Standards and Procedures

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.

ACM Overview

  1. Be a resident of one of 15 participating SREB states.
  2. Student learns of the ACM and contacts SREB or home state coordinator to determine eligible programs.  Please note that Texas participates in the ACM only at the graduate level (master's, doctoral, and related degrees) for both in-state and out-of-state students.
  3. Student applies for and is accepted to an ACM-approved program.
  4. Student applies for certification of residency through their home state coordinator.
  5. State coordinator certifies student and notifies institution.
  6. Institution grants in-state status or waiver for out-of-state fees.

Texas Residents

For Texas residents looking to study out of state, the first step is to confirm that a comparable program at the same degree level is not already offered at a Texas public university. Visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website to search for degree programs in Texas.

If there are no programs at Texas public institutions that have at least 50% comparable required coursework, then the graduate student can apply for the ACM by following instructions on the Texas ACM website.           

General information about the Academic Common Market can be found on the SREB website.  For specific questions about Texas participation, send an email to or call Jessica Acton at (512) 427-6214.

Residents of Other Participating States

Residents looking to study at Texas A&M should contact the ACM coordinator at the graduate student’s home institution or home state. The contact information for each participating state can be found on the SREB website.

Once the student is approved, the Texas State Coordinator will communicate with the Texas A&M ACM Coordinator who arranges with the appropriate institution officials.

A detailed list of approved Texas A&M programs, concentrations, and eligible states is available on the SREB website.  A summary of the approved Texas A&M programs is given below.

ACM List of Approved Texas A&M University Programs

  • Master of Science in Animal Breeding
  • Master of Arts in Anthropology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology
  • Master of Arts Conservation Archaeology in Anthropology
  • Master of Arts Nautical Archaeology in Anthropology
  • Doctor of Philosophy Nautical Archaeology in Anthropology
  • Master of Architecture in Architecture
  • Master of Science in Architecture
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture
  • Master of Science in Athletic Training
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology: Learning Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geography
  • Master of Science in Geophysics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Management
  • Master of Science in Land Development
  • Master of Urban Planning in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Master of Marine Resources Management in Marine Resources Management
  • Master of Science in Master of Real Estate Program
  • Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering
  • Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Ocean Engineering
  • Master of Science in Ocean Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Ocean Engineering
  • Master of Science in Oceanography
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography
  • Master of Wildlife Science in Wildlife Science
  • Master of Science in Psychological Sciences with a Concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

 Academic Common Market Electronic Campus Program

The ACM/EC enables graduate students to pursue eligible degree programs via distance or e-learning without leaving their home state, work, and other commitments.

ACM/ED Overview

Residents of 15 SREB states may participate in the SREB Academic Common Market Electronic Campus program. States and students alike enjoy significant savings. States do not have to provide costly, specialized programs that are available to their residents through initiative, and students who enroll in other states’ programs do not have to pay the higher out-of-state tuition rates.

Academic Common Market Electronic Campus waivers of out-of-state tuition are available only if certain conditions are met:

  • No public college or university in the student’s home state (state of residence) offers a degree program in his or her chosen field of study.
  • The program is available in another SREB state that participates in the ACM/EC.
  • The program is available through distance learning.
  • The student meets admissions requirements of the college or university that offers the program.
  • The student is certified as a resident of his or her home state.

View online programs available to residents in your state.

Review the programs available in the ACM Electronic Campus 

The approval process is the same as stated above for ACM.

ACM/EC List of Approved Texas A&M University Programs

  • Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs
  • Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Statistics
  • Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international graduate students whose native language is not English must meet minimum English language proficiency standards.

To achieve admission, international graduate students must attain English language proficiency verification.

For eligibility to teach in positions – such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching, Instructor, Lecturer, etc. – the State of Texas Education Code (Section 51-917) requires that international graduate students attain English proficiency certification beyond those required for admission.    

Refer to the Graduate and Professional School website for more information regarding English Language Proficiency requirements.

English Proficiency Verification can be attained using the following:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 80 on TOEFL iBT (550 paper-based) or 8.5 on TOEFL Essentials;
  • an IELTS score of at least 6.0;
  • a GRE Verbal Reasoning score of at least 146 (400 on the old scale);
  • a GMAT Verbal score of at least 22;
  • the Office of Admissions will exempt applicants who are citizens of certain English-speaking countries from the English proficiency requirement for admission and will consider these students English Language Proficiency Verified. Refer to the list on the Office of Admissions website; or
  • acquiring alternative verification during the admission process from the Graduate and Professional School via a request submitted by departments, interdisciplinary programs, or colleges.  An international graduate student holding a master’s degree or completing all years of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution located in the United States qualifies for alternative verification.

