Admission Policies and Procedures
Regular students are students who seek admission to one of the doctoral or master’s degree programs offered by the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Regular students must register for at least nine credit hours to be considered full-time, with the exception of the final term in which students may register for one credit hour and be considered full-time; however, registration for fewer than five credit hours may have financial aid consequences, so a student should consult with the Office of Financial Aid prior to registration. Individuals seeking admission as a regular student must submit an official application and must fulfill the admission criteria for the college, as well as the criteria of the respective program. Applications for regular students are available on The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Admissions page (http://www.uthsc.edu/admissions/cghs.php). At this site the prospective applicants should click on “Apply Now!” located on the left panel.
Admission as a regular student requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) from an accredited college or university and a revised Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) combined score totaling at least 300 for verbal and quantitative sections. Some programs may require a higher GRE score for admission, and may accept other standardized entrance examinations. Three letters of recommendation from previous instructors or persons capable of judging the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study are also required. For foreign applicants, evidence of proficiency in English or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 79 (earned within 2 years prior to application) on the internet-based exam is also required. Each graduate program may have additional requirements hence prospective students are advised to visit the webpages of program of interest for such requirements.
Each program has an admissions committee to review applications and recommend the most qualified candidates for admission as a regular student. The number of positions available in each program is limited, so some students who meet minimum admission requirements may not be recommended for admission. The applications of those recommended for admission are forwarded to the Dean for final review of qualifications and position availability. The Dean will issue a formal offer of acceptance to successful applicants, who must return a signed form accepting or declining the offer.
The adequacy of preparation for graduate study may be determined from the applicant’s record or by examination at the time the student makes application to the College. In the case of a student whose preparation for formal graduate study is inadequate, a program of prerequisite course work may be required as determined by the graduate program accepting the student. Such courses will not be credited toward meeting the formal course requirement for an advanced degree.
Students applying to the Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering may apply through either the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (http://www.uthsc.edu/bme/) or the University of Memphis (http://www.memphis.edu/bme/future/index.php) websites. Applicants accepted into the Joint Program are admitted to both universities. For each student, one campus is designated as the administrative site. All actions related to assistantships, financial aid, immigration or other government forms, and graduation (e.g., application for candidacy, appointment of faculty committee, thesis or dissertation review and acceptance) are processed based on and follow the policies of the administrative site for a given student. In almost all cases, the administrative site chosen will be that of the student’s Research Advisor.
If an applicant does not enter the College of Graduate Health Sciences in the term in which admission is requested, the student may enter at the beginning of either of the next two terms. However, applicants should be aware that some programs restrict entry to the Fall term. Once admitted and registered, students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment, unless permission is given for interrupted registration.
Admission to the College of Graduate Health Sciences entitles the student to register for graduate courses, but does not mean that he/she is admitted as a candidate for an advanced degree. Candidacy for an advanced degree will be determined after the student has satisfied criteria established by the program in which the student is enrolled and by the College of Graduate Health Sciences.
Options Related to Student Status
Regular students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Students are required to enroll as full- time students upon becoming a candidate for their degree. Students who register for less than nine credit hours, with the exception of the final term, are considered to be part-time. Specific requirements and restrictions for duration of study and number of credit hours are detailed in the College bylaws (http://grad.uthsc.edu/CollegeInfo/index.php?page=Bylaws).
Non-degree students are those who wish to take courses offered by the college but who are not seeking admission to one of the degree programs. Students eligible to enroll under this mechanism are those who are employed by The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, students enrolled in other University of Tennessee Health Science Center colleges, or students who are enrolled at The University of Memphis. All others must apply for and be admitted to a program in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. A non-degree application must be completed six weeks prior to enrollment. Approval is provided on a space-available basis and requires permission of the Instructor and/or Program Director. Non-degree students are limited to accumulating a total of nine credit hours without enrolling in a degree program.
Individuals who wish to attend certain classes regularly, without taking examinations, receiving grades, or obtaining credit, may do so by registering as auditors and paying appropriate fees. Approval is provided on a space-available basis and requires permission of the Instructor and/or Program Director.
International students must present (1) a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous education; (2) authorized college or university records, with certified translations if the records are in a language other than English; (3) evidence of financial resources sufficient to provide the student with adequate support during the period of registration as a student; (4) evidence of proficiency in English; (5) documentation that he/she can provide transportation from his/her country to The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and return; and (6) his/her transcripts evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service that includes calculation of the GPA (i.e., by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (http://naces.org). Any applicant whose first language is not English and who has earned neither a bachelor’s nor a master’s degree from a college or university in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, or Australia must have achieved a TOEFL score of at least 79 (earned within 2 years prior to application) to be admitted. Any applicant whose first language is not English but who has earned a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college or university in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, or Australia, may be exempted from the requirement for the TOEFL. If there is cause to doubt the student’s proficiency in English (as determined by the Dean), the student may be required to take an English proficiency test prior to registration. The complete file, including the application, official certificates, descriptive titles of courses taken and detailed transcripts with marks gained in final examinations, must be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services (910 Madison Ave., Suite 520, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN 38163) at least three months in advance of the term in which admission is desired. Transcript evaluation must be completed upon acceptance of the offer of admission and no later than June 15 in the year of matriculation. Successful applicants will receive a certificate of acceptance to be presented to the United States Consul with the application for a student visa. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center will not accept visas issued for admission to other colleges or universities.
