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Johnson City, TennesseeLOCATION
Estd 1911Established Year

East Tennessee State University 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Hitaishi Bhatia Hitaishi Bhatia
Study Abroad Expert

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is a public university which awarded admission to 14, 317 students in the fall of 2018 out of which 11, 268 were undergraduates and 2457 graduates. Out of the total student population around 2804 are out of state students comprising 505 international students. The acceptance rate is 87% while the enrollment rate is 28%.

The East Tennessee State University offers 140 academic programs to choose at bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The university runs through 11 colleges catering to various disciplines and interests. Average class sizes are of 23 students, giving a good one-on-one teacher- student interaction opportunities.

The colleges of the University are the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Technology, Clemmer College, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, School of Graduate Studies, Honors College, College of Nursing, College of Public Health and Quillen College of Medicine.

Some points to be considered before seeking admission to the East Tennessee State University are:

  • The University follows a semester based calendar and accepts applications for the fall, spring and summer semesters.
  • It is important to note that the University does not consider transcripts to be official if sent through fax or email. It is best to send them through approved electronic transcript service in sealed envelopes from the institution itself.
  • Standardized scores of SAT/ ACT must also be sent through CollegeBoard or ACT by adding the University as a recipient.
  • Currently classes are being conducted online and will continue in this pattern throughout spring 2020.
  • The Board has decided in favor of not increasing the tuition, fees, housing and food for the academic year 2020-21.
  • The University is distributing relief to eligible students through the CARES Act in the form of grants.


Institute TypePublic
Application modeOnline/Paper application- Undergraduate
Online- Graduate
Application FeeUndergraduate: 35 USD
Graduate: 65 USD
Acceptance rate87%
Average SAT score1060
Average ACT score23
Mode of PaymentDebit card/ Credit card/ Check
Academic CalendarSemester based
Intake sessionsFall/Summer/Spring
Mode of ProgramFull-time/ Online
Financial AidScholarships/ Grants/ Work-study/ Loans

Application deadlines

The East Tennessee State University is a reputed name in the US Education System that has a rolling admission policy towards applications. It accepts applications for the fall, spring and summer semesters. The recommended deadlines for applying have been given in the table below:

FallJune 15
SpringOctober 15
SummerMarch 15

International Student Admissions

The East Tennessee State University accepts international applicants from students across the world. Students are required to prove their abilities through transcripts and test scores. The application process for international and domestic applicants is similar. However, international applicants will have to meet additional requirements for admission to the University.

Application portal:Online application portal 

Application fee: 35 USD for undergraduate programs, 65 USD for graduate programs

Basic Admission Requirements:

  • Original or Certified mark sheets of secondary school (Minimum GPA of 2.3/4.0)
  • Scores form English Proficiency examinations
  • Secondary or post secondary academic work required, if not in English, an English word-to-word translation required.
  • Credential evaluations from other agencies do not substitute for original transcripts
  • If attended a U.S. high school, SAT/ACT scores are also required.
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Essay/ Personal Statement

Students must send all official transcripts by mail to:

East Tennessee State University

Office of Undergraduate Admissions 

PO Box 70731

1276 Gilbreath Drive

Burgin Dossett Hall, Room 106

Johnson City, TN 37614

English Proficiency Test Scores

International students whose native language is not English must provide scores of English proficiency tests. Students aspiring to take admission to the East Tennessee State University must fulfill one of the following language requirements to prove their skills and proficiency.

ExaminationUndergraduate requirementsGraduate Requirements
TOEFL500 (PBT), 61 (IBT)550 (PBT), 79 (IBT)
IELTSScore of 5.5Score of 6.5
SAT (Evidence based reading score)500-
ACT (English and Reading Score)19-
PTEScore of 43Score of 53

Some international applicants will be exempt from this requirement if they fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be from a country where English is the official language.
  • If an applicant has completed at least 2 semesters or 3 quarters of college-level English from U.S. college or university with minimum grade ‘C’ which can be transferred.
  • If an applicant has minimum one year of attendance in a U.S. high school as an exchange student, or graduated from there.

Visa Process for International Students

All students who come to the U.S. for studying must have either an F-1 or J-1 student visa to study in the USA. Before arrival at the U.S. students must make sure that they carry the SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by the University. The process for applying for the visa is described below:

  • Once accepted by the school, you will be enrolled in the Student Exchange Visitor information system (SEVIS)
  • ETSU will provide you with I-20 or DS-2019 after your enrollment
  • Pay the SEVIS fee
  • The school then provides you with a form I-20 to present in the Visa Interview
  • Schedule your Visa appointment with the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country.

