Oct 25, 2021  
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions



Students who seek a quality education are invited to apply for admission to Fitchburg State University. Fitchburg State welcomes applications from high school graduates, students returning to college after a hiatus, transfer students, and international students. After careful review of the application and supporting materials, admission is offered to students whose secondary school and/or university records and backgrounds offer the promise of a successful and satisfying undergraduate experience.

Undergraduate Admissions

Admission Standards

Fitchburg State University is committed to providing excellent, accessible, and affordable lifelong learning opportunities in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. The university seeks students who are motivated to achieve academic excellence, and who represent a broad variety of backgrounds and interests.

With the guiding principles of quality, access and diversity in mind, Fitchburg State has adopted admission standards which support the standards established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These standards provide a framework for the individual evaluation of each applicant to the university.

Campus Visits

The Admissions staff encourages all applicants to visit the Fitchburg State University campus. A variety of visitation programs, including information sessions and student-guided tours, are available to people interested in learning more about the university and its programs. For up-to-date information on visit options and to receive admissions materials, contact the Admissions Office at www.fitchburgstate.edu/admissions/visit.

Interviews are not required, but can provide the Admissions staff with helpful information. Applicants who desire to have an interview are invited to call the Admissions Office for an appointment.

Admissions Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Student Guided Tours

Monday–Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

For information about open house programs, individual interviews, other visit options and to receive admissions materials contact the Admissions Office at:

Admissions Office
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
Telephone: (978) 665-3144/(800) 705-9692
E-mail: admissions@fitchburgstate.edu
Web site: www.fitchburgstate.edu/admissions

Application Filing Dates

Deadlines

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Notification for fall admission begins in December and in March for spring admission.

FALL ADMISSION

Undergraduate, day division

  • March 1 priority deadline for freshmen, April 15 for transfers.  Applications may be submitted after these dates; however, admission to selected programs may be limited.
  • Nursing, Film/Video Production, and Game Design applicants:  January 1 priority deadline: qualified applicants may be accepted after this date on a space-available basis.
  • Fitchburg State University Honors Program and Merit Scholarships: February 1 for freshmen, April 15 for transfers. Files must be completed by these dates for consideration.
  • International applicants: March 1.

Undergraduate, evening division

  • Rolling admission until the start of the semester.
  • LPN to BS in Nursing: January 1 priority deadline.

SPRING ADMISSION

Undergraduate, day division

  • November 1 priority deadline; International applicants: October 1
  • Game Design applicants:  November 1 priority deadline.  We accept freshman and transfer applications for Game Design for spring entrance. Admission is on a space available basis for these programs.

Undergraduate, evening division

  • Rolling admission until the start of the semester.
  • We do not accept LPN to BSN applicants for the spring semester.

Application Procedures

Application Procedures—Freshmen

To be considered for admission to the university, applicants must submit the following to the Admissions Office:

  • A completed Application for Admission and $50 application fee
  • Official high school transcript including first-quarter senior year grades. Applicants who have completed a GED should also submit official test results along with official high school transcript with years completed.

Secondary School Preparation

  • Applicants are required to complete a minimum of 17 college preparatory units in the following disciplines. (A unit is equivalent to one full school year of study).
    • English: 4 units
    • Mathematics: 4 units (includes: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry/Trigonometry, or comparable coursework, and one comparable Math course in the final year of high school).
    • Science: 3 units (from Natural Science and/or Physical Science and/or Technology/ Engineering), including 3 courses with laboratory work
    • Social Science: 2 units (includes one unit of U.S. History)
    • Foreign Language: 2 units (in a single language) Note: American Sign Language (ASL) is a foreign language.
    • College Preparatory Electives: 2 units (from the above disciplines, or from the Arts & Humanities or Computer Sciences)
  • Additional work in the math and sciences is strongly recommended, particularly for students intending to major in the sciences or nursing.
  • If an applicant graduated from a high school that did not offer the required academic units and that high school has received a waiver from the Department of Higher Education, the applicant may substitute other university preparatory electives. 
  • Official SAT or ACT scores are optional. 
    Applicants with documented learning disabilities are exempt from taking any standardized university entrance aptitude test for admittance to any public institution in Massachusetts (M.G.L. Chapter 15A, Sec 30.)  If you choose, on the application for admission, please disclose your learning disability and request to be considered for the standardized test exemption.
  • A 300-word essay on a topic of the applicants choice.
  • Letters of recommendation, while not required, are helpful in the evaluation process and are strongly recommended for applicants to the nursing, film and video, game design, and photography programs.
  • A resume of activities if time has lapsed between the time of high school graduation and applying to Fitchburg State University.

Applications are reviewed as they become complete and on a continuous basis, beginning in early December for fall applicants.

Acceptance to Fitchburg State University is contingent upon graduation from high school or equivalent preparation (GED). Students who attend public high schools in Massachusetts and intend to enroll at Fitchburg State University must meet the state standards for the competency determination (measured by the MCAS tests or Performance Appeals Process in English language arts and mathematics) as well as local graduation requirements.

