Undergraduate Policies and Procedures
Credit by Examination (AP, CLEP, IB, Cambridge Assessment)
Credit by examination is through such testing programs as the Advanced Placement Program (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), The International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge Assessments. Students petition for credit by examination.
Petitioning examination of credit is recommended to be completed within the student's first term at UT Dallas, but not later than the first day of the student's graduating term. A first-year student must weigh the advantages of accepting college credit through examinations against the possible impact such credit might have on tuition rebate eligibility and their readiness for subsequent courses in an academic sequence.
Guidelines and processes for credit by examinations are available here. UT Dallas must receive an official score report from the testing agency that provided the examination. UT Dallas does not accept examination credit from other higher education institutions' transcripts. As credit is petitioned after admission, credit by examination is not considered as part of an applicant's transferable GPA or transfer hours for admissions.
Criminal Background Check
Certain programs require students to submit to and satisfactorily complete a background check review as a condition of admission and/or participation in education experiences. Students who refuse to submit to a background check or who do not pass the background check may be dismissed from the program. The student is responsible for the costs associated with the criminal background check.
Admission Criteria for First-Time in College Freshmen
In accordance with Section 51.803 of the Texas Education Code, students are automatically admitted to the University as first-time freshmen if they graduate in the top 10% of their class from an accredited Texas high school, and, in accordance with Section 28.025 of the Texas Education Code, successfully complete the Distinguished Level of Achievement, as applicable. Applicants must have graduated from high school during one of the two school years preceding the academic year for which they seek admission as first-time freshmen and have not attempted any higher education credits since graduation from high school. Pursuant to Texas Education Code, Sections 51.803 and 51.805, and high school applicants have met one of the following conditions:
- successfully completed the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation Program from a Texas public high school;
- successfully completed a curriculum from a high school in Texas other than a public school that is equivalent in content and rigor to the distinguished level of achievement under the Foundation High School Program;
- satisfied ACT's College Readiness Benchmarks on the ACT assessment, or
- earned on the College Board's SAT assessment a score of at least 1,500 out of 2,400 or the equivalent
Meeting the minimum requirements makes a student eligible for automatic admission but exceeding the minimum is often necessary for applicants to be competitive to the many of the University's academic programs. The high school curriculum requirements will be documented through the application process. Applicants admitted because they are in the top 10% of their high school class may be required to complete additional preparatory work before enrolling in the University or complete developmental coursework to remove any deficiencies in their readiness to successfully complete college-level work prior to University graduation.
All applications from students who do not meet the Automatic Admission Criteria will be reviewed holistically. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited high school or satisfied the equivalent requirements, and should have completed the high school credit requirements listed below (see item 9). Admission decisions are based on the applicant's composite achievement profile, including:
- High school class rank and GPA (grade point average)
- Strength of academic preparation including the number and complexity of courses taken (honors, AP, IB, etc.)
- SAT-I or ACT scores
- Record of achievements, honors, and awards
- Special accomplishments, work, and community service, both in and out of school
- Special circumstances that put academic achievements in context
- Recommendation letters (suggested, but not required, and limited to up to three submitted through the application process)
Successful completion of a high school curriculum that includes:
- Four credits of English Language Arts, including at least one credit of writing skills
- Two credits of a single language other than English (three credits recommended)
- Four credits of Mathematics, including Algebra II and including a course dealing with trigonometry, such as pre-calculus
- Four credits of Science
- Three credits of Social Sciences, not including work-study (four credits recommended)
- One credit of Fine Arts
In addition to current University requirements for admission, applicants must also have either:
- Successfully completed the curriculum requirements for the Distinguished Level of Achievement or its equivalent, or
- Satisfied ACT's College Readiness Benchmark assessment or College Board's SAT Benchmark assessment as outlined in the set of conditions within the Automatic Admission Criteria section.
The above requirement may be satisfied if the applicant's official high school transcript or diploma states that the applicant completed the portion of the recommended or advanced curriculum or its equivalent that was available to the applicant, but was unable to complete the remainder of the curriculum solely because courses necessary to complete the remainder were unavailable to the applicant at the appropriate times in the applicant's high school career as a result of course scheduling, lack of enrollment capacity, or another cause not within the applicant's control.
Students outside the State of Texas will be considered for admission based on the same academic benchmarks listed above and a comparable high school curriculum.
Admission Criteria for Transfer Students
Section 51.8035 of the Texas Education Code establishes criteria for automatic admission to The University of Texas at Dallas for eligible transfer students who began their studies at a Texas institution of higher education following high school graduation.
To be eligible for automatic transfer admission under section 51.8035, a prospective transfer student must have:
- Qualified for automatic admission to a Texas institution of higher education at the time he or she graduated from high school, or was previously offered admission under this provision, Texas Education Code, Section 51.803.