Documents to be carried when going for the Visa interview include:

  • Passport
  • Certificate of eligibility : I20 or DS-2019
  • Proof of admission or enrollment
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Visa application forms
  • SEVIS fee receipt

East Tennessee State University, USA: Undergraduate Admissions

East Tennessee State University offers undergraduate students a choice of more than 100 programs. Undergraduate applicants can choose to apply using the online portal or by completing the paper application.

Where to apply: Online or paper application

Application fee: 25 USD for domestic students, 35 USD for international students

Admission Requirements: Documents required for completion of the admission application form are as follows:

  • Official transcripts from high school
  • Test score of ACT/SAT
  • ACT/SAT scores required for students under the age of 21 (ACT English and Reading score of 19, SAT Evidence based Reading score of 500)
  • English proficiency test scores
  • If below 21 then a minimum grade point average of 2.3 on a 4.0 or minimum ACT score of 19 is required for admission.

Alternative Admission: Students who do not meet the requirements are offered alternative admission subject to fulfillment of the following requirements:

  • Residents of Tennessee: High school GPA of minimum 2.0/4.0 or ACT score of 17 or competitive SAT score
  • Other States: High school GPA of minimum 2.3/4.0 scale or ACT score of 19 or competitive SAT score.

East Tennessee State University, USA: Graduate Admissions

The East Tennessee State University offers over 130 graduate programs for applicants to choose from when seeking to study in the USA. International applicants for the graduate programs can submit applications online. The basic admission requirements to apply for graduate program are:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university
  • Minimum undergraduate score of 3.0 on 4.0 for domestic students and for Indian students- 1st class, 2nd class honors or 1st and upper 2nd divisions are recognized.

There are specific admission requirements for different graduate programs. These are given in the table below:

RequirementsMBAMasters in Media and Brand StrategyM.S. in Digital MarketingMaster of Arts Communications and Storytelling Studies*Master of Arts English
Application DeadlineRolling admissionMay 1 – Fall
October 1- Spring
April 30 - FallMarch 1- Fall (Recommended)
October 1- Spring
May 1 – Fall
February 1 – Summer
October 1 - Spring
Application Fee65 USD65 USD65 USD65 USD65 USD
Official TranscriptsRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
GRE/ GMAT scoresRequired, minimum GMAT score 450Not requiredNot requiredRequiredNot required
Personal StatementRequired, stating why you wish to pursue the programRequired, stating why you wish to pursue the programRequired, stating why you wish to pursue the programRequired, stating why you wish to pursue the programRequired, stating why you wish to pursue the program
CVNot requiredNot requiredOptionalRequiredNot Required
Recommendation LettersNot requiredRequired- 3 to be submitted on online applicationRequired- 3 to be submitted through online applicationRequired- 3 to be submitted through online applicationRequired- 3 to be submitted through online application
Writing SampleNot requiredNot requiredNot requiredRequired, 1500-2000 word essay on uses of storytelling and communication in a particular domainRequired, at least 10 pages
InterviewNot requiredNot requiredNot requiredRequiredNot required
Statement of PurposeNot requiredOptional- 1000-1500 words of describing applicant’s goalsNot RequiredRequiredNot required

* Students with no background in communication or marketing would require additional coursework.

The retention rate of the university is 73% and the graduation rate is 45%. With a good faculty to student ratio and a great campus like East Tennessee State University’s students learn a lot. Students are encouraged to fill applications as early as possible, undergraduate applications are available both online and offline but graduate applications are only available offline.

If an applicant does not receive any notification confirming that their application has been received, it is because either some documents were missing or the application fee was not paid. Applicants can check the status of their applications by using the ETSU username and ID that will be emailed to them.


Ques. Does East Tennessee State University require an essay?

Ans. A personal essay is a mandatory requirement for applying to the East Tennessee State University. It is also an important deciding factor and must reflect the true picture of the academic background, future goals and reason for selection of the program and university.

Ques. Is there an application fee for applying to the East Tennessee State University?

Ans. Yes, East Tennessee State University charges an application fee from all applicants. The application fees for international and domestic applicants are different. Undergraduate application fee for international students is 35 USD whereas for domestic students it is 25 USD and for graduate programs 65 USD.

Ques. What is the process for confirmation of admission to the East Tennessee State University?

Ans. To confirm admission to the East Tennessee State University students must accept the offer by confirming registration and paying the enrollment fees as soon as possible.

Ques. How can I track the status of my admission application to East Tennessee State University?

Ans. An applicant can track the status of their admission at East Tennessee State University using the ETSU Admissions Self Service. Once the University receives the application, username and ID will be emailed to them using which they can check the application status through the portal.

Ques. Will I be notified when my application is received by the East Tennessee State University?

Ans. Yes, applicants whose applications have been successful and received by the electronic review system will be notified by the East Tennessee State University. If an applicant does not receive any notification regarding the their applications it is because either some documents were missing or the application fee was not paid.

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