Texas Legislative Requirements

Texas Success Initiative Program

The main component of the Texas Success Initiative Program (TSIP) program is an initial assessment that measures skills in Mathematics, English/Language Arts and Reading. All students, except those who are TSI-Exempt, should take an initial assessment test before their first semester in college at a Texas public institution of higher education. 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 as well as all two- and four-year public institutions across the state year-round. Prior to taking the TSI Assessment, all examinees must complete a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) to understand the importance and process of the assessment, developmental options, and institutional resources.

Approved Assessment Instruments and Cut-Scores

TSI Assessment

  • College Ready Cut-Scores
    • Mathematics - 950 or Less than 950 with a Diagnostic Level 6
    • English, Language Arts, Reading - 945 and Essay Score 5 or greater; OR less than 945 and a Diagnostics Level 5 or greater.
  • College Ready Cut-Scores Prior to January 11, 2021
    • Mathematics - 350
    • Reading - 351
    • Writing - Essay Score of 5; Essay Score of 4 with Multiple Choice of 363

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);
  • 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;
  • Earned a Verbal plus Mathematics total of at least 1070 on a SAT test that is less than five years old, with a minimum score of 500 on the Verbal and/or a minimum of 500 on the Math; If the SAT is taken in 2016 to the present, students must earn an evidence based score of 480 for Reading and Writing and a score of 530 for Mathematics.
  • Earned STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a minimum score of Level 2 on the English III, and a minimum score of Level 4 on the Algebra II.
  • 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—An institution 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 should receive the student's transcript and ACT, SAT, or STAAR scores.

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. There are several ways to meet the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative. The program may require re-testing, enrollment in developmental courses, and/or participation in lab-based education.  The student and a Texas Success Initiative Program representative will jointly determine successful completion of the program.

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 Program 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 the following will be regarded as having passed the Mathematics part of the assessment test.

MATH 1315College Algebra3
MATH 1316Survey of Contemporary Mathematics3
MATH 1319Mathematics for Business and Economics I3

A student who transfers a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or "D" in the following will be regarded as having passed the ELAR part of the assessment.

ENG 1310College Writing I3
ENG 1320College Writing II3
HIST 1310History of the United States to 18773
HIST 1320History of the United States, 1877 to Date3
POSI 2310Principles of American Government3
POSI 2320Functions of American Government3
PSY 1300Introduction to Psychology3
ENG 2310British Literature before 17853
ENG 2320British Literature since 17853
ENG 2330World Literature before 16003
ENG 2340World Literature since 16003
ENG 2360US Literature since 18653

If a student has passed some part of the assessment test satisfactorily, he or she 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 contact the Texas Success Initiative Office for additional information: www.txstate.edu/tsip.

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). Both of these requirements are included in Texas State’s general education core curriculum. According to current law, up to three semester hours of credit in an upper-level ROTC course may be applied to the core curriculum history requirement (HIST 1310 or HIST 1320) and up to three hours to the core curriculum government requirement (POSI 2320 only).

Field of Study

A Field of Study (FOS) is a selection of lower-division courses that are guaranteed by state law to transfer and apply to a degree program. If a student takes all the courses in an FOS and then transfers to another Texas public institution of higher education, the FOS is guaranteed to transfer as a block and be applied to the appropriate major. If a student has completed the FOS, the Texas common core curriculum, and any university or college courses required of all students regardless of major, then the student is finished with all the lower-division courses for the degree program at any Texas public institution. If a student transfers with an incomplete FOS, then each completed FOS course is guaranteed to transfer and apply to the degree program, although the institution many require additional lower-division courses.  FOS curricula were mandated in the 75th Texas Legislature and are intended, along with general education core curricula, to facilitate the transferability of lower-division academic course credit among public colleges and universities throughout Texas. As found in Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 61, Subchapter S, Section 61.821-61.829, field of study curricula are developed in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, along with the assistance of advisory committees composed of representatives of institutions of higher education. To date, FOS have been developed in the following academic areas that 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.

Each FOS will include the lower division courses that are required before a student may enroll in upper-division courses within the degree program, and may also offer guidelines and suggestions for appropriate general education core curriculum or elective courses in addition to the courses that actually compose the field of study curriculum itself.  In TEC 61.823(b), "If a student successfully completes a field of study curriculum developed by the board, that block of courses may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program for the field of study into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred."  In TEC 61.823(c) "A student who transfers from one institution of higher education to another without completing the field of study curriculum of the sending institution shall receive academic credit from the receiving institution for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the field of study curriculum of the sending institution. Following receipt of the credit for these courses, the student may be required to satisfy further course requirements in the field of study curriculum of the receiving institution."  A student concurrently enrolled at more than one institution shall follow the field of study curriculum of the institution in which the student is classified as a degree-seeking student.

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 utilize this tool to facilitate proper class scheduling and to monitor progress toward the degree. (Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.9685)