Admissions Policies

Admission to, retention in, transfer among, and graduation from colleges and universities in the State System of Higher Education

Regular Admission Requirements

Any student who is a graduate of an accredited high school or has achieved a high school equivalency certificate based on the General Education Development (GED) tests, and has met curricular requirements and performance criteria listed below is eligible to enroll at USAO.

  1. High School Curricular Requirements
    Units/Yrs     ­Course Areas
    4     English (grammar, composition, literature)
    3     Lab Science (biology, chemistry, physics, or any lab science certified by the school district; general science with or without a lab may not be used to meet this requirement.)
    3     Mathematics (from algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, math analysis, pre-calculus, calculus, Advanced Placement statistics)
    3     History and Citizenship Skills (including one unit of American history, and two additional units from history, economics, government, geography, or non-Western culture)
    2     Electives (additional units from subjects previously listed or selected from foreign language, computer science, any Advanced Placement course except applied courses in fine arts)
    15    Total Required Units

While these curricular requirements will normally be met by students in grades 9 - 12, advanced students who complete these courses in earlier grades will not be required to take additional courses for purposes of admission.

Students must meet all curricular requirements to be admitted. Students with a deficiency in a non-basic course (excludes English, mathematics, and sciences) who present an ACT reading subscore of 19 or higher may be admitted as a regular admission student. These students will be required to complete an additional three-hour collegiate course in the relative subject area to make up the high school deficiency.

The 15 high school units are required for admission.  In addition, the following subjects are recommended for college preparation:

2   additional units:  Fine Arts  (music, art, drama, speech)

1   additional unit:  Lab Science (as described above)

1   additional unit:  Mathematics (as described above)

4   recommended units

Computer Science courses (one or more units) that meet the State Regents’ guidelines for high school curricular requirements may satisfy the postsecondary system wide computer proficiency graduation requirement.

The GED recipient’s high school class must have graduated for him/her to be eligible for admission.

  1. High School Performance Criteria

"Performance criteria" refers to the grades a student earns in required courses, class rank, and standardized test scores. 

One of the following performance criteria is required for admission:

  1. Option 1:  a minimum composite ACT score of 24 or combined critical reading and mathematical scores on the SAT of 1090 and 3.0 GPA or top 50% of high school class, or
  1. Option 2:  a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in four years of high school study and scholastic ranking among the top 25% of the members in his or her high school graduation class, or
  2. Option 3:  a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the 15-unit high school core curriculum required for university admission, and an ACT composite score of 22 or a SAT score of 1020.

The ACT score required is the composite score without the writing component, and the SAT score required includes the combined critical reading and mathematical scores of the test without the writing portion.

The high school GPA used for admission purposes in option 2 is the unweighted average of all grades (“A” equating to 4.00 and “D” equating to 1.00) taken in the 9th through 12th grades.  The GPA used for admission purposes in option 3 shall add a standard weighting (1.0) to the College Board’s Advanced Placement courses and the International Baccalaureate Organization’s higher-level courses (an “F” remains zero).

While the State Regents strongly support the initiation of honors courses, honors weighting will not be used in the calculation of either high school GPA because there is no equitable mechanism to include the honors premium.

Special Admission Requirements

Some students may be admitted under one of the following "Special Admission" categories:

  1. summer provisional admission
  2. summer curricular deficiency
  3. alternative admission
  4. home study or unaccredited high schools admission
  5. concurrent high school enrollment
  6. opportunity admission
  7. transfer admission
  8. special non degree-seeking student
  9. adult admission
  10. international student admission

Students who wish to be considered for admission under any of these categories should consult the Office of Admissions.

  1. Summer Provisional Admission

Under certain conditions, a student may qualify for summer provisional admission in the summer immediately following the student's high school graduation.  Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. be a first-time-entering student.
  2. graduate from an accredited high school or have earned a GED certificate. GED recipient's high school class must have graduated.
  3. meet the curriculum requirements.
  4. have a minimum ACT score of 17 and a minimum high school GPA of 2.5.
  5. participate in a comprehensive assessment battery. If the need for remedial coursework is indicated, the student must successfully complete the required developmental coursework.

