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College Essay Tips From Admission Counselors At Siue

Submitting an Essay

The Editors and their Advisory Board welcome the submission of papers on literary history, theory, and interpretation, as well as original materials such as letters, journals, and notebooks. PLL defines the word "language" broadly and welcomes submissions on visual and/or digital languages.

Submissions should be a minimum of 15 pages in length. Decisions may take 2-6 months. 

Contributors should follow The MLA Style Manual (2008); manuscripts should be free of all identifying information. Two copies must be submitted; only one copy will be returned. Unless a manuscript is accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope, it cannot be returned to the author. Submissions must not be under consideration elsewhere. PLL does not publish unsolicited book reviews.

Submissions may also be made electronically. Address messages to pll@siue.edu and include the word "Submission" followed by a shortened title in the subject line. Attach the essay in the form of a PDF file. Include an abstract of no more than 150 words in the body of the e-mail. Also include a postal mailing address and a phone number.

A note to graduate-student authors: PLL encourages early-career scholars to submit their work and is pleased to publish it. However, unrevised seminar papers are highly unlikely to pass, or even enter, the peer-review process. Prior to sending their work, graduate students should discuss differences between a seminar paper and a journal article with their mentors and seek the mentors' suggestions for a thorough revision. Such a revision will increase the chances of placing the work successfully and/or receiving fruitful reader feedback.

Authors of accepted submissions will be asked to furnish a copy in the form of a Microsoft Word file via email attachment.

All submissions and other correspondence on editorial matters should be sent to the Editors, PLL, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1434, or pll@siue.edu.

Transfer Students

Applicants are considered a transfer student when they present course work from regionally-accredited two-year and four-year institutions, unless all hours were earned in college courses while still in high school.

  1. Students who have attempted at least 30 semester hours in courses at regionally-accredited institutions are admissible in good standing, provided they have earned a minimum cumulative 2.0 (C) grade-point average in such course work at the previous accredited school(s) attended.
  2. The admissions criteria for students who have attempted fewer than 30 semester hours in courses at regionally-accredited institutions are as follows:

    1. Good Standing - Students are admissible in good standing, provided they have earned at least a cumulative 2.00 (C) grade-point average in such course work at the previous regionally-accredited school(s) attended and meet the criteria of the appropriate admission category for entering freshmen.
    2. Academic Probation - Students who do not have at least a cumulative 2.00 (C) grade-point average as so stipulated are admissible on academic probation, provided they meet the criteria of the appropriate admission category for entering freshmen.
    3. All transfer students who have attempted fewer than 30 semester hours must also meet the high school course requirements as described under the appropriate freshman category.

The transfer average (i.e., the cumulative grade-point average in all course work from all regionally-accredited institutions previously attended) is used only in determining the applicant's eligibility for admission. Once a student is admitted, the student's SIUE record will reflect the total number of acceptable transfer credit hours (hours earned in transferable courses with grades of A, B, C, D, pass, satisfactory, etcetera), but the only grade-point average calculated will be for work completed at SIUE.

Applicants wishing to be considered for admission as transfer students must complete their admissions files at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the term for which admission is sought. For applicants with at least 30 semester hours of course work as stipulated above, a complete file consists of an application for undergraduate admission, an official transcript from each institution previously attended, and the application fee. For applicants with fewer than 30 semester hours, a complete file consists of an application for undergraduate admission, an official transcript from each institution previously attended, credentials prescribed by the appropriate admission category for entering freshmen, and the application fee. (An official transcript must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by each institution. All transcripts become the official property of the University and will not be returned or issued to another institution.) Any questions about the acceptability of specific courses for admission and/or for transfer credit should be directed to the Office of Admissions.

Admission as a Visiting Student

Applicants who have at least a high school diploma or equivalent and wish to take undergraduate courses for credit, but who are not interested in pursuing a baccalaureate degree at SIUE, may be admitted to the University as a visiting student. These students must submit an application to be a visiting student. Students admitted as a visiting student will be allowed to enroll in undergraduate courses for which they have met the prerequisites. Applicants still in high school may be considered for admission as visiting students by the Director of Admissions.

Applicants wishing to be considered for admission as visiting students must complete their admission files at least four weeks prior to the beginning of the term for which admission is sought.

Students in this category are not eligible to receive financial aid. However, if a visiting student is currently pursuing a degree at another post-secondary institution, the student may be eligible for VA benefits or student employment. Students wishing to apply for student employment or receive VA benefits will need to submit appropriate documentation confirming their degree-seeking status at a parent institution.

