Jul 20, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Support Services

International Education Office

Fitchburg State University encourages a global perspective on campus by promoting programs for international students as well as for students who want to study in another country. Both types of students enrich the cultural and ethnic diversity of the university community. The Office of International Education benefits international students, those who wish to study in another country, and those who are interested in an on-campus international experience.

Services offered to international students include assistance with their transition to university, cultural awareness programs, and guidance when completing the necessary paperwork and communications with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Fitchburg State University encourages students to consider a semester or a year of study in another country as part of their educational experience. The university has established a number of study abroad programs with colleges and universities throughout the world. For specific information about international study possibilities, contact the Office of International Education, (978) 665-3089.

Disability Services

Fitchburg State University encourages students with disabilities to participate fully in all academic programs and student activities. Disability Services is the primary support system for students with disabilities taking classes in the day and evening division.

The objective of Disability Services is to promote independence, build skills, and facilitate achievement of educational goals for individuals with disabilities. A number of services are available through the office. Some examples of services and academic accommodations are listed below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Adaptive software and computer equipment
  • Testing accommodations (for example, out of classroom testing, extended time testing)
  • Alternate format materials (for example, Braille or electronic text)
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Reduced course load
  • Skill-building workshops

To be eligible for academic accommodations, students must request services themselves and must provide appropriate documentation to support the need for such services. Requests for accommodations must be made in a timely manner and must be reasonable given the nature of the disability.

For comprehensive information about obtaining accommodations, please contact the department secretary at (978) 665-4020, contact the department via email at disabilityservices@fitchburgstate.edu, or visit the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/disability.

Career Services and Advising Center

The Career Services and Advising Center aims to guide and support the career development of graduate students as they pursue post-graduate degrees and certifications at Fitchburg State. Career advising services offered by our office are available in person and remotely to graduate students. The center’s staff provides a multitude of services, including:

  • Career Advising
  • Career Fairs
  • Internship/Job Search Support
  • Mock Interviews
  • Networking Opportunities
  • On-Campus Recruiting
  • Workshops

Advisors are available to support students in achieving the next step in their career journey. Advisors are available to meet with students by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm EST. The center is located on the third floor of Hammond Hall, Room 318. You may also contact us by email at careercenter@fitchburgstate.edu or by phone at 978-665-3151.


Counseling Services

The Counseling Services Office provides confidential short-term counseling to all students at no charge. Clinicians are available for individual, group and couples counseling, crisis intervention, educational programming, outreach workshops, community referrals, and inservice training.

Counseling Services offers a variety of outreach programs to educate students in the areas of sexual assault and violence prevention, body image, stress and anger management, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse.

The Counseling Services Office is located on the third floor of the Hammond Campus Center. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made in person or over the telephone (978) 665-3152. For more information, see the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/counseling. Students can see a clinician without an appointment during the Urgent Hour, which is from 2 p.m.–3 p.m. daily; however it is strongly encouraged that students schedule appointments if at all possible.

The Counseling Services Office provides 24-hour emergency response to the university during the regular academic year. The counselor-on-call can be reached through the Campus Police Department at (978) 665-3111, or by contacting Housing and Residential Services staff.

Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE)

Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE) is a campus-wide effort to prevent interpersonal and relationship violence, and sexual assault, and to support those affected by violence.  In collaboration with all University departments and offices, FAVE seeks to create a safe and respectful community for all members by providing educational programmming and training opportunities, promoting victim/survivor services, and implementing awareness initiatives.  The project is co-coordinated by Dr. Robert Hynes and Ms. Amanda Sapienza; for more information, contact rhynes@fitchburgstate.edu or asapienza@fitchburgstate.edu.

Housing and Residential Services

Consider yor living arrangements as you prepare for your next steps towards graduate school.  Where you live is an important part of your graduate student life experience.  On-campus housing has suites and apartment-style housing that is ideal for graduate students.  Graduate Students are housed when possible within residential cohorts to support the shared interest of post-graduate work.

Hightlights of living on campus:

  • Conveniently located to all on-campus classes and the library
  • Select your housign preference:

           Apartments: Private Bedroom

           Suites: Doubles and Premium Singles

  • Access to kitchen, living room, and washer/dryer unit
  • All utilities are bundled into the cost: heat, air conditioning, electricity, and cable 
  • Inexpensive deposit of $150 to secure your on-campus housing arrangements 

A 5-minute walking distance to the commuter rail train station going into and out of Boston.  For more information or to begin our housing application process, please contact housing@fitchburgstate.edu.  Please indicate your full name and graduate student status.