If accepted, the student must take a minimum of two summer courses in "core academic" disciplines (English mathematics).  If credit has been earned through advanced standing or concurrent enrollment in either introductory college-level English or college algebra or the equivalent, the student may take an additional course in one of these categories:  social science (college-level course approved for general education credit), or natural science (college-level introductory lab science course approved for general education credit).  During the summer, students in this program will be required to participate in academic support programs to enhance their success, such as academic tutoring, mentoring, career counseling, diagnostic testing, etc.  If the student earns at least a “C" or the equivalent (RP – remedial pass), he or she will be admitted in the following fall term.  Students who are admitted and enrolled under these criteria will be required to participate during the fall term in the Drover Achievement Program (DAP). The DAP gives the student additional support by enrolling them in a “college achievement” course, as well as assigning the student a mentor for their freshman year.

A provisionally admitted student who does not meet these academic requirements will be unable to enroll for further work at USAO until such time as the student is eligible for regular transfer admission to USAO.

  1. The Summer Curricular Deficiency Program

This program permits students who have met the performance requirements for admission but have two or less high school deficiencies to attain entry in the fall by successfully completing the relative summer coursework with no grade lower than a "C" or the equivalent (RP – remedial pass).

A provisionally admitted student who does not meet these academic requirements will be unable to enroll for further work at USAO until such time as the student is eligible for regular transfer admission to USAO.

  1. Alternative Admission

First-time students admitted under this Right-to-Try admission option are those who do not meet State Regents’ admission standards for USAO, but possess unusual talent or abilities.  A limited number of students may be admitted under this category if they:

  1. have a reasonable chance for academic success, based on:  ACT composite score of 19 and high school GPA (2.70), class rank (upper half), or GPA in the 15-unit core (2.70),
  2. have unusual talent or ability in art, drama, music, sports, etc., or
  3. are educationally or economically disadvantaged and show promise of being able to succeed in a program or curriculum at USAO.

Students wishing to enter USAO under this category are given the opportunity to convince an admissions committee of their motivation and ability to succeed at USAO.  Students who are accepted and enrolled under these criteria will be required to participate in the Drover Achievement Program (DAP).  The DAP gives the student additional support by enrolling them in a “college achievement” course for their first trimester.  The university has a mentoring program designed to assist first-year students making the transition to college both academically and socially.

  1. Home School or Unaccredited High Schools

A graduate of a private, parochial, or other nonpublic high school which is not accredited by a recognized accrediting agency is eligible for admission to USAO as follows:

  1. The student must have taken the ACT or SAT and earned a score on each subtest’s frequency distribution (as defined by the State Regents) that is equal to or greater than the composite score required for admission at USAO.  The student must earn a minimum composite score of 24 on the ACT, or a combined critical reading and mathematical score of 1090 on the SAT.
  2. The student’s high school class must have graduated.
  3. The student must satisfy the high school curricular requirements for state colleges, as verified from the private school transcript.  For home school students, this verification may come from the parent.
  1. Concurrent Enrollment of High School Students

a. A 12th-grade student enrolled in an accredited high school may, if he or she meets the requirements set forth below, be admitted provisionally to USAO as a special student taking courses in college while still in high school:

(1)      must meet the published criteria of the State Regents (other than high school graduation and curricular requirements) for admission. This includes having earned a composite score of 24 on the ACT or the equivalent score on the SAT (1090) combined critical reading and mathematical scores, or a high school GPA of 3.0 and class rank in the top 25 percent. 

(2)      must be enrolled in less than a full-time load (fewer than six courses per semester) at the high school which he or she is attending, as attested by the high school principal.

(3)      must obtain a written recommendation from the high school counselor, written permission from their parent(s), and a signed statement from their high school principal confirming their eligibility to satisfy by the spring of the senior year the high school graduation requirements, including curricular requirements for college admission. This form is available in the USAO Registrar's Office.

