Tusculum GPS Admission Policies

Admission to Tusculum’s Graduate and Online Studies program to earn a degree can enhance the career opportunities for working adults.

Campus Visits

Although a personal interview is not required for admission, prospective students are encouraged to visit the Tusculum site they wish to attend and meet with an enrollment representative.

Walk-ins are welcomed and encouraged at each site. Although not required, if you would like to schedule an appointment, call or email in advance of the intended dated of arrival. The number is 423-636-7312 and email address is

Admission Requirements

New students under the age of 21* (those with fewer than 12 semester hours of earned college credit) must have earned a regular high school diploma with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher or official acceptable GED or HiSet scores and satisfy one of the following:

  1. Evidence of two years of full-time work experience
  2. Composite score of 18 or higher on the ACT (or equivalent SAT score)

Transfer students* (those with 12 or more semester hours of earned college credit) must meet the following requirement:

  1. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher from an accredited college or university

Admission Procedures

To be considered for admission the following is required for each bachelor’s degree program:

  1. Complete the online admission application.
  2. Request official (sealed) transcripts of all college coursework mailed directly from each previous institution to Tusculum University.
  3. Veterans submit a certified Veterans’ Form DD214 showing an honorable discharge.
  4. Current military personnel submit basic training documentation.
  5. Students for whom English is a second language must submit an official TOEFL score from within the last five years.

Please note that degrees may have additional admission requirements, which can be found in the Adult and Online Studies major section for each degree.

Graduate and Online Studies Enrollment Deposit

Applicants who are offered admission are asked to submit an enrollment deposit of $50 prior to registration. Deposits are non-refundable and can only be deferred one semester. The deposit will be credited to the applicant’s account in the Business Office and will reduce the amount of tuition due at the time of billing.

Note: Various academic programs requiring placement within that program may require criminal background checks; refer to the “Background Check” section in the catalog.


Conditional/Provisional Admission

The Admissions and Standards Committee may extend conditional or provisional admission to undergraduate applicants. These types of admission require that students meet certain expectations in order to matriculate. The Committee will review the applicant’s application file along with the personal essay and two professional recommendations that must be remitted. The Committee reserves the right to request further documentation from the applicant and all decisions are final. Both undergraduate and graduate applicants are informed in their acceptance letter of the conditions or provisions that MUST be met in order to proceed in the program. Please refer to the section on specific program retention standards for further information regarding program continuation.

Note: Conditional and/or provisional acceptance is not available for prospective students 21 years of age and under.*

The Graduate Committee may extend conditional or provisional admission to graduate applicants. Please refer to page 156 of the Tusculum University catalog for the particulars (details).

*Students 21 years of age and under may be best served by the Residential College programs; admission to this program is described on page 18 of the Tusculum University catalog.


Transfer Students

Tusculum University will consider applicants for admission by way of transfer from colleges and universities accredited by regional accrediting agencies. After submitting an admission application, applicants seeking transfer of coursework from post-secondary institutions with national or specialized accreditation may request that the Registrar’s Office review such credit with the pertinent academic departments, provided the transcript and course syllabi are official and remitted directly from the applicant’s previous institution.

A transfer applicant must have official (sealed) transcripts of all college coursework mailed directly to Tusculum University from each previous institution. All transcripts must be sent to P.O. Box 5051 in order to be considered for admission to Tusculum University. Only those transcripts sent by the credit-granting institution will be deemed as official. A transcript from the secondary school must be sent if fewer than 12 college level credits have been earned.

Transfer applications will be considered void if discovery of previous attendance at another institution is not disclosed at the time of the application, and a direct violation of the University’s Code of Conduct will be noted. Transfer applicants must be eligible to return to the institution previously attended.


Academic Fresh Start

Academic Fresh Start is a plan of academic forgiveness provided for students who have not attended college for at least four years. This plan allows the calculation of grade point average (G.P.A.) and credit hours toward graduation to be based only on work completed after returning to college. All prior college credit will be forfeited.

Student Requirements:
  • Separation from all collegiate institutions for at least four calendar years.
  • At the time of admission as a degree-seeking student, submission of a formal application for admission.
  • Description of an academic plan.
  • After acceptance, a student must complete at least 15 semester hours of earned degree course work with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for all work attempted.
Terms of Academic Fresh Start
  1. The student may be granted the Academic Fresh Start only once.
  2. The student’s permanent record will remain a record of all work; however, the student will forfeit the use for degree or certification purposes of all college or university degree credit earned prior to the four-year separation upon granting of Fresh Start status. Previously satisfied placement test requirements will not be forfeited.
  3. The student’s transcript will note that the Fresh Start was made and the date of the Fresh Start. The record will also carry the notation “G.P.A. and credit totals are based only on the work beginning with the date of the “Fresh Start.”