Minimum GPA and SAT/ACT

Recalculated GPA of 3.0 or higher OR must meet the GPA/SAT and ACT equivalent from the scale below.  The GPA is calculated based upon college preparatory courses and is weighted for Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

  Recalculated GPA SAT (CR and Math) ACT (Composite)  
      2.51 - 2.99            990           19  
      2.41 - 2.50           1030           20  
      2.31 - 2.40           1070           21  
      2.21 - 2.30           1110           22  
      2.11 - 2.20           1140           23  
      2.00 - 2.10           1180           24  
  Under 2.0 - not admissible      

Application Procedures—Special Admissions Applicants

Applicants with documented learning disabilities or English as a Second Language (ESL) backgrounds, or who are graduating from vocational-technical schools may be eligible for application requirement exception allowances. These exceptions reflect the minimum admission standards as stated by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

English as a Second Language applicants must complete the 16 required university preparatory courses with two exceptions:

  • ESL applicants may substitute up to two university preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses, and
  • ESL applicants may substitute up to two years of university preparatory ESL English courses for university preparatory English courses.  ESL students must meet all other admission standards for first-time university students, including SAT or ACT requirements.

Declaring a disability at the time of application and supplying complete documentation is voluntary. Applicants who present documentation and testing supporting a professionally diagnosed learning disability are exempt from taking standardized college entrance aptitude tests for admittance to any public institution in the Commonwealth (M.G.L. Chapter 15A, Sec. 30). Such students, however, must complete the 16 required college preparatory courses with the following exception:

  • An applicant may substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses if the applicant presents an Individual Education Plan (or the equivalent under Chapter 766 or Chapter 344) and the results of a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that provides a specific diagnosis of a language based learning disability. For a full description of documentation requirements, visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/disability.

Vocational-technical students must complete 16 college preparatory courses, distributed in the same manner and with the same minimum grade point averages required of other high school graduates, with the following exceptions:

  • Two vocational-technical courses may be used to fulfill the two required electives.
  • Vocational-technical high school graduates who do not complete the two required college preparatory foreign language courses must complete an additional elective college preparatory course, for a total of three such courses, and satisfy one of the following: one Carnegie unit of a foreign language, a fourth Carnegie unit of mathematics or science, or one Carnegie unit of computer science.

Meeting minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission for any applicant.

Application Procedures—International Students

Fitchburg State University seeks a culturally diverse campus and welcomes applications from students from other countries. Students on F-1 visas must study on a full-time basis and are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.

International students must complete their applications by the deadlines listed below. The Admissions Office cannot guarantee that students completing applications after the published deadline will receive an admission decision in time to process visa requests. Accordingly, late applications may be deferred a semester at the discretion of the Admissions Office.

  • Fall Semester deadline: March 1
  • Spring Semester deadline: November 1

In addition to the basic admissions requirements for new and transfer students, international students must submit and/or meet the additional requirements listed below:

Application fee $50

Official high school/college transcripts

  • All documents must be official – signed and stamped.
  • All documents in foreign languages must be translated into English. If the translation is completed by a translation agency or individual other than the school you have attended, the documents must be notarized.
  • If you are a transfer student attending a college/university in your home country or countries other than the United States, a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation must be completed by an accredited credential evaluation agency.
  • The following are some suggested organizations that provide foreign credential evaluation services:

English Proficiency Test Scores are required if your first language or primary language spoken is not English, with the following exceptions:

  • If you have earned a secondary school, associate’s (AA or AAS), bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college/university in the United States or another English-speaking country.
  • If you are from Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Guyana, New Zealand, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean.

Either one of the following English proficiency tests is acceptable:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Fitchburg State University’s code is 3518.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The minimum passing score is

 
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based)
  • IELTS academic

60
6.0

  • Official test results must be sent from the testing agency to the Admissions Office and must be dated within the past five years. For more information about the TOEFL test, please visit www.toefl.org.  For more information about the IELTS test, please visit www.ielts.org.

Proof of Financial Support: If you plan to study at Fitchburg State University under an F-1 visa and are admitted to the university, you must complete and submit the following forms along with the appropriate financial documentation:

  • The Statement of Finances Form
  • Affidavit of Financial Support Form

Your I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status) for F-1 student visa status can only be issued if you have been offered admission and have submitted the required financial documentation.

If you transfer from another institution in the United States, you must also submit the following additional documents:

  • Form I-94 if you are currently in the United States.  We will accept a printed copy of your electronic I-94 obtained from www.cbp.gov/I94
  • A copy of passport (pages containing photo and demographic information)
  • Transfer Verification Form (signed by current foreign student advisor).

Application Procedures—Non-Traditional Students

A non-traditional student is a student who does not enter college immediately after completing high school. Generally the student has experience in a career, at home, or in the military.