There are minimum ACT subtest scores required for enrollment in certain classes:
19 ACT in English to take an English class
19 ACT in mathematics to take a mathematics class
19 ACT in science to take a science class19 ACT in reading to take history or social studies, or any other collegiate course (outside of English, mathematics and science)
 

A high school student admitted under the provisions above may enroll in a combined number of high school and college courses per trimester not to exceed a full-time college workload of 19 trimester credit hours.  For purposes of calculating workload, one high school course shall be equivalent to three credit hours of college work.  For example: 3 high school courses equal 9 college credit hours.

The completion of the high school curricular requirements set forth in this policy shall not be required of concurrently enrolled high school students for purposes of admission.  Students may only enroll in college subject areas where they have met the curricular requirements for college admission.  A concurrently admitted high school student will not be allowed to enroll in any zero-level courses offered by USAO designed to remove high school deficiencies.

University coursework is designed to be both an enriching and challenging experience.  High school students who seek concurrent enrollment in college or university classes must meet special, higher admission standards as specified in State Regents Policy.  Concurrently enrolled students will find themselves competing with older students, all of whom have achieved a high school diploma or equivalent.  Many will have already completed several years of college-level work.

In addition, higher education caters to adult learners and presumes a high level of responsibility on the part of students.  USAO students accept the primary responsibility for attending class, reading assignments, meeting deadlines, understanding course requirements, and monitoring their own progress during the semester.  While USAO prides itself on the accessibility of its faculty and offers numerous tutoring and academic counseling services, it is understood to be the duty of students to be proactive and access these resources.

Credits earned at USAO become part of a student’s university record and will transfer to other higher education institutions.  By the same measure, while under certain conditions unsatisfactory grades may be appealed or retaken, they cannot normally be expunged and will remain a part of a student’s permanent undergraduate record. To continue concurrent enrollment the student must maintain a “C” average (2.00 grade point average).

High school students concurrently enrolled in college courses may continue concurrent enrollment in subsequent semesters if they achieve a college cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. Following high school graduation, such a student may continue his or her enrollment at USAO, provided he or she has achieved a college grade point average of 2.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and meets USAO's entrance requirements (including the high school curricular requirements).

b. An 11th-grade student enrolled in an accredited high school may, if he or she meets the requirements listed above and the additional requirements set forth below, be admitted provisionally to USAO as a special student:

(1)      if the student has achieved a composite score on the ACT (24), or if the student’s combined score on the SAT critical reading and mathematical sections equal (1090), or

(2)      if the student has a high school GPA of 3.5 or better.

There are minimum ACT subtest scores required for enrollment in certain classes in paragraph “5a” above.

c. A student receiving high-school-level instruction at home or from an unaccredited high school may be admitted provisionally to USAO as a special student if he or she meets the requirements set forth below:

(1)      must be 17 years of age or older and meet the standardized test admission requirements of USAO, or

(2)      must be 16 years of age and have achieved a composite score of 24 or whose combined critical reading and mathematical scores equal 1090. 

There are minimum ACT subtest scores required for enrollment in certain classes in paragraph “5a” above.

  1. Opportunity Admission Category

Under certain conditions, a student who does not qualify for "Concurrent Enrollment" status but who has not graduated from high school may apply for enrollment at USAO.  The Director of Enrollment will determine admissibility based on:

  1. test scores (ACT of 32 or SAT of 1410),
  2. the student’s level of maturity and ability to function in the adult college environment, and
  3. whether the experience will be in the best interest of a student intellectually and socially.
  1. Transfer Admission

A transfer student is any undergraduate who has attempted more than 6 credit hours, excluding "0-level" courses and pre-college work, such as concurrent hours earned in high school.

To transfer to USAO from another Oklahoma State System Institution, a student must fulfill one of the following criteria:

  1. originally (prior to beginning college anywhere) have met USAO's high school curricular and performance requirements and earned at least an overall retention/graduation GPA of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all college coursework elsewhere; or
  2. originally (prior to beginning college anywhere) have met USAO's high school curricular requirements but not the performance requirements and earned at least an overall retention/ graduation GPA of 2.0 on at least 24 attempted trimester credit hours of regularly graded (A, B, C, D, F) college work; or
  3. originally (prior to beginning college anywhere) have met USAO's performance requirements but not the curricular requirements, have earned (on high school coursework) an overall GPA equal to a 2.0 (on a 4-point scale), and have satisfactorily completed USAO's high school curricular requirements before transferring; or
  4. originally (prior to beginning college anywhere) have met neither USAO's curricular nor performance requirements but have earned an overall 2.0 GPA on at least 24 attempted trimester credit hours of regularly-graded (A, B, C, D, F) college work, and completed USAO's curricular requirements before transferring.

