Salem State welcomes applications to our wide range of graduate programs. Admission decisions are based generally on evidence of achievement in undergraduate studies, performance on standardized tests, strength of recommendations, clarity and professionalism of candidate’s written statements, and other materials submitted with the application. Standards are applied rigorously, the purpose being to identify applicants who show promise of benefitting from advanced studies and who are likely to make significant contributions to the graduate community and their chosen profession. Admission standards for graduate programs are generally more rigorous than those for undergraduate degrees.
Admission Requirements for All Graduate Programs
The following general admission requirements apply to all graduate programs. Admission policies stated here are the minimum requirements of the School of Graduate Studies. Individual programs may have requirements that exceed those of the School of Graduate Studies. These additional requirements may include tests or essays, valid teaching certification, personal interviews, specific course preparation, or a specific grade point average. Each program has additional requirements specific to that program. Please visit salemstate.edu/graduate for program specific requirements.
- A completed application form and non-refundable fee made payable to Salem State University.
- Official transcripts documenting the award of a bachelor’s degree with grades of merit in an arts and sciences major or a major appropriate to the degree sought from an accredited college or university. The transcripts must contain the college seal and be in a sealed college envelope.
- Official transcripts of any graduate courses taken or degrees held.
- Three ‘Reference for Graduate Admission’ forms. Recommender may attach a letter, but must also return the provided form. Appropriate references would include those from professors and academic advisors, and, in some cases, employers, supervisors, and other professional contacts.
- Satisfactory scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), taken within the last five years. Those who already hold a master’s degree or a higher degree are exempt from this requirement.
- Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores if English is not your first language and you have not earned an academic degree at an institution in the United States. For institutions in US territories, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement will be determined by the language of instruction at the institution attended.
- A 500- to 1,000-word, double-spaced statement of purpose addressing the following questions: What factors in your personal and professional history have influenced you in the past and now lead you to seek admission to this program at Salem State College? What are your long-term professional goals, and how will this program help you to meet them? Is there any other information that you think would help the admission committee evaluate your application?
- Supplemental application materials for each program can be found at salemstate.edu/graduate. Please review requirements carefully as they vary for each program.
In addition to the information above, international students will need to provide the following information:
- A complete, official transcript documenting the award of a bachelor’s degree (a photocopy is not acceptable). All transcripts from foreign universities must have an approved agency’s evaluation of courses, grades, academic degrees, and grade-point averages. Three approved agencies include the Center for Educational Documentation (cedevaluations.com), World Education Services, Inc. (wes.org), and North American Educational Group (naeg.org).
- Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report for all students for whom English is not a first language.
- Financial documents, if you need an I-20 or DS2019.
- A copy of your passport.
Program-Specific Admission Requirements
Master of Arts in English and Master of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching English
- For those candidates interested in pursuing Option “L” (Literary Studies), a 6-12 page analytical writing sample must be submitted.
- For those candidates interested in pursuing Option “W” (Writing), a 6-12 page creative writing sample in the intended genre must be submitted.
Master of Business Administration
Students applying for the MBA will be required to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 and a GMAT score of at least 400. Furthermore, as a general rule, students will be required to attain a total score of at least 1,000 points when their GPA and GMAT score are substituted into the following formula: (GPA * 200) + GMAT. These minimal standards are not the only factors considered in making a decision.
The following materials are required for the MBA admissions process:
- Application Fee. The application fee is determined by the University.
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions.
- Three letters of reference (A student who has been admitted into any of the certificate programs will not be required to resubmit three letters of recommendation. The letters of recommendation used to gain acceptance into the certificate program will count for admissions into the MBA or any of the other graduate certificate programs).
- Official copy of GMAT scores taken within the past five years. See exceptions section below for applicants for whom the GMAT may be waived.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (550computer/213 written or above) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (7 with no score below 6 in any band) if English is not a first language and/or degree(s) earned at an institution outside of the United States.
- Statement of purpose (500-1,000 words, double-spaced).
- GPA: If an applicant has less than a 2.5 GPA, factors such as date other degree(s) earned, competitiveness of undergraduate institution or educational system, GMAT score, strength of letters of reference, and work experience may be taken into consideration.
- GMAT: A student who has been awarded a master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in a business related field is not required to submit official GMAT scores. In those cases, additional emphasis is placed upon the GPA. The minimum score for admissions is 600 when the GPA is substituted into the following formula: (GPA * 200). If the master’s degree or higher is in a non-business field, the Dean of the Bertolon School of Business and MBA program coordinator may make the determination regarding the waiver of the GMAT.
- GMAT: A student who has successfully completed at least five of the foundation courses as part of the BSB Graduate Certificate in Business and has a graduate GPA at or above 3.5, with no less than a 3.0 in all courses, is not required to submit official GMAT scores and may be admitted to the MBA program.
Graduate Certificate in Business, Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning, and Graduate Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management
Students applying for any of the Graduate Certificate programs in the BSB will be required to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 from an accredited institution.
The following materials are required for the graduate certificate admissions process:
- Application Fee. The application fee is determined by the University.
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions.
- Three letters of reference
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores if English is not a first language and or degree(s) earned at an institution outside of the United States.
- Statement of purpose
- GPA: If an applicant has less than a 2.5 GPA, factors such as date other degree(s) earned, competitiveness of undergraduate institution or educational system, strength of letters of reference, and work experience may be taken into consideration.
Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Licensure-Only programs
Most M.Ed. and M.A.T programs offer preparation for state-and nationally-approved Massachusetts educator licenses at the initial or professional level. In addition to full degree licensure programs, Salem State offers non-degree licensure only programs in several fields.
