Office of Admissions
Erma Nieto Brecht
Executive Director of Enrollment Management
Rusk Building, Suite 206
Phone: (936) 468-2504
Fax: (936) 468-3149
P.O. Box 13051, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Admissions Policies and Procedures
Stephen F. Austin State University encourages qualified students to apply for admission. Students seeking admission should make every effort to complete the appropriate procedures as soon as possible. Undergraduate application for admission, preliminary academic counseling and evaluation of previous college course work are available on campus in the Office of Admissions.
First-Semester, First-Year Students
First-semester, first-year applicants are those who have graduated from high school and have not attended a college or university since high school graduation. Students who have earned college credits by way of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Level Examination Program, dual credit or early college high school program while in high school are considered first-year students and must submit official test results from either the ACT or the SAT.
High School Preparation
SFA requires first-year applicants to have completed the recommended high school program, the distinguished achievement program, and endorsement program with Algebra II or distinguished with endorsement program to ensure they have received adequate preparation for college-level work. Applicants who have not completed one of these programs will need to demonstrate that they have completed a high school curriculum more rigorous than what is required of the minimum graduation plan, basic plan or foundation plan. Applicants from accredited private high schools and out-of-state high schools will be required to complete a curriculum similar to the endorsement program with Algebra II or distinguished with endorsement program.
Applicants for admission to SFA will be required to meet the following class rank and minimum test scores:
High School Rank
SAT Test Score
No minimum score
No minimum score
11 to 25%
No minimum score
No minimum score
Distinguished High School Program
SFA’s Distinguished High School Program partners with selected independent school districts to offer guaranteed admissions, scholarships and enhanced service to eligible students. Distinguished High School Program applicants who rank in the top 30% of their class will be admitted with no minimum score requirement.
The admission files of applicants who do not have a minimum of the endorsement program with Algebra II or distinguished with endorsement program and those who do not meet the rank-in-class and test score requirements will be individually reviewed. Admission will be offered to those applicants who demonstrate potential for academic success. It is recommended that applicants complete all parts of the application as this information will assist with the review process. Factors used in the review process include an applicant’s high school record, class rank and standardized test score on the SAT or ACT. Additional factors such as high school activities, responsibilities while attending high school, bilingual proficiency and region of residence also will be taken into consideration. Admission will be granted to students who have been awarded competitive scholarships by an official SFA scholarship committee.
Graduates of Home School and GED Recipients
In compliance with Texas Senate Bill 1543, those applicants who graduate from home school or receive a General Education Development certificate will be assigned a class rank comparable to the average class rank of other applicants who have equivalent ACT or SAT scores. Home-schooled applicants must submit official SAT or ACT scores and an official notarized academic transcript. The Office of Admissions has a notary on staff who can notarize transcripts free of charge. GED applicants must submit official GED scores and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants who meet rank and score requirements will be admitted. Like all other applicants, if rank and score requirements are not met, a holistic review will be performed. Those applicants who exhibit probability of success may be admitted based on the review.
Graduates of Non-Ranking and Non-Accredited High Schools
Those applicants who graduate from non-ranking high schools and non-accredited high schools will be assessed on an individual basis. Any student attending a non-accredited high school must submit an official high school transcript and official SAT or ACT scores. Applicants whose academic background indicates probability of success may be admitted.
Incoming first-year applicants who have attempted college-level courses while in high school must earn a 2.0 minimum GPA on all attempted transferable college course work. Failure to do so may result in the imposition of academic probation during the first semester of enrollment or the withdrawal of the SFA admission offer.
Other than the Concurrent Enrollment Program, SFA does not admit any applicant for any semester that begins prior to the graduation of her/his high school class.
- Complete an application for admission. First-year applicants can complete the ApplyTexas application, available at applytexas.org, or the Common App, available at commonapp.org. Submit application with a $50 nonrefundable application fee. SFA has no preference on which application is used; however, it is important you submit only one per semester.