Depending on the status of the individual student, other requirements may be pertinent.  All transfer students should consult the Admissions Office for information.

A student transferring from another Oklahoma System institution must be in good standing at that institution.  If a student has earned fewer than 24 credit hours, he or she must present:

• A high school transcript or GED, and

• ACT scores. 

An undergraduate student wishing to transfer from an out-of-state college or university to USAO may do so by meeting the entrance requirements of USAO as outlined above in paragraph 7 and by the following:

      a.       Transcripts of record from colleges or universities accredited by the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission (NCA HLC) or other regional associations will be given full value.

                (1)    Each nonresident applicant must be in good standing in the institution from which he or she plans to transfer.

                (2)    Each nonresident applicant must have made satisfactory progress (an average grade of "C" or better or meet this policy's current retention standards, whichever is higher) in the institution from which he or she plans to transfer.

  1. Transcripts of record from institutions not accredited by a regional association may be accepted in transfer when appropriate to the student's degree program and when USAO has had an opportunity to validate the courses or programs.

                (1)    Each nonresident undergraduate applicant must meet the conditions of a(1) and a(2) above.

                (2)    Each nonresident undergraduate applicant who meets a(1) and a(2) above also will be required to validate the transferred credit by making satisfactory progress (an average of "C" or better) for at least one semester (12 credit hours).

       c.      Non-native Speakers of English

Transfer students who are non-native speakers of English must meet the same transfer admission standards as outlined in paragraph a or b above, dependent upon their educational background or have attended a college or university where English is the primary teaching language in a country where English is a primary language and that is recognized by professional organizations in the U.S. involved in admissions and international education for a minimum of 24 semester credit hours with passing grades and also meet other transfer requirements.

Student with less than 24 hours from a college or university where English is the primary teaching language in a country where English is a primary language and that is recognized by professional organizations in the U.S. involved in admissions and international education must meet the language requirements for first-time undergraduate students.

Students who do not meet the academic criteria in paragraph 7 above, but have not been formally suspended, may be admitted as transfer probation students.  These students must maintain a 2.0 GPA each trimester while on probation until they raise their retention/graduation GPA to a 2.0 level.  Any transfer student with curriculum deficiencies must remove the deficiencies within the first 12 hours of enrollment.

A maximum of 62 credit hours of junior college coursework may count toward the baccalaureate degree at USAO.

Students who hold associate in arts, associate in science, or baccalaureate degrees and who transfer from accredited junior colleges or four-year colleges or universities of Oklahoma will be considered by USAO as having met all lower-division general education requirements for a baccalaureate degree from USAO.

Teacher education candidates may need to take additional courses in general education to meet the minimum certification requirements as defined by the State, including health and physical education, geography, mathematics, science, or similar additional requirements of other professional fields.

In addition to the general education requirements, specific programs or fields may call for particular GPAs.

Students transferring to USAO without associate in arts/science or baccalaureate degrees must meet the same general education requirements as first-time entering freshmen.

  1. Special Nondegree-Seeking Student

Students who wish to enroll in courses without intending to pursue a degree may enroll in up to 9 credit hours without submitting academic credentials or meeting the curricular or performance requirements of USAO.  Retention standards will be enforced.  Should a student wish to enroll in more than the 9 permitted hours, he or she must be formally admitted to USAO.  The student will then be required to meet USAO's formal admission or transfer criteria.

  1. Adult Admission

Students who are 21 years of age or older or on active military duty may be admitted based on established criteria (has a high school diploma or GED certificate).  Adults are not required to take the ACT or SAT.  They must participate in assessment tests in English, mathematics, and science.  The results of these tests are used to determine admissibility and course placement.