Admissions requirements are similar to those of any new student including:

  • High school transcript and/or GED
  • SAT or ACT scores if student has been out of high school for three years or less
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resumé of activities showing life experience

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Definition-An undergraduate non-degree seeking student is a high school graduate who is not applying for a degree program but wishes to enroll in undergraduate university courses. (Students interested in taking courses while still in high school must apply to the Fitchburg State Dual Enrollment Program or participate as a part of an established university pathways program.)

Enrollment and Registration

  • Enrollment as a non-degree student is not guaranteed and may be subject to approval.
  • Applicants who have been denied undergraduate degree seeking admission may not register as an undergraduate non-degree seeking student in the same semester.
  • Coursework taken as a non-degree student will only count towards a degree program if the student is admitted to the University, the coursework meets the GPA requirements and has been completed within the statute of limitations for the degree.
  • Up to 30 Semester hours earned as an undergraduate non-degree student may be applied toward an undergraduate degree only with the approval of the appropriate department chair and dean upon acceptance into a degree program (provided that a grade of “C-” [1.7] or better has been achieved).
  • Non-degree students seeking undergraduate admission status must apply for full admission to the university once earning 30 credits.
  • May enroll in a maximum of 3 courses or 12 credits per term.

Academic and Student Policies
Undergraduate non-degree students must adhere to the same academic policies and student code of conduct that apply to undergraduate degree-seeking students (e.g., application deadlines, fees, drop/add, withdrawals, refund policies, grading, retention policies, etc.).

Admission
Students who subsequently decide to pursue a degree must submit the appropriate admission application. Enrollment as an undergraduate non-degree student does not guarantee admission into an undergraduate degree program. All information used to make an admission decision must be received by the published deadline.

Placement
Undergraduate non-degree students are exempt from the Math Readiness Requirement and are therefore not required to take the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra placement exam, but must have satisfied the required prerequisite courses or equivalent.

Programs Not Eligible for Non-Degree Seeking Registration
Non-degree seeking registration options are not available for online accelerated programs.

Honors Program Applicants

The university encourages academically talented applicants to consider its Honors Program. The Honors Program is characterized by the following:

  • Unique, innovative curriculum and courses with other honors students
  • Small class sizes and close interaction with professors
  • A Fitchburg State University Honors Program scholarship
  • Early class registration privileges
  • Recognition at graduation as a Massachusetts Commonwealth Scholar

Admission to the Honors Program is selective, based on several factors including: grade point average, SAT or ACT scores and participation in Honors or Advanced Placement Courses. The selection committee also considers letters of recommendation, history of community service, and extracurricular interests. A separate application is not required.

Alternate Admission Programs

The university supports an alternate admission programs for students who either do not meet the admission criteria established for Massachusetts state universities or have non-traditional backgrounds: the Summer Bridge Program. This program requires students to submit the regular application for admission; no additional application is required. For more information on these programs, please contact the Admissions Office.

The Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is designed to provide educational opportunities for recent local high school graduates who demonstrate the potential to succeed at Fitchburg State University, but who currently do not meet the admission standards set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The program provides supportive services and academic preparation for a select group of students who are conditionally accepted to the university. Students participate in a drive-in program that meets four days a week for five weeks in July and August. The eight-university-credit program includes:

  • Literacy and writing instruction based on placement test performance
  • Mathematics readiness instruction based on placement test performance
  • Academic transition seminars, activities and experiences regarding learning strategies, study skills, time management, tutoring and related topics
  • The opportunity to complete one LA&S (general education) course
  • Exposure and contact with the variety of academic support services available at the university

Students who complete the Summer Bridge Program with a minimum 2.0 grade point average and the recommendation of the Summer Bridge coordinator will be fully admitted to the university in the fall term.

Transfer Admissions

Application Procedures—Transfer Students

Transfer students who want to be considered for admission to the university must meet the following criteria:

  • A grade point average of 2.0 or better with 24 or more transferable credits from a regionally accredited college or university or a grade point average of 2.5 or better with 12 to 23 transferable credits. Having such an average, however, does not guarantee admission to the university.
  • If a prospective student has 23 or fewer transferable credits and a GPA between 2.5 and 2.0, the student’s high school work must also satisfy admission requirements for freshman applicants.

The following credentials must be submitted:

  • A completed Application for Admission and $50 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges
  • A 300-word essay on a topic of the applicants choice. (Optional, but encouraged for merit consideration)
  • A final high school transcript. Applicants who have completed a GED should also submit official test results. Transfer applicants who have earned an associate’s degree are not required to submit high school or GED information.
  • Official SAT or ACT test scores for applicants who are subject to freshman admission standards (see above), and those students who have been out of high school three years or less and have fewer than 24 transferable college credits at the time of application.

Evaluation of Credit

The amount of credit that will transfer into a Fitchburg State University program is determined after an applicant has been accepted to the university. Transfer credit is normally granted for courses completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities, for which the student received a 1.7 (C-) or better, and which correspond with those offered at Fitchburg State University. Courses which do not fit the degree program may be counted as fulfilling the free elective requirements of the four-year curriculum.