- First enrolled in a public junior college or other public or private lower-division institution of higher education not earlier than the third academic year before the academic year for which he or she is seeking admission to the University.
- Completed the core curriculum at a public junior college or other public or private lower-division institution of higher education with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.500 on a 4.000 point scale, or the equivalent.
- Submitted a complete application for transfer admission by the deadline.
To take advantage of the automatic admission option, the applicant must submit to UT Dallas, by the deadline, information that "expressly and clearly" claims entitlement to admission under this provision.
Application of Transfer Credit
The University may accept transfer credit only for academic post-secondary coursework completed with a grade of C (2.000 on a 4.000 point scale) or higher. The University of Texas at Dallas does not offer credit for developmental or remedial studies, nor does it grant credit for prior experiential learning. Some degree programs offer credit for applied sciences and applied technology coursework. Please note: if a student transfers majors at UT Dallas, some transfer credits from applied sciences and applied technology degrees might not be applicable to the new major. Coursework that is accepted for transfer credit is applicable toward satisfying requirements for a specific UT Dallas major according to the same criteria as those used for equivalent UT Dallas courses. For more information please go to Transfer Disputes for Lower-Division Courses.
Prospective transfer students from Texas community colleges should refer to the UT Dallas Transfer Plans and visit their community college academic advising offices to learn more about curricula appropriate to the various UT Dallas majors.
As soon as an application for admission, transcripts and any required test scores have been received, the Office of the Registrar will evaluate the student's record to determine which credits earned at another domestic college or university will transfer to UT Dallas. The Office of Admission and Enrollment will evaluate the student's record to determine which credits earned at another international college or university will transfer to UT Dallas.
The application of transfer credit to degree plans must be completed within the first semester of enrollment. An undergraduate advisor in the student's major, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, will determine how the transfer credits apply towards UT Dallas degree requirements. The faculty, acting through the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, has the ultimate responsibility for applying transfer credit to their specific major requirements. Students are urged to contact their advising office upon receipt of the letter informing them of their admission to UT Dallas.
Transfer students who begin their semester with 45 or more semester credit hours are required to file a degree plan with UT Dallas no later than the end of the student's regular semester in accordance with Texas Education Code, Section 51.9685, subsection C.
Applicants seeking admission to UT Dallas should be aware that they will need at least 51 upper-division semester credit hours to graduate (see "Graduation Requirements").
Transfer Admission Criteria
Transfer applicants must submit transcripts from all college/universities attended for admission review. Transfer applicants with a freshman classification (see "Classification of Students") may be required to submit official high school transcripts and SAT/ACT scores as well as all college level coursework. Transfer applicants, with a higher classification, will be reviewed on their cumulative transfer GPA of post-secondary academic coursework and a review of specific college courses only. Additionally, they are subject to compliance to the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) pursuant to Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter C, Rule 4.54.
Applicants with 42 or more transferable semester credit hours must meet the following admission criteria:
- Have a minimum cumulative transferable GPA of 3.000 on a 4.000 point scale
- Be in good standing from the last college or university attended
- Have fewer than 90 attempted semester credit hours at a Texas public institution of higher education
Transfer applicants who do not meet the assured transfer admission criteria will be reviewed and may be placed on probation.
Applicants are required to submit all post-secondary academic course work and be in good standing at the last college or university attended. Additionally, applicants may be required to submit the following documents:
- High school transcript
- SAT/ACT scores
- Essay explaining their educational history
Transfer Students Admitted on Probation
If admitted on probation, transfer students must:
- See an academic advisor before registering
- May not register for more than 15 semester credit hours
- May not drop from any classes
- Must earn a grade of 'C' or better in classes, and
- Follow other conditions as prescribed by the admitting Associate Dean
Students admitted on probation must earn a GPA of at least 2.200 for the first semester of enrollment. Failure to meet these conditions will result in suspension. Students admitted on probation who are subsequently suspended from the University may be readmitted only by the Associate Dean (see "Academic Suspension").
Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state mandate that requires students to demonstrate college readiness in English Language Arts Reading and math skills prior to enrolling in college. For students enrolling without a TSI Exemption, they will be required to take the TSI Assessment 2.0 (TSIA2), to measure student proficiency in the basic areas of study for fulfillment of the TSI requirement, and to be advised based on the results of that assessment (See TSI Rules). Students are required to enroll in developmental education coursework if they do not reach the college level standard on the TSI Assessment. Students are granted unlimited opportunities to take the TSI Assessment before being required to enroll in developmental education. Note: UTD requires students be TSI complete prior to upper lever coursework beyond 59 credit hours.
Students required to take the TSI Assessment are subject to the following standards to be considered college-ready:
- English Language Arts Reading - 945 and an Essay of 5 or more.
