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Orientation

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Welcome to Tarleton State University!

You have made an excellent choice in Tarleton as the place to pursue your graduate studies. The College of Graduate Studies and the University are eager to lend support to your commitment and to better do this, I ask you to take a few moments to participate in a New Graduate Student Orientation.

Your purpose in this orientation is to:

  • Receive an overview of graduate-appropriate services provided for you by the University
  • Brush-up on the nuances of academic honesty and understand the university's expectations for you academic work
  • Understand the steps for which you need to accept responsibility to successfully complete your graduate degree
Click the right arrow button to start.
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University Services (Part 1 of 3)

User Claim

In order for the Graduate Office to better communicate with students we will be requiring the student to claim their User ID. This provides the student with their Student ID Number which is different from their Social Security Number and provides the student with their Tarleton email address. The Student ID is the preferred method for identification and helps keep the Social Security Number of students confidential. By using the Tarleton email address the student can be notified of on campus events and important deadlines which will not reach the student through personal email accounts. You can read in more detail about your New Tarleton Email Account by visiting the Current Students link on the TSU homepage.

Scholarships

The College of Graduate Studies offers many scholarships, including the First Time Graduate Student scholarship and the Flora Foust scholarship. The First Time scholarship provides $500 for the first semester to graduate students who have never had graduate level course work, are degree-seeking, and are enrolled in 6 or more hours of graduate work. The Flora Foust scholarship provides $1000 over two semesters (Fall and Spring) for graduate students that score a minimum of a 1000 on the GRE or 550 on the GMAT, have a 3.0 GPA on undergraduate or graduate course work, and demonstrate scholarship or research interest.  For more information on these and others, please visit the Office of Scholarships.

Financial Aid

The only way to determine your eligibility for financial aid is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The likelihood of receiving some form of financial assistance is probably better than most students and their families anticipate. For more information please visit the Financial Aid Office.

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University Services (Part 2 of 3)

Dick Smith Library

The Dick Smith Library has a large collection of resource material available to students for research purposes. These resources will be extremely useful during the research course required for all students seeking a master's degree. The library offers a large online database of books, articles, and journals which can be accessed by students 24 hours a day from on campus or off campus locations. The library also offers a service called Research Rescue which provides more personal assistance in research. We advise that students become familiar with these services and if they need assistance accessing these resources, the library offers an online orientation to the library resources.  Please visit the Dick Smith Library for all your academic resources!

Registration

Please review the following information about registration: Register for Classes

Tuition and Fee Payments

Students must pay their tuition and fees before the deadline listed in the university calendar. Failure to pay by the deadline will result in the student being dropped from all registered courses. Payments can be made in person or online in Texan Bill Pay through DuckTrax. Please visit the Business Services site for more information on Tuition and Fees.

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University Services (Part 3 of 3)

Career Services

Most graduate students work while attending classes. There are many opportunities for student positions on campus including Graduate Assistantships. While working toward your master's degree we encourage you to look for full time positions or internships in your field of study. Career Services can help you in your search for a job with their online listings and help you prepare your resume or prepare for a job interview.

Distance Education

Several master's degrees are currently offered completely online with many programs offering online classes, face-to-face classes with online components, or other distance education courses. The majority of these classes is offered using the Blackboard application. Because students will probably encounter a class that uses this application during their coursework they should become familiar with the layout of the application and how it works. For more information please click on Blackboard.

Campus Contacts

For information regarding the campus you are attending you can contact the campuses directly.

  • Stephenville: 1-800-687-4723
  • Southwest Metroplex: 817-732-7300
  • Waco: 254-299-8361
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Enrollment in Graduate Courses (Part 1 of 5)

Master's Student Timetable

Students should use the following timetable as a guide in completing all necessary requirements to obtain the master’s degree. This timetable is designed to serve only as a guide. Students are responsible for all degree requirements and, as such, should check with their faculty advisor or the current university catalog for specific requirements and dates.

Before First Semester Registration
  • Meet with representative/advisor/faculty in the academic department of interest for advising and clearance of advising block.
  • Apply for scholarships, financial aid, and Graduate Assistantships if qualified. Be sure to note deadlines for consideration.
Before Second Semester Registration
  • Establish a Graduate Advisory Committee.
  • If conditionally admitted without GRE, GMAT or MAT scores, take GRE, GMAT or MAT scores and submit acceptable scores to the College of Graduate Studies.
Prior to Initiating Thesis Research
  • Develop draft proposal in conjunction with Advisory Committee Chair and members.
  • Submit proposal to College of Graduate Studies for approval.
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Enrollment in Graduate Courses (Part 2 of 5)

Before Final Semester
  • After completion of 12 graduate hours, file a degree plan with the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Apply for graduation online, through myGateway (DuckTrax) in the last full semester before your planned semester of graduation (see Calendar for deadlines).
During Final Semester
  • Schedule final comprehensive examination. Check current catalog for cut-off dates.
  • Submit committee-edited copies of thesis to the College of Graduate Studies for approval.
  • Submit approved final copies of thesis and order required number of copies.
  • Contact bookstore to arrange for cap and gown.
Advisors

The graduate advisor, designated by the department, assists students in planning their initial course work prior to granting of admission to the program of study. Before seeking enrollment in any course that might be applied toward a master’s degree, students must consult their advisors. A temporary advisor will be available to those enrolling for the first time in an off-campus course.

