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Education

UTSA Graduate School Admissions Suspends Testing Requirements

Bicycles line up outside HEB Student Union on the UTSA campus July 23, 2019.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio
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Bicycles line up outside HEB Student Union on the UTSA campus July 23, 2019.

The Graduate School at the University of Texas at San Antonio is waiving the requirement to submit a GRE or other standardized test score when applying for admission until further notice.Graduate School Dean Ambika Mathur said the school doesn’t want the test to become a barrier to admission during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“To take standardized tests, you need some quiet time, you need access to (a computer and internet to study). You also have to pay a fee, which, again, given the economic downturn is not the easiest,” said Mathur.

Applicants to the graduate programs will also be able to submit unofficial transcripts, and non-native English speakers can either submit  the unofficial results of their TOEFL test or demonstrate English proficiency after they are admitted.  

According to university spokeswoman Courtney Clevenger, UTSA’s undergraduate programs have not waived the requirement for an ACT or SAT test.

“At this time, no decision has been made (to waive the undergraduate admissions tests),” Clevenger said Tuesday.

Mathur said the graduate school was discussing ways to become less reliant on standardized tests even before the outbreak began.

“We want to use it in a nuanced way, so that we are looking at admissions as a holistic review of the applicant’s entire portfolio, including their coursework (and) the challenges they have faced to getting there,” Mathur said.

The Graduate School is also automatically admitting UTSA undergraduates if they meet certain criteria, instead of requiring a full application.

Mathur said she hoped the relaxed admissions requirements will serve to both boost enrollment and help students weather the economic downturn.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter at @cmpcamille.