- Arrange for official ACT or SAT scores to be sent to the university. Test scores from the junior year are acceptable, and the submission of multiple test scores is permissible. Students are required to submit the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. At this time, admission requirements do not include writing scores. The highest composite ACT or SAT (critical reading plus math) result is used to determine admissibility. Test results may be forwarded directly from the testing service to SFA or via email from the student’s account. Be sure to designate Stephen F. Austin State University on the ACT or SAT application. (The SFA school code is 4188 for ACT and 6682 for SAT.)
- Arrange for an official high school transcript to be sent to the Office of Admissions following completion of junior year. The transcript must indicate the applicant’s numerical class rank, if applicable, at the conclusion of the junior year or first semester of the senior year.
- Arrange for official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended to be forwarded to the Office of Admissions, regardless of whether transfer credit was earned or is desired.
Texas Success Initiative
The Texas Success Initiative is a statewide program to promote academic success for all students by ensuring they are well prepared for college-level work. To support that goal, the TSI program requires students to earn exemption from placement testing or undergo assessment in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Contact the Student Success Center at (936) 468-5803 or go to sfasu.edu/tsi for detailed information. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board sets exemptions and passing scores for TSI.
- You are exempt from TSI requirements ONLY if you satisfy one of the following conditions:
- You possess an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
- You met exemption scores on the SAT, ACT or STAAR EOC.
- You are not a matriculated (degree-seeking) student.
- You have already met collegiate readiness standards at another public college or university in Texas and provide documentation of this status.
- You have earned college-level credit from an accredited higher education institution in designated reading, writing and mathematics courses.
- You are serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces, the Texas National Guard or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces and have been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
- You have been honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces or the Texas National Guard on or after Aug. 1, 1990 (DD214 required).
- If you are not fully exempt by any of the above provisions, you must have TSI test scores on file prior to registration. There is a two-step process to obtaining TSI assessment scores:
- Complete a Pre-Assessment Activity.
- Take the TSI Assessment.
- Passing TSI scores makes you TSI complete in the tested subject, and you may proceed to 1000-level courses in the relevant disciplines. See course descriptions for additional information about any departmental prerequisite policies.
- If your TSI scores are below passing in any subject, you must enroll in the appropriate TSI foundational/support coursework starting your first semester of enrollment and continue in TSI coursework each semester until successful completion of required TSI coursework. You may retest at any time.
- You may retest at any time. If your TSI test scores are below passing, you must enroll in the required developmental coursework starting your first semester of enrollment and continue in developmental coursework each semester until you are TSI complete.
- To speak with a TSI advisor, call (936) 468-5803, or visit the Student Success Center in Steen Library, Room 203. TSI documentation may be submitted by email to email@example.com.
- All students must satisfy all provisions of the Texas Success Initiative program before receiving an undergraduate degree.
Non-Traditional/Mature Student Admission
Applicants who have not attended high school in the previous five years or who have not attended college for an extended period of time may apply for mature student admission. Eligibility for admission will be based on their ability to succeed at SFA utilizing their individual educational, work and personal life experiences. Military service veterans with honorable or general discharges are eligible to apply for mature student admission. Applicants who did not graduate from high school are required to submit official GED scores.
- Submit a completed ApplyTexas application for admission, available online at applytexas.org, with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
- Arrange for high school transcript to be sent to the Office of Admissions (required whether or not applicant graduated).
- Submit a copy of the GED (if not a high school graduate).
- Arrange for transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended to be forwarded to Office of Admissions, whether or not transfer credit was earned.
- Submit a copy of the DD-214 (if a veteran).
- Submit a completed Mature Student Supplemental Information Form, which is available on the admissions website. Additional documentation indicating probability of success in college may be required.
- Mature students are subject to all applicable Texas Success Initiative requirements.
Students who have previously attended a regionally accredited institution must apply as transfer students.