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Enrollment in Graduate Courses (Part 3 of 5)

Advisory Committee

After receiving admission to the College of Graduate Studies and enrolling for graduate courses, the student should consult with the graduate advisor concerning appointment of an advisory committee. The advisory committee is responsible for guiding and directing the student’s entire academic program, which includes initiating all academic actions concerning the student, developing the degree plan, and administering the comprehensive testing prior to conferral of the master’s degree. Moreover, the advisory committee, as a group and as individual members, is responsible for counseling the student on academic matters, and in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Course Load

The maximum load for a full-time graduate student may be as much as 16 hours in the fall and spring semesters and as much as 12 hours in the summer semester. To be considered full time, a student must take at least 9 hours in the long semesters and at least 6 hours total in the summer semester. Loads in excess of the maximum load require the approval of the College of Graduate Studies upon written recommendation of the student’s advisor and department head. GA and scholarship commitments may require 6 hours in the summer.

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Enrollment in Graduate Courses (Part 4 of 5)

Academic Performance

Every student enrolled in the College of Graduate Studies is required to maintain a high level of performance and comply fully with the policies of the institution. The college reserves the right to suspend any graduate student who does not maintain satisfactory academic standing or fails to conform to university regulations.

Students who have achieved admission are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA on work completed at Tarleton. If in a particular semester a student’s cumulative or overall GPA falls below the minimum, he/she will be given notice of unsatisfactory academic performance. The student must attain a 3.0 cumulative GPA during his or her next period of enrollment; failure to do so will result in suspension for one long semester or the summer term. This may require the student to retake previous courses which caused their GPA to drop below an acceptable level. A student must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average every semester upon returning from the suspension. A graduate student is allowed one suspension. If poor academic performance results in a second suspension, the student will be permanently dismissed from the university.

Generally the student on academic warning or suspension is sent a letter informing them of their academic standing. However, students may view their academic transcripts in DuckTrax and should note academic standing. If there is a question contact the Graduate Office.

At the end of any grading period, if a student’s overall GPA falls below a 2.0 he/she will be automatically suspended. Students who have been admitted conditionally must meet the requirements stipulated for attaining full admission status. Conditions may require a GPA greater than 3.0. If requirements are not met, admission will be rescinded, and any further enrollment will be for undergraduate course work only, as a post-baccalaureate student.

Post-baccalaureate students are subject to the academic progress policies applicable to undergraduates at Tarleton State University. Academic deficiencies of students in this category will be calculated according to the current undergraduate probation/suspension policy.

Graduate students who are on first-time suspension must apply to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies for reinstatement after serving the suspended semester.

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Enrollment in Graduate Courses (Part 5 of 5)

Grading System

Graduate degree credit is allowed for A, B, and C grades. A grade of D is not passing for graduate work and the course must be repeated. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required:

  • for all courses included in a degree plan
  • for all the courses comprising the major field
  • for the courses comprising the minor field, if one is selected
  • cumulative on all courses taken

See the University Catalog for further information

Completion Time Limit

Course credits more than six years old may not be counted for a degree. Credits are considered to be earned when they are recorded on the official transcript.

Readmission/Reactivation

Students who have not attended Tarleton for one year are required to reapply online along with the $30 application fee. If the student has not attended Tarleton for a time period less than one year and wishes to return, he/she must submit a Graduate Student Reactivation Form. This form is only for students who are returning with the same major that have not graduated.

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General Requirements for Master's Degree (Part 1 of 3)

GRE/GMAT/MAT

The GRE General test is required for students who are pursuing a Master's degree. If you are pursuing a certification with no degree, scores are not required. The GRE test is offered at any Prometric/Sylvan Learning Center. Master of Business Administration students may substitute acceptable scores on the GMAT.  Other departments may also accept the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Students who have been conditionally admitted without their GRE/GMAT/MAT scores have one semester of enrollment to take the test and submit their scores. If the student fails to submit acceptable scores before the subsequent semester, a hold will be placed on their record and they will not be allowed to register for classes until acceptable scores are received. Scores may take 2-3 weeks to arrive in the Graduate Office. For this reason we suggest taking the test at least two months before classes begin the next semester. This gives the student time to register for classes without being assessed a late fee. Acceptable scores are determined based on the student's last 60 hours GPA at the time of admission. Students will be notified by the Graduate Office if their scores do not meet the requirements.