Students transferring from two-year institutions will be entitled to a maximum of 75 transfer credits. Students transferring from baccalaureate level institutions will be entitled to a maximum of 90 transfer credits and may not transfer more than 50% of the total credit hours required in their major. They also must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in residence in order to receive a degree from Fitchburg State University.

The grade point average from previously attended colleges and universities does not transfer, and a new GPA is established, reflecting the student’s performance while attending Fitchburg State University.

For some transfer students, the requirements and provisions of MassTransfer apply. The complete text of MassTransfer is printed following this section.

Placement Testing

All newly admitted students will receive information from the Admissions Office by email regarding placement testing. A majority of students do not need to take placement tests and should not sign up for placement testing unless they receive an email notifying them that testing is needed.

Placement testing is administered for writing and mathematics. Any incoming freshmen with an adjusted high school GPA that is less than 2.7 will be required to take both writing and math placement tests. In addition, students accepted into majors which require precalculus are required to take a math placement test, regardless of high school GPA.

Transfer students in need of placement testing will be notified by the Registrar’s office or an assigned academic advisor by email. During transfer advising and registration, academic advisors work closely with transfer students to arrange any placement testing needed.

MassTransfer

Preamble: Chapter 15A, Section 9 (v) of the General Laws of Massachusetts includes within the powers and duties of the Board of Higher Education to “develop and implement a transfer compact for the purpose of facilitating and fostering the transfer of students without the loss of academic credit or standing from one public institution to another.”

In June 2008, the Board of Higher Education accepted the Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group which included a new statewide transfer policy: MassTransfer. MassTransfer seeks to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system.

MassTransfer has two main purposes:

  • to provide community college students who complete approved associate degrees under MassTransfer with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition waiver/credit (each benefit based on the student’s final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs; and

  • to provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system the intermediate goal of completing a portable transfer block (“General Education Foundation”) which satisfies general education/distribution/core requirements across institutions (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses). 

MassTransfer integrates and replaces the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, Joint Admissions, and the Tuition Advantage Program as of fall 2009. Community college students who matriculated prior to fall 2009 and who choose to continue in the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and/or Joint Admissions Program will be required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.

Students matriculating in fall 2009 as well as currently enrolled students may accumulate courses leading toward the completion of an approved associate degree under MassTransfer or the MassTransfer Block. The policy benefits will apply to students who complete either an approved associate degree or the MassTransfer Block beginning fall 2010, regardless of initial date of enrollment. 

A student seeking readmission as a matriculated student to an institution previously attended—whether on a full-time or part-time basis—is held to the receiving institution’s readmission policies. However, if eligible for readmission, the receiving institution is strongly encouraged to honor the MassTransfer policy.

Beginning in the fall of 2012, the Department of Higher Education (DHE) embarked on a project to expand the MassTransfer program to include several new initiatives. DHE’s report entitled “Creating a Unified System of Transfer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” issued in September 2014, formally expressed the early goals of that expansion. As a result of these new initiatives, the MassTransfer Policy and Implementation Guidelines require revision and reorganization. The Policy and accompanying Guidelines follow.

 

MassTransfer Policy

General Education Foundation

A. Standard Components: A student completing the General Education Foundation, formerly known as the MassTransfer Block, will have earned the following 34 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework. The Gen Ed Foundation is to be considered as representing a breadth of knowledge and set of student learning outcomes that is comparable to the receiving institution’s general education/distribution/core requirements.

English Composition/Writing                 6 credit hours

Behavioral and/or Social Sciences         9 credit hours

Humanities and/or Fine Arts                 9 credit hours

Natural and/or Physical Science            7 credit hours

Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning    3 credit hours

Total                                                   34 credit hours

 

B. STEM Components: A student completing the General Education Foundation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs will have earned the following 28 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework. 

English Composition/Writing                 6 credit hours

Behavioral and/or Social Sciences         6 credit hours

Humanities and/or Fine Arts                 6 credit hours

Natural and/or Physical Science            7 credit hours

Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning    3 credit hours

Total                                                   28 credit hours

The 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation is intended to only affect students in A2B Pathways in STEM disciplines, whether they were A2B Linked, A2B Mapped, or A2B Additional pathways (see II.A. below). The 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation does not have stand-alone MassTransfer benefits like the 34-credit Gen Ed Foundation outside of the STEM pathways, but it does allow community college students to take more STEM courses while earning their associate degrees.

The 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation should replace the 34-credit Gen Ed Foundation in A2B Mapped Pathways, in STEM disciplines, such as Computer Science and Engineering.

The sending institution must certify completion of the STEM Gen Ed Foundation. Massachusetts public higher education receiving baccalaureate institutions may require the student to complete no more than 12 credits/four general education courses for students with the 28-credit Foundation and will determine which credits/courses shall be required.

