HOUSTON – The Texas Southern University Board of Regents unanimously approved a temporary addition to the existing university admissions standards, allowing an important COVID-19-related exemption for first-time, incoming freshman who meet specific criteria. TSU will provide automatic admission for any student in the top 25 percent of his/her graduating class who has a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, these students will not need to present ACT or SAT scores. This change is effective immediately and is due to limited or lack of ACT and SAT testing as a result of COVID-19. 

“This is an extraordinary time for incoming, first-time students,” said Regent Pamela Medina, 2nd vice chair and head of the academic affairs sub-committee. “This action gives prospective future Tigers a measure of latitude as they deal with circumstances beyond their control.” 

Dr. Teresa McKinney, vice president of student services and enrollment management, said this is a much-needed, albeit temporary, opportunity that will benefit students and the university. 

“We have seen similar action taken with many universities across the state and nation,” said McKinney. “While we still have automatic admission for any student in the top 10 percent of their class, this change will help us to maintain high academic standards in a way that is sensitive to the current situation.” 

The change provides an added feature to the university’s admissions standards, which require incoming freshman to hold a 2.5 or higher grade point average (on a 4-point scale) along with an ACT score of 17 or higher (composite) or 820 SAT Critical Reading and Mathematics combined (if taken before March 2016), or 900 SAT total score (if taken after March 2016). 


Texas Southern University (TSU) honors our designation as a special-purpose institution for urban programming and research. TSU is a comprehensive university providing higher education access to the nation’s underserved communities. TSU’s academic and research programs address critical urban issues, and prepares its diverse student population to become a force for positive change in a global society. TSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. The University’s enrollment has a population of more than 9,700 undergraduate and graduate-school academic candidates. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas. TSU has positioned itself as a proactive leader in educating underserved students and many who are the first in their family to attend college.