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Salem State University has a commitment to academic excellence and a continuing concern to provide access to a four-year baccalaureate program for a broad range of students. All applicants are carefully evaluated to ensure that their previous academic preparation and scholastic achievement indicates the capacity and motivation to produce the quality of scholastic work that Salem State has established as its standard of achievement.
Salem State University is committed to an admission policy, which does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, veteran status, religion, age, or disability. We seek to provide opportunities and experience for all students on an equal basis. Application questions marked as optional are used for summary reporting purposes to ascertain compliance with the college’s guidelines only. These answers are not used as a basis for admission or in any discriminatory manner.
Further, Salem State complies with all applicable non-discrimination laws in the administration of its policies, admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs and activities.
The following minimum admissions standards have been developed by The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Please be advised that the minimum admissions standards do not guarantee admission to Salem State University and we reserve the right to set higher standards. Many of our academic programs are competitive and require the completion of additional academic course work, as well as higher GPAs and ACT or SAT test scores. For complete information on current admissions standards and requirements, please visit salemstate.edu/admissions.
All admissions applications and requirements are listed at salemstate.edu/admissions.
Applicants must submit a secondary high school transcript which includes a minimum of 17 college preparatory courses. Students are required to complete four years/units of English; four years/units of mathematics, which includes Algebra 1 and 2, and geometry or trigonometry or comparable coursework; and mathematics during the final (senior) year of high school, three years/units of laboratory science; two years/units of social science; one of which must be US History; two years of the same foreign language; and two additional units from the academic areas listed above.
Students are reviewed based on their recalculated secondary high school grade point average and, if required, their official standardized test scores.
Salem State University will no longer require standardized tests scores (SAT/ACT) as part of our admission requirements, except for students applying for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. All first year BSN applicants must submit test scores as part of the application review process. This is a pilot program and is subject to change. A Test Optional check box on the application is required to take advantage of this program.
Freshmen Applicants Only
To apply as a fall early action applicant you must apply to the University and have taken the SAT or ACT before the November test dates if submitting test scores.
Non-Traditional Freshman Requirements
GED students and students who graduated from high school more than three years before applying to the University are reviewed based on their secondary high school transcript and/or GED scores. Students out of high school three or more years must submit a time lined resume and an essay.
Freshman applicants with Learning or Other disabilities
Applicants with professionally diagnosed and documented learning disabilities (documentation must include diagnostic test results) are exempt from taking standardized tests for admission. Such students, however, must complete the 17 required academic courses with a minimum required GPA of 3.00 or present other evidence of the potential for academic success.
**An applicant may substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses only if the applicant has submitted a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that provides a specific diagnosis of a learning disability and an inability to succeed in a foreign language.
Freshman Application Requirements and Procedures
All freshman application requirements including but not limited to deadlines, application costs, special admissions requirements and online application procedures are online at salemstate.edu/admissions. Back to Top
Salem State University welcomes approximately 500 transfer students each year. Transfer students represent various community colleges, two-year private colleges and four-year public and private colleges and universities. Our goal is to provide a barrier-free transition and we strive to accommodate students’ individual needs. For information on transfer opportunities and the transfer of credit at Salem State University, please visit the Transfer Applicants page.
Transfer Admissions Requirements
All admissions applications and requirements are listed at salemstate.edu/admissions.
Transfer applicants should have completed a broad distribution of college-level courses with a GPA that meets the minimum admission requirements. In general, a student who completes 12 to 23 transferable college credits must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5; a student who completes up to 23 transferable college credits with a grade point average of 2.2 must also meet the minimum admission requirements for freshman applicants; lastly, a student with 24 or more transferable college credits must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Please be advised that the minimum requirements do not guarantee admission to the University. Many of our academic programs are competitive and require the completion of more academic course work, as well as higher GPAs. These listed admissions standards are informational only.
Transfer Application Procedures
All transfer application requirements including but not limited to deadlines, application costs, special admissions requirements and online application procedures are online at salemstate.edu/admissions. Back to top
Salem State students come from over 63 different countries and the University provides a friendly environment for international students. The Center for International Education offers services such as: immigration advising, housing, ESL, TOEFL, and counseling. In general, an international student must have the financing to support their education for the usual nine-month academic year. No financial aid assistance can be provided by the University. International students must submit official copies of academic credentials in English. All admissions information is available at salemstate.edu/admissions. Students who wish to study English as a Second Language prior to apply for an academic program at Salem State University may apply online to the Intensive English program by visiting https://www.salemstate.edu/ielp.