 

C. Benefits: Students completing the 34-credit General Education Foundation or the 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation (exclusive of developmental coursework) with a 2.0 or higher grade point average, excluding “D-” (.70) grades, will be entitled to the following benefit: Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses for students with the 34-credit Foundation and no more than 12 credits/four courses for students with the 28-credit Foundation, in compliance with the New England Association of Schools (NEASC) and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation. This will apply when the receiving institution already places these requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required. Students enrolled in a specific major or degree program may be required to take additional courses if these courses are specifically required for the major or program and are required of native students.

Note 1: College-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under MassTransfer. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included when a student qualifies under MassTransfer.

 

Note 2: The 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation applies only to the A2B Linked, A2B Mapped and A2B Additional pathways (see II.A. below) in STEM disciplines.

 

Note 3: In special circumstances, community colleges, state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses may provide transfer students MassTransfer benefits not ordinarily available to them, when doing so would be in the best interests of students, provided they do not contradict the spirit of the MassTransfer Policy and are agreed to by campus representatives.

Program Alignments

A.  Types: Each associate degree program under MassTransfer is classified as one of the following types of programs at the Massachusetts state universities or University of Massachusetts campuses:

1.  A2B Linked Pathways (formerly known as MassTransfer Agreements);

2.  A2B Mapped Pathways and A2B Mapped Liberal Arts;

3.  A2B Additional Pathways (formerly known as Additional Transfer Agreements); or

4.  Special Mission Institution Mapped Pathways.

The list of eligible associate degree programs under MassTransfer will be available at www.mass.edu/masstransfer.

B.  A2B Linked Pathways: A student completing a linked associate degree program under MassTransfer will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours and will have completed the 34-credit General Education Foundation, exclusive of developmental coursework. Students who complete an A2B Linked Pathway may transfer to a state university or UMass campus as a junior in the corresponding major program of study.

C.  A2B Mapped Pathways: Mapped associate degree programs are referred to as A2B (associate to bachelor’s degree) mapped pathways. A student completing an A2B Mapped Pathway under MassTransfer will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours and will have completed the 34-credit General Education Foundation or the 28-credit STEM Gen Ed Foundation, exclusive of developmental coursework, and the Foundational Courses identified for each academic discipline. Students who complete an A2B Mapped Pathway will transfer to a state university or UMass campus as a junior in the corresponding major program of study.

D.  A2B Additional Pathways: Associate degree programs that do not qualify for MassTransfer but have articulation agreements with programs at state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses that guarantee admission and full transfer and applicability of credits to the baccalaureate degree are referred to as “A2B Additional Pathways,” formerly referred to as “Additional Transfer Agreements (ATA).”

1. A student completing an associate degree program through an A2B Additional Pathway will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours, exclusive of developmental coursework.

2. A student completing an associate degree who seeks admission to a baccalaureate program through an A2B Additional Pathway will be entitled to the same benefits as other MassTransfer students (see II.F. below) based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree.

3.  Credits transferred, but not applied to specific degree requirement, will be used to fulfill other requirements within the 120-128 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.

E.    Special Mission Institution Mapped Pathway: Pathways have been created for special mission institutions—the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy—that do not include 60 credits or an associate degree. A student completing a Special Mission Institution Mapped Pathway for transfer to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design will have completed a 30-credit mapped pathway, exclusive of developmental courses. A student completing a Special Mission Institution Mapped Pathway for transfer to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will have completed a 45-credit mapped pathway, exclusive of developmental courses.

 

F. Benefits: A student completing an associate degree who seeks admission to a linked or mapped baccalaureate program under MassTransfer will be entitled to the following benefits based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree:

 

  1. For a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or higher:

    1. Waives the admissions application fee, essay, and letter(s) of recommendation.

    2. Guarantees the full transfer of college-level credits, including “D” grades, but excluding D- (.70) or lower, applied to the degree requirements of the linked or mapped baccalaureate degree or school at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus such that the MassTransfer student will be required to complete no more credits or courses than a native student with the following stipulations:

      1. Unless the student changes his or her major

      2. If the linked or mapped baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet these requirements.

 

  1. For a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher:

    1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in section II.E.1. above.

    2. Guarantees admission to the linked or mapped baccalaureate degree or school at a Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus with the following stipulations (exceptions):

      1. If the linked or mapped baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average which is required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet this requirement.

      2. If because of space or fiscal limitations the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for MassTransfer applicants as it does for its native students.

      3. Students must be in good academic, fiscal, conduct, and disciplinary standing or status with all previous institutions.

      4. If an applicant has a criminal history, admission may not be guaranteed.

 

  1. For a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher:

 

  1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in sections II.E.1. and II.E.2. above.

  2. Guarantees a tuition waiver/credit equal to 100% of the Massachusetts resident tuition rate at a state university or University campus for two years of undergraduate enrollment with the following requirements:

 

  1. Enrollment is continuous at the state university or University campus.

  2. The student earns a cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher for the first year of enrollment at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus.