Degree Plan

All students MUST file a degree plan in order to be eligible to apply for graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with their advisor to establish a degree plan. The catalog of the academic year you were first granted admission is your official contract. However, since courses are selected by you and approved by your advisor to fulfill degree requirements, the degree plan is the official record of courses taken that will apply toward your declared degree program. Consult with your advisor to ensure accurate records of all courses transferred from other institutions and course substitutions.

A graduate student’s degree plan includes those courses listed for degree credit on the official degree plan form. All courses on the approved degree plan must be completed with a satisfactory grade to meet requirements for the degree. Changes in an approved plan can be made by recommendation to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies by the student’s complete advisory committee and head of his or her major department.  If a student decides to change their major, they must contact their advisor to file an updated (revised) degree plan in the Graduate Office.

Courses listed for graduate credit on the approved degree plan in which the student has received a final grade may not normally be removed from the degree plan, although courses acceptable for graduate credit may be added. The student’s advisory committee, head of his or her major department, and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies must approve exceptions to this policy.

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General Requirements for Master's Degree (Part 2 of 3)

Thesis

Not every graduate program at Tarleton requires a thesis for completion of a master’s degree.

Students must have full admission to a degree program and the permission of the department head to enroll in thesis courses. A thesis will not be accepted unless a student has completed a minimum of six semester hours of thesis course work. The Thesis Manual contains details regarding the preparation and submission of a thesis for approval. Students who plan to pursue a thesis should obtain a copy of this manual early in their graduate programs.

Students who pursue a thesis are required to enroll each semester in at least one thesis course until the thesis is completed. Those who make satisfactory progress will be given the grade of I. Once the thesis has been approved and accepted, the final six semester hours of thesis will be assigned the grade of S. The thesis grade of S is not included in the GPA calculation for the degree major or minor.

Comprehensive Exams

Candidates for any of the master’s degrees at Tarleton must satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination. A graduate student must be admitted to candidacy for a degree before he/she will be allowed to take the comprehensive examination.

The policies and procedures for the comprehensive examinations are available in the office of the department head of the student’s major field of study. Early in their degree program students should review the requirements for taking the examination. Some departments require both oral and written examinations, which must be scheduled early in the semester in which they are to be administered. Consult the university calendar for deadlines for submission of comprehensive examination results to the College of Graduate Studies.

The oral examination, when required, is conducted by the student’s advisory committee. A representative of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will be invited to participate in this examination.

Students whose performance on the comprehensive examination is unsatisfactory may reschedule an examination at the next regular administration, or, at the discretion of the advisory committee and head of the department involved, at an earlier date. Unless departmental requirements are more limiting, students who attempt the comprehensive examination three times and are not successful will be dropped from the graduate program.

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General Requirements for Master's Degree (Part 3 of 3)

Applying for Graduation

Candidates for a degree must submit an application for graduation online through myGateway no later than the dates specified in the University Calendar.  The dates to apply for graduation directly correlate with registration dates for each semester.  There is a $35 graduation application fee that will be available to pay through Texan Bill Pay.  Applications received after the due date will not be accepted and the student will be required to reapply for graduation during the next possible semester.  If the student does not graduate in the semester applied for then he/she must re-apply for graduation and pay an additional $35 fee; they will not be automatically rolled to the next term.

To be considered for degree conferral, a candidate must be in good standing with the University, have an application for graduation on file, have a degree plan on file, and successfully completed all major requirements. All contractual and financial obligations to the University must be satisfied.

Degree Concentration

A student may declare a concentration of 12 hours in a second field. Please consult with your graduate academic advisor.

Research and Practicum Requirement

All students seeking a master's degree must have credit for an approved research course.

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Academic Honesty

Tarleton State University expects its students to maintain high standards of personal and scholarly conduct. Students guilty of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion, and the abuse of resource materials. The faculty member is responsible for initiating action for each case of academic dishonesty that occurs in his/her class; this can include receiving a failing grade for the course resulting in a possible suspension from the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Plagiarism - the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.
  • Collusion – the assistance or an attempt to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Self Plagiarism - The submission of the same work for academic credit more than once without permission.
  • Fabrication - The falsification of data, information, or citations in any formal academic exercise.
  • Deception - Providing false information to an instructor concerning a formal academic exercise e.g., giving a false excuse for missing a deadline or falsely claiming to have submitted work.
  • Cheating - Any attempt to give or obtain assistance in a formal academic exercise without due acknowledgment.
  • Sabotage - Acting to prevent others from completing their work. This includes cutting pages out of library books or willfully disrupting the experiments of others.
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Conclusion

Thank you for completing the orientation!  We hope it was useful to you and will help you throughout your graduate studies.  Please fill out the form below to notify us of your completion of Graduate Orientation.  If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to let us know!  Thanks again!