Admission to the University

[1] Introduction

The Office of Admissions at the University of Central Arkansas serves as the contact for all new domestic undergraduate students to the university. Interested students are introduced to the university through Bear Facts Days, college planning programs, high school visits and campus tours. The office also processes all domestic undergraduate applications for admission and notifies students of their admission status.

Inquiries about admission to undergraduate study at the university should be addressed to the Admissions Office. This office receives and processes all applications and supporting documentation for admission to UCA. The Office of Admissions notifies applicants of their admission status.

All materials submitted for admission become the property of the university.

Falsification of any record, including the Application for Admission, is cause for immediate dismissal.

[2] First-Time Freshman Admission

The University of Central Arkansas welcomes all applications for admission. The number of entering freshmen may be limited by the resources available to the university to provide quality academic programs according to standards established by the Board of Trustees.

A first-time freshman is defined as any student who has not previously enrolled in a college or university.

[2.1] Criteria for Unconditional Admission to the University

An entering freshman may be unconditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant has graduated from high school and meets all the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 grading scale on a minimum of six (6) semesters of high school work.
  2. A composite score of 19 or above on the ACT or 910 or above on the SAT (Critical Reading + Mathematics).
  3. Completion of the high school Core Curriculum for college preparation as required by Arkansas Code Annotated §§6-60-208 and 6-61-217 and defined by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board in consultation with the Arkansas State Board of Education. This requirement applies to students graduating from high school after May 1, 2002.

Applicants who have a single-digit ACT test score or the equivalent in Reading, Mathematics, or English will not be eligible for admission to the university.

[2.2] Criteria for Conditional Admission to the University

An entering freshman may be conditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant has graduated from high school and meets all the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.25 or above on a 4.0 grading scale on a minimum of six (6) semesters of high school work.
  2. A composite score of 16 or above on the ACT or 790 or above on the SAT (Critical Reading + Mathematics).

Applicants who have a single-digit ACT test score or the equivalent in Reading, Mathematics, or English will not be eligible for admission to the university.

Conditionally admitted students must be admitted and enrolled in classes no later than noon of the day before the first day of class of their entering semester and must meet all terms of conditional admission as outlined by the University in order to continue enrollment.

[2.3] Criteria for Conditional-Prep Status Admission to the University

An entering freshman who does not qualify for conditional admission may be admitted under extenuating circumstances with Conditional-Prep Status if the applicant has graduated from high school and meets the following criteria:

  1. Student requests review of his/her application, and
  2. The University Admissions Committee grants Conditional-Prep Status admission upon review of the application.

Applicants who have a single-digit ACT test score or the equivalent in Reading, Mathematics, or English will not be eligible for admission to the university.

Conditional-Prep Status students must be admitted and enrolled in classes no later than noon of the day before the first day of class of their entering semester, and must meet all terms of Conditional-Prep Status admission as outlined by the University in order to continue enrollment.

[2.4] Conditional and Conditional-Prep Status: Conditions for Continuing Enrollment

Conditionally admitted students or Conditional-Prep Status students who do not attain at least a 2.0 GPA on at least 12 hours of academic core subjects and complete any necessary developmental courses within the first 30 credit hours, including developmental course hours, will be subject to the following consequences:

  • After three (3) failed attempts to complete any developmental requirement, the student will be placed on transitional suspension from the University until such time as the courses are completed at another accredited institution and a transcript provided to the Office of the Registrar.
  • In cases of failure to complete at least 12 hours of academic core subjects with at least a 2.0 GPA and all remedial requirements within the first 30 hours, where the student has not already been placed on academic or transitional suspension, the student may continue enrollment provided he or she participates in the University's UCAN Program. The student must then successfully complete the requirements of that program in order to enroll for the following semester. Students who do not successfully complete the UCAN program as well as the above requirements may be placed on academic and/or transitional suspension the following semester as appropriate.

[3] Readmission for Former UCA Students Not Currently Enrolled

Readmission for former UCA students who have not been in attendance for one or more semesters is required. An application for readmission form may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar and should be returned to that office with all required information. An official transcript of all colleges and/or universities attended since the last enrollment at UCA must be sent directly to the Office of the Registrar by the appropriate institutional official (e.g., registrar).

