2006-2008 Undergraduate Catalog
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Academic Policies and Procedures

Texas Higher Education Assessment/Texas Success Initiative (THEA/TSI)

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requires students to be assessed in reading, writing and math skills prior to enrolling in college, and to be advised based on the results of that assessment, but now each institution determines how best to help students who don’t pass one or more parts of the test. In addition, each student who does not pass must have an individualized education plan, and those students who score below a deviation standard are required to retest.

The University of Texas at Dallas requires incoming students who are not TSI exempt to take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA), formerly the TASP test, offered by National Evaluation Systems. The required passing standards on the THEA are: Reading and Math a score of 230 and Writing a score of 220. The specific application of the Texas Success Initiative as outlined in this statement applies to U.T. Dallas students only. U.T. Dallas students must take the THEA or Quick THEA test to satisfy the test requirement. No other types of tests can substitute for the THEA test requirement.

The THEA is given statewide. It is possible to satisfy the THEA requirements on the UTD campus by registering to take the Quick THEA with Learning Resources, (972)883-6707. Learning Resources is located in the McDermott Library.

THEA test registration bulletins are available at most Texas high schools and colleges. Additional information may be retrieved from the National Evaluation System, P.O. Box 140374, Austin, TX 78714-0347.

The following students are TSI exempt, but are required to take the THEA as a placement test and meet the standards listed above prior to enrolling in any additional courses in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.*

  1. Students who are non-degree seeking or non-certificate-seeking.
  2. Students who have transferred to UTD from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and have satisfactorily completed college-level coursework or have an academic associate’s degree.*
  3. Students who have previously attended any Texas public institution and have been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.*
  4. Military service:
    1. Students who are serving in the state of Texas as active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States are TSI exempt. Official documentation of active duty status for the enrollment period is required. Students must file a Verification of Active Duty form each semester.
    2. Students who are on active duty in the Texas National Guard are TSI exempt. A verification letter from the Unit Administrator is required each semester.
    3. Students who are members of a reserve component of the armed forces for at least three years preceding enrollment are THEA exempt. A verification letter from the Unit Administrator is required each semester.
    4. Students who on or after August 1, 1990, were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Texas National Guard, or member of reserve component are TSI exempt. A copy of the DD214 form showing this status is required.

*Students who are transferring to UTD from a private or out-of-state, regionally accredited, college or university may meet sections of the Texas Success Initiative and the THEA placement test based on a grade of B or better in courses that are equivalent to the following courses at U.T. Dallas:


  1. ENGL 1301 (Composition I/Rhetoric I); or
  2. ENGL 1302 (Composition II/Rhetoric II)


  1. HIST 1301, 1302 (U.S. History);
  2. ENGL 2321, 2322, 2323 (British Literature);
  3. ENGL 2331, 2332, 2333 (World Literature);
  4. ENGL 2326, 2327, 2328 (American Government);
  5. PSYCH 2301 (General Psychology); or
  6. GOVT 2301, 2302, 2305, 2306 (American Government)


  1. MATH 1300 (College Mathematics);
  2. MATH 1306 (College Mathematics);
  3. MATH 1314 (College Mathematics);
  4. MATH 1325;
  5. MATH 1326;
  6. MATH 2312 and courses in calculus.

Students who have achieved the following standards are TSI exempt and are not required to take the THEA as a placement test prior to registration for courses at UTD.

  1. Students with ACT composite score of 23 or higher, with individual math and English scores of no less than 19 are TSI/THEA exempt. ACT scores can be no more than five years old. Residual ACT cannot be used for THEA exemption.
  2. Students with SAT composite score of 1605 or higher, with 500 in Critical Reading, 500 in Math and 500 in Writing, are TSI/THEA exempt. SAT scores can be no more than five years old. Residual SAT cannot be used for THEA exemption.
  3. Students with exit-level TAAS scores of 1770 or higher on writing, TLI of 89 in reading, and TLI of 86 in math are THEA exempt. TAAS scores can be no more than three years old.
  4. Students with TAKS scores of 2200 in English Language Arts and Math as well as a score of 3 in the writing sample (which is often not printed on your high school transcript, but can be found on the TAKS score report) are TSI/THEA exempt. TAKS scores can be no more than three years old.
  5. Students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution. (Note: Transcripts should be submitted to UTD as soon as possible. Official evaluation must be completed to determine course equivalencies before a THEA waiver will be granted.)

The Learning Resources Unit of Undergraduate Education provides Developmental Education for The University of Texas at Dallas campus. When undergraduate students first register at U.T. Dallas, they are immediately TSI liable. If they are not previously either TSI exempt or TSI waived, undergraduate students must take the Quick THEA, THEA, or the Computer THEA examination prior to the beginning of their first semester at U.T. Dallas. UTD does not accept alternative tests for TSI/THEA purposes unless a student accumulates collegiate-level course work during the same semester at the same public institution where the student took an alternative test.

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This catalog is a general information publication only. It is not intended to nor does it contain all regulations that relate to students. The provisions of this catalog do not constitute a contract, express or implied, between any applicant, student or faculty member and The University of Texas at Dallas or The University of Texas System. The University of Texas at Dallas reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, to change fees or tuition, calendar, curriculum, degree requirements, graduation procedures, and any other requirements affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.

Statement on Equal Educational Opportunity
The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. In accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, and veteran status. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is also prohibited pursuant to University policy.