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2017-2018 Graduate Catalog
Section 4 - Graduate Admissions


Admissions Requirements | Application Process (how it works) | Deadlines or Search Individual Program Deadlines | Application Checklist | Bologna Process
Application Documents Policy | Residency 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: 813-974-9689
TTY:
813-974-4488
Director for Graduate Admissions:
David Lee Henry
Associate Director for Graduate Admissions:
Paul Crawford

University Admissions Criteria and Policies

USF Regulation USF3-018: Admission to the University of South Florida
 http://regulationspolicies.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 major 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. Major 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.*

Admission Requirements

Each applicant to a degree 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. 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.
    3. The equivalent bachelors 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.
  2. Submission of standardized test scores if required by the graduate degree program. For Graduate Majors that require the GRE, the Personal Potential Index (PPI) may be required. Refer to individual major 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. Applicants who earn a baccalaureate or equivalent degree at a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction (for the institution and not just the major) may meet this requirement. However, other related factors (including test scores) will also be considered. Medium 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 major to which admission is sought (including requirements to submit standardized test scores) consistent with the above Statement of Principles.

The Department Chair and College Dean must approve any exceptions to these requirements before they will be considered by the Office of Graduate Studies. The reason for the waiver and related documentation must be included on the Graduate Application Referral form.

*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 only be acted upon at the discretion of the graduate major. They will be kept on file for up to one year. At the request of the applicant or graduate major, they will be processed for the next available term.

Please consult with your graduate department to determine if it is a Direct Receipt major. For Direct Receipt major application materials should be uploaded with the on-line application AND the hard copies should be sent directly to the department (NOT to the Office of Graduate Admissions.) All inquiries regarding application status should also be directed to the department.

The Graduate Admissions Office and the Graduate Department review your application for admission to graduate study at USF. Once the graduate department reviews your eligibility for its graduate major 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/is/) will evaluate your financial and immigration documents after you are admitted to determine your eligibility for a student visa. Your financial statement must be dated within 12 months of the starting the degree program. Each of these offices may request additional documents from you to make a decision.

For a complete list of graduate majors and deadline dates please visit the Office of Graduate Studies website at http://www.grad.usf.edu/programs.php

Graduate Admission Application Deadlines

MASTER'S AND
EDUCATION SPECIALIST DEGREES

Admission for
Fall Semester

Admission for
Spring Semester

Admission for
Summer Semester

  • Applications received by the Priority Deadline will receive maximum consideration. 
  • Applications received after the Priority deadline, but by the Final University Deadline, are considered on a space available basis. 
  • Applications must be complete with all required information by the stated deadline.  Any application materials received after the deadline may be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Check with the Graduate Major Director for availability or to discuss options for admission in a subsequent term. 

Priority Deadline
(for funding and consideration)

Refer to Specific Major

Refer to Specific Major

Refer to Specific Major

Final University Deadline
Domestic
Applicants

June 1

October 15

February 15

Final University Deadline
International
Applicants

June 1

September 15

February 15

DOCTORATE DEGREES

Admission for
Fall Semester

Admission for
Spring Semester

Admission for
Summer Semester

  • Applications received by the Priority Deadline will receive maximum consideration. 
  • Applications received after the Priority deadline, but by the Final University Deadline, are considered on a space available basis. 
  • Applications must be complete with all required information by the stated deadline.  Any application materials received after the deadline may be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Check with the Graduate Major Director for availability or to discuss options for admission in a subsequent term. 

Priority Deadline
(for funding and consideration)

Refer to Specific Major

Refer to Specific Major

Refer to Specific Major

Final University Deadline
Domestic
Applicants

February 15

October 15

February 15

Final University Deadline
International
Applicants

February 15

September 15

February 15


Additional Requirements for International Applicants

In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Major of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the deadlines listed 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 deadline for the Major and these applicants must apply no later than the posted International deadline. 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 if you are admitted to a graduate major.

