Jul 24, 2024  
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Admission to Graduate Study

The Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions, Foster Administration Building, Room 011, handles the graduate admissions process. For general inquiries, call 508-999-8604; for information about the status of an application, consult the Graduate Admissions web site.

Admission to the graduate degree programs of the university is based on a variety of academic considerations. Admission decisions are made at the department level, through a process of faculty review of individual applications. The Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions processes the applications and obtains the final approval from the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.

The Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions answers many inquiries and refers some to other offices. The Office makes available program descriptions and application forms, collects completed applications and their supporting materials (test scores, transcripts, reference letters, and so forth), and sends complete application files to departments for action. When a decision is made and approved, the Office corresponds with the applicant to convey the decision and give information to those accepted about the process of matriculation.

Progress of one’s application for admission may be followed online by use of a Personal Identeification Number (PIN).

Qualifications for Admission

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in an appropriate field from an accredited (if U.S.) institution of higher learning or be enrolled in such a baccalaureate degree program, with degree completion anticipated prior to graduate enrollment. Applicants who lack a bachelor’s degree may be considered for admission, in some programs, if they can demonstrate convincingly that they have the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree in the discipline of their choice.

Other factors considered in the admissions decision are undergraduate course content, evidence of ability to pursue graduate study successfully, test scores, letters of recommendation and, in some fields, employment history and/or professional qualifications.

If our faculty cannot offer a program of study appropriate to an applicant’s interests, preparation, or long-term goals, he or she may be denied entrance regardless of academic achievements and abilities.

Admission to a Degree Program

Some programs state specific deadline dates. Refer to the specific program descriptions given later in this catalog and the table in the application instructions booklet. Spaces in high-demand programs may be filled quickly, and candidates who delay completion of their applications may thus be denied entrance. In the absence of a stated deadline, we recommend the following application completion dates: by April 20 for September entrance; by November 15 for January entrance. International applicants should allow an extra two months if a Non-Immigrant student visa will be required.

The Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions must receive a completed application form, the required application fee, letters of recommendation, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records, a personal statement, and reports of all required examinations before an application is complete and sent to the department for consideration. Candidates are responsible for the completion of their applications.

Specific information on each of the application elements follows:

Application Fee

The Graduate School application fee is $60. (Check or money order should be made payable to UMass Dartmouth; do not send cash.) International applicants must pay in U. S. currency. Applications will not be processed until the application fee is received. The fee is neither waivable nor refundable.

Standardized Examinations

Many graduate programs require applicants to submit score reports from at least one standardized examination; refer to the specific program descriptions given elsewhere in this catalog. We must receive an official copy of required test results, submitted by the Educational Testing Service, before the application can be considered complete and be processed. Standardized examinations should be taken at least six weeks prior to the program’s application deadline to allow time for scores to be sent to us.

Application for taking the GRE, GMAT or TOEFL may be made by contacting the appropriate branch of the Educational Testing Service. Applicants should request that official test results be sent to the Graduate Office, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Institution Code #3786).

Graduate Record Examination. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required of applicants for admission to many, but not all, degree programs. In addition, some programs require the GRE Subject Test. Consult the specific program listings in this catalogue and the table in the application instructions booklet. Applicants must have taken the examination within five years of the anticipated date of admission.

Test of English as a Foreign Language. International applicants to any of UMass Dartmouth graduate programs are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived for:

  • Applicants with undergraduate degree from the United States or from countries where English is an Official Language and the Language of Instruction in Higher Education. (See list of countries below *)
  • Applicants with a degree earned from the American University in Beirut, American University in Bulgaria, The American College of Greece, or from Bogazici University in Turkey.
  • Applicants who can demonstrate that they have completed at least two academic semesters of full-time college/university study (excluding ESL or test-prep) in the USA by the date of submission of the application for admission to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. 

*Australia, Belize, Botswana, Canada (except Quebec), Caribbean English speaking countries, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for five years.

Graduate Management Admissions Test. The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is required of applicants to the Master’s program in Business Administration (MBA). Applicants must have taken the examination within five years of the anticipated date of admission. .

Miller Analogies Test. This test is required of applicants for Professional Writing.

Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant must submit at least three letters of recommendation (two for MBA and MPP applicants) from individuals well qualified to evaluate the quality of their prior academic performance and scholastic potential or appropriate work experience. Applicants should use the forms provided in the application package and make additional copies if needed. Please follow the instructions in the application package on how to mail in your letters and maintain confidentiality.

Some departments have special instructions concerning the letters of recommendation; refer to the specific program descriptions given elsewhere in this catalog.


Each applicant must have an official transcript submitted from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Since all applicants must demonstrate that they have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent prior to matriculation, applicants whose degrees are pending must submit a final transcript indicating receipt of the degree prior to enrollment. Transcripts may be mailed directly by the issuing institution to the Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions or can be mailed by the applicant along with other materials if sealed in official envelopes.

Official transcripts must display the courses taken, the number of credits, and the grade received for each of the courses. If the transcript does not itself verify completion of the degree, a separate diploma or certificate that does should be provided.

Applicants from UMass Dartmouth do not need to request transcripts; they will be provided automatically.

Personal Statement

The application form asks for a statement of approximately 300 words. One important use of this essay will be to assess how well the applicant’s academic interests and long-range goals fit the academic program of application. Some departments have special instructions concerning the personal statement; refer to the relevant sections for the specific program descriptions.