  1. International Students, First-Time Admission

A student from another country must:

  1. be a graduate of a secondary school and/or college with a GPA of at least 2.0 based on a 4.0 scale,
  2. earn a combined SAT score of 1090 on critical reading and mathematics or an ACT composite score of 24.   Complete the native country’s requirements for students who plan to enter school in the United States,
  3. If English is not the primary language of the country, present evidence of language proficiency of 500 or higher on paper version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 173 on the computer-based version, a 61 on the Internet-based version, or a minimum score of 460 on the paper version (140 computer) with 12 weeks of study at an approved English Language Center, or a score of 6.0 or higher on International English Language Testing System (IELTS),
  4. furnish a complete transcript in English from a secondary school or college showing date of graduation from a secondary school, and senior secondary school certificate examination results, if applicable,
  5. furnish proof of financial ability to travel from home to college and return, and pay all expenses while in school.
  6. complete a medical history report, including immunizations.  USAO recommends that international students carry medical insurance.

     International transfer students should consult the Registrar's Office.

 

GENERAL ADMISSION POLICIES

  1. Curricular Deficiencies

ACT-Based Deficiencies A student who scores less than 19 on any of the ACT subscores is judged deficient in that subject area.  No student who is deficient in a subject area may enroll in any college-level courses in that area until the deficiency is removed.  Students must remediate all deficiencies within the first 24 credit hours attempted.  If deficiencies remain after the completion of 24 hours, enrollment will be restricted to remedial courses.  Students continuously enrolled in courses designed to remove deficiencies may be allowed to continue enrollment beyond the 24 hour limit.

Each remedial course (identified by a first-digit of "0" in the course number) carries the same tuition as college-level courses, plus a $20 per hour fee, but does not carry college credit.

Remediation in English is achieved in one of the following ways:

      a. completion of ENGL 0123, or

      b. earning a passing grade on a USAO assessment test.

Remediation in science is achieved in one of the following ways:

                a. completion of NSCI 0123, or

                b. earning a passing grade on a USAO assessment test.

Remediation in mathematics is achieved in one of the following ways:

                a. Students majoring in Biology, Business, Chemistry, Early

                    Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Deaf Education, Economics,

                    Mathematics, Natural Science, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, or any other

                    field requiring MATH 1513 or higher must do one of the following:

  1. Score 19 or higher on the ACT math subscore,
  2. Pass a USAO Level 2 Assessment (algebra), or
  3. Complete MATH 0123 with a grade of “RP.”            
  1. Other students must do one of the following:
  1. Score 19 or higher on the ACT math subscore,
  2. Pass a USAO Level 2 Assessment (algebra),
  3. Complete MATH 0123 with a grade of “RP.”
  4. Pass a USAO Level 1 Assessment (pre-algebra), or
  5. Complete MATH 0103

History Deficiency Remediation in history is necessary when the student failed to complete one year of high school U.S. history and one additional year of another high school history course.  A student who is deficient in history must take a 3-hour college history course in addition to the required IDS courses in American Civilization.  Required IDS courses may not be used to remove a history deficiency.

  1. Financial Obligations

Students with financial obligations to USAO are not eligible to receive the services of the university and will not be issued transcripts or degrees.  These students are not eligible for further enrollment until the debt has been resolved in the Business Office.

Delinquent accounts will be subject to additional costs, such as collection and legal fees, interest, and any other approved costs of collection.

  1. Graduation Catalog

Students will graduate under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time they enter the Oklahoma State System for Higher Education as long as they maintain continuous enrollment (fall and spring), except that no student may graduate under a catalog more than six years old.  An academic year always begins with the fall term.

The USAO General Catalog is published for informational purposes and should not be construed as the basis of a contract between a student and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.  Every effort is made to provide information that is accurate at the time the catalog is prepared.

