Texas Legislative Requirements

Texas Success Initiative

The Texas Success Initiative is a state-legislated program that measures students’ skills in Mathematics, English/Language Arts and Reading. All students, except those who are TSI-Exempt, should take an initial TSI assessment test before their first semester in college. Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services.

The State of Texas has one approved assessment instrument, the TSI Assessment. This assessment instrument is administered at Texas State University through the Testing, Evaluation, and Measurement Center as well as all two- and four-year public institutions across the state.

Approved Assessment Instruments and Cut-Scores

TSI Assessment 2.0

  • College Ready Scores
    • Mathematics - 950-990; OR less than 950 with a Diagnostic Level 6.
    • English, Language Arts, Reading – 945-990 with an Essay Score of 5 and above; OR less than 945 with an Essay of 5 and above AND a diagnostic of 5 and above.

TSI Assessment 1.0

  • College Ready Scores Prior to January 11, 2021
    • Mathematics – 350 and above.
    • Reading – 351 and above.
    • Writing - Essay Score of 5 and above; OR Essay Score of 4 with Multiple Choice of 340.

TSI Exemptions

Some students are exempt or partially exempt from assessment. A student will be identified as TSI-Exempt or partially exempt when Texas State has received official proof that he or she satisfies any one of the following:

  • Earned an associate or bachelor’s degree from an institution of higher education whose accreditation is recognized by SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges);
  • ACT prior to February 15, 2023: Earned a composite score of at least 23 and at least 19 on the Mathematics and/or English components of an ACT test which is no more than five years old.
  • ACT on or after February 15, 2023: Earned a combined score of 40 on the English and Reading (E+R) tests and earned a score of 22 on the Mathematics test.
  • SAT: Earned an evidence-based score of 480 for Reading and Writing and a score of 530 for Mathematics on an SAT test which is no more than five years old. The writing section of the SAT is not considered.
  • ​STARR: Earned a minimum score of 4000 (Level II) on English III (EOC) and a minimum score of 4000 (Level II) on Algebra II (EOC).
  • Enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent).
  • Previously attended any institution of higher education and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution.
  • Is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  • Was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States on or after August 1, 1990.
  • Is a non-degree seeking or non-certificate seeking student.
  • ESOL Waiver: Texas State may grant a temporary waiver from the assessment required under this title for students with demonstrated limited English proficiency in order to provide appropriate ESOL/ESL coursework and interventions.

The office of Undergraduate Admissions must receive the student's transcript and ACT, SAT, or STAAR scores in order to receive the corresponding TSI exemption.

Developmental Education

If students do not meet the requirements of one or more parts of the initial assessment test, they will be required to participate in an individualized developmental education program that will prepare them for freshman-level coursework in the area of deficiency. The program may require re-testing, enrollment in developmental courses, and/or participation in lab-based education. The student and a Texas Success Initiative representative will jointly determine the appropriate path for the student to meet TSI requirements.  

Out-of-State/Private School Transfers

A student who is transferring coursework from a private or out-of-state school may not need to take an assessment test. This rule has many restrictions, and students should check with the Texas Success Initiative Office before assuming this applies to them. The following statements apply to exact transfer courses and not to elective a non-advanced (ELNA) courses taken at private or out-of-state schools. A student who transfers a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or "D" in a course evaluated to be the equivalent of one the following Texas State courses is TSI exempt in Mathematics as a result of the course equivalency:

MATH 1312College Statistics and Algebra3
MATH 1315College Algebra3
MATH 1316Survey of Contemporary Mathematics3
MATH 1317Plane Trigonometry3
MATH 1319Mathematics for Business and Economics I3
MATH 1329Mathematics for Business and Economics II3
MATH 2321Calculus for Life Sciences I3
MATH 2417Pre-Calculus Mathematics4
MATH 2471Calculus I4

A student who transfers a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or "D" in a course evaluated to be the equivalent of one of the following Texas State courses is TSI exempt in English, Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) as a result of the course equivalency.

ANTH 1312Cultural Anthropology3
ENG 1310College Writing I3
ENG 1320College Writing II3
ENG 2310British Literature before 17853
ENG 2320British Literature since 17853
ENG 2330World Literature before 16003
ENG 2340World Literature since 16003
ENG 2359US Literature before 18653
ENG 2360US Literature since 18653
HIST 1310History of the United States to 18773
HIST 1320History of the United States, 1877 to Date3
HIST 2327History of Mexican America to 18653
HIST 2328History of Mexican America from 18653
HIST 2381African American History to 18773
HIST 2382African American History from 18773
POSI 2310Principles of American Government3
POSI 2320Functions of American Government3
PSY 1300Introduction to Psychology3
SOCI 1310Introduction to Sociology3

If a student has passed some but not all components of the TSI assessment, they should take the remaining parts of the test prior to attempting to register for classes at Texas State.

Incoming students who have taken an assessment test but have not submitted their scores to Texas State should send their scores using the information located at: https://accuplacer.collegeboard.org/accuplacer/pdf/how-access-test-scores-from-student-portal.pdf

History and Government

Pursuant to Texas Education Code §51.302, every student graduating from a state-supported college or university must complete six semester hours of American history (HIST 1310 and HIST 1320 at Texas State University) and six semester hours of American government (POSI 2310 and POSI 2320 at Texas State University). According to current law, the university may grant up to three semester hours of credit to the core curriculum history requirement for substantially equivalent work completed by a student in the program of an approved senior ROTC unit, and up to three hours to the core curriculum government requirement (POSI 2320 only) for substantially equivalent work completed by a student in the program of an approved senior ROTC unit.

Field of Study (FOS) & Field of Study Curricula (FOSC)

A Field of Study (FOS) is a selection of lower-division courses guaranteed by state law to transfer and apply to a degree program. Unless repealed or replaced, FOS in effect as of March 1, 2021 will remain in effect until August 31, 2025, upon which date those FOS expire by operation of law. FOS in the following academic areas are pertinent to degree programs offered at Texas State University: Accounting, Art, Biology, Civil Engineering, Communication Studies, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Technology, English, Finance, History, Journalism, Management, Marketing, Mass Communication, Mathematics, Microbiology, Music, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Studio Art, Theatre, and Wildlife Biology.

Beginning in March 2021, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopted revised transfer rules that establish a new framework for transfer curricula, including new Field of Study Curricula (FOSC). More information can be found regarding FOS and FOSC at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.

Degree Plan

Upon enrollment, all degree-seeking students are provided with a degree plan through Degree Works, a degree audit software. Based upon the student’s major, this online system displays the courses required for graduation, tracks the student’s progress and maintains an up-to-date list of their remaining course-work. Students and advisors use this tool to facilitate enrollment in appropriate courses and to monitor progress toward the degree. (Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.9685)