Special Student Status

Applicants who are not candidates for degrees from Tusculum University but are interested in attending classes will be placed in one of these three categories:

  1. Transient Students: Students currently matriculating at another college who are in good standing may want to enroll as transient students. The normal application procedure should be followed, but in place of the transcript, a letter from the chief academic officer or registrar of the student’s institution must be sent to the Admissions Office giving special approval for the student to attend Tusculum University and specifying which courses may be taken. At the request of the student, a transcript will be sent to his/her college at the end of the enrollment at Tusculum. Enrollment in this status is for a limited period, usually not exceeding one semester.
  2. Special Students: Tusculum University will admit applicants who do not plan to become regular students or candidates for degrees but who plan to enroll in one or more courses. Applicants seeking course credit to qualify for admission to undergraduate, graduate or professional programs along with those seeking teaching certifications/licensure may be enrolled as special students. Applicants seeking this option are required to submit applications and/or appropriate documentation to be reviewed by committee.
  3. Auditors: An auditor is one who attends classes, but is not required to participate in classroom discussions, submit work required of other students or take examinations. Individuals who wish to audit one or more courses should submit an application at least two weeks before the course begins. A course that is audited cannot change to a credit course, nor can a credit course change to audit unless the change occurs before the first class meeting date.


International Students

The review procedure for international student applicants is the same as that required of all applicants; however, transcripts must be translated into English. In addition, an international applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. An international student applicant, who has not submitted an ACT or SAT test score, must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and have a record of the results sent to Tusculum University. A minimum score of 540 – 543 (paper), 207 (computer-based) or 76 (Internet-based) is required on the test. This test is administered in the United States and abroad by the College Entrance Examination Board, Box 592, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. The score must be sent to Tusculum University from the College Entrance Examination Board.
  2. If the TOEFL is not taken, then an international student applicant may complete the American Language Academy course level V and be admitted upon the recommendation of the director of that program located in the United States. The same applies for an applicant who enters a program of the English Language School (ELS), which has centers throughout the country. Tusculum requires that a student graduating from an ELS program must have completed Level 108 before being considered for full-time admission.
  3. An international student applicant must complete and return to the College the “Certification of Finances” form. This form will be supplied by Tusculum University and must be completed in conjunction with the applicant’s bank or similar financial institution.

It is important that all financial arrangements be confirmed before the applicant arrives at Tusculum. If the international student applicant is accepted and financial arrangements complete, the University will issue an I-20 form which will expedite securing a student visa; the I-20 can only be processed following receipt of any applicable enrollment deposit.


Review of Criminal Behavior, Other than Honorable Discharge

Tusculum University is committed to providing an opportunity for all qualified applicants to receive a quality education while also assuring that the environment is conducive to learning and community development without unreasonable risk to the safety or welfare of individuals or their property. Based on these considerations, applicants for admission to all programs of study will be asked whether they have been responsible for criminal behavior, received other than an honorable discharge from military service or been subject to disciplinary accountability by an institution of higher education.

An affirmative response to these questions will not automatically prevent admission, but applicants will be asked to provide sufficient information (personal information, intended program of study and criminal and rehabilitative history) to determine whether the applicant is a match for the Tusculum University community and course of studies. Any omission or falsification in the disclosure of the requested information may result in denial of admission or disciplinary action (See “Application for Admission” and “Review of Applicants’ Criminal, Discharge and Conduct for Admissions Policy” in the Applicant Handbook for more information). Applicants who may have past criminal behavior and other than Honorable Discharge will be reviewed by the Dean of Students.



Students, who have discontinued attendance at Tusculum University for six months or more, not including a leave of absence, must reapply for admission. Applicants, who do not enroll within 12 months of the application date, must reapply for admission. If the former student or applicant seeking readmission attended another institution during the interim, official transcripts of all academic work attempted must be forwarded directly to the Adult and Online Studies Office of Admission. Please refer to the transfer guidelines on page 121 of the Tusculum University catalog.

Readmission requires both academic and judicial good standing. Former students seeking readmission following academic suspension must meet the specified terms and conditions of the status prior to seeking re-admittance to the University. Former students or applicants not in good academic or judicial standing must petition the appropriate committee for readmission.

Academic petitions will be reviewed by the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate applicants and by the Graduate Committee for graduate applicants. All judicial petitions will be reviewed by the Dean of Students prior to being submitted to the respective committee. The petition should be sent to the Adult and Online Studies Office of Admission and show definite reason and good cause as to why such re-enrollment should be permitted. Please provide any documentation to support your petition.

Applicants will be notified regarding the arrangements needed to begin or continue coursework at Tusculum University. Students who are readmitted are subject to the current program requirements regardless of the date of their original enrollment. In the event of curriculum changes since the original entrance to the program, the student may be required to repeat selective courses of study.


Computer Needs and Recommended Skills

Students who enroll in Graduate and Online Studies programs are responsible for having access to a computer, email capabilities and Internet connectivity capable of linking to the Tusculum website. Students must utilize their assigned Tusculum email account received at registration. Tusculum provides computer/Internet accessibility at its instructional sites. If students are unable to obtain access to the Internet connectivity and email capabilities either on their own or through the use of Institution-supplied facilities, Tusculum will assist them in identifying other convenient Internet access locations.

Students in Graduate and Online Studies are expected to use computers to complete assignments throughout their curriculum. It is strongly recommended that students entering their respective programs be proficient in executing the following skills: (a) typing, (b) file management (open, save, delete, move, copy, create folders, save file in specified folder), (c) familiarity with windows (maximize, minimize, close), (d) using and installing software (open programs; use spell check; cut, copy and paste within a document; insert graphic image and change font and font attributes) and (e) basic Internet usage (navigate in browser, send and receive email).