However, information concerning the regulations, policies, fees, curricula, courses, and other matters contained in the catalog is subject to change at any time during the period for which the catalog is in effect.  USAO reserves the right at all times to discontinue, modify, or otherwise change its degree programs when it determines it is in the best interest of the university to do so. When changes occur in this catalog, or between this catalog and the next, students working in consultation with their advisors, may choose to meet the requirements of either the catalog in effect at the time of their initial enrollment or the catalog in effect at the time of their graduation.  Students who enroll but then leave the college for 12 months or more must follow either the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their reenrollment or the one in effect at the time of their graduation.  Students may not choose to meet combinations of requirements from two or more catalogs, but reasonable substitutions can be made for altered or discontinued courses.

Academic advisers, department chairs, and academic staff members are available to aid students in understanding the requirements and regulations.  Students, however, are responsible for reading and understanding academic policies and procedures as well as academic course requirements.  It is also the student's ultimate responsibility to meet them.  The responsibility for meeting all graduation requirements rests with the student.  Students are encouraged to keep this catalog as a reference, should questions arise.

  1. In-State/Out-of-State Status of Enrolled Students [Residency Status]

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have approved policy changes on In-State/Out-of-State Status for Enrolled Students.  The policy establishes definitions, principles, criteria and guideline to assist institutional officials in the classification of postsecondary students as in-state/out-of-state students.  Also, the policy statement should be helpful to prospective students in determination of their in-state/out-of-state status prior to enrollment or for those out-of-state students seeking to be reclassified as in-state.  Interested persons may view the policy at www.okhighered.org click on Higher Ed Admin.  Refer to the State Regents Policy and Procedures Manual section 3.17.  Additional information on procedures at USAO can be accessed at www.usao.edu under “Future Students” on the home page or by contacting the Registrar’s Office.

  1. Advanced Standing Credit

USAO's advanced standing credit plan recognizes academic learning which has occurred outside the formal classroom setting.  The methods for evaluating such learning experiences for advanced standing credit are:

  1. institutionally-prepared examinations.
  2. standardized national tests specially designed to establish credit, such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject examinations, the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) subject examinations, and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) subject standardized tests (DSST).
  3. military service experiences. Students who have completed formal service school training may request an evaluation for credit.  A Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services will be used to determine credit to be awarded.  U.S. veterans providing appropriate documentation of completed basic military training will be granted 3 hours of physical education credit.

College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) Advanced Placement Program Examinations are taken in the spring in high school.  Credit will be awarded by USAO for a score of three, four, or five on any examination equivalent to courses in the USAO curriculum, except English.  A score of 4 or 5 on the AP examination is required for credit in Writing I and/or II, and a CLEP score of 54 is required on College Composition for credit in Writing I.

The amount of advanced standing credit will not exceed one-half of the total trimester hours required at the lower-division level (31 hours) and not more than one-half of the total trimester hours at the upper-division level (31 hours).

A current list of CLEP and AP Credit offered by USAO is available from the office of Academic Affairs, Troutt Hall 215.

  1. Readmission

A student who has been away from USAO for 12 months must reapply for admission.  All returning students must begin the application process in the Registrar’s office, Troutt Hall 204.  To be accepted for readmission, the student must complete a new application and pay a $25 application fee to the Business Office, Troutt Hall 220.  If the applicant has attended another college or university during the absence from USAO, official transcripts of all course work attempted must be submitted.  Returning students will also need to contact the Financial Aid office to update and reinstate aid processes.

  1. Articulation Policy

In accordance with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, USAO fully participates in the articulation policy for the transfer of students among Oklahoma public institutions.  A student transferring to USAO with an associate of arts or an associate of science degree from any state system institution will be considered to have met general education requirements of the baccalaureate degree.  Some students may have to take additional courses in general education to meet minimum professional certification requirements as defined by the state.

General education credit earned by the transferring student at accredited colleges within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education will apply toward baccalaureate degrees in the same way the credit would apply at the institution at which the credit was earned.  General education credit earned at out-of-state institutions will be reviewed for acceptance by the Registrar.

  1. Equal Opportunities Policy

In compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, USAO does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or status as a veteran in any of its policies or procedures.  The Title IX coordinator is Mike Coponiti, Vice President for Business and Finance, Troutt Hall 220, (405) 574-1333.