 

Note: For students demonstrating compelling hardships, institutions may exercise professional judgment regarding the above conditions.

 

G.  MassTransfer  Tuition Waiver/Credit Program:

 

1.  Definitions

a.  Institution: Any two-year or four-year institution within the system of public institutions of higher education under Section 5 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws.

b.  Eligible Program: Any state-supported undergraduate degree program offered by an institution. Institutions are encouraged, where appropriate, to extend waiver eligibility to students enrolled in non-state-supported degree programs.

c.  Eligible Student: A student enrolled in a state university or University who has completed one of the following: 

 

  1. An associate degree at a public community college approved under the MassTransfer program;  

  2. MassTransfer Pathways map; or 

  3. An associate degree under an Additional Transfer Articulation Agreement program. 

 

d.  Satisfactory Academic Progress: The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress according to institutional standards developed for academic programs with at least an annual review and meet the minimum required 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) for continued eligibility.

e.  Bachelor’s Degree: Students who previously have earned a baccalaureate or professional degree are not eligible for the waiver.

f.  Tuition: The sum of money charged every student for teaching or instruction by a college or university, excluding fees that are not mandatory.

g.  Fees: The sum of money charged for attendance by a college or university other than tuition, which may be mandatory or optional. UMass Amherst considers its mandatory fees as part of its tuition.

h.  Waiver: The portion or amount of tuition and/or fees that a state university intentionally does not charge a student for attendance.

i.  Credit: The portion or amount of tuition and/or fees that a University of Massachusetts campus allows a student to apply to future charges.

 

2.    Student Award Value 

 

a.  Eligible students under the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver/Credit Program will be entitled to a tuition waiver/credit equal to 100 percent of the Massachusetts resident tuition at a state university or a tuition credit equal to 100 percent of the Massachusetts resident tuition at a University of Massachusetts campus for two (2) consecutive years after transfer. Students must matriculate within a year after receipt of the associate degree. The tuition waiver/credit for the second year of matriculation is contingent upon the student maintaining a cumulative 3.0 grade point average for the first two semesters of enrollment at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 as a result of a grade earned during an intersession or summer term will become ineligible

b.  Participation Agreement: All institutions must file a State Financial Aid Participation Agreement to be maintained on file in the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance.

c.  Audit Requirements:

i.  The Commissioner shall require each state university and University of Massachusetts campus to furnish, annually by August 31, a report detailing the number and characteristics of MassTransfer Tuition Credit recipients for the previous academic year.

ii.  All financial books, records and documents pertaining to this program shall at all reasonable times be opened to inspection, review and audit by the Commissioner, the State Auditor or their authorized representatives who shall have access to the premises wherever such books, records and documents are located.  The institutions shall retain such financial books, records and documents for seven years.  An institution may retain records for a period of five years if approval is received from the Records Conservation Board in accordance with General Laws, Chapter 30, Section 42. XII. 3.

 

Appeal Process (subject to approval by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education): An institution may not grant an exception to the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver/Credit Program student eligibility requirements. In rare and extenuating circumstances, the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee may permit an exception to the above eligibility requirements and authorize in writing the institution to award the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver/Credit. In such cases, supporting documentation must be provided by the student and maintained by the institution and the Office of Student Financial Assistance. A student may appeal for an exception to the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver/Credit only once.

 

Commonwealth Commitment

In furtherance of the CTAG recommendations to expand alignment of statewide program-to-program and course-to-course transfer, the Department of Higher Education (DHE) and the 29 Massachusetts public institutions began working on MassTransfer Pathways in Spring 2014. 60-credit maps were created in six high-transfer disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, History, Political Science, and Psychology. In Fall 2015, the DHE began working on ten new disciplines: Business, Communication and Media Studies, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, English, Liberal Arts, Mathematics, Sociology, and STEM Foundation (with an emphasis on the Natural and Physical Sciences).

The Commonwealth Commitment was announced in Spring 2016, adding additional benefits for students who complete the MassTransfer Pathways within two and a half years with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students accepted into the Commonwealth Commitment program will be eligible to receive a 10% discount off of their tuition and fees, payable at the end of every completed semester, in the form of a cash rebate or voucher issued by their campus

Commonwealth Commitment policy is the Memorandum of Understanding establishing the program and the implementation guidelines are developed by its Advisory Board.  The full Memorandum is available here - https://www.mass.edu/masstransfer/macomcom/home.asp

Student Eligibility and Benefits

  1. Students must be Massachusetts residents eligible for in-state tuition under the terms of the BHE’s residency policy for in-state tuition.

  2. Students’ transcripts will indicate whether the student has met Commonwealth Commitment while at the community college.