Residency Statement

All applicants, including non-residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, must submit a residency statement using the form that is one part of the application for admission. One may address questions about terms of eligibility or the Residency Statement process to the Graduate Office. The section of this catalog on Expenses explains the criteria by which we determine residency.

Admission to a Doctoral Program

Admission to doctoral study requires demonstrated scholastic competence and potential for independent research and scholarship. Admission can be offered either to those who have completed only the bachelor’s degree (the “direct option”) or to those who have completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Students admitted just to a master’s option must submit a new application if they seek acceptance to the corresponding doctoral level. Upon request and with approval of the college dean and the Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions, students in the direct doctoral option may change to the master’s option.

Special Consideration

Mid-Year Admissions

Most, but not all, graduate programs admit new degree-seeking students to begin in January as well as September. Consult the specific program listings in this catalog and the application instructions booklet.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 6 credits for graduate courses taken at another institution, with approval of the department and dean, provided the courses have a B minus or better grade. Course credits applied in the attainment of another degree from any institution, including UMass Dartmouth, cannot be used to fulfill any of the requirements of a graduate degree at UMass Dartmouth.

Student ID/Social Security Number

The University issues a special student identification number for use in campus transactions; the Social Security Number will not be used in such transactions. However, Social Security Numbers are required for tax reporting and for making financial aid and hiring decisions. The University will respect and protect students’ privacy and their Social Security Numbers.

Using Electronic Media

Applicants are welcome to communicate with the Graduate Office by means of electronic mail messages and to use forms downloaded from our web site. Our forms can be completed entirely by means of our electronic web-based application. Other official documents, such as immigration forms I-20 and DS-2019 can only be sent by mail.

Initial Matriculation at UMass Dartmouth

Admitted students are asked to confirm their intention to enroll. Alternatively, they may request either a one-semester or a one-year deferral of admission by writing to the Graduate Office, which will seek the approval of the appropriate graduate coordinator.

Students accepted for admission must provide a report of physical examination, to be made by a physician of the student’s choice, on a form supplied by UMass Dartmouth. Applicants currently enrolled at UMass Dartmouth, who have previously submitted a physician’s report, may return the form with the notation “on file.”

Additional aspects of registration, advisement, course loads, and continuation of status are covered in the Registration and Academic Regulations section.

Enrollment Without Degree Intentions

Graduate Certificate Programs

A growing list of certificate programs is available, allowing candidates to pursue various specialized and professional subjects, gain initial teacher licensure, and design a program of individualized graduate-level study. Many of these certificate programs comprise coursework that can be applied towards a master’s degree if the student decides later to make a change to degree status. Consult the list of programs in the relevant section and certificate program descriptions found throughout this catalogue. Financial aid in the form of loans is available to students in some formal certificate programs.

Application for entrance to a graduate certificate program is made to the Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions.  Consult the Graduate Studies website (www.umassd.edu/graduate) for access to an online application.

Students who successfully complete a graduate certificate may decide to seek admission to the degree program in that field. They will apply for admission at the Office of Graduate Studies & Admissions and pay another application fee. Although they may apply before the certificate is completed, matriculation to degree status will depend on successful completion of certificate requirements. These applicants are exempted from submitting standardized test scores, an essay, or transcripts (unless they have pursued studies at an institution other than UMass Dartmouth since applying for acceptance to the certificate program). The program may agree to waive recommendation letters for an individual applicant in a memorandum from the Graduate Program Director; the applicant should enclose this memorandum with other application materials. A student who initiated but will not complete a certificate and decides to apply for admission to the degree program in that field will need to submit the full application for admission.

Non-Degree Graduate Study

Individuals with baccalaureate degrees may enroll in graduate courses as non-degree special students without applying for admission to the graduate program, when space in the course(s) is available and if the department allows. Those who wish to take courses as non-degree students must have an advisor assigned by the appropriate department, and they must have this advisor sign registration materials before they can be registered for courses. Individuals should determine, with the advisor’s assistance, that they have sufficient background to be successful in the courses they have chosen. Non-degree study is available through both the UMass Dartmouth state-supported division (colleges and departments) and the University Extension division.

If the non-degree student later is admitted to the graduate program, up to six (6) credits of the UMass Dartmouth courses taken in non-degree status may count toward graduate degree requirements with permission from the relevant Graduate Program Director and the Office of Graduate Studies.

Non-degree students, unless enrolled in a formal certificate program, may not receive university financial aid.

New England Regional Student Program

The university is a member of the New England Regional Student Program. Students from other New England states receive tuition benefits under this program if a similar graduate program is not available in their home state, paying tuition at a significantly reduced rate from that paid by other out-of-state students.

Eligible programs are shown below. Tuition charges are given in the chapter on Expenses and Financial Aid.

*Unless as MAT for those lacking certification—available at Rhode Island College.
**By agreement with Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island.

Degree Program Eligible State Residents
Art Education ME, RI*, VT
Artisanry CT, ME, NH, RI, VT
Biomedical Engineering and Technology CT, ME, NH, RI, VT
Fine Arts ME, NH, RI
Marine Biology VT
Marine Science and Technology RI, VT
Portuguese Studies CT, ME, NH, RI, VT
Professional Writing CT, ME, RI, VT
Psychology NH
Nursing, ANP track RI**
Textile Chem, Tech CT, ME, NH, RI, VT
Visual Design ME, NH, RI, VT