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 benefiting 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 online graduate admissions 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. If you have earned an academic degree at an institution in the United States or at an institution where the language of instruction was English, then your application can be reviewed without TOEFL/IELTS scores.
- 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 University? 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.
- Graduate Coordinators and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies may waive the required entrance exams if the applicant has proven academic ability in the academic program by receiving a 3.5 GPA in 2 or more courses within the area of study, taken at Salem State University, prior to seeking admissions into the graduate program. This does not supersede pre-existing policies.
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
Combined Bachelors/Masters degree programs
Students applying to the Combined Bachelors/Masters degree programs do so as an undergraduate student through an internal process. For additional information, please contact the appropriate department.
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 either a GMAT score of at least 400 or a GRE score of at least 290. Furthermore, as a general rule, students will be required either 1) 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 or 2) to attain a total score of at least 900 points when their GPA and GRE score are substituted into the following formula: (GPA *200) + GRE. These minimal standards are not the only factors considered in making a decision.
The following materials are required for the MBA admissions process:
- Online graduate admissions application form
- 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 or GRE scores taken within the past five years. See exceptions section below for applicants for whom the GMAT or GRE may be waived.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (550 computer/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/GRE score, strength of letters of reference, and work experience may be taken into consideration.
- GMAT/GRE: 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/GRE 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/GRE.
- GMAT/GRE: 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/GRE scores and may be admitted to the MBA program.
Graduate Certificate in Business and Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning
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:
- Online graduate admissions application.
- 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. Early Childhood Education-Initial Licensure and M.Ed. Early Childhood Education-Advanced Studies
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Early Childhood Education - Initial Licensure and M.Ed. Early Childhood Education - Advanced Studies programs are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
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).
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Elementary Education - Initial License and Initial License Only - Elementary Education programs are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
M.Ed. Elementary Education-Advanced Studies
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Elementary Education - Advanced Studies program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
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).
- Applicants for this program must also address the following additional question as part of their statement of purpose prompt: Identify one important issue within the fields of higher education or student affairs and explain why this issue is important.
M.Ed. Leadership in Physical Education and Movement Studies
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Personal Interview with the graduate coordinator or designee
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Leadership in Physical Education and Movement Studies program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Copy of an initial or professional Massachusetts teaching license in a classroom field
- Evidence of a passing score on the Communication and Literacy portion of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
- EDU 739 Literacy Instruction and Assessment in the Early Childhood and Elementary Classroom with field experience or an equivalent course
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Reading program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
Reading - Initial License
- Complete, official transcripts documenting the award of a bachelor’s degree (any field) and master’s degree in education or related field.
- Copy of an initial or professional Massachusetts teaching license in a classroom field.
- or an equivalent course.
M.Ed. Special Education-Initial License, M.Ed. Special Education-Advanced Studies, Initial License Only-Special Education, and Professional Licensure Only-Special Education
- A sample of academic writing. Please review our academic writing sample guidelines. Attach your academic writing sample to the end of your personal statement in the online application.
- An interview with a member of the admissions committee. You will be contacted to schedule your interview after your application is complete.
- Applicants for the M.Ed. Special Education-Initial License, M.Ed. Special Education-Advanced Studies, Initial License Only-Special Education, and Professional License Only-Special Education programs are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
Master of Arts in Teaching Art
- Art portfolio. Please submit your art portfolio online at salemstate.slideroom.com
- Applicants for the Master of Arts in Teaching Art program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, Middle School Mathematics, Fast Track Mathematics
- Applicants for the Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics, Middle School Mathematics, and Fast Track Mathematics programs are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Complete, official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish
- Applicants for the Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- 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 Behavior Analysis
Traditional entry into the full master’s program from the undergraduate degree, will require a completed undergraduate degree in a related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores, completion of a research methods and statistics course, General Psychology, and at least one course in either experimental or applied behavior analysis(or experience working in the field).
Entry from the existing post-baccalaureate ABA certificate program would require that the applicant be matriculated in that program, and successfully complete at least 3 or the 5 courses in the program at time of application to the full master’s program. Those who are matriculated in the post-bachelor’s program must meet the program requirements of an undergraduate degree in a related area with a minimum 3.25 GPA, and have either 6 months experience or a university internship in a setting that utilizes applied behavior analysis interventions. This option is for students who perform well in the field and in class, but may not necessarily test well on standardized tests.
