West Texas A&M University

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Graduate School General Information

Graduate School: What you need to know

Below is general information about graduate school. More in-depth information is available in the Catalog.

Admissions Criteria

Admissions criteria are set by each program advisor, and program advisors determine who is accepted into their programs. The Graduate School no longer maintains a separate set of admissions requirements.

Registering with a GRE or GMAT Confirmation Number

Some, but not all, programs that require the GRE or GMAT will allow students to register for classes upon submission of a test date and confirmation number to the Graduate School. Please note:

• Only students with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher may register with a GRE or GMAT test date and confirmation number
• The test must be taken within the first 30 days of the semester in which the student starts taking classes.
• Students may register for classes for only one semester
• Students eligible to register with a GRE or GMAT test date and confirmation number have NOT been admitted to a program and are NOT eligible for financial aid, scholarships, or assistantships
• Being allowed to register for classes with a GRE or GMAT test date and confirmation number is not a promise or guarantee of admission. Students who do not achieve the necessary score on the appropriate test will not be allowed to continue taking classes until acceptable scores are submitted

Transfer Credit

Program advisors will evaluate courses students wish to transfer into their WTAMU graduate program and determine if any coursework completed at another university will apply toward degree requirements at WTAMU. Up to one-third of degree requirements may be satisfied by transfer coursework, and only classes in which a grade of A or B was earned may be transferred.

Changing Majors

Students may change their graduate major only by reapplying to the new program. Because each program has its own admissions requirements, a complete review of the student’s file is necessary, and additional documentation may be required. The application fee must be paid again.

Full-Time and Half-Time Status

Enrollment in nine semester credit hours is considered full-time for graduate studies. To be eligible for federal financial aid, graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of six semester hours.

Time Requirements

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six years. The time limit begins with the first class taken that counts towards the degree, whether that class is taken at WTAMU or is transferred from another school.

Residency Requirements

A minimum of two-thirds of all degree plans must be completed in residence at WTAMU.

Course Load

Graduate students may take a maximum of 15 hours per long semester and seven hours per summer session. Students may take additional courses with the approval of the student’s program advisor and the Graduate School.

Plan of Study

A plan of study, or degree plan, must be submitted to the Graduate School before the end of the first semester a student is enrolled in classes. The plan of study is created with the student’s program advisor and lists all degree requirements. Course substitutions may be allowed with the approval of the program advisor, the academic dean, and the Graduate School Dean.

Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA)

For most graduate programs, only grades of A, B, and C will fulfill degree requirements. Courses in which a grade below a C is earned must be retaken. Two programs, Nursing and Sports and Exercise Science, require students to make a B or better in all coursework on the degree plan.

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all coursework that applies toward the degree. If a student’s GPA falls below a 3.0, he/she will be placed on academic probation for a length of time determined by the Dean of the Graduate School. Students who do not raise their GPA to at least a 3.0 may be suspended from the Graduate School.


Students who do not take classes in a long semester (fall or spring) will have to reapply to the Graduate School, using the WTAMU Graduate School Application, before continuing their program. Students reapplying for the same program are not required to pay the application fee again.

Thesis and dissertation students who have completed all coursework must be continuously enrolled until their thesis or dissertation is completed. Thesis and dissertation students must enroll in a summer session only if they plan to graduate in the summer; otherwise, continuous enrollment applies only to registering for fall and spring semesters.

Thesis or Dissertation Only

Students who register only for thesis or dissertation hours may have their fees waived but will lose access to any campus facilities and services provided by the waived fees. The Thesis/Dissertation Only Fee Waiver form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office each semester a student is enrolled only in thesis or dissertation hours.

Thesis Guidelines

The Thesis Guide is intended to summarize the major elements of thesis preparation.  Consult your thesis advisor and/or the style manual of your academic discipline when stylistic questions particular to your research arise.


Students must apply to the Graduate School early in the semester in which they expect to receive their degrees. Applications are available online. There is no fee to apply for graduation. Deadlines to apply are:

• May graduation: December 1.
• August graduation: May 1.
• December graduation: August 1.

Students who are required to take comprehensive exams must apply to take the exam with their academic department. Students who are completing a thesis or dissertation need to schedule their defense with their program advisor and notify the Graduate School of the date, time, and place of the defense.

Students Who Pursue a Program That Prepares Them For an Occupational License

As a point of information required by Texas HB 1508 and the Texas Occupations Code 58.001, if you are applying for admission to a program that may prepare an individual for an initial occupational license as defined under Texas Occupations Code 58.001 and/or if you later decide to change to a program that prepares you for an initial occupational license as defined under Texas Occupations Code 58.001,  in accordance with state law, please be advised of the following:

  1. An individual who has been convicted of an offense may be ineligible for issuance of an occupational license upon completion of the educational program
  2. Each licensing authority that may issue an occupational license to an individual who completes an educational program must establish guidelines which state the reasons a particular crime is considered to relate to a particular license and any other criterion that affects the decisions of the licensing authority
  3. Local or county licensing authorities may issue additional guidelines related to criminal history.  Applicants should contact their respective local or county licensing authority for more details
  4. A person may request a criminal history evaluation letter regarding the personal eligibility for a license issued by a licensing authority under Texas Occupations Code 53.102

Applicants are encouraged to review all applicable eligibility requirements related to the respective occupational license.  Questions related to eligibility requirements should be directed to the applicable licensing authority.