Individual colleges or departments may choose to establish test standards that exceed the University minimums listed above.  Scores from TOEFL-iBT, TOEFL Essentials and IELTS examinations administered more than two years before submission of the admissions application are not eligible for use in attaining English proficiency verification.

International Graduate Students Serving in Teaching Positions

For eligibility to hold a teaching position at Texas A&M University – such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching (GAT), Instructor, Lecturer, etc. – the State of Texas requires that international graduate students attain English proficiency certification. 

International graduate students who wish to serve in teaching positions can certify their English proficiency before enrollment by achieving requisite scores on the oral component of the following standardized tests:  TOEFL-iBT, TOEFL Essentials or IELTS examinations (see chart below).  Departments may also request alternative certification under certain conditions (see details below).

If international graduate students who wish to serve in teaching positions do not achieve requisite standardized test scores prior to enrollment, they can certify by passing the oral skills assessment of the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) offered by Texas A&M Testing Services.

Eligibility levels for international graduate students serving in teaching positions:

Level 1: Eligible. Students eligible for teaching assignments.

Level 2: Conditionally Eligible. Students conditionally eligible for teaching assignments for one semester only, but must simultaneously enroll in the Texas A&M University Center for Teaching Excellence English Language Proficiency (CTE-ELP) instruction and achieve a certifying score on the oral skills assessment of the ELPE or the speaking section of one of the Global Standardized tests (TOEFL, TOEFL Essentials, or IELTS) by the end of the semester.

Level 3: Ineligible. Students not eligible for teaching assignment should participate in spoken language training (such as those offered by TAMU CTE-ELP or other independent English language instruction providers) to assist them in meeting English language proficiency requirements. They will remain ineligible until they achieve a certifying score on the oral skills assessment of the ELPE or the speaking section of one of the Global Standardized tests (TOEFL, TOEFL Essentials, or IELTS).  


Eligibility Levels for
International Students
to Serve in
Teaching Positions

Global Standardized Tests

Locally Administered Exam
(on Texas A&M Campus)

TOEFL Essentials

Speaking Section


Speaking Section


Speaking Section


Oral Exam

1. Eligible ≥ 11 26-30 ≥ 8.0 ≥ 80
2. Conditionally Eligible 9-10 23-25 7.0-7.5 ≥ 75
3. Ineligible ≤ 8 < 23 < 7.0 < 75

Alternative Certification for International Graduate Students Serving in Teaching Positions

Departments have the option to request alternative certification from the Graduate and Professional School on behalf of international graduate students who wish to serve in a teaching position.

  • An international graduate student who has received a baccalaureate degree following four years of study at an accredited institution located in the United States qualifies for alternative certification. Texas A&M requires an official transcript submitted to the Office of Admissions denoting the degree conferral date. Please Note: An international graduate student holding a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution qualifies for verification, but not certification.
  • Departments can request alternative certification for an international graduate student who is a citizen of certain English-speaking countries listed under required documents on the Office of Admissions website.

All other requests for alternative certification require strong department justification.  The Graduate and Professional School will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.

English Language Proficiency Examination

The English Language Proficiency Examination (ELPE) evaluates English skill in the area of oral communication. 

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

English Proficiency Certification is required by the State of Texas before a graduate student is eligible to serve as a Graduate Assistant-Teacher (GAT), Graduate Assistant-Lecturer (GAL), or in any other teaching position (e.g., instructor, etc.). More information regarding the English Language Proficiency Requirements may be found on the Graduate and Professional School website at

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 reflects, collectively, all forms of intellectual property including but not limited to issued patents, patent applications, patentable inventions, (including without limitation those inventions where the System has decided not to file for patent protection, or has deferred a decision to file for patent protection, or a patent application is not currently filed), plant variety protection certificates, 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 required 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 required 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

Since 1950, students and faculty of Texas A&M University and its branch campuses have benefited from membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security, and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities, and a consortium of more than 145 major colleges and universities, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial organizations to advance national priorities and serve the public interest by integrating academic, government and scientific resources globally.

ORAU operates the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), a Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific research and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce development; scientific and technical reviews; and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination. ORISE collects, manages and analyzes health data on current and former workers; conducts epidemiological studies and health surveillance; and provides technical assistance in the protection of human subjects. ORISE works closely with DOE to administer its Human Subjects Protection Program, which ensures the rights and protection of human research participants in all research funded by DOE, conducted at DOE institutions, or performed by DOE employees or their contractors. ORISE supports DOE Institutional Review Boards for oversight of research activities and in keeping the public informed on the types of research DOE commissions.

