Academic Policies and Procedures


Credit by Examination (AP-CLEP-IB-SAT)

Examination credit is evaluated only at the student's request. Students wishing to receive examination credit must first meet with an academic advisor to complete a request form that is then submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Documentation of any lower-division credit established by examination through such programs as the AP (Advanced Placement Program) or the SAT II that the student wishes to apply toward college credit should be received by the University prior to registration. Academic hours awarded through credit by examination become a permanent part of the student's official UT Dallas transcript.

Credit for admission may be established through such testing programs as the Advanced Placement Program (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the International Baccalaureate (IB), and SAT II subject examinations. Guidelines for credit by examinations are available on the UT Dallas website at Test scores not appearing on official transcripts must be submitted directly from the testing agency. UT Dallas will provide college credit to those who present an International Baccalaureate Diploma in accordance with Texas state law.

No more than six semester hours of extension, credit by examination, or correspondence credit may be applied toward upper-division requirements and must be upper-division credit earned at an appropriate accredited institution or through acceptable scores on approved tests. The University does not offer correspondence courses.

Criminal Background Check

Certain programs require students to submit to and satisfactorily complete a background check review as a condition of admission and/or participation in education experiences. Students who refuse to submit to a background check or who do not pass the background check may be dismissed from the program. The student is responsible for the costs associated with the criminal background check.

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Registration Requirements

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) is a state mandate that 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 (see$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt=1&ch=4&sch=C&rl=Y). Each institution determines an individualized education plan to encourage academic success for those students who score below a deviation standard (or do not pass an approved assessment instrument). Students will be required to retest if they do not pass the initial test.

UT Dallas uses primarily the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA), formerly the TASP test, to measure student proficiency in the basic areas of study for fulfillment of the TSI requirement.

UT Dallas requires incoming students who are not TSI exempt to take the THEA test. The required passing standards on the THEA are:

  • Reading - 230
  • Math - 230
  • Writing - 220

TSI Exemptions

  • Students who are non-degree seeking or non-certificate-seeking.
  • Students who have graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Students who have previously attended any Texas public institution and have been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
  • Military Service:
  • Students who are serving 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.
  • 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.
  • Students who are currently serving, and have for at least the last three years before enrollment served, as members of a reserve component of the armed forces are TSI exempt. A verification letter from the Unit Administrator is required each semester.
  • Students who on or after August 1, 1990, were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as members of the Armed Forces of the United States, Texas National Guard, or of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States are TSI exempt. A copy of the DD214 form showing this status is required.
  • Students who are transferring to UT Dallas 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 C or better in courses that are recognized as requiring college-level reading, writing and/or mathematical skills.

Students who have achieved the following standards are TSI exempt and are not required to take additional placement testing prior to registration for courses at UT Dallas.

  • ACT - Students with ACT composite score of 23 or higher, with individual math, reading and English scores of no less than 19 are TSI exempt. ACT scores can be no more than five years old.
  • SAT - Students with SAT composite score of 1070 or higher, with 500 verbal and 500 math, are TSI exempt. SAT scores can be no more than five years old. Residual SAT scores cannot be used for TSI exemption.
  • New SAT - Students with SAT composite score of 1605 or higher, with 500 critical reading, 500 math and 500 writing sample score are TSI exempt. SAT scores can be no more than five years old.
  • TAAS - Students with exit-level TAAS scores of 1770 or higher on writing, TLI of 89 in reading, and TLI of 86 in math are TSI exempt. TAAS scores can be no more than three years old. (The exit-level TAAS is a test given in Texas public high schools).
  • TAKS - Students with exit 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 exit level TAKS score report) are TSI exempt. TAKS scores can be no more than three years old.
  • Students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States.

The following alternative tests may be used to satisfy UT Dallas’s TSI requirements. Furthermore, please be aware that the THEA writing requirement is fulfilled by meeting the minimum score requirements on both the writing and essay sections of the tests below:

  • ASSET - Students with the following minimum scores are TSI/THEA exempt. Reading: 41, Math: 38, Writing: 40/Essay: 6
  • COMPASS - Students with the following minimum scores are TSI/THEA exempt. Reading: 81, Math: 39, Writing: 59/Essay: 6
  • ACCUPLACER - Students with the following minimum scores are TSI/THEA exempt. Reading: 78, Math:63, Writing: 80/Essay: 6
  • MAPS - Students with the following minimum scores are TSI/THEA exempt. Reading: 29, Math: 22, Writing: 21/Essay: 6. MAPS scores are acceptable only if taken prior to 9/1/2003.