  1. Fill out the Graduate Application online and upload all supporting documents.
  2. List all post-secondary institutions you have attended on the application.
  3. Pay the Application Fee.
  4. Upload through the online application a copy of transcripts of all prior post-secondary courses taken (including translations and evaluations for international transcripts). If you are admitted you must ALSO have official and final transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions.
  5. Upload through the online application a copy of your test score reports. If you are admitted you must also have official Test Scores sent to USF.
  6. Review and respond to the Conduct Clearance Policy (Legal Disclosure Statement).
  7. 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 Major to determine if they require any additional, supporting documents beyond the ones listed here. Admission requirements may be found in the Major listing in the Catalog. Applicants should upload a copy of each supporting document required by the major through the on-line application when it is submitted. However, they may upload additional documents after the application has been submitted. For instruction on uploading, go to http://www.usf.edu/admissions/documents/ho-to-upload-grad-adm-docs.pdf

  2. Application Fee:

All applicants are required to submit an application fee of $30.00 USD for admission to the University of South Florida. Students may apply for multiple majors, with only one application fee being required per every 12 month period from the date of initial application. (USF Regulation USF4-0107: Special Fees, Fines and Penalties http://regulationspolicies.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 processed if the application fee is not paid. ALL APPLICATION FEES SUBMITTED ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

  3. Transcripts:

One (1) complete official transcript from all institutions of higher learning attended by the applicant is required of all students who are admitted and matriculate at USF (reference USF Policy 10-044). At least one transcript must show that the bachelor's degree was completed prior to the start of the graduate major at USF. Former USF students should not submit their USF transcript; it is already on file. However, they must list USF as a post-secondary institution on the application. Applicants should upload copies of all other transcripts to expedite the processing of their applications. These uploaded transcripts are considered unofficial.  Please upload them through the on-line application. Any offer of admission based on unofficial transcripts is considered "provisional"” and 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; International applicants must submit original language transcripts and a certified English translation. It is the applicant's responsibility to have transcripts translated and evaluated* before submitting them as part of the graduate application packet. If they are applying while still completing an undergraduate degree, they must submit transcripts of at least six (6) semesters of completed undergraduate work. *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 majors 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.usf.edu/admissions/graduate/application-requirements/transcripts-foreign.aspx)

Bologna Process - Applications from the European Higher Education Area
USF accepts applications from prospective graduate students with undergraduate degrees from countries that subscribe to the Bologna Process. Applicants with three-year degrees from universities in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may be considered for admission to graduate majors, at the discretion of the Department (or equivalent) and College that offer the Major and with the approval of the Office of Graduate Studies, under the following condition:

Official documentation is presented to demonstrate that a three-year degree (at least 180 ECTS) has been awarded prior to USF matriculation by an institution within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), defined by the Bologna Declaration of 1999. Where applicable, diploma supplements should be included with transcripts and other documents required to demonstrate degree completion. An up-to-date, official listing of Bologna signatory countries may be found at www.ehea.info. Non-Bologna Institutions
Transcripts for applicants from non-Bologna Accord Institutions must be accompanied by an evaluation of the bachelor's degree by an independent third-party member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Confirmation of the baccalaureate degree as equivalent is determined by relevant major faculty, with the assistance of the office of International Admissions, and the Office of Graduate Studies.

  4. Test Scores:

GRE (Graduate Record Examination): http://www.gre.org
Applicants to graduate majors 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 should upload with the application unofficial copies of their test scores to expedite the processing of their applications. Any offer of admission based on unofficial scores is considered “provisional” and 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 majors. Please contact your major of interest directly for additional information. Editor's Note: GRE has a new score scale; scores listed on the Major 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 or http://www.ets.org/s/gre/pdf/concordance_information.pdf

GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test): http://www.gmac.com/gmat.aspx
Applicants to majors in the Muma 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 offer of admission based on unofficial scores is considered “provisional” and will not be finalized until official scores from Pearson VUE are received. The following are the Pearson VUE institution codes for USF majors.

 
VP9-M4-23
VP9-M4-04
VP9-M4-97
VP9-M4-80
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 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 major of interest directly for additional information.

MCAT
For those majors that may require or accept the MCAT, the test typically must be taken within the last five (5) years; check with the Graduate Major 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 countries other than those listed in Appendix C on the Policy on Spoken English Proficiency for Graduate Teaching Assistants/Associates/Graduate Instructional Assistants (http://www.grad.usf.edu/inc/linked-files/GA_Policies_Spoken_English.pdf) who want to be considered for a teaching assistantship must show proficiency in spoken English even if their TOEFL has been waived or accepted for admission to a graduate program. They need a minimum 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://www.usf.edu/admissions/international/graduate/requirements-deadlines/english-proficiency.aspx 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:

Graduate students are typically considered "independent" for tuition purposes. 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 a minimum of two forms of 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.

