West Texas A&M University

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Admission to the Master's Program

Admission to the Master’s Program

Steps for Admission
Determining Your Admission
Financial Aid, Scholarships, Assistantships
Creation of a Plan of Study
Comprehensive Exams
Other Admission Notes
Other Information

Steps for Admission

Step 1: Apply

Applicants for graduate study who hold bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited institutions or are within their last semester of a bachelor’s degree must first file an application for admission with the Graduate School (see wtamu.edu/graduateschool) and submit an official transcript for each institution attended. Students must be eligible for readmission at the last school attended.

NOTE: All applicants must submit a $40 non-refundable application fee.

Step 2: Meet Admission Requirements

Take the GRE or the GMAT, as appropriate for specific program requirements. All applicants must submit satisfactory scores from the appropriate standardized examination except those already holding a master’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. Most students will take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), but the Graduate Management Assessment Test (GMAT) is required for students in accounting, finance and economics, and business administration. GRE scores will not be substituted for GMAT, nor GMAT for GRE unless the applicant has the approval of the program adviser and the graduate dean. Under no circumstances may the LSAT, MCAT or other assessment test be substituted for the GRE/GMAT. Contact the Graduate School for information on taking the GRE or GMAT.

A complete Graduate School application packet includes the Graduate application, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, GRE/GMAT scores (if required), $40 non-refundable graduate application fee and any supporting materials required by the program. The complete application packet must be received by the Graduate School by application deadlines to ensure consideration for the semester selected. Some programs require additional application documents and adhere to specific program application deadlines. Consult the program adviser for specific program deadlines.

NOTE: Programs may allow applicants who have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher to register for course work for one semester upon submission of the GRE/GMAT confirmation number and test date to the Graduate School. The test must be taken within 30 days of the University’s official first-class date. The applicant will need to contact their program adviser to register for approved course work. This approval does not guarantee program admission.

An administrative “hold” preventing the applicant from enrolling in subsequent semesters is placed on the student’s file if the student has not completed the admission procedure before the end of the first semester of graduate course work.

NOTE: Students must be admitted before being eligible for federal financial aid. Programs may require additional documents for admission.

Consult the adviser of the program in which you plan to pursue graduate study.

Special Note for Domestic Students

For Domestic students, deadlines for completing all steps and submitting educational documents to the Graduate School are:


Fall enrollment: August 1
Spring enrollment: December 1
Summer enrollment: April 1

Special Note for International Students

International students must meet all requirements set forth by the International Student Office (see the “International Student Admission” section of this catalog). For international students, deadlines for completing all steps and submitting educational documents to the International Student Office are:


Fall enrollment: June 1
Spring enrollment: November 1

Step 3: Program Admissions

Many programs require application and admission to their programs in addition to the University and Graduate School Applications. Check with your department to determine the secondary program admission requirement(s) and deadlines, if any, that your program may have.

International Students Admission

Special Note for International Students: International students must meet all requirements set forth by the International Students Office (International Student Office). For International students, deadlines for completing all steps and submitting educational documents to the International Student Office are:

Fall enrollment: June 1
Spring enrollment: November 1

Determining Your Admission

Applicants may be granted admission into their selected program under one of the following conditions.


Students may be granted admission when all program requirements are met.

Conditional Admission

 Students who do not meet all program requirements may be granted conditional admission by the program. Additional requirements may be necessary. Students not meeting admission requirements will be denied admission but may consult with the dean of the Graduate School for assistance on future admission possibilities.


Financial Aid, Scholarships, Assistantships

Graduate students have access to federal, state and private financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans and student-employment opportunities. For more information about financial aid programs, contact the Office of Financial Aid, WTAMU Box 60939, Canyon, Texas 79016-0001 or call 806-651-2055.

Graduate teaching and/or research assistantships are available to students in a wide range of disciplines. Assistants must enroll in course work on an approved plan of study while receiving the assistantship. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the head of the department in which they plan to pursue the graduate degree.

A summary of costs and tuition exemptions (for veterans and vocational rehabilitation) is available in the “Fees, Expenses and Financial Assistance” section of this catalog. Expenses exclusive to the graduate program include:

  • Graduate students registering only for Thesis 6301 or 6302 may pay a reduced rate. Students must contact the Office of the Graduate School each semester before registration for further information.
  • Thesis binding fee (three copies required) is $10 per copy (subject to change). Theses which are not of standard size and format may be charged a higher binding fee.

All fees are subject to change.

Creation of a Plan of Study

A plan of study must be prepared by the departmental graduate adviser and submitted to the dean of the Graduate School for Graduate School for approval as soon as possible following the student’s admission.

The plan of study must be submitted before completion of the first semester of graduate course work. An administrative “hold” will be placed on the registration of students not meeting the deadline. The “hold” will prevent the student from taking any additional classes until a plan of study is approved. For purposes of determining degree requirements, the student’s official University catalog shall be the catalog that is current during the semester the student’s plan of study is approved.