Note: Transcripts should be submitted to UT Dallas as soon as possible. Official evaluation must be completed to determine course equivalencies before a TSI waiver will be granted.

The Office of Student Success and Assessment provides Developmental Education for the UT Dallas campus. When undergraduate students are first admitted at UT Dallas, they are immediately TSI liable. If they are not previously either TSI exempt or TSI waived, undergraduate students must take a THEA examination or other approved assessment instrument prior to the beginning of their first semester at UT Dallas.

Enrollment into Developmental Education

Students who are required to take the TSI/THEA and do not successfully pass all three sections at the level of the previously stated standards will be required to register for Developmental Education courses for all areas in which they did not achieve the stated standard. Their enrollment in Developmental Education on The University of Texas at Dallas campus is required during the first semester that they attend UT Dallas. If at any time during the semester an audit reports a student in violation of this policy, that student will be immediately transferred into the appropriate Developmental Education course and dropped from a collegiate level course(s) that is in the same content area. UT Dallas students must take their Developmental Education on the UT Dallas campus.

Placement into Developmental Education Courses

Developmental Education coursework is designed to build upon existing skills in order to facilitate student success in the core curriculum at UT Dallas. The Developmental Education courses that are offered are as follows:

Students are required to remain in Developmental Education until they pass the THEA examination or other approved assessment instrument in the particular content area in which they had previously failed. If students do not pass the examination after one semester of developmental coursework, they re-enroll in the same course, but their assignments are individualized to avoid redundancy. Students are not permitted to enter college-level courses without evidence that they possess the basic skills necessary to have a reasonable chance of success; thus, students are not permitted to be enrolled in “college-level and developmental work in the same content area simultaneously.”

Participation and Attendance in Developmental Education

Students who are required to enroll in Developmental Education are subject to the following policies.

Students sign a contract that states that they understand class attendance is mandatory and if they are absent and do not follow the procedure in the contract, they will be withdrawn from UT Dallas for the semester with no refund.

Students are advised when they are in jeopardy of being withdrawn; an attempt is also made to contact their advisor. The Office of Student Success and Assessment reports those students who are not in compliance to the Registrar, and the Registrar sends a letter to any student who is withdrawn. A copy of the letter is sent to the Dean of Undergraduate Education. Students who are required to be in Developmental Education for TSI purposes may not drop a developmental course unless they pass the THEA examination or other approved assessment instrument or withdraw from all University courses for the semester. All drop forms are to be signed by the Office of Student Success and Assessment.

Completing Required Developmental Education

In order to complete successfully any required Developmental Education course, students must comply with the mandatory attendance policy, and complete assignments, quizzes, and tests with an overall minimum average of 70% in the course or courses in which they are enrolled. Students are then required to take the THEA examination or other approved assessment instrument. If they fail the examination, students are required to re-enroll in Developmental Education coursework in the content area(s) they have not passed.

Provisions for Transferring Students

Students transferring to The University of Texas at Dallas from private or out-of-state institutions must meet TSI requirements (be tested or exempted) prior to being allowed to enroll in any college-level work. Students who transfer with 60 or more accumulated semester credit hours or the equivalent to UT Dallas from an American private or out-of-state U.S. institution may use transferred courses which are given common course numbers corresponding to courses approved by UT Dallas to satisfy TSI requirements. Students must have earned a course grade of “C” (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better in each of the three skill areas. If not, the students must be tested for the remaining skill areas and must comply with all other TSI requirements.

Students transferring from other Texas public institutions of higher education must be TSI exempted * or comply with the UT Dallas policies for Developmental Education set forth in this document.

NOTE: Students who have accumulated 60 hours of college-level coursework may not enroll in any upper division courses until they have met all of UT Dallas’ TSI standards.

The specific application for the TSI as outlined in this statement applies to UT Dallas students only.

TSI: The Texas Success Initiative (formerly TASP) is a state-legislated program designed to improve student success in college. There are two components of the program:

  • an assessment to diagnose students’ basic skills in reading, mathematics, and writing; and
  • developmental instruction, to strengthen academic skills that need improvement.

THEA: Texas Higher Education Assessment.