Students in this category may not accumulate more than 30 semester hours of credit at the University. If a student who has accumulated 30 semester hours of credit wishes to continue enrollment at SIUE, he/she must apply to the University as a degree-seeking student and satisfy appropriate criteria. Continued enrollment will not be permitted until the student satisfies admission criteria or appeals to the Director of Admissions.

Applicants previously denied admission in degree-seeking categories are not admissible as visiting students.

Graduate Students

Refer to Section J for the admission policies of the professional programs that are in the Schools of Dental Medicine and Pharmacy.

Prospective students may apply for admission as classified or unclassified students. Classified students are those admitted to a specific master's, certificate, specialist's, or doctoral degree program; unclassified students are those not seeking a degree. Applicants for graduate programs, whether degree-seeking or applying for admission in unclassified status, must present evidence that they hold a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution. Applicants for doctoral programs must present evidence that they hold the requisite degree(s) from accredited institutions specific to the doctoral program.

An applicant must request that an official transcript be forwarded to the Office of Admissions from the institution granting the baccalaureate degree or master's degree, or where the baccalaureate degree or master's degree is in progress, and from all institutions at which post-baccalaureate or master's level coursework has been completed or is in progress. The SIUE academic program reserves the right to require the applicant to request an official transcript from each college, university, and professional school from which the applicant obtained one year (30 semester hours or the equivalent) or more of transfer credit.
 
Students with three-year degrees from Bologna member institutions will be considered for admission to the Graduate School at SIUE. Three-year degrees, other than degrees from a Bologna member institution, will be evaluated by the Office of Admissions and the Graduate School using current best practice standards to determine equivalence to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate. Any noted deficiencies or pre-requisites would need to be completed prior to acceptance.

The completed application and supporting transcripts should be submitted by the appropriate deadlines. Delay in forwarding of transcripts may result in delayed processing of an application. Applicants who owe official transcripts to the Office of Admissions cannot be admitted in classified status to degree programs. Admission to a program becomes effective only after approval by the appropriate program faculty and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Admission as Classification Pending

On recommendation of the department chair or program director, applicants to graduate degree programs may be assigned for one academic term to the status of Classification Pending while waiting either for an official degree-bearing transcript for admission to the Graduate School or for acceptance to a degree program. In this status, applicants may register for graduate level courses and hold graduate assistantships.

Students admitted in Classification Pending status while awaiting acceptance into a specific program, and who do not complete all admission requirements during their first academic term of attendance, or who are denied admission to that program to which they applied, will have their status changed to Unclassified. Credits earned under Unclassified status will not be applicable to a degree program except under conditions as stipulated in Policy 1J6 Transfer Credit.

Students admitted in Classification Pending for whom the degree-bearing transcript is not received may not register for subsequent terms.

If the student is admitted to a degree program, credit earned in appropriate courses while the student was in Classification Pending status ordinarily will be counted as classified graduate credit.

Conditional Admission

International students who are enrolled, or plan to enroll in U.S. State Department recognized Intensive English Language classes may be accepted in conditional admission status to allow for the completion of all requirements for admission. Students who are accepted into an accelerated master's degree program or early entry program are granted conditional admission status until the completion of all requirements for admission to classified graduate status. Conditional admission may be authorized for two academic terms. Time extensions for conditional admission may be authorized by the Dean of the Graduate School for unusual circumstances.

Admission to Master's Degree and Certificate Programs

For admission to master's degree programs, the following conditions apply:

  1. Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university, be within one academic year of earning such a degree, or present equivalent credentials. A professional degree in law, medicine, or dentistry is considered equivalent to a baccalaureate degree for this purpose if the professional degree program requires for admission at least 60 semester hours of general college credit from an accredited college or university and is of at least 27 months duration. For PharmD students at SIUE seeking admission to the MBA program, equivalent credentials are considered completion of at least 112 semester hours.
  2. The overall grade-point average in undergraduate work ordinarily should be at least 2.5 (A = 4.0). Credentials of applicants whose undergraduate average falls between 2.0 and 2.5 may receive individual consideration for admission to degree programs. College records and supporting evidence used in these evaluations include such factors as (1) higher grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work than the overall average; (2) higher grade-point average in the undergraduate major than in general undergraduate studies; (3) acceptable scores on tests such as the Graduate Record Examination; and (4) professional experience.

    1. The overall grade-point average for all graduate level work completed should be at least 3.0 (A = 4.0), regardless of the undergraduate grade-point average.
    2. Students must be accepted by the department or other unit in which they intend to pursue degree work as indicated on the application and, therefore, must meet any requirements the department or unit establishes in addition to those of the Graduate School. Delay in complying with departmental requirements will result in a delay of final admission.
    3. Applicants are not admitted to classified graduate status until they have completed all requirements for the baccalaureate degree and the degree is posted to the applicant's official academic record.