[4] Early Admission

[4.1] Full-Time

The student who desires to accelerate a formal education may apply for admission to the university at the end of the junior year in high school. In addition to regular admission criteria, a student seeking early admission will have completed a minimum of six semesters of secondary school work, earned a B or better average, have an ACT composite score of at least 25, or equivalent scores on the SAT or ASSET exams, and be recommended by the high school principal.

[4.2] Part-Time, Concurrent with High School Enrollment

High school students enrolled in UCA concurrent credit courses are admitted to the university as part-time pre-baccalaureate students. Once they have received their high school diploma or GED, those students wishing to attend UCA will go through the regular admissions process to be admitted to the university.

Students of the university's concurrent enrollment partner high schools will be eligible for this program if they meet the following criteria:

  1. A student must be of junior or senior standing and have earned a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. To enroll in any UCA Core course, the student must have scored 19 or higher on the ACT Reading sub-test or have earned a score on the EXPLORE or PLAN assessments that are projected to produce a 19 or higher on the ACT Reading sub-test or have earned an equivalent score on the SAT, ASSET, or COMPASS exam.
  3. To enroll in courses in English or mathematics, a student must have scored 19 or higher on the respective ACT sub-test or have earned a score on the EXPLORE or PLAN assessments that are projected to produce a 19 or higher on the respective ACT sub-tests or have earned an equivalent score on the SAT, ASSET, or COMPASS exam.

[4.3] Summer Study for High School Students

A student between the junior and senior year in high school is eligible to apply to attend summer school at the University of Central Arkansas. This special program provides an opportunity for the capable student to find rewarding learning experiences and benefit from an early start in the college career. Once admitted, such a student attends regular college courses and earns college credit applicable to a degree.

Upon the successful completion of the special summer program, the student may elect to return to high school for the senior year, or apply for the early admission plan that substitutes the freshman year in college for the fourth year in secondary school. All of the requirements of the early admission program need to be satisfied before the student is admitted early.

In addition to regular admission criteria, admission to the summer program is predicated upon the following special requirements: completion of six semesters of secondary school work; a grade average of B; and recommendation of the high school principal or counselor.

[5] Admission on an Adult-Special Basis

The adult-special classification applies to persons over twenty-one years of age who desire to take undergraduate courses for no credit. The adult-special classification approval for participation requires the consent of the instructor before the student is admitted. Satisfactory completion of the course is recorded on a permanent record maintained by the university, but no grades are issued. The adult-special student pays full registration fees.

[6] Admission as a Transfer Student

A student who has attended another college or university and has never attended UCA must apply for admission as a transfer student and will not be considered a first-time freshman, even though no credits were earned at the previous institution. Falsification of any record, including the Application for Admission, is cause for immediate dismissal.

An official transcript must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the appropriate institutional official (e.g., registrar). For placement in college writing and mathematics, ACT, SAT, ASSET, or COMPASS scores are required. Scores must be no more than two years old.

A transfer student is required to have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA on all previous course work attempted at previous institutions. After enrollment at UCA, the GPA accumulated in residence at the university shall be the cumulative grade point average.

[7] Transfer of Credit

Students entering the university who have attended a college or university accredited by an appropriate regional accrediting agency, such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, will receive credit on an evaluation of a transcript of their records submitted. Transfer credit is designated by the level on which it is earned. Transfer credit is awarded for courses in which an A, B, or C grade is earned. The grade earned for a transfer course does not transfer, only the credit hour value of the transfer course. The University will, however, accept for transfer a maximum of six hours of credit with D grades, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The transfer of credits with D grades is available only to first-time entering transfer students at the time of admission to the University within the first semester of enrollment.
  2. The student must petition to receive credit for six (6) hours of D grades of the student's choosing.
  3. The student will select the appropriate six (6) hours of D grades to transfer in to the University after consultation with his/her appointed academic advisor.
  4. Prerequisite rules shall apply to transfer of credits with D grades the same as they do to UCA credits.

Anyone transferring to the university will be required to earn at least fifteen hours credit in the major and nine hours credit in the minor in residence prior to graduation. This regulation is binding even though the student has sufficient hours of credit otherwise to meet requirements of the major and minor. All standards with respect to transfer credit are binding and are not, therefore, subject to appeal.

