Admission to the University

[1] Introduction

The Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services 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 various campus preview 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 Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services. This office receives and processes all applications and supporting documentation for admission to UCA and 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 Undergraduate Admission

The University of Central Arkansas welcomes all applications for admission. The number of first-time undergraduates 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 undergraduate is defined as any student who has not previously enrolled in a college or university. (Concurrent enrollment coursework is not considered previous enrollment.) The following criteria are established for both traditional and non-traditional undergraduates. Traditional undergraduate students are defined as those who are under 25 years of age and are a US citizen or resident alien. Non-traditional students are defined as those who are 25 years of age or older and are a US citizen or resident alien.

[2.1] Criteria for Unconditional Admission to the University

A traditional first-time undergraduate may be unconditionally admitted to UCA if the following criteria are met::

  1. Minimum cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale on a minimum of six (6) semesters of high school work.
  2. Minimum ACT composite score of 21 or minimum SAT combined score (Critical Reading, Mathematics, Writing) of 1450.
  3. Individual subject sub-scores on the ACT/SAT that exempt the student from required remediation.
  4. 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. (Follow this link for details about the Arkansas Smart Core on the Arkansas Department of Education web site.)

A non-traditional first-time undergraduate may be unconditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant meets all criteria indicated for traditional students. However, Compass Placement Test (CPT) scores may be used in lieu of ACT or SAT scores. Minimum exam scores include the following: Algebra Test 41, Writing Test 80, and Reading Test 83.

ACT or SAT test scores submitted for admission consideration may not be older than five years. Compass Placement Test scores submitted for non-traditional student admission may not be older than two years.

Applicants who have an ACT test sub-score that is less than 15 or the SAT equivalent in Reading, Mathematics, or English will not be eligible for admission to the university.

[2.2] Criteria for Conditional Admission to the University

A first-time undergraduate may be conditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant meets all the following criteria:

  1. Minimum cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 or above on a 4.0 grading scale for all secondary school or home school program coursework.
  2. Minimum ACT composite score of 17 or minimum SAT combined score (Critical Reading, Mathematics, Writing) of 1210.

A non-traditional first-time undergraduate may be conditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant meets all criteria indicated for traditional students. However, Compass Placement Test (CPT) scores may be used in lieu of ACT or SAT scores. Minimum exam scores include the following: Algebra Test 18, Writing Test 49, and Reading Test 70.

ACT or SAT test scores submitted for admission consideration may not be older than five years. Compass Placement Test scores submitted for non-traditional student admission may not be older than two years.

Applicants who have an ACT sub-score that is less than 15 or the SAT 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

A first-time undergraduate 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 an ACT sub-score that is less than 15 or the SAT 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, UNIV 1100 with a C or better, and complete any necessary developmental courses within the first 30 credit hours, including developmental course hours, will be subject to the following consequences:

  • Any student who fails to complete any developmental requirement within the first 30 credit hours, will be placed on transitional suspension from the University until such time as the courses are completed at another accredited institution, as defined by the Undergraduate Bulletin in Admission to the University Section [7] Transfer of Credit, 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 UNIV 1100 with a C or better 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 Admissions and Enrollment Services 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 Admissions and Enrollment Services 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. In special cases, a sophomore may be permitted to enroll at UCA’s discretion upon the recommendation of and justification by the high school principal.
  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 regional or, as determined by the University Registrar, other appropriate accrediting agency, recognized by the US Department of Education 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 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 ADHE website.

[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.

     

    Conditional Freshman Admission: An entering freshman may be conditionally admitted to UCA if the applicant has graduated from high school and meets the following criterion: 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.

    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.

    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 code 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.