficiency tests listed below.  They must have been earned within  two (2) years of the desired term of entry. Applications submitted with English proficiency scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied.  

The English proficiency requirement may be waived for admission if the applican meets one of the following conditions:

PLEASE NOTE: International students  from predominantly English-Speaking countries who want to be considered for a teaching assistantship must show proficiency in spoken English even if their TOEFL has been waived for admission to a graduate program. They need a minmum score of 26 on the spoken portion of the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC test administered by ETS (http://www.ets.org/toeic ).  Please reference  http://usfweb2.usf.edu/admissions/international-language-requirements.html for more information on language requirements.

  5. Conduct Clearance Policy (Legal Disclosure Statement):

All graduate applicants are required to answer the Conduct Clearance questions of the graduate application. The applicant will not be notified of the admission decision until answers to the two questions have been received. Applicants who meet the criteria for disclosure must provide specified documents and be reviewed by the Vice President of Student Affairs or his/her designee (Associate Dean of Students), if warranted.

  6. Florida Residency Policy:

Applicants desiring classification as Florida residents for tuition paying purposes must sign and complete the Florida Residents section of the Florida Residency Classification page of the Graduate Application. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be classified as non-Florida residents. The Office of Graduate Admissions will classify applicants as Florida residents if they have provided documentation that verifies they began living in Florida at least twelve months prior to the first day of classes of their admitted term of entry. Additional documentation other than what is required may be requested in some cases. All documentation is subject to verification. The student is responsible for checking their residency classification when admitted to the University of South Florida. The residency classification is noted on the official acceptance letter. If the student feels that their initial classification is in error, they have until the last day of the term to contact the appropriate admissions office and request a re-evaluation. After the student has completed their first semester of study they may seek to have their residency reconsidered. They may submit a Request for Reclassification Form with the Office of the Registrar. This must be filed by the 5th day of classes for the term being requested. For more information in Residency refer to: Independent Student:

A student who meets any one of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:

  1. The student is 24 years of age or older by the first day of classes of the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution;
  2. The student is married;
  3. The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student;
  4. The student has other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student;
  5. The student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
  6. Both of the student’s parents are deceased or the student is or was (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court;
  7. The student is working on a master’s or doctoral degree during the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution; or
  8. The student is classified as an independent by the financial aid office at the institution.

Evidence that the student meets one of these criteria will be requested by the higher education institution.

Florida residency statutes require at least two documents, dated 12 months prior to the first day of class for the entry term sought, to validate a claim for Florida residency for tuition purposes. Documents are classified in two tiers – at least one of the required documents must be from the First Tier.

FIRST TIER DOCUMENTATION (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list)

  1. Florida Driver’s License (driver’s licenses from others states must be relinquished) or a State of Florida ID card (if there is no evidence of ties to another state)
  2. Florida Voter’s Registration card
  3. Florida Vehicle Registration (proof of previous registration can be obtained from the local tag office)
  4. Declaration of Domicile in Florida (12 months from the date the document was sworn and subscribed as noted by the Clerk of the Circuit Court)
  5. Proof of purchase of a permanent home in Florida that is occupied as a primary residence of the claimant
  6. Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida (one or more jobs for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period – letter from employer on official letterhead required)
  7. Benefit histories from Florida agencies or public assistance programs

SECOND TIER DOCUMENTATION (may be used in conjunction with one document from First Tier)

  1. Florida professional or occupational license
  2. Florida incorporation
  3. Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  4. Utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
  5. Lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
  6. State or court documents evidencing legal ties to Florida

Application Documents Access/Forward/Return Policy

No application, test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendations, or other documents submitted with the application packet will be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another institution/third party. The Office of Graduate Admissions applicant file is not to be released to the applicant or other third parties. Requests, subpoenas, or court orders are to be forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel after review by the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions. Applicants once admitted and enrolled during the term of admission may request access to their student file at the Office of the Registrar. Letters of Recommendation that the applicant has waived the right to view (indicated on Request for Recommendation Form) are not to be given, copied or viewed by the applicant or third parties. Requests for degree/enrollment verification information are referred to the Office of the Registrar.

Additional Requirements of Programs (If applicable)

Many programs 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 or directly to the appropriate department/program. These materials will be forwarded to the appropriate program if sent with the application packet but DO NOT become part of the applicant’s permanent file; therefore, the Office of Graduate Admissions does not track them and cannot respond to requests to verify receipt of them.

Final Admission Classification

Applicants accepted for admissions whose official documents (transcripts and/or test scores) have been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions are admitted as “Final.” The admission file is complete.