All graduate students, except those on active military duty, will enroll each term. Students who need to leave the University for greater than four weeks must discuss their need with their advisor before making a written request for a leave of absence to their Program Chair (see Leave of Absence policy in this bulletin).
Registration must be accomplished no later than the first day of classes each term. The academic calendar indicating these dates is provided in this bulletin and available at (http://www.uthsc.edu/registrar/academic_calendar.php). Each student should consult with the Program Chair or Director to devise a course schedule for each term. Each student must ascertain that their status is correct and is correctly noted during registration; tuition and fee status will be determined through the Office of the Bursar based on this information.
At the discretion, and with the permission, of the student’s Research Advisor, courses may be dropped, added, or changed from credit to audit (or vice versa) within 15 calendar days after the beginning of the course (refer to the Dropping-Adding Courses policy in this bulletin).
Technical Standards and Accommodations
The minimum abilities for eligibility to participate successfully in educational programs and activities by students enrolled in the College of Graduate Health Sciences are listed below. All persons who wish to enter one of the programs in the College should be aware of the minimum abilities required for success. Admission decisions for the College programs do not take disabilities into consideration; students may disclose their disabilities after admission.
Minimum abilities are as follows:
- To make proper assessments and ethical judgments regarding research and professional decisions.
- To communicate effectively with colleagues and professional staff.
- To acquire necessary information developed through classroom instruction, laboratory experience, independent learning, and consultation.
- To search and evaluate articles in the scientific literature.
- To obtain, interpret, and accurately document research data.
- To complete computer-based assignments and use computers.
- To understand and carry out safety rules and precautions in the laboratory.
- To handle emergencies in the laboratory, including fire, exposure to dangerous agents, and explosions.
These abilities may be accomplished through direct student response, use of prosthetic devices, or personal assistance (e.g., readers, signers, and note takers). Purchase of prosthetic devices to aid the student in meeting these requirements is the responsibility of the student. On a case-by-case basis and upon written request of the student, the College may assist in providing attending services.
Applicants verify in writing that they are able to meet these technical and performance standards with or without accommodation and are instructed to contact the Student Academic Support Services Office, GEB, room BB9, for questions and assistance. Determination of eligibility and recommendations of accommodations must be made by Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion https://www.uthsc.edu/sassi/. The college will provide reasonable accommodations, as required by the student’s documented disabilities with SASSI, and at the student’s written request to the Dean, College of Graduate Health Sciences. In summary, the mission of the college is to prepare students for the practice of biomedical research and teaching. The College of Graduate Health Sciences, in accord with Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Public Law 101-336), has established the aforementioned essential functions of graduate students. The college will consider for admission applicants who demonstrate the ability to perform or to learn the essential skills required for a career in biomedical research. Students will be judged primarily on their scholastic accomplishments in demanding academic courses as well as the ability to perform research and prepare a thesis or doctoral dissertation of high quality. Candidates will also be judged on physical and emotional capacities for a career in biomedical research.
Immunizations, Health Insurance, and Criminal Background check
All entering students must undergo tuberculin (TB) skin testing at registration and document prior immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio, and tetanus by recorded evidence of immunization. University Health Services ensures that students are immunized against hepatitis B. However, exceptions to this policy may be made for individual students making such a request by providing reasonable cause and by signing a statement of declination. For additional information on immunizations: http://www.uthsc.edu/grad/CollegeInfo/index.php?page=Bylaws#Immunizations.
All entering and continuing students must provide proof of health insurance, either through the University policy or through an independent policy. For more information refer to the following website: http://www.uthsc.edu/univheal/student%20services/health_insurance.php. The cost of the insurance is the responsibility of the student. In some cases, the cost of the health insurance is borne by specific stipend or grant funding.
All newly accepted students must have an approved Criminal Background Check prior to matriculation at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Once accepted, applicants will receive information as to how to apply for the criminal background check. Adverse findings on a criminal background check may lead to a withdrawal of the offer of admission or denial of access to a clinical training site. The UTHSC Policy on Criminal Background Checks for Matriculating Students may be found in the student handbook (CenterScope), or at https://uthsc.policymedical.net/policymed/anonymous/docViewer?stoken=de47aa28-16aa-408b-9c96-cb04f232964f&dtoken=ebb4ceee-e5a4-4928-beaa-30305e81d93b. A negative finding will require investigation by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Recruitment.