Less than 945 and a Diagnostic Level of 5 or more and an Essay of 5 or more.
- Math - 950
Less than 950 and Diagnostics Level of 6
If you have previously taken the TSI Assessment prior to January 2021, the minimum score requirements are as follows:
- Math - 350
- Reading - 351
- Writing - 340 and 4+ on Essay
If you are a student that requires the TSI Assessment 2.0, please see the UTD Testing Center information on how to take the test: UTD Testing Center.
Additional information on TSI Assessment 2.0 can be found here.
Texas Success Initiative State Regulations - Texas Legislative Requirements
Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter C of the Texas Administrative Code describes in detail the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) for Texas public institutions of higher education.
Texas Success Initiative Transfer Student Provisions
Students transferring to UT Dallas from private or out-of-state institutions must meet TSI requirements (be tested or exempted) prior to being allowed to enroll in any college-level work. Students who transfer accumulated semester credit hours to UT Dallas from a private or out-of-state United States institution may use certain transferred courses which are given common course numbers corresponding to courses approved by UT Dallas to satisfy TSI requirements. Students must have earned a course grade of C (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better in the corresponding courses to meet TSI requirements. If coursework does not satisfy exemption requirements, students must be tested for the remaining skill areas and must comply with all other TSI requirements. Students transferring from other Texas public institutions of higher education must be TSI exempted or comply with the UT Dallas policies for Developmental Education.
Students entering UT Dallas are permitted to enroll in upper division (3000 and 4000 level) courses for which they have completed the prerequisites while completing the TSI requirements. However, no student with 60 or more earned credit hours and having attempted any credit hours at UT Dallas shall be permitted to register for upper division courses without having satisfied all TSI requirements.
Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Exemptions
Pending institutional verification of the following situations, TSI exemptions apply to:
- Students who are non-degree seeking or non-certificate-seeking.
- For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards on the following tests:
- ACT - Composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test shall be exempt from the ELAR section of the TSI Assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
- SAT -
- If you took the SAT during or after March 2016:
- Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score of 480 or higher shall be exempt from the ELAR section TSI requirements.
- Math score of 530 or higher shall be exempt for the math TSI requirements.
- If you took the SAT prior to March 2016:
- SAT prior to March 2016 are no longer valid. SAT scores are only applicable for five years from the date of the test.
- STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment required under this title for both reading and writing, and a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI Assessment required under this title for the mathematics section.
- Students who have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education. Transcripts must be filed with Enrollment Services for verification purposes.
- Students who have previously attended any Texas public institution and have been determined to have met TSI requirements by that institution.
- A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public junior college, a public technical institute, or a public state college.
- A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment. Students must file a Verification of Active Duty form each semester with Enrollment Services.
- A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States. A copy of the DD214 form showing this status is required and must be filed with Enrollment Services.
- A private or out-of-state college or university and who have satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by a grade of C or better in courses that are recognized as requiring college-level reading, writing and/or mathematical skills as approved by UT Dallas.
- Dual credit coursework will be evaluated upon receipt of official transcripts with final course grades to declare partial TSI completion by test section (i.e., math, ELAR section exemption)
- Certain AP test credit (RHET 1302, MATH credit) may be used to declare partial TSI completion
- Students transferring courses from another institution of higher education may be exempted (partially or fully) upon review of official transcripts*.
A partial exemption allows a student to be exempt from part but not all of the TSI Assessment.
College Credit Exemption
*Note: Official transcripts should be submitted to UT Dallas Enrollment Services as soon as possible. Official evaluation must be completed to determine course equivalencies before a TSI waiver will be granted. If you are a student with a TSI Hold on your record, it must be removed prior to registering for courses. Contact an academic advisor in your program for more information.
Developmental Education at UT Dallas
Students who are required to take the TSI Assessment and do not score at the college readiness levels will be required to register for Developmental Education courses for all areas in which they did not achieve the stated cut-score. UT Dallas does not offer Developmental Education coursework, so registration for Developmental Education can be done at a community college of the students' choosing. Students must work with their UT Dallas School academic advisor and the UT Dallas TSI coordinator to ensure they are properly enrolled in courses at UT Dallas as well as Developmental Education courses at a local community college. If at any time during the semester a student is in violation of this policy, the student may be dropped from their UTD course(s). Note: UTD requires students be TSI complete prior to upper lever coursework beyond 59 credit hours.
Placement and Enrollment into Developmental Education
UT Dallas students may enroll in Developmental Education courses at a local community college of their choosing. Students should discuss this with their UT Dallas School academic advisor and the UT Dallas TSI coordinator. Students are required to successfully complete the developmental coursework sequence at the community college to become TSI complete. A student can only become TSI complete if they have completed the highest level of the developmental education coursework at the community college or until they reach the college-ready standard on the TSI Assessment.