Undergraduate Preparation

 Undergraduate preparation of students for the master’s degree will correspond to requirements for the same or a similar bachelor’s degree at West Texas A&M University. Students lacking such preparation may be required to complete “leveling work.” In addition, many programs have additional requirements. Students should review their programs’ requirements as specified in this catalog.

Leveling Work

If a student’s undergraduate preparation is inadequate, the adviser may require “leveling work.” Leveling work is courses, experiences, programs required for the student to be adequately prepared for graduate work.

Program of Study

In consultation with the graduate adviser, students must list those courses required for completion of the degree. The graduate courses required to meet degree requirements must correspond to those requirements listed for the specified degree program.

Students should review their programs’ requirements as specified in this catalog. Specific rules to consider include:

  • Students for the master of arts degree must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work. A minimum of 18 hours must be in the student’s major field, at least nine hours of which must be in courses numbered 6000 or above. At least half of the total hours for this degree must be in courses numbered 6000 or above. The remaining work may be completed in course numbered 5000.
  • Students for the master of science degree must complete at least 18 hours in the major field (thesis plan) and additional hours in a related area(s). Students in the non-thesis plan may take all work in the major field, or at least 21 hours in the major field and additional hours in a related field or fields. At least half of the total hours for this degree will be in courses numbered in the 6000s.
  • Courses numbered 5000 or higher are for graduate credit.
  • Students having taken undergraduate “stacked” courses at WTAMU that have a graduate component cannot take the graduate course if they have already received credit for the corresponding undergraduate course.
  • Course substitutions to the plan of study must be approved by the graduate adviser, academic dean and dean of the Graduate School.
  • Students may be required to complete additional work in specified courses in addition to the minimum courses and residence requirements.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all degree requirements are met for graduation.

Thesis Option

  • A student electing to write a master’s thesis must register for Thesis 6301 or ARTS 7302 when beginning thesis research. The student must then register for Thesis 6302 or ARTS 7302 every consecutive 16-week semester until the thesis is completed and accepted by the University, including the semester in which the degree is conferred.
  • If the student fails to enroll, a reinstatement fee will be assessed.
  • If a degree is to be awarded at the end of summer sessions, the student must enroll in a thesis course in one summer session.
  • Students receive a grade of “IP” (thesis in progress) for each enrollment in Thesis 6301, 6302 or ARTS 7302. When the thesis has been accepted, the student receives six hours (Thesis 6301 and 6302) toward the master’s degree and a final letter grade for both thesis courses.
  • The student may not enroll in Thesis 6301 and 6302 in the same semester.
  • Students registered only in Thesis 6301, 6302 or ARTS 7302 pay reduced tuition and may register at the website (6302 only). To receive reduced tuition, students must contact the Graduate School in advance.
  • A thesis guide is available at wtamu.edu/academic/graduateschool. Theses will be made available to the public.

Non-Thesis Option

  • Students selecting the non-thesis option must complete at least one course in research and reporting as suggested by the departmental adviser.
Transfer, Extension and Correspondence Work
  • Approved transfer and extension work is counted as graduate credit but may not be used to fulfill the 6000-level requirement. Only courses in which the student earned an “A” or “B” may be transferred to WTAMU.
  • Upon approval of the dean of the Graduate School, up to one-third of formal course work toward the graduate degree may be transfer work, exclusive of thesis and independent study courses. Permission to utilize transfer and extension courses on a plan of study must be approved in advance by the department head, college dean and graduate dean.
  • Correspondence work will not be accepted toward a master’s degree.

Academic Probation

Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average for all course work completed toward degree requirements. Courses with grades of “D,” “F,” “I” (incomplete), “IP” (thesis in progress) or “X” (drop or withdrawal) cannot be used to satisfy requirements of a graduate degree but will be used in computing a student’s academic standing.

If a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. Length of the probationary period will be determined by the dean of the Graduate School. Students who do not raise their grade point average to at least 3.0 by the end of the probationary period will be dismissed from the Graduate School and suspended from further work toward a master’s degree at WTAMU. Students suspended from the Graduate School may request removal from suspension by seeking a written request from the appropriate academic dean to the graduate dean.


Time Requirements

Requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within six years unless the dean of the Graduate School, in consultation with the head of the student’s major department, grants an extension of the time limit. The time period will begin with the first course counted toward the master’s degree.

Course Load

Maximum semester load for graduate students is 15 hours per semester, seven hours during summer sessions. Course loads above the maximums may be approved by the student’s academic dean.

Nine hours per semester is considered a minimum full-time load, five hours minimum per semester to receive financial aid.

Resident Requirements

Two-thirds of all degree plans must be completed in residence at West Texas A&M University.

Graduating from Graduate School
To graduate from the Graduate School, students must pass comprehensive examinations (except in the M.B.A.), complete the thesis (if appropriate) and apply for graduation from the Graduate School.