Provisional Admission Classification

Applicants accepted for admission whose official documents (transcripts and/or test scores) have not been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions are admitted provisionally pending receipt of these missing items. The required transcripts and/or test scores must be received before a second semester registration is permitted. During the first semester, the Office of Graduate Admissions will place a registration hold on the student's file. When the missing documents are provided to the Office of Graduate Admissions the registration hold will be removed.

Exception Admission Classification

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, a student should present evidence that their academic preparation was such that it might account for less than the minimal University and/or program requirements, and evidence of potential for academic success such as excellent letters of recommendation from trusted academicians, performance in graduate courses taken as a post-bachelor’s student, professional experience in his/her 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 program, college, and Office of Graduate Syudies to accept exception application requests.

Conditional Admission Criteria

A program and/or college may admit students conditionally upon satisfaction of requirements separate from University minimum requirements. These conditions may include attendance in specific core or remedial courses and/or required earned GPA of 3.00 for those courses. Failure to satisfy those conditions by the deadline established by the program will result in academic dismissal from the program. The College/Graduate Program will submit a Dismissal Form (http://www.grad.usf.edu/student-forms.php) to the Office of Graduate Studies to initiate dismissal.

Deferment of Admission Request

An applicant's acceptance is granted for that semester and the particular program specified in the official acceptance notification. In order to validate that acceptate, the applicant must enroll for that semester. Applicants who do not validate their admission may contact the Graduate Program Director 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 activated within the 12 months, a new application and fee must be submitted for future consideration. Deferment requests must also be received no later than the program or University application deadline for the semester desired, whichever is earlier (for deadlines go to http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs/search_all.php.

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 the Office of Graduate Admissions. International students must also provide a new financial statement dated no earlier than 6 months before the requested date of entry.

Special exemption to this policy may be granted to active duty U.S. military personnel who receive military orders that prevent them from beginning a graduate program during the requested term.. These applicants may have their admission honored for up to 2 years, pending approval from their academic program, and proper documentation of their deployment. These extensions would be granted on a case by case basis.

Update of Admission Request

If admission has not been granted because of a late application or missing credentials and the applicant wants to be considered for a future semester, the student must request that the Office of Graduate Admissions update the application and specify the new enrollment date. This 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. The Office of Graduate Admissions will not process any update requests without first receiving all official transcripts and required test scores.

Denial of Admission / Appeal for Reconsideration Criteria

Applicants denied admission will be given timely notice by email or postal service. Denied applicants who meet the minimum standards may write the Graduate Program Director of the program to which they applied within 30 days of the date of denial to request reconsideration. The request should present additional evidence of potential for academic success at USF and contain reasons why reconsideration is warranted. Applicants denied admission to a degree program are eligible to enroll as special (non-degree seeking) students, although course selection restrictions may apply. Non-degree applications must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Activation of Admission

An applicant’s acceptance is granted for the semester and the particular program specified in the official acceptance notification. In order to validate the acceptance the applicant must enroll for that semester. Applicants who do not validate their admission may contact the Graduate Program Director 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 activated within the 12 months, a new application and fee must be submitted for future consideration.

Readmission Policy

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 n inactive status (refer to the Continuous Enrollment Policy for more information).   Students who wish to continue their studies must be readmitted to the degree program. Readmission is at the discretion of the program and is not guaranteed.

Eligibility for readmission:

Eligibility for readmission:

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 USF will be required.

Change of Graduate Program

A change of graduate program allows a student to withdraw from his/her current graduate program and enter into a different graduate program. A change of graduate program:

Students not in good academic standing must consult with the Office of Graduate Studies prior to initiating a Change of Graduate Program Application. Students may view the procedures and obtain the Change of Graduate Program Application at http://www.grad.usf.edu/inc/linked-files/GRADUATE_SCHOOL_Chg_of_Program_Application.pdf. Students must consult with the new program and the Office of Graduate Studies before completing any paperwork.

Students with Disabilities Policy

Students with disabilities apply for admission under the same guidelines as other students. Applicants believing that a disability has had an impact on grades, course choice, or standardized admission test scores, should request consideration of this during the admissions process. Students requesting substitution of departmental guidelines will need to contact the appropriate department chairperson. Please submit supporting documentation when requesting a disability exception. Students bear the responsibility for providing documentation of their disabilities.

The University reviews documentation and determines if students are eligible for services and accommodations because of disabilities. The Office of Student Disability Services is charged with the task of determining eligibility. Accommodations and services are not provided on a retroactive basis. Approval must be given prior to receiving services or accommodations. The process begins when students provide documentation of disability and meet with a coordinator in the Office of Student Disability Services to request in writing services and accommodations. Any faculty members or students who have questions about this process are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Disability Services at (813) 974-4309 or visit the website at http://www.sds.usf.edu/


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