University Policies

Academic Common Market
Aggie Honor Code
Aggie Honor System Office
Cooperative Graduate Programs
English Language Proficiency Requirement
English Language Proficiency Examination
Graduate Academic Appeals Process
Intellectual Property
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)
Pathways to the Doctorate
Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants
Responsible Conduct of Research
University Statement for Individuals with Disabilities
University Statement on Harassment and Discrimination
University Student Rules

Academic Common Market

The purpose of the Academic Common Market (ACM) is to share specified academic degree programs between states located at southern public colleges and universities. This is accomplished through an exchange of students across borders at in-state rates. The motivation for this cooperation continues to be:

  1. eliminating unnecessary duplication among the states, in that it is impractical for any institution or single state to develop or maintain degree programs in every field of knowledge,
  2. to support existing degree programs that have the capacity to serve additional students, and
  3. to provide access and encourage movement across state lines for programs not available in a student’s home state.

Texas A&M University is a member of the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACM/EC). The ACM/EC enables students to pursue eligible degree programs via distance or e-learning without leaving their home state, work and other commitments.

Aggie Honor Code

Integrity is a fundamental core value of Texas A&M University. Academic integrity requires a commitment by all faculty, students, and administrators to:

  • Remain constantly focused on the quality of the academic programs;
  • Achieve and maintain academic excellence in all courses and programs to assure the value of Texas A&M University degrees;
  • Demand high academic standards from all members of the Aggie community.

All Texas A&M University students, graduate and undergraduate, part-time or full-time, in residence or in distance education, are expected to follow the guiding rule of the Aggie Honor Code:

“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.”

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System, which may be found at http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu. A student will be required to state his/her commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System.

The Honor System Office is charged with promotion of the honor code and administration of academic misconduct cases. The Honor Council, comprised of students and faculty from colleges and offices across the University, will investigate all such infractions of the honor code and recommend appropriate sanctions. The office website,
http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu, defines the types of infractions and the possible consequences. Students are urged to review this information.

In addition to adherence to the Honor Code, a student (graduate students in particular) who is completing a thesis, record of study, dissertation, and publication may fall under the additional federal requirements promulgated by the Office of Research Integrity (Scientific Misconduct Regulations – 42 CFR part 50), as well as Texas A&M System Regulations and Texas A&M University Rules (Texas A&M System Regulations – Ethics in Research and Scholarship – 15.99.03, and Texas A&M University rules and standard administrative procedures – Responsible Conduct in Research and Scholarship – 15.99.03.M1, 15.99.03.M1.01-06).

Aggie Honor System Office

http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu

All Texas A&M students, graduate and undergraduate, part-time or full-time, in residence or in distance education, are expected to follow the guiding rule of the Aggie Honor Code: “An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.”

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Aggie Honor System Office (see http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu). Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Texas A&M community from the requirements or the processes of the Aggie Honor System Office.

Cooperative Graduate Programs

Texas A&M University has executed Memoranda of Agreement establishing cooperative graduate programs with the following universities: Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Details concerning the cooperative graduate programs are available from the graduate offices of the institutions involved.

Texas A&M University and The University of Texas System also have entered into an agreement relating to cooperative use of courses and facilities in graduate education. Visit the OGAPS web page for further information on the Cooperative/Consortium Program for Graduate Students process.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international graduate students whose native language is not English must fulfill an English proficiency requirement through either English Proficiency Verification or English Proficiency Certification. This proficiency requirement should be met early in a student’s program, and it must be completed before scheduling either the final examination for the master’s degree or the preliminary examination for the doctoral degree. More information regarding the English Language Requirements may be found at http://ogaps.tamu.edu.

Two levels of English Proficiency Status for a graduate student include: English Proficiency Verified and English Proficiency Certified. English Proficiency Certification is required by the State of Texas before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a Graduate Assistant-Teaching or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lecturer, etc.). All other international graduate students must be either English Proficiency Verified or English Proficiency Certified.

English Proficiency Verification can be achieved by presenting:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 80 on TOEFL iBT (550 paper-based), or
  • an IELTS score of at least 6.0, or
  • a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of at least 146 (400 on the old scale), or
  • a GMAT Verbal score of at least 22, or
  • a PTE Academic score of at least 53, or
  • acquiring alternative verification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.  An international graduate student holding a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution qualifies for alternative verification.

Individual colleges may choose to establish minimum TOEFL standards that exceed the University minimum for English Proficiency Verification. Scores from TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE examinations administered more than two years before submission of the application for admission shall not be eligible for English Proficiency Verification.

English Proficiency Certification can be achieved by:

  • scoring at least 80 on each of the sections (reading, listening, written composition, and oral skills) of the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE);
  • obtaining grades of A or B in English Language Institute (ELI) courses (reading, listening, written composition, and oral skills) at the 300-level or higher, or
  • acquiring alternative certification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.

An international graduate student who has received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited U. S. institution or institutions qualifies for alternative certification. All other requests for alternative certification require strong department justification and review in compliance with Office of Graduate and Professional Studies policies and guidelines.