Applicants who have attempted fewer than 15 semester hours of transferable college credit must have an overall 2.0 GPA on all transferable work attempted and also must satisfy eligibility requirements for first-semester freshmen. Transfer applicants who have attempted more than 15 semester hours must:
- not currently be on academic suspension from another educational institution
- and have earned a GPA of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all transferable work attempted.
- Submit a completed ApplyTexas application, available online at applytexas.org, for transfer students with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
- Arrange for official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended to be forwarded to the Office of Admissions regardless of whether transfer credit was earned or is desired.
- Following receipt of the completed application and all transcripts, previous collegiate studies are evaluated for transferable credit. Applicants are notified by mail of their admission status.
SFA accepts transfer credit from regionally accredited institutions on a course-by-course basis as determined by the Office of Admissions. All courses are examined in terms of content, level and credit hours awarded and are subject to the following conditions:
- Courses are evaluated and transferred to SFA on a course-by-course basis by comparing the levels, content and course prefix. Grades and course credits are transferred exactly as they appear on the official transcript of the institution where they were taken.
- Credit hours for courses are transferred based on the number of hours that are shown on the official transcript of the institution where they were taken and not on the credit value of the SFA course equivalent.
- General en bloc credit is assigned to a course that is transferable but is not an exact equivalent by level or by description. In this case, the student’s academic dean will determine its acceptability into degree programs.
- Junior/community college courses transfer as lower-level (first or second year) credit. Upper-level coursework completed at a community college for an approved bachelor’s degree will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Credits from senior colleges/universities transfer at the same level at which they were taken (lower or upper-level). Graduate-level courses that are used as upper-level courses to complete a bachelor’s degree may not be used later in a graduate degree.
- Most academic credit is transferable with the exception of remedial or developmental courses. Some departments may limit the number of credits that may be applied to a degree.
- A maximum of 66 academic hours plus four hours of kinesiology activity from junior or community colleges may apply toward a bachelor’s degree. If more than 66 hours are transferred, the student’s academic dean will determine which hours will be included in the 66 and how those courses will be substituted in the degree plan.
- A repeated course is considered only once, and the best grade is used when computing the transfer GPA needed for acceptance into SFA.
- Grade points from transferable courses are not calculated into SFA’s GPA and appear on the student’s record as transfer credit.
- Quarter hours convert to semester hours based on the following formula: 1 quarter-hour = 2/3 of semester hour. All other types of credit are converted to semester hours.
- There is no limit for credits transferred from senior colleges/universities. However, all students must meet the in-residency requirement at SFA in order to earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Coursework earned from educational experiences obtained in the armed forces is accepted as transfer on a limited basis. The “Guide to the Evaluation of Experience in the Armed Services” is used by the Office of Admissions for evaluating military credit. Military transcripts such as the Joint Services Transcript, AARTS, SMART, Community College of the Air Force and the Coast Guard Institute are used in the evaluation review process.
- Credit for vocational/technical, WECM and experiential learning can only be used in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program or in certain approved signed articulation agreements. Individuals wanting additional information on the B.A.A.S. program should contact the dean’s office of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts.
Transfer Repeats of SFA Courses
Students may repeat courses taken at SFA at other accredited institutions. Transfer hours will, however, be governed by the following rules:
- The grades earned at SFA will remain on the transcript.
- The hours attempted at SFA will not be changed as a result of coursework completed elsewhere.
- Transfer credit for a course originally taken at SFA has no effect on the GPA for work attempted at SFA.
- Transfer hours of repeated work may be used to satisfy degree requirements other than those related to GPA.
Equivalency Guides for all Texas community colleges are available online here. Two-year planning guides for all major degree programs using the Texas Common Course Numbering System are available on the web. Transfer students from community colleges are encouraged to discuss their degree program and course selection with an admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions.
Transfer of Core Curriculum
In accordance with the Texas Legislature, if a student completes the common core curriculum at a state-supported institution in Texas, that block of courses may be transferred to any other institution of higher education and must be substituted for the receiving institution’s core curriculum. A student also will receive credit for each of the individual courses transferred that meet the core requirements. Students who are Core Complete at any Texas school are considered as Core Complete at SFA.