Students are 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 students feel 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 students have completed their first semester of study they may still seek to have their residency reconsidered; however, they must then 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 on Residency refer to: Independent Student: the Registrar's webpage. For information on reclassification go to http://www.registrar.usf.edu/Residency/Deadlines.php

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 should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

The Office of Graduate Admissions graduate application files may be copied and released to USF staff conducting legitimate University business.

Additional Requirements of Majors (If applicable)

Many majors require additional application materials such as resumes, writing samples, or letters of recommendation. These items should be uploaded through the online application. Check with the graduate major to see if you should also send the paper documents directly to the appropriate department/major. These materials will be available electronically to the appropriate major if sent with the application packet.

Final Admission Classification

Applicants accepted for admission whose final, 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 final, 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 final, official transcripts documenting completion of the required degree prior to the start of graduate study at USF and 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, 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 Major, College, and Office of Graduate Studies to accept exception application requests.

Conditional Admission Criteria

A major and/or college may admit students conditionally in anticipation of the applicant's successful completion of additional requirements separate from University minimum requirements. These conditions may include attendance in specific core or remedial courses and/or a specific earned GPA for those courses. Failure to satisfy those conditions by the deadline established by the major will result in academic dismissal from the major. The College/Graduate Major 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 the semester and the particular major specified in the official acceptance notification. In order to validate that acceptance, the applicant must enroll for that semester. Applicants who do not validate their admission may contact the Graduate Director and request a Deferment of Admission. This request must be made in writing within 12 months of the initial requested entry date and prior to the major's application deadline for the new term. 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.

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 applicants must also provide a new financial statement dated no earlier than 12 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 major during the requested term. These applicants may have their admission honored for up to 2 years, pending approval from their academic major, and proper documentation of their deployment. These extensions would be granted on a case by case basis.

Update of Admission Request

If an admission decision has not been offered and the applicant wants to be considered for a future semester, the applicant 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 major's application deadline for the semester desired. 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 request reconsideration in writing to the Graduate Director of the major to which they applied. This must be done within 30 days of the date of denial. 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 major are eligible to apply as a non-degree seeking student and enroll as special (non-degree seeking) students, although course selection restrictions may apply. Non-degree applications must be submitted online to the Office of the Registrar.

Activation of Admission

An applicant's acceptance is granted for the semester and the particular major 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 Director and request a Deferment of Admission. This request must be made in writing within 12 months of the initial requested entry date and before the major's application deadline for the new term. 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.

Reinstatement and Re-application for Admission Policies

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 inactive status (refer to the Continuous Enrollment Policy for more information). Students who wish to continue their studies must be reinstated or re-apply for admission to the major. Both of these are at the discretion of the Major and are not guaranteed. These policies do not apply to students who have been academically dismissed from the University for Academic Dishonesty.

Reinstatement:

For students who the Major anticipates will complete their degree within their original time limit:

For students who will exceed their time limit for degree completion, but will not be affected by course currency issues (i.e. will finish within ten years of initial admission date in the graduate major)

Re-application for Admission:

Students who have exceeded their time limit for degree completion and/or course currency limits (i.e. ten years from their initial admission date in the graduate major) must re-apply for admission. This will require completion of all degree requirements as posted in the Graduate Catalog in effect at the semester of admission, including such elements as comprehensive exams, thesis/dissertation hours. The Major should evaluate the student's transcript to determine if any of the previous coursework may be transferred in as part of the admission process (note: only structured courses may be considered for transfer – see Transfer of Credit Policy). This will require documentation of course currency through a syllabus-by-syllabus comparison.

To be admitted, the application and all supporting materials must be submitted by the Major's posted application deadline as noted in the Graduate Catalog. These materials include:

Change of Graduate Major

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

Students not in good academic standing must consult with the Office of Graduate Studies prior to initiating a Change of Graduate Major Application. Students may view the procedures and obtain the Change of Graduate Major 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/.