  3. Students accepted into the Commonwealth Commitment program will be eligible to receive a 10% discount off of their tuition and fees, payable at the end of every completed semester, in the form of a cash rebate or voucher issued by their campus

  4. The tuition and fee rates in place at the respective community college, state university, and/or University of Massachusetts campus for the Fall of 2016 shall be the rates Commonwealth Commitment students beginning the program in Fall of 2016 will be charged for each year the student remains in the program, provided that said student maintains program eligibility, including full-time attendance. 

  5.  The tuition and fee rates in place at the respective community college, state university, and/or University of Massachusetts campus for the Fall of 2017 shall be the rates Commonwealth Commitment students beginning the program in Fall of 2017 will be charged for each year the student remains in the program, provided that said student maintains program eligibility, including full-time attendance. VII. Community College students must complete an associate degree in a MassTransfer Pathways discipline within two and a half years before transferring to a State University or UMass campus.

  6. Community College students who earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 are guaranteed acceptance into a MassTransfer Pathways degree program, space permitting, at State Universities and UMass campuses. 

  7. Students must earn a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, in order to earn a guaranteed 100% tuition waiver (or “credit” at a UMass campus) under the terms of MassTransfer. Participating students who do not earn a 3.0 GPA at the time of University admissions will not be admitted under the terms of this agreement, but may be considered for general transfer admission. 

  8.  Students who switch their major may jeopardize their ability to remain in the Commonwealth Commitment program, if the change of major will require them to take longer than two years to complete their degree program, or if the new major is not one of the designated MassTransfer Pathways programs.

  9. Students must complete the requirements for graduating with a bachelor’s degree within two years of transferring to a State University or UMass campus, or within two and a half years from special mission institutions (Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts Maritime Academy).

  10. Students must enroll in a State University or UMass campus in the first semester immediately following completion of an associate degree. They may not attend another college or university in the interim, or will forfeit their place in the Commonwealth Commitment program. 

  11. Commonwealth Commitment students will be granted equal access to available openings in all designated MassTransfer Pathways programs.

 

Reverse Transfer

A.   Preamble: This Reverse Transfer Pathway is a component of the Commonwealth’s MassTransfer Program, designed to make transfer from one Massachusetts public higher education institution to another easy for students. The MassTransfer Program includes the General Education Foundation (formerly the MassTransfer Block), academic transfer pathways (A2B Pathways), a course equivalency database (MAST), the Commonwealth Commitment (a discounted cost associate degree to bachelor’s degree program) and this Reverse Transfer Pathway.

 B.  Benefits: This Reverse Transfer Pathway affords the following benefits to students, institutions, employers and taxpayers across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

1.  Students who complete a reverse transfer associate degree gain an additional credential to include on their résumés. The degree enhances students’ opportunities for employment, certifications, promotions and pay increases prior to completion of the bachelor’s degree.

2.  Students who complete a reverse transfer associate degree receive documentation of the academic work they have completed already in the event that their bachelor’s degree study is interrupted. 

3.  Students who earn an associate degree in Massachusetts gain an estimated net income of over $250,000 (averaging more than $6,000 a year) from 40 years of employment compared with students who earn only a high school diploma.  

4.  Students gain the opportunity to earn an associate degree, while working on a bachelor’s degree, without requiring any additional time or expense.

5.  Students working on a reverse transfer associate degree benefit from state universities and UMass campuses waiving transcript fees and community colleges waiving graduation fees.

6.  Community colleges enhance their retention and graduation rates by affording students a reverse transfer option.

7.  Employers gain the opportunity to hire and advance more highly qualified employees.

8.  Taxpayers in Massachusetts gain an estimated income of more than $68,000 from taxes of associate degree wage earners over the course of their work lives compared with students who earn only a high school diploma. 

C.  Guidelines: This Reverse Transfer Pathway establishes the following general guidelines for students, community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses across the Commonwealth.

 

1.  Students must have matriculated into an associate degree program at the community colleges from which they transfer (the community college most recently attended) to the state universities or UMass campuses.

2.  Students must be in good financial standing at both the community colleges and the state universities or UMass campuses.

3.  Students must have earned at least 30 college-level credits (excluding developmental courses and transfer credit) at the community colleges from which they transfer before matriculating at the state universities or UMass campuses.

4.  Students must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher at the community colleges from which they transfer. The cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher at the community college is exclusive of developmental coursework.

5.  Students must not have earned associate degrees before matriculating at a state university or UMass campus.

6.  Students must complete the associate degree requirements of the program in progress at the time of transfer or a Liberal Arts/General Studies program.

7.  Students must earn grades on courses taken at the state universities and UMass campuses sufficient to meet community college transfer credit minimum grade requirements.

8.  Students will not receive MassTransfer benefits after completing their associate degree requirements at a four-year institution, unless the university explicitly offers these benefits to reverse transfer students.

9.  State universities and UMass campuses will waive transcript fees, if they charge them. For institutions that use the National Student Clearinghouse or other e-transcript provider for electronic transcripts, students will be required to pay the convenience fee. 