Transfer Credit Dispute Resolution
Students transferring to SFA may appeal the non-transferability of lower-division course work in accordance to the guidelines set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Written notice of non-acceptable courses must and will be sent to the student as well as to the sending institution. Reason for denying credit may be requested from SFA. Students wanting to dispute the denial of credit must contact the designated official at the sending or receiving institution. The Office of Admissions is the designated official at SFA.
SFA, the sending institution and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with board rules and guidelines. If the dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the sending institution within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of denial, SFA must notify the commissioner of its reasons for denial of credit. The commissioner of higher education or the commissioner’s designee shall make the final determination concerning a dispute and will give written notice of the decision to the student and to the institutions.
The Coordinating Board shall collect transfer disputes data and the disposition of each case that is reported to the commissioner.
If SFA has cause to believe that a course being presented by a student for transfer is not of an acceptable level of quality, it will first contact the sending institution and attempt to resolve the problem. In the event SFA and the sending institution are unable to come to a satisfactory resolution, SFA may notify the commissioner of higher education, who may investigate the course. If its quality is found to be unacceptable, the board may discontinue funding for the course.
Texas Common Course Numbering System
SFA is a participant in the Texas Common Course Numbering System. The purpose of the system is to assist students who are transferring between participating institutions. The system utilizes single unique course alphabetic prefixes and numbers to identify first- and second-year courses that are common between two or more member colleges or universities. Refer to the Course Offerings section in this bulletin for a listing of currently approved TCCNS courses or contact the Office of Admissions for additional information. The statewide TCCNS matrix can be found on the web at TCCNS.org.
Admission Policy for Former Students
Students who have previously attended SFA and who have not enrolled for the previous two (fall, spring or summer) semesters must satisfy the following re-enrollment requirements:
- Submit a completed ApplyTexas application, available online at applytexas.org, for former students with a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
- Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended since last enrolled at SFA.
Former students must have earned a 2.0 GPA on all transferable coursework completed at other institutions since their last enrollment at SFA. Students currently on academic suspension from other institutions are not admissible.
Incoming first-year applicants who graduate from high school but fail to satisfy other admission requirements as a result of significant extenuating circumstances may appeal for admission through the SFA Academic Opportunity Program by completing and submitting the AOP form and two letters of recommendation to the Office of Admissions. All documents must be submitted at least five business days prior to the start of the semester being applied for.
Applicants who were denied admission as transfer students may appeal the decision through the Transfer Appeals Program by completing and submitting the Transfer Appeals form and two letters of recommendation to the Office of Admissions. All documents must be submitted at least five business days prior to the start of the semester being applied for. It is best to appeal well before the deadline.
Appeals are initiated in the Office of Admissions by filing the appropriate materials. Appeals are reviewed by the Admission Appeals Committee. Students admitted through this procedure are assigned to the Academic Advising Center for advisement. Students also may be assigned to the Academic Assistance and Resource Center for tutorial assistance.
Provisional Admission Programs
First-semester, first-year applicants not meeting the admission requirements may become eligible for regular admission by enrolling in the summer Jacks PASS program. For more information about the program, visit the JacksPASS website..
Transfer students with less than a 2.0 GPA who are not currently on academic suspension at another institution are eligible for provisional admission to the summer provisional program. Students who complete nine semester hours (excluding developmental courses) of work in summer I and summer II semesters combined and earn at least a 2.0 GPA on all work attempted may be eligible to enroll for the fall semester. The nine hours taken must be approved by the appropriate academic dean before courses begin.
Students returning to SFA with transfer coursework with less than a 2.0 GPA and are not currently on suspension from SFA or another institution also are eligible for the summer provisional program.
Students who do not successfully complete the summer provisional program as specified by their academic dean may only be readmitted to SFA upon presentation of academic credits transferred from all post-secondary institutions attended for which the overall GPA is 2.0 or higher. Calculation of this GPA will be based on all non-SFA academic credits earned; it will include credit earned both before and after participation in SFA summer provisional program.
