Steps to Attending

One Stop Shop to Attending Graduate School

The Student One-Stop Shop brings a variety of University offices under one virtual roof. The links below will guide you through our Ten-Step Admissions/Registration process--most of which can be conducted online.

Getting Started

Before you begin the Application/Registration process, consult the Graduate Catalog for program information as well as Academics and/or our handy Degree Chart. To get an idea of costs, see Tuition and Fees. You can browse course offerings and times with the Course Schedules. Be aware of the deadlines listed in the Graduate Application Deadlines.

STEP 1: Apply for Graduate Admission

  • For an overview of the process and deadlines see Admission Process.
  • Complete application: Click Here
  • Pay the $35 application fee. See the Bursar's Office for payment options.

STEP 2: Admissions Decision

  • Once your application is complete, you will receive written notification of your status.
  • You will also receive information on Graduate School Student Orientation (Fall Semester only).

STEP 3: Financial Aid

  • For an introduction to Financial Aid, including how to apply for the FAFSA (Free Application Form for Student Aid) and what documents you will need, see General Applicant Information.
  • First you will first need to obtain a PIN number from the U.S. Department of Education. This PIN number is used as an electronic signature by you for this application. The General Applicant Information will walk you through this process or you may go directly to Pin Number Request.
  • Once you have received your pin number, complete the FAFSA form online at

NOTE: When you fill out the FAFSA, make sure to have your application forwarded to TSU (FICE code: 003522)!

NOTE: You should fill out a FAFSA even if you do not anticipate receiving aid--grants, loans and work study require a FAFSA!

  • Respond promptly to any requests by TSU's Office of Financial Aid for additional information. See Online Document Request for the forms available to submit information.
  • Once your application for Financial Aid is complete, you must sign a promissory note if you accept a loan and are a first time borrower at TSU. You can do this online at Direct Loan Promissory Note--using your PIN number (see 3a, above). For additional information visit:

NOTE: All first time freshman borrowers will have their loan proceeds held for 30 days after the first day of their first term of enrollment.

  • If you are interested in applying for additional monies, see the University's database of Scholarships. If you expect to receive money from third-party sources, see the information on External Financial Aid.
  • Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for graduate students with demonstrated financial need, who need income to help pay for their cost of education. The Program provides a salary for work performed on campus in academic or administrative offices. The application requires completion of the FAFSA, available in the Financial Aid Office.

  • Assistantships and Fellowships

A number of Graduate Assistantships are offered in many areas of study. To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship, students must be unconditionally admitted to a degree program, enrolled full-time, and making progress toward the degree. To retain their Assistantships, students must make at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Graduate Assistants are required to work approximately 20 hours per week. Those assignments may include some instructional assistance (teaching assistants are usually doctoral students), research assistance, or administrative assistance. Appointments provide a monthly stipend and most include tuition and fees. Information and application may be obtained from the department in which the student plans to study or from the Graduate Studies Office. Nonresident assistants appointed for the preceding spring semester are eligible for in state fees for summer whether or not the student holds an assistantship in that summer term. (Click here for the Graduate Assistantship Application)

STEP 4: Housing

  • On-campus housing is not available for graduate students. Information about off-campus housing is available at the Off-Campus Housing office (phone: 615-963-7256).

STEP 5: Academic Advisement

  • See the Graduate Catalog for degree requirements and Program of Study in your major.
  • Consult the Course Schedules for course offerings and times.
  • Set up an appointment with an advisor in the academic department for your major to plan your schedule and prepare for registration. See Department Phone Numbers.
  • If you are uncertain of the department see our Degree Chart.
  • If you are undecided in your major (Non-Degree student status), you will be advised by the Office of Graduate Studies & Research.

STEP 6: Show proof of Immunity to Measles

  • For an overview of this process, including the documentation you must provide, consult Health Services. Forms can be downloaded from this website, completed by the appropriate medical personnel and mailed to the Student Health Center.

NOTE: State of Tennessee law requires proof of immunity. You will not be able to register until you have completed this step!

STEP 7: Registering for Classes.

  • Once you have been advised, register for classes online at myTSU
  • Registration occurs during specific days prior to each term. For schedule and deadlines see the Academic Calendar.
  • As you register you may discover "holds" on your account that prevent you from registering. Your myTSU record will indicate the hold and provide a brief explanation. The most common "holds" relate to proof of measles vaccination (see 6a, above) or other admission conditions, e.g. test score hold. You must take the appropriate action and visit the appropriate office to remove the hold. Consult your advisor or staff in the Office of Graduate Studies & Research if you are unable to determine how to remove a "hold."

STEP 8: Obtain ID Card

  • Once you have successfully registered, you can obtain your University Identify Card from the TSU ID Center located in Queen Washington on the Main Campus. For an overview of the process see ID Card Services.
  • ID Card is a multiple-function card that can be used as a  library card, meal card and for identification purposes.

STEP 9: Vehicle Registration

  • For an overview on how to register a vehicle via the online system, see Campus Police.
  • You must have successfully registered (i.e., have no "holds"), have received your ID Card, have a valid driver's license and registration to register your vehicle online.
  • Once you have successfully registered your vehicle, you can pick up your parking decal at the TSU Police Station in the Heiman Street Complex on Main Campus.
  • Parking decal is included in student fees; you do not have to pay when you pick up your decal.

STEP 10: Fee Payment

  • Students pay fees at the Bursar's Office. For an explanation of costs see Fee Explanation.
  • For methods of payment, including online methods, see payment options.
  • Fees must be paid by the Fees/Payment Deadlines or a student risks being "purged" from their class. For an explanation of the purge process and tips on how to avoid it, see the Bursar's Office FAQ.
  • The University offers a deferred payment option for bills over $600. See Deferred Payment Plan and Room/Board Deferment.

webpage contact:
School of Graduate Studies & Research