The Research and University Partnerships Office at ORAU actively works with our research staff, subject matter experts, and member universities to connect expertise with government and private sector organizations to create mutually-beneficial partnerships for innovation in scientific research and education. Through the university consortium and strategic partnerships, ORAU brings together university faculty and students to collaborate with ORAU experts on major scientific initiatives that strengthen America’s leading edge in science and technology.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, visit or contact:

Jack Baldauf
Interim Vice President for Research
ORAU Councilor for Texas A&M University
(979) 845-8585

Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

The Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program (TATEP) is intended to improve undergraduate teaching, enhance the classroom experiences of Graduate Teaching Assistants (TA), and respond to the need for more systematic preparation and evaluation of TAs. For international TAs, it will supplement programs already in place to evaluate and promote English language competency.

Current Components of TATEP

  • University-Level TA Training – New TAs’ attendance at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Teaching Assistant Institute (TAI) is mandatory. TAs whose first teaching assignment is for the new academic year and TAs who have not previously completed TA training are required to attend the TA Institute on the date assigned to their college by the Graduate and Professional School. The TA Institute is offered twice a year, once each fall and spring semester. By the twelfth class day in the fall and spring semesters, departments will enter all TAs employed by their department in the TATEP Compliance System. Records will be compared with the list of students who attended the TA Institute. The Graduate and Professional School will notify departments of students who are out of compliance. Departments wishing to offer training through their department-level TA training program equivalent to the TAI may apply for a “Request for Teaching Assistant Institute Waiver”. Approval for waivers is granted by the CTE for a three-year period. Departments must reapply for a waiver every three years.  Departments are required to submit a syllabus outlining the departmental training program for new TAs, as well as copies of training materials for new TAs.  
  • Discipline Specific TA Training – 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. Discipline-specific training will expose new TAs to the specific patterns of behavior, systematic methods, classroom management, and/or instructional practices associated with successful teaching within their disciplines.
  • TA Evaluation – Each academic department employing TAs shall develop an appropriate set of procedures and evaluation instruments to employ in monitoring the performance of TAs each semester. The CTE shall receive copies of these procedures and instruments for review by the first day of the week preceding fall classes.

Visit the Teaching Assistant Training and Evaluation Program website for more information on the training of TAs, including training dates and requirements. 

Responsible Conduct of Research

Texas A&M University is committed to supporting responsible and ethical conduct of research and scholarship among its faculty, staff, and students.  As such, the University follows federal, state, and university guidelines regarding Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). A campus-wide environment pertaining to responsible conduct of research requires researchers to have the knowledge, skills, and tools to allow them to be responsible for their research conduct.

In August 2020, University SAP 15.99.99.M0.04 went into effect.  The requirements outlined apply to any graduate student, postdoctoral researcher, or undergraduate student participating in research.  The specific requirements will depend on the type of student and the type of funding supporting the research. 

What is required for Graduate Students?

Education and training in the ethical and responsible conduct of research are integral elements of research for all undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who engage in research in any field or who pursue advanced degrees at University facilities. The requirements for graduate students depend on whether the graduate student is participating in research funded internally, by research gift(s), or by an external sponsor as sponsored research.  Internally funded research is not funded via an agreement with a sponsor, but is instead funded through internal sources that may or may not be restricted to research.  Graduate students enrolled in a course (such as 685, 691, etc.) that includes research as an integral element are also subject to these RCR requirements (e.g., any student conducting research as part of a course, honors thesis, master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation).

For graduate students participating in research through a course or funded internally or by research gift(s), graduate students must complete the CITI RCR training within 60 days from their commencement of the research activity.

For graduate students participating in externally funded research, graduate students must complete the CITI RCR training AND an additional four hours of face-to-face Core training.  The CITI training must be completed within 60 days following initiation of such support and the Core training must be completed within the first six months of the student’s involvement in externally funded research.

Additional Information

Additional information, including the specifics on how to complete the training, may be found on the VPR RCR website

If you have questions not addressed that are related specifically to graduate students, please contact

University Statement for Individuals with Disabilities

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is committed to maintaining an accessible campus community and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students, faculty, staff and visitors, including making its web sites accessible and usable.  Texas A&M University 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 discrimination regarding access to and participation in Texas A&M’s programs and activities.  Texas A&M provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aides to accommodate the 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: 

  • Texas A&M University, College of Nursing, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy College Station, College of Medicine, and School of Public Health should contact Disability Resources (979) 845-1637 or
  • College of Dentistry should contact the Office of Academic Affairs (214) 828-8978 or or Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lynne Opperman, at (214)-828-8208 or to request accommodations. 
  • School of Law should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (817) 212-4020 4111 or to request accommodations. 
  • Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville should contact the Disability Resource Center at Texas A&M University - Kingsville at (361) 593-3024 or to request accommodations. 
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) should contact Counseling, Career and Ability Services at (409) 740-4736 or
  • Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) should contact the campus psychologist, Dr. Steve Wilson +974-4423-0047 or

Students with a disability who believe they have experienced discrimination may contact Jennifer Smith, Assistant Vice President and Title IX Coordinator in the Civil Rights and Equity Investigations office, 202 Olsen Blvd., Suite 007, College Station, TX  77843,, or at (979) 458-0308. Reported allegations of discrimination will be immediately forwarded to the Office of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations for review, investigation, or resolution.