Academic Fresh Start
Texas residents may apply for admission to SFA under the Academic Fresh Start Program (Texas Education Code 51.931) as they are applying for admission or readmission. All academic course credits and grades earned 10 or more years prior to the semester for which the student seeks admission are not considered for admissions purposes. Students wishing to enroll under this program must contact the Office of Admissions for additional information.
International student applicants are evaluated on the quality, content and level of previous academic work. An international applicant must be admitted to a degree program or be a part of an exchange or special program recognized by SFA. Graduates from international secondary schools who have completed the equivalent of at least an American high school diploma may apply for admission to SFA. Initial applications (International Freshman or International Transfer) and a nonrefundable $50 application fee must be submitted electronically at goapplytexas.org. An applicant must then provide all transcripts/credential evaluations and require test scores to determine admission status.
Any materials not submitted electronically should be sent to International Admissions, P.O. Box 6152, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.
English Proficiency Requirement - Applicants whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency. English proficiency may be demonstrated by submitting a passing TOEFL, Duolingo or IELTS score report, or by receiving a degree from a U.S. institution. SFA requires a minimum composite TOEFL score of 79 iBT exam; a minimum Duolingo English Test score of 100; or a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS exam with no band scores below 5.5.
Credential Evaluation - Applicants who have attended international secondary and post-secondary schools must provide credential evaluations of official transcripts from each secondary, college, university or technical school attended. Applicants may be required to submit certified English translations of documents. International transfer applicants are considered eligible for admission if they are not currently on suspension from another educational institution and have a GPA of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in transferable courses.
Student Visa Requirements and Process - International students must satisfy all applicable requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A student who requires an F-1 or J-1 student visa to attend classes in the U.S. must submit proof of financial support prior to the issuance of an acceptance letter and I-20 (for F-1 student visa applicants) or DS-2019 (for J-1 exchange visitor visa applicants). The estimated cost for an academic year of nine months with a 12-hour academic load each semester is $30,616. This amount includes out-of-state tuition, fees, room and board, required student health insurance, books, and supplies. This estimate may be significantly reduced for those qualifying for various scholarship programs offered by or through SFA. Students with an F-1 visa are eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week; they are not eligible to work off campus.
Upon issuance of the I-20 (or DS-2019) and after completing the applications and paying the FMJ (I-901) SEVIS fee and DS-160 fee to make an appointment for a visa interview, the student should present the I-20 (or DS-2019), the letter of admission and financial documents at the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate to apply for the appropriate F-1 or J-1 student visa. All of these documents will be needed upon arrival in the United States when clearing customs/immigration at the border or airport. New students are required to attend International Student Orientation at the beginning of each semester. Provisions are made for transportation to SFA from Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston upon arrival in Texas for students attending the orientation.
Although not a requirement for admission, all international students are subject to all applicable TSI requirements as mandated by the state of Texas.
Dual Credit Students
Students enrolled in a high school or home school program may be eligible to earn credit toward high school graduation by successfully completing college core curriculum courses, as outlined in Senate Bill 1091. SFA’s dual credit program is in accordance with the Title 19 Texas Administrative Code 4.84, open to all eligible high school students in grades ninth through 12. Eligibility is determined by the Texas Success Initiative college readiness guidelines. A dual credit student must be TSI complete in the subject area in which they wish to enroll. Eligible students wanting to participate in dual credit must complete an ApplyTexas application, a dual credit student agreement, and submit appropriate TSI scores. Currently, TSI waivers or exemptions are determined by PSAT, SAT, ACT or STAAR scores. Students interested in participating in this program should contact the Office of Admissions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transient, or visiting, students planning to attend one or both of the summer sessions or one long semester only are required to submit a completed undergraduate application, the $50 application fee for new students, and official transcripts from their current or last educational institutions attended. Students must be in good academic standing at the last institution attended in order to be eligible for admission as transient students. Students currently on suspension from another educational institution are not eligible for admission as transient students. Transient students are subject to all applicable SFA probation/suspension policies. Transient students from other Texas state-supported schools must submit official TSI scores and are subject to the provisions of the Texas Success Initiative. Transient students who later decide to continue their academic studies at SFA must apply and meet the admission requirements as a transfer student. Beginning first-year students cannot apply as transient students.