Comprehensive Examination/Thesis Defense
A comprehensive examination—oral, written or both—covering the field of concentration and the thesis (if the thesis option is chosen) is required for all master’s students except M.B.A.
  • Examinations are administered by the head of the student’s major department or a designated member of the graduate faculty.
  • At least five days prior to the comprehensive examination, the name of the student, the title of the thesis or research, recital or exhibition, if any, and the day, date, time and place in which the event is scheduled shall be posted in a prominent place, and the dean of the Graduate School shall be so notified in writing.
  • Oral comprehensive examinations, recitals and exhibitions shall be open to all members of the University academic community. Participation of non-committee members is at the discretion of the committee chairperson.
  • Results of the exam must be reported in writing to the Office of the Graduate School.
  • If a student fails the first examination, one semester or the equivalent (16 weeks or two summer sessions) must elapse before the student may take the exam again. Additional course work, research or directed study will be recommended for the student in the interim.
  • The second failure of a comprehensive examination will result in automatic suspension from the Graduate School. For more information about comprehensive examinations and/or thesis defense, see the appropriate department head.

Application for a Graduate Degree
Students must apply for graduate degrees early in the semester they expect to receive their degrees. Applications are available in the Office of the Graduate School or at wtamu.edu/registrar. Completed applications must be received in the Office of the Graduate School no later than the following dates:

May graduation March 1
August graduation July 1
December graduation October 1

Other Information

Objective of Graduate Study

The Graduate School at West Texas A&M University provides students an opportunity for advanced study and specialization in a variety of disciplines. The purpose of graduate study is to encourage academic inquiry, to stimulate intellectual creativity, and to foster the spirit of independent scholarship and research. Together, graduate students and graduate faculty comprise a community of scholars devoted to the extension of knowledge and to professional achievement.

Research and Instructional Support

Cornette Library, Killgore Research Center and Hastings Electronic Learning Center are available to support graduate students’ educational programs. These are described in greater detail in the undergraduate portion of this catalog. Additionally, various academic departments maintain specialized research equipment laboratories or other facilities peculiar to their graduate programs. For more information, contact the appropriate academic department.

Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree

The master of arts degree or master of science degree in interdisciplinary studies was conceived to meet the needs of students whose career goals are such that a somewhat flexible program allowing for graduate-level studies in non-traditional combinations is more beneficial than a degree from a single discipline.

Admission Requirements
To qualify for admission into the Interdisciplinary Program, students must:

  • Complete an application.
  • Take the GRE/GMAT, if applicable.
  • Submit an admission application (see details below).
  • Secure approval of the program adviser in each of the three selected disciplines.
  • An additional interview with the interdisciplinary studies coordinator may be required.
  • The admission essay should be typed and double-spaced and answer the following questions.
    • What are your education and career goals?
    • How will an Interdisciplinary Studies degree help you meet these goals?
    • Which three disciplines will you study?
    • What specific learning outcomes will be achieved through this program?

NOTE: This essay is part of the admission packet. Students will not be admitted prior to receipt and approval of the essay.
During the application process, the interdisciplinary studies coordinator will work with the student to identify from the graduate faculty a committee chair and two committee members.
This committee should be in place prior to acceptance into the program. Additionally, a representative from the Graduate School will serve as an administrative member of the committee.

Degree Requirements

36 hours satisfying the following requirements:
  • Three different subject areas (represented by different prefixes), 12 hours from each subject area.
  • At least 24 hours completed in 6000-level courses or higher.
  • At least three hours in research methods.
  • A comprehensive exam (either oral or written) as established by the student’s Interdisciplinary degree committee. This exam should be taken near completion of the student’s course work. Students will apply to their committee chair to take the exam no later than the first week of the semester the student intends to graduate. The chair, with the assistance of the interdisciplinary studies coordinator, will then make arrangements for the exam.
  • Prerequisites: A minimum of six advanced undergraduate hours in each of the subject areas (or permission of the committee to waive this requirement).

Applicants may satisfy admission requirements with either the GRE or GMAT.
NOTE: The student’s plan of study should be submitted to the dean of the Graduate School by completion of the first semester of course work.

Undergraduates and Graduate Credit
An undergraduate within 12 hours of a bachelor’s degree (as certified by the appropriate college dean’s secretary), whose cumulative WTAMU undergraduate grade point average is at least 3.0, may register for work to be counted as graduate credit under the following conditions:

  • Total registration will not exceed 15 semester hours, 12 semester hours in the two summer sessions.
  • The final hours required for the bachelor’s degree must be completed in the same semester. Should the student fail to complete undergraduate degree requirements that same semester, graduate hours attempted during that same semester may not be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.
  • Graduate courses may not be used to meet undergraduate degree requirements. However, graduate courses must be completed and have a letter grade at the end of the semester in order to graduate with the undergraduate degree.
  • All graduate credit hours and the specific graduate courses attempted must be approved by the graduate adviser in the student’s major department and the graduate dean at the time of enrollment.

Acceptability of these hours for transfer credit to another institution is determined by that institution.

Second Master’s Degree
Upon completion of a master’s degree, a student may begin a second master’s program in a field of concentration different from the first master’s program. A new application and a $40 non-refundable application fee must be submitted. Upon approval, 12 Credit hours from a regionally accredited master's program can be applied to a second master's degree.