Standards and Procedures

Academic Common Market

Academic Common Market Electronic Campus Program

English Language Proficiency Requirement

English Language Proficiency Examination

Intellectual Property

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Responsible Conduct of Research

University Statement for Individuals with Disabilities

University Statement on Harassment and Discrimination

Degree Requirements: Thesis, Dissertation, and Record of Study

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 makes contact with SREB or 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 this site 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 graduate student can apply for the ACM by following instructions at the Texas ACM website.           

General information about the Academic Common Market can be found at 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 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 at 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 and Fisheries Sciences

Academic Common Market Electronic Campus Program

The ACM/EC enables 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 proficiency standards.

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

To become eligible 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.    

Refer to the list on the Office of Admissions website. 

Refer to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies 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
  • 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
  • an LSAT score of at least 146, or
  • 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. 
  • Acquiring alternative verification during the admission process from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via a departmental request.  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 U.S. qualifies for alternative verification.

Individual colleges or departments may choose to establish test standards that exceed the University minimums listed above.  Scores from TOEFL, IELTS and PTE 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

To become eligible to hold a teaching position at Texas A&M University such as Graduate Assistant-Teaching, Instructor, Lecturer, etc., the State of Texas requires that international graduate students attain English proficiency certification either before or after enrollment. 

International graduate students who wish to serve in teaching positions can certify for English proficiency before enrollment by achieving requisite scores on the oral component of the following standardized tests:  TOEFL, IELTS or PTE exams.  [See chart below.]  Also, departments may 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 Testing Services on the Texas A&M campus.

Eligibility levels for international graduate students serving in teaching positions:

Level 1:    Students eligible for teaching assignments

Level 2:    Students conditionally eligible for teaching assignments for one semester only, but must simultaneously participate in 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 by the end of the semester.

Level 3:    Students not eligible for teaching assignment.  Students 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.   

Global Standardized Tests
Locally Administered Exam
(on Texas A&M campus)
Level # TOEFL Speaking Section IELTS Speaking Section PTE Speaking Section ELPE Oral Exam
1 26-30 >=8.0 >=85 >=80
2 23-25 7.0-7.5 75-84 >=75
3 <23 <7.0 <75 <75

Alternative Certification for international graduate students serving in teaching positions

Departments have the option to request alternative certification from the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies on behalf of an international graduate student who wishes 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 U.S. 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 Office of Graduate and Professional Studies will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis. 

English Language Proficiency Examination

The 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-Teaching or any other position considered to be a teaching position (e.g., instructor, lecturer, etc.) More information regarding the English Language Proficiency Requirements may be found at English Language Proficiency.

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 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 100 PhD-granting universities, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial organizations to advance national priorities and serve the public interest.

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. For more than 30 years, ORISE has provided technical assistance to the DOE Human Subjects Protection Program, and most recently, played an integral role in the successful Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) accreditation. ORISE administers a broad range of internships, fellowships, and research experiences available primarily to those pursuing STEM disciplines. Programs are offered at DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies with research facilities located across the country as well as some locations outside the United States.

ORAU actively works with its member universities to connect their expertise with government and private sector organizations and to create meaningful partnerships for innovation in scientific research and education. ORAU's research footprint includes working with their university consortium members through the ORAU-Directed Research and Development (DRD) program and administering short-term research experiences at national laboratories and other federal research facilities across the country. The ODRD program provides a path for funding innovative research-based approaches/solutions that fall within the intersection of ORAU’s core capabilities and its member universities research interests.

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

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

Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Requirements for Graduate Assistant Teaching (GAT) training are in place to improve undergraduate teaching, enhance the classroom experiences of graduate students employed in GAT titles, and respond to the need for systematic preparation and evaluation of GAT. For international graduate students employed in a GAT title, training requirements will supplement programs already in place to evaluate and promote English language proficiency. It is mandatory that new students employed in GAT titles attend the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) Teaching Assistant Institute (TAI).  Discipline-specific training 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 employed in GAT titles within their disciplines.

Visit the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) TAI website for more information.

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 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

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.  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 discrimination 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: 

  • TAMU, Texas A&M Health's (TAMH) 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 
  • TAMH College of Dentistry should contact the Office of Academic Affairs (214) 828-8978 or to request accommodations. 
  • TAMU School of Law should contact the Office of Student Affairs at (817) 212-4020 to request accommodations. 
  • TAMH 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. 
  • TAMU at Galveston (TAMUG) should contact Counseling and Career Services at (409) 740-4736 or 

Students with a disability who believe they have experienced discrimination may contact Kevin McGinnis, Chief Risk, Ethics, and Compliance Officer, at the J. K. Williams Building, Suite 302, College Station, TX  77843,, or at (979) 458-0308.  Students can also contact the TAMU ADA Coordinator at or (979) 845-8115, or any of the following campus contacts: 

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 investigate and resolve all complaints of discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), 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 prevent the recurrence of any discrimination, harassment or retaliation; 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 violence, and/or related retaliation are encouraged to contact Kevin McGinnis, Chief Risk, Ethics, and Compliance Officer, at the J. K. Williams Building, Suite 302, College Station, TX  77843.  He may be contacted at or at (979) 458-0308.

In addition, any report can be submitted to Jennifer Smith, Title IX Officer, at the Medical Sciences Library, Suite 007, College Station, TX 77843. Her telephone number is: (979) 458-8167 and email address is Such reports will be immediately forwarded to the Chief Risk, Ethics, and Compliance Officer for investigation and resolution. The Title IX website can be found at

To report incidents, request accommodations, or inquire about discrimination based on disability, you may contact Peggy Zapalac, ADA Coordinator, at (979) 845-8115 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 Chief Risk, Ethics, and Compliance Officer for investigation and resolution.

Degree Requirements: Thesis, Dissertation, and Record of Study

Prior to the first paragraph, which starts, “The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies is responsible…”, include the following paragraph:

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 perform independent, original work. Whereas acceptance of the dissertation is based primarily on its scholarly merit, it must also exhibit creditable literary work.

Finally, the record of study reflects the candidate’s sole and original work. All records of study should be characterized by accuracy of observation and measurements, thoroughness of analysis and synthesis, and accuracy and completeness of presentation.