Students can also contact the Texas A&M ADA Coordinator at or (979) 845-8116, or any of the following campus contacts: 

  • Texas A&M University, School of Law, College of Nursing, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy College Station, College of Medicine, School of Public Health, College of Dentistry and Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy in Kingsville should contact the ADA Coordinator at (979) 845-8116 or  
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston should contact the ADA Coordinator at (409) 740-4503 or
  • Texas A&M University at Qatar should contact Miguel Trevino at +974-4423-0317 or  

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 is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory learning, living, and working environment for all members of the University community. The 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 and equitably investigate and resolve all complaints of discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment and sex-based misconduct), and related retaliation in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and University rules and standard administrative procedures.

The University’s response to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and related retaliation will be 1) prompt and equitable, 2) intended to stop and prevent the recurrence of any harassment, and 3) intended to remedy its discriminatory effects as appropriate.  A substantiated allegation of such conduct will result in disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University. The University's student sanctioning guidance for substantiated allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, sexual violence and related retaliation, can be found here: Title IX Cumulative Sanctioning Matrix.

Students who have questions or believe they have experienced discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment/sex-based misconduct, and/or related retaliation are encouraged to contact Jennifer Smith, Assistant Vice President and Title IX Coordinator, at the Medical Sciences Library, Suite 007, 202 Olsen Blvd. College Station, TX 77843. Her telephone number is: (979) 458-8167 and email address is  The Title IX website can be found at

To report incidents, request accommodations, or inquire about discrimination based on disability, you may contact Julie Kuder, ADA Coordinator, at (979) 845-8116 or The office address is 750 Agronomy Road, Suite 2101, College Station, TX 77843 or see the ADA website at  Reported allegations of discrimination will be immediately forwarded to the Office of Civil Rights and Equity Investigations for review, investigation, or resolution.

Degree Requirements: Thesis, Dissertation, and Record of Study

An acceptable thesis is one where the student reflects a comprehensive understanding of the pertinent literature and expresses in clear English, the problem(s) for study, the method, significance, and results of original research. 

The dissertation reflects the candidate’s ability to develop clear research plans, conduct valid, data-supported, theoretically consistent, and institutionally appropriate research and effectively disseminate the results of the research in appropriate venues to a range of audiences.

The record of study explains and supports the activities undertaken in the project and supports its conclusions with adequate investigations, empirical data and a comprehensive bibliography. All records of study should be characterized by accuracy of observation and measurements, thoroughness of analysis and synthesis, and accuracy and completeness of presentation.

Manuscript Requirements

The Graduate and Professional School is responsible for reviewing each thesis, dissertation, and record of study to ensure that the format requirements of the University are met. Guidelines and electronic templates for the preparation of the manuscript are available in the Guidelines for Theses, Dissertations, and Records of Study and online at

All manuscripts must be submitted electronically.

Texas A&M offers free Overleaf Professional accounts for all students, faculty and staff who would like to use a collaborative, online Overleaf (LaTeX) editor for their projects. Overleaf is designed to make the process of writing, editing and producing your research papers, project reports, and ETD much quicker for both you and your collaborators. Students can use Overleaf to receive real-time feedback from their graduate advisors on their final thesis, dissertation or record of study.

Pre-Defense Publication of Thesis, Dissertation, or Record of Study Material

A graduate student may publish material that subsequently will be used as part of the thesis, dissertation, or record of study.

A student should be aware of the copyright agreement that is signed when a journal (hard copy or electronic) accepts an article for publication. At that time, the student generally assigns rights to the journal as publisher. If the student has not retained the right to use the material in the thesis, dissertation, or record of study, the student must obtain written permission from the copyright holder to include the material in the manuscript. If such permission is not obtained, or rights have not been retained, the copyrighted material cannot be included in the thesis, dissertation, or record of study.

Use of Classified and Proprietary Information in Thesis, Dissertation, or Record of Study

Committee chairs are cautioned against allowing a student to use classified or proprietary information in electronic theses, dissertations, and records of study (ETDs), because these documents will become available to the public. The research conducted at Texas A&M, as a Texas public institution, is ultimately for the benefit of the public. All ETDs are available on the Internet via the Texas A&M digital repository. In addition, dissertations are published electronically by ProQuest (UMI) and are available from that source. A temporary embargo, or delay in public release, is possible.