10.  Community colleges will waive graduation fees.

11.  Community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses will include information about this Reverse Transfer Pathway in their print and online publications.

D.  Implementation: Following approval of this agreement by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the Department will work over the 2016-2017 academic year with registrars and others at the community colleges, state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses to develop implementation procedures for this Reverse Transfer Pathway. In addition, the Department will design and produce appropriate promotional materials for campuses to use.

E.  Review:

 

  1.  The Department annually will convene a meeting of registrars and others from the community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses to:

 

  1.  Review the reverse transfer guidelines and recommend changes when warranted; and

  2.  Review the operation of the reverse transfer implementation procedures and recommend changes when warranted.

 

The community colleges, state universities, UMass campuses and Department annually will review and update information about this Reverse Transfer Pathway in their print and online publications.

Effective Date: This Reverse Transfer Pathway will be implemented during the 2017-2018 academic year. Therefore, the implementation procedures must be developed sufficiently in advance to enable implementation no later than September 2017.

 

4+1 Programs

The University has defined a 4+1 program as a program that will allow students to apply to and be admitted into an undergraduate and graduate program at the same time. Admission requirements to the 4+1 programs are the same requirements as the undergraduate degree program for which the student is applying. Students admitted into a University 4+1 program must meet the admission requirements of the graduate program in order to continue work in the master’s program after completing their bachelor’s degree.  Some 4+1 students can take graduate courses according to their program requirements.  Students are not required to complete their graduate programs within one year but have the option of doing so. See time limits in the graduate catalog for more information.

The University has 4+1 programs in criminal justice, business administration and education.

MBA 4+1 Program
Students can take up to 6 graduate credits in the MBA 15 week campus based program after reaching 90 credits in their undergraduate program.  These 6 credits can be transferred into the online accelerated MBA if students choose to move to that program after the completion of their undergraduate degree.  Students can complete their MBA program in under 12 months, saving time and money. Students must maintain an undergraduate GPA of a 3.5 to be eligible. 

Students can apply to this program at the time of admission to their bachelors degree or up until they have earned 90 or fewer credits.  Current undergraduate students that wish to apply should fill out the 4+1 program change form found on the Registrar’s website and forward to their advisor for approval. 

M.S. Criminal Justice, Police Concentration 4+1 Program

Students admitted to this program can complete graduate coursework after the successful completion of their Undergraduate degree. Students must meet the qualifications to begin the Massachusetts Police Training Committee (MPTC) Academy at the end of their Undergraduate program to remain enrolled in the program and continue on to complete their graduate work. For more information, please see the Police Certificate Concentration in the BS in Criminal Justice for more information.

B.S.E. and Master of Education

Students in this program can begin their graduate coursework in the semester immediately following completion of their bachelor’s and have a seamless transition from their undergraduate to graduate program.  Students can apply to this program at the time of admission to their bachelors degree or up until they have earned 90 or fewer credits.  Current undergraduate students that wish to apply should fill out the 4+1 program change form found on the Registrar’s website and forward to their advisor for approval. 

Eligible options:

GRADUATE PROGRAM UNDERGRADUATE MAJOR PATHWAY
Early Childhood
  • Special Education Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)
  • Special Education Severe Disabilities (All Levels)
Elementary
  • Special Education Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)
  • Special Education Severe Disabilities (All Levels)
Moderate 5-12
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education Severe Disabilities (All Levels)
  • Confirmation of Program Areas for Secondary and Middle School (PASM) majors
Moderate PreK-8
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education Severe Disabilities (All Levels)
Severe
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • Special Education Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)

 

The Early Childhood & Elementary Education Compacts

*Please note that the Early Childhood Education Compact has been replaced with the A2B Early
Childhood Education Pathway and the Elementary Education Compact has been replaced with the A2B Elementary Education Pathway.

A2B Programs can be found here:
https://www.mass.edu/masstransfer/a2b/programsearch-maps.asp 

 

 

New England Regional Student Program

This program enables residents of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont to be considered for admission to programs of study not offered by public colleges in their home states. Applicants selected under this program are granted reduced tuition rates (50% above regular in-state tuition, rather than full out-of-state tuition).

Current eligible programs include:  Communications Media CT, ME, NH, RI   Earth Systems Science RI, VT   Game Design CT, ME, NH, RI, VT    Industrial Technology NH, RI, VT   Special Education NH, VT   Technology Education ME, NH, VT  

For further information, please contact the Admissions Office or the New England Board of Higher Education, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111.

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

Fitchburg State University students may participate in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) unit at Fitchburg State University. Qualified U.S. citizens who earn their degree from Fitchburg State University and satisfactorily complete the ROTC program requirements will be commissioned as officers in the United States Army. ROTC offers two, three and four-year scholarship opportunities to qualified individuals. For more details about the Department of Military Science, call the unit at (978) 665-3126, e-mail army_rotc@fitchburgstate.edu or visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/rotc (See Military Science Course Descriptions  later in this catalog.)