Assistance is provided to veterans and eligible dependents in processing information for the GI Bill® that is required by the Veterans Administration. For information, contact SFA’s VA coordinator, Office of the Registrar, Rusk Building, (936) 468-3909, email@example.com. Additional information can be found on the GI Bill® website at gibill.va.gov.
Hazlewood and Hazlewood Legacy benefits are processed by the Business Office, located on the second floor of the Austin Building, (936) 468-1694. Additional information can be found in the Exemptions and Waivers from Tuition and Fees section of this bulletin.
SFA welcomes applications from individuals who wish to enroll in a limited number of courses solely for self-improvement or personal enrichment. Usually, these applicants wish to enrich their lives through lifelong learning experiences and are 55 years of age or older. For these applicants, no SAT or ACT scores or transcripts are required. Applicants should contact the Office of the Registrar at (936) 468-2501 for additional information.
Admission in this category does not constitute matriculation to the university nor are these applicants eligible for financial aid or veterans’ benefits. Applicants also are subject to all applicable Texas Success Initiative regulations.
Students may audit regular academic courses offered on campus on a space-available basis and with the permission of the instructor. Transcripts do not reflect audit courses. Students may not audit regular academic courses offered off campus. The deadline for registering as audit is the census date of the appropriate semester.
In those cases where a student enrolls for continuing education credit or audits a regular academic course, the tuition and fees shall be the same as the tuition paid by regularly enrolled students.
All students must show adequate levels of:
- Immunity, acquired naturally or by immunization, against the following diseases:
- Tetanus/Diphtheria - The last of the three initial injections or a booster must have been within the past 10 years
- Measles - Prior to registration, all new students born in or after January 1957 must show proof of two doses of measles vaccine administered on or after their first birthday and at least 30 days apart or serologic confirmation of immunity to measles
- Rubella - Prior to admission, all new students must show proof of rubella vaccine administered on or after their first birthday or serologic confirmation of rubella immunity
- Mumps - Prior to admission, all new students born in or after January 1957 must show proof of mumps vaccine on or after their first birthday or serologic confirmation of mumps immunity
- Freedom from infectious tuberculosis as evidenced by a negative tuberculin test (also called PPD) within one year prior to matriculation or a physician’s statement documenting a negative chest X-ray.
Evidence of these, such as a statement from a physician or copies of high school or college immunization records, must be provided to Health Services.
Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination
According to Texas Senate Bill 62, prior to enrollment, all new students and re-entry students must provide either:
- Evidence the student has received the vaccination or booster dose during the preceding five years and at least 10 days prior to enrollment. This evidence must be submitted in one of the following three formats:
- A document bearing the signature or stamp of the physician or her/his designee, or public health personnel (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered)
- An official immunization record generated from a state or local health authority (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered)
- An official record received from school officials, including a record from another state (must include the month, day and year the vaccination was administered)
- Evidence the student is declining the vaccination must be submitted in one of the following two formats:
- An affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice medicine in the United States, in which it is stated that, in the physician’s opinion, the required vaccination would be injurious to the health and well-being of the student
- An affidavit signed by the student stating that the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services must be used and can be located online at corequest.dshs.texas.gov. This may take up to 30 days.
- A student is not required to submit evidence of receiving the vaccination against bacterial meningitis or evidence of receiving a booster dose:
- if the student is 22 years of age or older by the first class day of the semester in which they intend to enroll
- or if the student is enrolled in online or other distance education courses only.
Stephen F. Austin State University will not permit students to register for classes until this requirement has been satisfied.