There is no limit on the number of credit hours that may be transferred to the university; however, a maximum of sixty semester hours transferred from a two-year institution may be applicable toward a baccalaureate degree. The equivalent of two full years’ work (sixty semester hours) at the senior college level will be required for a baccalaureate degree, with one exception: students transferring to UCA under the terms of a negotiated associate-to-baccalaureate articulation-transfer agreement will fulfill this requirement by completing all requirements beyond the associate degree requirements at the senior college level.

Acceptance of credits and subsequent establishment of standing are provisional until completion of one semester of satisfactory work in residence at UCA.

The university publishes Transfer Credit Guidelines (http://uca.edu/registrar/transfercredit.php). [Note: This link is no longer functional. Consult the Office of the Registrar with questions about transfer of credit.]

The Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) contains information about the transferability of courses among Arkansas public colleges and universities. Students are guaranteed the transfer of applicable credits and the equitable treatment in the application of credits for the admissions and degree requirements. Course transferability is not guaranteed for courses
listed in ACTS as "No Comparable Course." Additionally, courses with a “D” frequently do not transfer and institutional policies may vary (see UCA's policy above). ACTS may be accessed on the Internet by going to the ADHE website, selecting the Student tab, and following the link to the Arkansas Course Transfer System.

[8] Admission of International Students

All inquiries regarding undergraduate international admission should be addressed to and are processed by the Office of International Engagement. Undergraduate international readmission applications are processed by the Office of International Engagement and forwarded to the Registrar for readmission consideration.

International applicants to UCA whose first language is not English must demonstrate a satisfactory level of English proficiency. Students need a strong command of the English language to succeed academically.

To apply for admission as an undergraduate, international applicants must submit the following:

  1. Application for Undergraduate Admission.
  2. Non-refundable application fee of US $50.00 drawn from a US bank, or an international money order.
  3. Original or certified copies of all secondary school, college, and university transcripts, with a certified English translation of each.

    Freshman Applicants:

    Applicants who have completed secondary school and are applying for freshman (first year) admission must meet one of the following criteria:

    1. Secondary school cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or above on a 4.0 scale; or
    2. Rank in upper 40% of secondary school graduating class; or
    3. Composite ACT score of 19 or above or equivalent score on the SAT; or
    4. Five passes with credit on O-Level results.

    Transfer Applicants:

    Applicants who have previously attended a college and/or university and are applying for admission as transfer students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or above. For evaluation of university transfer credit, foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a UCA-recognized third-party credential evaluation. The Office of International Engagement maintains a list of UCA-recognized third-party credential evaluators. Transfer applicants should also submit copies of their current I-20, passport, and I-94 card.

  4. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency by submitting one of the following:
    1. TOEFL PBT score of 500 or higher.
    2. TOEFL CBT score of 173 or higher
    3. TOEFL iBT score of 61 or higher
    4. IELTS score of 5.5 or higher
  5. Scores must be less than two years old and be received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS); UCA's school core is 6012. A TOEFL score is not required of applicants who will complete the UCA’s Intensive English Program before pursuing an undergraduate degree. Applicants can contact TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, USA, requesting a bulletin of information. The Office of International Engagement maintains a list of English proficiency requirements exempt countries. Applicants from those countries who speak English as their first language, will be considered proficient in English.

    Applicants must also submit documentation of financial support, accompanied by a Confirmation of Financial Resources Form. Students must demonstrate the financial capacity as required by immigration regulations and by any Exchange Agreement or other agreements which may exist and apply to the student's situation. Such applicants must also submit a copy of the biographical page of their passport.

    Upon acceptance to the university, students will receive a letter of admission to UCA and a form I-20, as well as pre-arrival and orientation information.

[9] Admission of Students Whose First Language Is Not English

All applicants to UCA whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency before beginning regular academic courses at the university. This includes immigrants, permanent residents, citizens, refugees, and international students. English language proficiency may be demonstrated by (1) submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 500 on the paper-based test, or 173 on the computer-based test, that is less than two years old or (2) completing the advanced level of UCA’s Intensive English Program with no individual course grade below a B. Students who do not submit a TOEFL score before the last day of the published extended late registration period at the beginning of each semester or summer session will be required to participate in UCA's Intensive English Program.