International Freshman Student Requirements
International students must be graduates of secondary schools in their own countries and must be fully competent in the English Language—listening, reading, writing, speaking, as well as complete the 17 course major academic disciplines. International students are required to meet the same admissions standards as freshman in the U.S. All students must submit an official high school transcripts and an official translation if the language is not English. High school students must submit a grade conversion to the U.S. equivalent. See below for English proficiency guidelines.
International Transfer Student Requirements
All students must submit official university transcripts and an official translation if the language is not English. In addition, all international academic transcripts require evaluation from a professional evaluation service. A course listing of courses, grades and U.S, equivalent are required. Most students applying to Salem State University contact the Center for Educational Documentation at www.cedevaluations.com or World Educational Services at www.wes.org. Transfer students must demonstrate proof of English proficiency. See below for English proficiency guidelines.
For more information on applying to degree-granting undergraduate programs as an international student, please visit the Admissions website at salemstate.edu/admissions.
English Proficiency for Undergraduate Applicants
To succeed academically at SSU, students must have strong English speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. English proficiency for study at the undergraduate level must be demonstrated by one of the following:
1. Obtaining a minimum required score on an approved English Proficiency examination:
|English Proficiency Examination
||Minimum Required Score
|Internet-based TOEFL test (iBT)
|Revised TOEFL Paper-delivered test
|TOEFL ITP (see test dates at SSU)
|Duolingo English Test
2. Successfully completing an approved intensive English language program:
|Intensive English Language Program
||Minimum Required Level
|Salem State University
||Successful completion of core level 5 or higher
(Academic Reading and Writing and Oral Communication)
with a minimum score of 49 on Pearson Progress Test (GSE 35-50); L
etter of recommendation from IELP director required.
NOTE: The Admissions Office reserves the right to request students to submit additional proof of English proficiency, even if they meet the above-listed requirements. Sub-scores for different sections within the examination are also considered in determining whether a student has a strong enough command of the English language in order to succeed at Salem State University.
Exemptions from Providing Proof of English Proficiency
- Students who receive a score of 470 or higher on the SAT Evidence-based Reading/Writing section
- Students who successfully completed English Writing II (English 102 or second semester college English) with a grade of B or higher at an accredited college in the U.S. as shown on a transcript.
- Students who graduate with an IB diploma are exempt from providing proof of English proficiency.
If you have received a high school, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree from an institution in the United States or a country listed below, an English proficiency examination is not required.
Antigua & Barbuda
Isle of Man
Papua New Guinea
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Islands
United States Territories
Virgin Islands, British
Note: The Admissions Office reserves the right to request students to submit proof of English proficiency, even if they are from one of the above-listed countries.
Readmit Applicant Requirements
If you are a Salem State graduate applying for a second degree, please follow the transfer admission requirements.
Students who previously attended - Salem State University as degree seeking students, but did not graduate, regardless of whether they have attended another institution subsequently, are considered readmit applicants. All application materials must be completed and mailed to the Academic Advising office. Only completed applications will be reviewed. Readmission is not guaranteed. Please note that students who left Salem State in academic difficulty are encouraged to review the Fresh Start program. The readmit application and information about the readmit process is available at salemstate.edu/advising.
Applicants wishing to be candidates for undergraduate degrees through late afternoon and evening study in the University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, or evening division, follow the same application procedures as described for day division applicants. See salemstate.edu/admissions. Back to Top
Admissions Application Fees
The online application fee is $50. The application fee may be waived for those applicants with extreme financial need who have submitted a fee waiver provided by the College Board or other approved agency. For information on fee waivers, visit admissions online at salemstate.edu/admissions. The admissions application fees are set by the University and are subject to change. Back to Top
Admissions and Housing Deposit Fees
A non-refundable tuition deposit is to be paid when a day division student notifies the University that its offer of admission is accepted. This deposit will be deducted from the tuition charges when the student enrolls. A non-refundable residence hall deposit is to be paid by students who are accepted as resident students. This deposit will be deducted from the residence hall fee when the student establishes residence on campus. Information is provided at the time of acceptance to the University. Back to Top
Applicant’s Reply Options
If admission is offered on or before April 1 for entrance in September, applicants must inform the University that the offer of admission and housing (if offered) is accepted and pay all required deposits by May 1, thereby confirming admission. If a student is offered admission after April 1 for entrance in September, applicants must inform the University that the offer of admission and housing (if offered) is accepted and pay all required non-refundable deposits within 30 days, thereby confirming admission. If admission is offered for entrance in January, applicants must inform the University that the offer of admission and housing (if offered) is accepted and pay all required non-refundable deposits within 30 days, thereby confirming admission.
If students do not inform the University within the required time period the offer of admission, financial aid and housing may be rescinded. Back to Top