Apr 25, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

General Admission Policy

General Admission Policy

The University of Houston complies with all federal and state statutes pertaining to the admission of graduate and professional students, including Texas H.B. 1641, regarding admissions policies for graduate and professional programs.

Competitive Fellowships Factors

Factors that may be considered in graduate admissions and the awarding of competitive fellowships may be viewed at the following link: Competitive Fellowship Factors .

Admission to Graduate and Professional Studies and Eligibility for Competitive Fellowships

Decisions regarding admission to graduate and professional studies at the University of Houston are made by the specific program, department and/or college to which the applicant has applied. Oversight of all graduate and professional admissions policies and procedures is provided by The Graduate School.  Similarly, the criteria utilized for the award of competitive fellowships from the University of Houston are determined by the granting unit (e.g., department, college) but the process must also meet the University Policy stated above.

All applicants to graduate or professional programs at the University of Houston are required to submit the following:

  1. Completed and signed UH application for admission.
  2. Official transcripts from each college or university attended previously, including the degree(s) earned and date(s) awarded.
  3. Official copies of the appropriate standardized test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT, LSAT) for the desired program.  Applicants must consult with the program or college to determine the specific test requirements.
  4. Letters of recommendation.
  5. Personal resume and statement of interest.

International applicants must submit all of the above, plus:

  1. Statement of Understanding.
  2. Letter of financial backing.
  3. Non-refundable application evaluation fee.
  4. A score of 79 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), internet based test (iBT), including a minimum writing score of 20; or a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), including a minimum writing score of 6.5. [Departments may require a higher minimum TOEFL or IELTS score where previous experience and demands of the discipline warrant it.]

Note:  Transfer students must meet regular admission requirements. (See additional information on Transferred Courses.)

Admission Reviews and Decisions

Each program is responsible for determining application deadlines and internal review processes.  All program and college admissions policies and procedures include consideration of the total application - i.e., no single criterion will determine admission to any graduate or professional program at the University of Houston, nor will any single criterion be the determining factor in a decision to deny admission.

Note:  Most academic programs, departments and/or colleges have additional admissions requirements.  Applicants need to consult with the specific programs, departments and/or colleges to obtain this information.

For further information regarding specific college and department admission requirements, procedures, regulations and deadlines please contact the relevant academic program of interest.

Minimum Qualifications for Admission to Masters and Doctoral Programs

The University of Houston requires the following minimal qualifications for admission to its master’s and doctoral programs.  Additional requirements for admission to specific programs may be imposed by the colleges and departments.  Applicants should write directly to the department for specific information, as well as consult the appropriate college section of the graduate catalog.  For more information on application and admission policies, contact the Enrollment Services Office.

Note:  The University of Houston does not accept experiential learning for graduate or professional transfer credit.  In addition, the University of Houston does not accept non-credit work for transfer credit.

Applicants to a graduate program who hold a terminal doctoral degree, including MD, JD, or PhD, from this or any other regionally-accredited domestic institution are not required to submit GRE/GMAT results as a part of an application packet to the University of Houston, though individual programs may still choose to require them.

Applicants holding a terminal doctoral degree earned outside the United States are subject to review by the Graduate School before a waiver of the GRE/GMAT will be granted. The Graduate School must certify whether a doctoral degree earned outside the United States meets them same academic standards as a domestic MD, JD, or PhD.

Master’s Programs

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations.  Foreign institutions not accredited by U.S. accrediting agencies must be recognized by the Ministry of Education or another appropriate agency of the country in which the institution is located.  The university reserves the right to evaluate foreign credentials.  In general, these evaluations will follow nationally accepted standard practices and will rely on standard references such as the World Education Series published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices.  Students who transfer from another graduate school must have at least a 3.00 (A=4.00) grade point average on all graduate work attempted.

Doctoral Programs

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree as specified by individual programs.  Students may obtain specific requirements for admission to doctoral programs by writing directly to the department they wish to enter.

English Proficiency Requirement

All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, must demonstrate proficiency in English to obtain admission to the university.  To fulfill this requirement, applicants must satisfy one of the following criteria:
  • Baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or at an institution at which English is the medium of instruction in the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Turks and Caicos, and English-speaking Canadian provinces.
  • Present one of the following scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
    • A score of 79 or higher on the Internet based version (iBT), with a minimum writing score of 20
    • A score of 550 or higher on the paper and pencil version (passing score = 550), with a minimum writing score of 58
    • Alternatively, present a score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with a minimum writing score of 6.5.

Departments may require a higher minimum TOEFL or IELTS score where previous experience and demands of the discipline warrant it.  Admission materials contain details on this requirement.  

Only the Dean of the Graduate School may make exceptions to the above upon recommendation from the dean of the college of the student’s major.  Graduate students whose English proficiency is judged inadequate by the department or college may be denied permission to continue work on graduate degrees.

Admission Categories

Unconditional Admission

Students unconditionally admitted to the university are granted full status in a graduate program.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission status is sometimes granted to students who fail to meet all admissions requirements.  These students will have specific requirements to meet within the first one or two semesters in the graduate program.  Assuming all requirements are met, the student is awarded an unconditional admissions status.

Transfer Admission

Transfer students must meet regular admission requirements. See the catalog section on Transferred Courses for details regarding the transfer of graduate credit.  

Non-Degree Seeking

The college may grant, under special circumstances, non-degree seeking (NDO) status to applicants who have earned bachelor’s degreesand wish to take a limited number of graduate classes to further their education.  Such applicants might be candidates for certification or transient students, who are currently graduate students in good standing at another regionally-accredited institution wishing to pursue courses at the University of Houston for one semester.The admission procedures are the same as those for regular student status.  Applicants for NDO status must submit a graduate application, transcripts, and examination scores to the appropriate office. Students given NDO status may apply to a graduate program at a later date by submitting a new application. Except in programs receiving pre-approval by the Graduate and Professional Studies Committee (GPSC) of the Faculty Senate, no more than nine semester hours earned under NDO status may be applied toward a graduate degree if the credits are no more than five years old at the time of graduation and the courses are applicable to that degree.  For more information concerning NDO status, students should contact their specific college.

Postbaccalaureate Status

A postbaccalaureate student has earned one or more baccalaureate or higher degrees at a regionally accredited institution.  An applicant seeking this classification rather than the graduate status must apply to the Office of Admissions.

International Students (Non-U.S. Citizens)

Any student who is on a nonimmigrant visa is classified as an international student by the university.  Nonimmigrant international students must carry medical and hospitalization insurance.  Visas issued for the purpose of study do not normally carry employment privileges.  New students on nonimmigrant visas are required to enroll for an orientation program, which takes place at the beginning of the semester.  Holders of nonimmigrant visas (F-1 or J-1) must enroll in a full course load each semester.  Full-time status is defined by the college of the student’s major.