All initial educator licensure programs require the following:
- A bachelor’s degree with a major in or related to the field of the license sought.
- An undergraduate cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.75 overall and 3.0 in the major field of study.
Passing scores on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
Admission to all professional licensure programs requires an initial license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the field of the professional license sought.
Candidates for admission to programs leading to educator licensure should refer to the specific program for additional admission standards and prerequisites, or modifications to the above standards.
M.Ed. Elementary Education-Initial License and Initial License Only-Elementary Education
- A child growth and development course (minimum grade of B- for undergraduate level course; minimum grade of B for graduate level course).
M.Ed. Higher Education in Student Affairs
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Higher Education in Student Affairs program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) beginning Spring 2013.
M.Ed. Special Education-Initial Licence and Initial License Only-Special Education
- Applicants must submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), taken within the last five years. The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is not an option for these two programs. Those who already hold a master’s degree or a higher degree are exempt from this requirement.
Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish
- Please note that the statement of purpose that is submitted as part of the application process for this program must be written in Spanish.
Master of Science in Geo-Information Science
- Those applicants who have successfully completed the Graduate Certificate in GIS program with a G.P.A. of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or greater are exempt from taking either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller AnalogiesTest (MAT).
Master of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing from a nationally accredited program OR a bachelor’s degree in another field from an accredited college or university and satisfactory performance on the National League for Nursing Baccalaureate Achievement Examination (NLNBAE). (Except for Direct Entry/MSN)
- An overall minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 is required.
- Submission of recent scores (within the past five years) demonstrating satisfactory performance on admission examination (e.g., GRE, GMAT, MAT). Students who do not demonstrate satisfactory performance will be asked to retake the admission exam. Students whose GPA is below 3.0 and whose scores are unacceptable after retake may be offered the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to do successful graduate work by taking two coordinator-approved courses and earning a grade of B or better in each. Students holding a previous master’s degree are exempt from the GREs or MATs.
- Current license to practice professional nursing; evidence of registered nurse licensure in Massachusetts.
- Successful completion of an undergraduate course in basic statistics.
- A brief but careful statement regarding reasons for wanting to do graduate study in nursing, specific interests and experiences in the field, and career plans.
- A personal interview with the graduate nursing program coordinator or designee.
- Resumé reflecting educational preparation and evidence of one year of work experience as a registered nurse. (Except for Direct Entry/MSN)
BS/MS Occupational Therapy
- Students who are accepted into the BS/MS Occupational Therapy program do not have to re-apply for the masters degree upon successfull completion of the undergraduate degree.
Master of Social Work
1. A broad liberal arts background with substantial preparation in the social and/or behavioral sciences.
2. An overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 (on a 4.0 scale) or a 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate study.
3. Official test scores:
If your undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, you do NOT need to take the GRE or MAT. Any applicant with an earned master’s degree or higher in another discipline is also exempt from test taking. For applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0, you must submit the official results of either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Since these two tests are very different in format and content, we recommend you carefully review each test to determine which one is most compatible with your strengths.
4. In addition to the current professional statement, applicants are required to submit another writing sample in the form of a critical analysis of a given quotation.
5. Work or volunteer experience in the social service field is desirable.
In addition to the basic admission requirements described above, the following requirements apply to all Advanced Standing applicants:
- A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an undergraduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
- An overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and 3.3 in the Social Work major courses.
- Either three years pre-BSW or one year post-BSW supervised, paid experience in a human services agency.
- An interview with the Admission Committee.
IT Fluency for Professional Practice Certificate
- Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite of applications.
Advanced Professional Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
- A master’s degree in a related area from an accredited institution.
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education
- A master’s degree from an accredited program.
- An overall grade point average of 3.0 in Master’s program.
- An Educator License.
Please note that all materials submitted as part of an application become the property of Salem State University and will not be returned. Access to this material is limited under the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Materials received as part of the application process will not be duplicated for personal use by the applicant nor forwarded to a third party.
Individuals who are denied admission to a program of study are not entitled to have access to any materials related to the denied application.
Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure all required materials are sent and received. Incomplete applications will be held for one year prior to being purged. Letters of reference are destroyed after files have been reviewed.
Standardized Test Information
Information about standardized tests (GRE, MAT, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS) is available at their respective web sites.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE): gre.org
Miller Analogies Test (MAT): milleranalogies.com
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): gmat.org
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): ets.org/toefl
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): ielts.org
All applications are reviewed by an admission committee composed of some combination of program advisors, faculty, and administrators who make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Admission decisions are final and will not be reconsidered without additional, new information.
Admission to the School of Graduate Studies is granted in one of the following categories based on the candidate’s qualifications:
- Acceptance. Accepted students meet all of the admission requirements and standards and are matriculated into the program.
- Conditional Acceptance. A conditionally accepted student shows potential for success but has some component in their application that does not fully meet the admission standards of the program for which they are applying. These students will be admitted conditionally upon a specified condition being met and are not matriculated into the program until they have met the stipulated condition. Students in this status are not eligible for federal financial aid and will be restricted in the number of courses they may take before full matriculation.
- Not accepted. Students who do not meet the requirements for admission will receive notification to that effect. Please note that some programs can accept only a limited number of applicants due to limited program capacity.
- Deferred. In rare instances in which there is not sufficient evidence to make a decision, the admission committee may defer a decision and request further information.
Transfer of Credit and Prior Graduate Coursework
For information on graduate policy related to the transfer of graduate credit, please visit the Academic Information and Policies section of this catalog.