An international graduate student who has completed an equivalent English training program at an institution other than Texas A&M may request English Proficiency Verification or Certification.

Verification or Certification is requested through the Departmental Graduate Advisor. The student should provide the Departmental Graduate Advisor with documentation to support Verification or Certification. If the department concurs with the request, the Departmental Graduate Advisor will submit a letter recommending and requesting Verification or Certification (with documentation attached) to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will determine on a case-by-case basis whether Verification or Certification is granted.

English Language Proficiency Examination

An international graduate student who scores below 80 on TOEFL iBT (550 paper-based), or below 53 on the PTE Academic, or below 6.0 on the IELTS (or who has not submitted official TOEFL, PTE Academic or IELTS scores to Texas A&M) and has not obtained English Proficiency Verification or Certification by other means (GRE/GMAT scores, U.S. four-year baccalaureate degree or higher, or Office of Graduate and Professional Studies permission) must take the English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE) prior to registering for Texas A&M courses in his/her first semester.

English Proficiency Certification is required by the State of Texas before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a Graduate Assistant-Teaching or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lecturer, etc.) More information regarding the English Language Requirements may be found at http://ogaps.tamu.edu

The ELPE evaluates English skills in the areas of reading, listening, written composition and oral communication.

Visit the Testing Services website for more information on upcoming exam dates and how to register for the English Language Proficiency Exam.

An international graduate student who takes the ELPE, but has not had his/her English Proficiency verified through the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, GRE Verbal, GMAT Verbal, or a four year U.S. baccalaureate degree or higher may be allowed to postpone some or all remaining English Proficiency requirements during the first semester of enrollment. He/she must begin to take ELI courses (in at least one of the areas not yet passed) no later than his/her second semester enrolled at Texas A&M. A graduate student will be allowed to take a combination of Texas A&M and ELI courses (up to a total of 15 hours in fall or spring semesters and up to a total of 12 hours for a 10-week summer semester.)

Graduate Academic Appeals Process

Graduate or professional students who believe that decisions about unauthorized absences or final grades, the outcome of evaluation of performance on examinations, or decisions about separation (e.g., probation, suspension, dismissal, or termination) from a Department, Interdisciplinary Degree Program, and/or College for scholastic deficiency were made on an arbitrary, capricious, or prejudicial basis may appeal such decisions through the appeals process specified in the Texas A&M University Rules (59. Graduate Academic Appeals Panel). In such appeals the burden of proof is upon the student to demonstrate that the decisions in question were arbitrary, capricious, or prejudiced.

For additional information see the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies webpage on Student Grievances and Appeals Procedures.

Intellectual Property

The ownership, management and commercialization of system-owned Intellectual Property and Tangible Research Property are set forth in System Policy 17.01 Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization. Intellectual Property will mean, collectively, all forms of intellectual property including, but not limited to, issued patents, patentable inventions, copyrightable works, trademarks, mask works, and trade secrets. The system recognizes and affirms the traditional academic freedom of its faculty and staff to publish pedagogical, scholarly or artistic works without restriction. In keeping with this philosophy, the system does not claim copyright to pedagogical, scholarly or artistic works, regardless of their form of expression, unless required by a funding or research contract. Such works include, but are not limited to, copyrightable works of students created in the course of their education, such as dissertations, papers and journal articles. Authors of copyrightable works that are not owned by the system, its members, or another party such as a research sponsor, own the copyright in their works and are free to publish them, register the copyright, and receive any revenues which may result.

Accordingly, copyrightable works may be owned by the student/author/creator, by multiple individuals (such as a research team or co-authors of a publication), by the System, by a System member, or by another party such as a research sponsor. Factors that require consideration in determining ownership include:

  1. whether or not the intellectual property was conceived or developed as a result of activities related to an individual’s employment responsibilities and/or with support from University-administered funds, facilities or personnel;
  2. whether or not the intellectual property was conceived or developed in the course of, or resulting from, research supported by a grant or contract with the federal government or state government or a nonprofit or for-profit nongovernmental entity; and,
  3. the individual collaborators, relative contributions of each individual, and agreements among creators of the work.

It is recommended that the student identify in the thesis, dissertation or record of study any collaborators, contributors, and sources of financial support (unless prohibited through contractual agreements) in carrying out the research or in publications presented in the thesis/dissertation/record of study. It is also recommended that the student clearly indicate what the student’s independent contributions were to the work. The advisory committee is responsible for ensuring that the student’s independent contribution is sufficient to represent a thesis, dissertation, or record of study.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

http://www.orau.org

Since 1950, students and faculty of Texas A&M University have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is a 115-member university consortium of major Ph.D.-granting academic institutions and is a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU cultivates collaborative partnerships that enhance the scientific research and education enterprise of our nation. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, as well as faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines including business, Earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one month to four years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science- and engineering-related disciplines. A comprehensive listing of these programs and other opportunities, their disciplines, and details on locations and benefits can be found in the ORISE Catalog of Education and Training Programs, which is available at http://see.orau.org or by calling the contact below.

ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scholars Program, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research and support programs as well as services to chief research officers.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, visit http://www.orau.org or contact:
Glen A. Laine
Vice President for Research
ORAU Councilor for Texas A&M University
(979) 845-8585

Pathways to the Doctorate

The Pathways to the Doctorate is a program dedicated to increasing the number, quality, and diversity of Master’s and doctoral graduates across all disciplines within The Texas A&M University System. Consisting of 11 universities, the System spans the State of Texas. This enables the System to recruit top students from a variety of geographical, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural environments. The Pathways to the Doctorate is one approach to address the state's Closing the Gaps and it's successor plan. The goal of the Pathways to the Doctorate Program is to attract high achieving students within The Texas A&M University System to pursue careers in higher education. This program will help produce some of the next generation of faculty. Through a variety of activities such as seminars and workshops, inter-institutional exchange programs, a mentoring program and an annual Texas A&M University System Student Research Symposium with System-wide participation, the Pathways program aims to:

Create a pathway for talented students to pursue graduate education;
Foster opportunities for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to collaborate and to foster innovative research and interpersonal communication skills;
Enlighten and encourage students and teachers (K-12 through college) to see that science and technology are essential to lead a life of discovery and fun;
Help meet faculty needs as postsecondary enrollment grows and current faculty retire.

Texas A&M University offers Pathways to the Doctorate fellowships for doctoral students who completed a bachelor’s degree at one of the other Texas A&M University System institutions. Pathways to the Doctorate Fellowships are awarded by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies to qualified doctoral students mentored by faculty partners in the Program. Further details are available at http://ogaps.tamu.edu.

Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) training are in place to improve undergraduate teaching, enhance the classroom experiences of TAs, and respond to the need for systematic preparation and evaluation of Teaching Assistants. For international Teaching Assistants, training requirements will supplement programs already in place to evaluate and promote English language proficiency. New TAs’ attendance at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Teaching Assistant Institute (TAI) is mandatory.  Discipline-specific training for new TAs will be provided at the college/department level. The nature of this training, while varying widely across different disciplines, will complement university-level training and will address the unique and specific needs of graduate students serving as TAs within their disciplines.

Responsible Conduct of Research

Students who will be involved in research involving human subjects (e.g., survey data; human tissue/cell lines, protected health information), animals (e.g., vertebrate animals, animal tissues/cell lines), and/or biosafety/biohazards (e.g., recombinant DNA/transgenic animals, plants; agents infectious to humans, animals or plants)  should obtain approval through the appropriate university committee (or be included in existing research approvals) prior to engaging in the research. Engaging in unauthorized research can result in severe penalties for non-compliance. All students are urged to complete responsible conduct of research training early in their graduate programs to support their efforts in conducting research responsibly and ethically.

Additional information, as well as online training, may be obtained from the office of Research Compliance and office of Biosafety at http://rcb.tamu.edu .

University Statement for Individuals with Disabilities

Texas A&M University (TAMU) does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s disability and complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended. 

Students are protected from nondiscrimination regarding access to and participation in TAMU’s programs and activities.  TAMU provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aides to accommodate needs of students with disabilities, as defined under the law, who are otherwise qualified to meet the institution’s academic requirements. 

Students with disabilities who would like to request accommodations may contact the following based on your campus:

  • TAMU College Station, Texas A&M University Health Science Center’s (TAMUHSC) College of Nursing, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy College Station, College of Medicine, and School of Public Health should contact Disability Services (979) 845-1637 or disability@tamu.edu.
  • TAMUHSC College of Dentistry should contact the Office of Academic Affairs (214) 828-8207 to request accommodations.
  • TAMU School of Law should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (817) 212-4111 to request accommodations.
  • TAMUHSC Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville should contact the Disability Resource Center at TAMU at Kingsville at (361) 593-3024 to request accommodations.

Students with disabilities who believe they have experienced discrimination may contact the following based on your campus:

For more information about disability accommodations, see TAMU Student Rule 46, Disability Accommodations in Academic Programs or TAMUG Student Rule 46, Disability Accommodations in Academic Programs.

University Statement on Harassment and Discrimination

Texas A&M University provides equal opportunity to all employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, and the public regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Texas A&M University will promptly investigate all complaints of discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or related retaliation in accordance with applicable federal and state laws. Students who have questions or believe they have experienced illegal discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, and/or related retaliation are encouraged to contact:

For more information regarding Discrimination or Sexual Harassment, see TAMU Student Rules 45. Discrimination and Discrimination Appeals or 47. Sexual Harassment and Related Retaliation, or TAMU at Galveston Student Rules 45. Discrimination and Discrimination Appeals or 47. Sexual Harassment

University Student Rules

Each student enrolled at Texas A&M University is responsible for being fully acquainted with and complying with the Texas A&M University Student Rules. Specific rules, information and procedures may be found in publications pertaining to each particular service or department. Graduate students are encouraged to reference the website at http://student-rules.tamu.edu for current published rules and regulations.