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
- Complete, official transcript documenting the award of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a cognate field, cumulative undergraduate 2.7 GPA and 3.0 GPA in the major, and successful completion of a course in basic statistics.
- Official transripts of any graduate courses taken or degrees held.
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 Analogies Test (MAT).
- Those students who have successfully completed 3 courses of the Graduate Certificate in GIS program with a G.P.A. of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or greater in EACH CLASS can enter the MS program directly with approval of the graduate coordinator.
Master of Science in Mathematics
- Applicants for the MS Mathematics program are exempt from having to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
- Applicants for this program must submit complete, official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
Master of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a NLN or CCNE accredited nursing program
- Experienced and licensed Registered Nurses who have a (U.S.) bachelor’s degree in another discipline are also eligible to apply
- Active Massachusetts RN license
- Cumulative undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Applicants do not need to submit a GRE score. GRE scores will only be required for applicants who have a total combined undergraduate GPA below a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- The GRE may be required for further evaluation of any applicant to the MSN program
- Interview with program faculty may be required
- Basic undergraduate or graduate statistics course with a grade of C or better
- TOEFL or IELTS scores for all international candidates who have English as a second language. Please review our TOEFL/IELTS policy
- Students with equivalent international credentials will be considered for admission. Please review information on degree equivalency procedures
- One year of relevant clinical professional nursing experience is required prior to entering into any of the clinical courses in the three program tracks
Online graduate admissions application.
Transcripts from all colleges and university in which a degree was conferred
Professional goal statement: Please address the following in a narrative format in a two to three page statement.
- A discussion of professional experience
- Future professional nursing career goals
- Future scholarship
- Discuss interest in program track that you are applying to (Education, Leadership, or Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner)
Please submit three professional letters of recommendation that address your professional and/or academic experience. Please do not submit references from co-workers or friends.
GRE score not more than 5 years old (if required)
TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required)
Evidence of completion of a basic statistics course with a grade of C or better.
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 successful completion of the undergraduate degree.
Direct Entry MS Occupational Therapy
- Official transcript documenting the award of a bachelor’s degree (with a major other than occupational therapy) from an accredited college or university, with a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). (Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 may petition the Salem State Occupational Therapy Graduate Committee for consideration of admissions.)
- Two references. Select either professional or academic references (family and friends are not appropriate sources of references).
- Certificate of completion of medical terminology course.
- Applicants are required to volunteer with or observe an occupational therapist for a minimum of 20 hours and have the therapist complete an observation verification form. Instructions on how to submit the form are included on the form. We do not place applicants in volunteer positions or observations, but here are some organizations where you might be able to locate an opportunity.
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 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
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.
6. You may be called in for an interview
In addition to the basic admission requirements described above, the following requirements apply to all Advanced Standing applicants:
- Submit a copy of your final BSW field Evaluation from your senior field placement. This field evaluation should be completed by the individual at the agency who supervised you during your practicum. If currently in field, field evaluations can be submitted at the end of the fall semester.
- One of your letters of recommendation should be completed by either a full time faculty member or your employed work supervisor
Criteria for advanced standing applicants
- In addition to the about mentioned criteria you must have completed a BS degree within 5 years of applying for acceptance into the advanced standing MSW program.
Advanced Professional Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
- A master’s degree in a related area from an accredited institution is required for the Post-Master’s track.
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education
- A master’s degree from an accredited program with an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the Master’s program.
- An Educator License.
- A letter of support from a supervising principal or other supervising district administrator.
- A statement from the proposed cooperating practitioner (school administrator) confirming his or her three years of employment under an initial license as a school principal.
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 Educational 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.
Standardized Test Information
Information about standardized tests (GARE, MAT, GMAT, TOEFL and ALTS) is available at their respective web sites.
Graduate Record Examination (GARE): Gare.org
Miller Analogies Test (MAT): miller analogies.com
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT): GMAT.org
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): ets.org/toefl
International English Language Testing System (ALTS): alts.org
All applications are reviewed by an admission committee, composed of some combination of program advisors, faculty, and administrators, which makes 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:
1. Acceptance. Accepted students meet all of the admission requirements and standards and can be matriculated into the program. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of intent to attend.
2. 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 fully admitted to the program until they have met the stipulated condition. Students in this status are not eligible for federal financial aid.
3. 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.
4. 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.