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Undergraduate Admissions

Thomas Edison State University was established to serve adult learners. Its mission “…provides distinctive undergraduate and graduate education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality collegiate learning and assessment opportunities.”

The University’s admission policy is reflective of its mission and purpose.

Application for admissions does not guarantee admission to the University.

Criteria for Admission top of page

In order to be admitted to the University, an applicant must:

Secondary School Requirement:

  • Applicants must possess a high school diploma, GED, or a secondary home school diploma that meets the requirements of the applicant’s state of residency

Age Requirement:

  • Be 20 years of age or older
  • Be at least 16 years of age and demonstrate self-direction in one of the following ways*:
    • Serving as an active member of the United States military (not applicable to military spouses, dependents or relations),
    • Participating in an apprenticeship as recognized by the US Department of Labor or as evaluated by TESU for academic credit,
    • Having at least 12 transferable college-level credits from a Professional Learning Review conducted by TESU, or 6 credits from an accredited institution recognized for transfer by TESU with a grade of C or higher, or 6 credits of Advanced Placement (AP) credit.
    • If between 16 and 20 years of age and unable to meet any of the self-direction criteria above, students will be required to complete a no-cost online Orientation Course.

To submit documentation demonstrating self-direction, please complete the Age Waiver Petition Request Form.

Specific degree programs may have additional requirements.

*All students between 16 and 20 years of age will be limited to 9 credits in their first semester.

If you are applying for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you must have:

  • A registered nurse license valid in the United States, as well. Learn more about applying to the online nursing program.

You do not need to take the SAT or ACT. However, international students whose country of origin is not English-speaking must provide scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Learn more about applying as an international student.

You do not need to worry about application deadlines either. The University offers 12 terms during the year.

Partnerships top of page

Policy on Partnership Program Selection
  • Thomas Edison State University maintains many partnership programs (including military, academic and corporate) that afford students a wide array of benefits.
  • Students who meet the eligibility criteria for a University partnership benefit may opt into the partnership program only at the time of application.
  • Students may only choose one University partnership to opt into and are prohibited from changing their enrollment to a different University partnership program.
  • Students may choose to opt out of their enrollment in a University partnership program at any time but are prohibited from reinstating to the same University partnership program or choosing a different University partnership program.
  • Students who no longer meet the eligibility criteria to participate in a University partnership program will be removed from the program.  Only in the event that the student is removed from a University partnership program due to a change in their ability to meet the eligibility criteria will they be allowed to select a different University partnership program provided they meet the requisite eligibility criteria.
  • Students who allow their enrollment in the University to become inactive* may select a previously selected University partnership upon re-enrollment provided it is still available. Partner benefits in effect at the time of re-enrollment are afforded to students who re-enroll.
  • *Students become inactive by not taking at least one TESU course every twelve months (or link to web definition of active enrollment)

Get Credit

Thomas Edison State University has one of the most flexible transfer credit policies in the country.

Learn more about transferring your credits »

Application Deadline

You can apply to and enroll in Thomas Edison State University anytime during the year!