Admission to Specialist's Degree Programs

Applicants must have completed a master's degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 (A = 4.0) or higher for all graduate level work, and must have had at least two years of experience relevant to the specialized field. Credentials of applicants whose cumulative grade-point average for graduate work completed is less than 3.25 may be considered individually. Prospective students must also satisfy requirements established by the graduate faculty of the major.

Delay in complying with special departmental program requirements will delay final admission.

Admission to a degree program is final only after an application has been processed by the Graduate Admissions Office and approved by the appropriate program faculty and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Admission to Doctoral Studies Degree Programs

Graduates of accredited colleges and universities with a baccalaureate and/or master's degree who have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 (A=4.0) in the highest attained degree and sufficient training to undertake advanced study in their chosen fields are eligible to apply for admission to doctoral degree programs. An extensive evaluation of college records and supporting materials is made by the doctoral program and department representatives. Initial admission to a doctoral program takes effect only after approval by the doctoral program and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Students must be accepted by the department or other unit in which they intend to pursue degree work as indicated on the application and, therefore, must meet any requirements the department or unit establishes in addition to those of the Graduate School. Delay in complying with departmental requirements will result in a delay of final admission. Applicants should consult individual doctoral programs for different deadlines.

Admission of International Students

See Section E above for information about visa, health insurance, foreign academic credentials, and English language proficiency.

In order to be considered for admission to a master's, certificate, or specialist's program, all international applicants are expected to have completed the foreign equivalent of the American baccalaureate degree from an internationally recognized institution of higher learning. In order to be considered for admission to a doctoral program, all international applicants are expected to have completed the foreign equivalent of the American baccalaureate and/or master's degree from an internationally recognized institution of higher learning (See Section E.3). International students are subject to all other requirements for admission established by the University, the Graduate School, and the graduate/doctoral program to which they are applying.

Individual programs may have earlier deadlines than the Graduate School and international applicants should consult the programs to which they are applying.

Admission to the Graduate School to Enroll in Courses while an Undergraduate

Qualified SIUE undergraduate students and students attending SIUE under an established agreement with a higher education institution can submit an application for unclassified or classified graduate status in order to take graduate-level courses when they are within two academic terms of graduation. Qualified SIUE undergraduate students interested in combined baccalaureate and graduate degree programs can submit an application for classified graduate status when they are within one academic year of graduation and meet the requirements for the program to which they seek entry.

Applicants to combined baccalaureate and master's degree programs must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students must be accepted by the program in which they intend to pursue degree work as indicated on the application and, therefore, must meet any requirements the program establishes in addition to those of the Graduate School.

Unless attending SIUE, applicants must have forwarded official transcripts showing work completed and evidence of courses in which they are currently enrolled. Undergraduates are not officially admitted to classified or unclassified status and they are considered undergraduate students until they have completed requirements for the baccalaureate degree and the degree has been posted to their official academic records.

SIUE undergraduate students who are admitted in classification pending status or conditional admission status in order to take graduate-level courses when they are within one academic term of graduation may take courses for graduate credit by completing the Graduate Student Request Form. For these students, exceptions to the 12-hour or single academic term rule may be recommended by the graduate adviser and the director of the program in which a student, during the senior year, requests permission to do graduate degree work. Such requests for exception must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Undergraduate students utilizing this plan are expected to concentrate their efforts on finishing the bachelor's degree, taking graduate courses only where necessary to fill out their schedules.

Students pursuing approved combined baccalaureate-graduate degree programs, which include accelerated and early entry master's degree programs, must follow the requirements of the program to which they are conditionally admitted.

Normally, undergraduate students should not enroll for courses numbered 500 and above, which are designated in the course numbering system as being for graduate students only. Courses numbered 400 and above taken for graduate credit may not be applied toward an undergraduate degree unless the courses are part of an approved accelerated master's degree program.

Admission of Unclassified Graduate Students

Unclassified graduate students are those who do not seek a graduate degree at SIUE and those who have not qualified for admission to a degree program at SIUE.

Applicants seeking admission in unclassified status submit an unclassified admission application form and present evidence of their undergraduate degree(s). Their official degree-bearing transcripts must be forwarded to the Office of Admissions. Any applicant who is eligible for admission to a degree program is urged to apply for classified status rather than for unclassified status. Credit earned while in unclassified status may be used to satisfy degree requirements only under conditions as stipulated in Policy 1J6 Transfer Credit.