Student Health Services

Fitchburg State University has partnered with Community Health Connections (CHC), a highly respected, federally qualified health center that has two locations very close to our campus, to provide services to the campus community. Many of our students and employees already use one of their four locations in our area.

The ACTION Community Health Center is located close to our campus in Central Plaza at 130 Water Street (Market Basket plaza), where students can access a broad array of primary care services, behavioral health care services,* and dental care.

Click here to see a list of common questions and answers about the transition.

Medical services are provided from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The cost for accessing care will usually be determined by what type of insurance you have.  

  • For students covered by MassHealth, most of the services will be provided at no cost (students will be required to designate Community Health Connections as their primary care provider);
  • For students enrolled in the University’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield student health insurance planthe office visit copayment is $15; or 
  • Students under a parent’s plan should be aware that Community Health Connections participates with most insurance plans and the cost for medical visits and ancillary services will be determined by the insurance plan’s schedule of benefits.

Community Health Connections is committed to providing services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. Access to the sliding fee discount program will allow for out of pocket costs to be as low as $15 for a primary care visit.

Fitchburg State will have a dedicated provider located at the ACTION Center with preferred appointment availability for our students. Students may also use a second location at 326 Nichols Road in Fitchburg, as well as health centers located in Gardner and Leominster. Students will be able to access additional services such as optometry and podiatry at these other locations. 
The university will assist in transferring students’ medical records from Student Health Services to Community Health Connections once they have an established patient relationship. For students who may be uninsured or under-insured, Community Health Connections provides enrollment assistance to help find the right health insurance plan that fits your needs.

Students who do not wish to transfer their primary care physician to Community Health Connections may continue to access services at the three urgent care centers that are located close to our campus. Students who are on MassHealth should check the back of their insurance card to see if specific urgent care centers must be used or if there are any other restrictions.

Note that there is no special arrangement for access to care at those locations; out-of-pocket costs will be determined by individual insurance coverage. 

Health and Immunization Requirements

The following immunizations are required by Massachusetts State Law:

  • Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap)
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses on or after first birthday.  People born before 1957 are considered immune and are not required to have 2 doses.  If unable to document 2 doses, laboratory evidence of immune titers is required.
  • Hepatitis B - 3 doses.  If unable to provide documentation, laboratory evidence of immune titer is required.
  • Varicella Vaccine - 2 doses or documented proof of disease or laboratory evidence of immune titer.
  • Meningococcal vaccine - within 5 years (for newly entering residence students) or a signed Massachusetts waiver that acknowledges the risk but declines the immunization.
  • For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Commonwealth requires proof of a flu shot.

Absences Due to Illness

It is the responsibility of students to contact their professors if they will miss classes because of illness. In the event of an extended absence, you are advised to contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at 978-665-3130..

Student Health Insurance

Every student registered for nine or more credits is required by law to purchase health insurance. Students must purchase the school sponsored health plan or show proof of comparable coverage in an alternate health plan in order to enroll in classes.

After a student registers they will receive an enrollment/ waiver form. All students must complete this form by either choosing to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program or waiving participation by providing the policy number of an alternate insurance plan.

If a student does not complete the enrollment/waiver form, the university will automatically enroll them in the health plan and include the cost of the insurance in the tuition bill. Students will be enrolled in the plan unless they waive the health insurance requirement online.

For more information regarding the Student Health Insurance Program, call Student Accounts at 978-665-3486.

Health Services provides ambulatory care, health education/promotion and maintains health records for all full-time graduate students at the university. Services include:

  • Urgent care of acute illness and injury
  • Evaluation, treatment and/or referrals as needed
  • Tuberculin testing
  • Health education and health promotion
  • Women’s health care, such as breast exams, gynecologic exams, contraception, and morning after pill
  • Men’s health care

Students can schedule an appointment at Health Services and they will be seen by one of three providers: a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant or the university physician. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment by calling (978) 665-3216/3643. Usually the student can be seen the same day or within 24 hours, but if the student cannot be seen in the clinic that day, they will be referred to Urgent Care at Burbank Hospital, Fitchburg, or the emergency room at HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster. If a student does not have transportation to the emergency facility, Health Services will facilitate. If a student has an emergency after 5 p.m., they should call Campus Police at (978) 665-3111 for assistance.

A laboratory facility is part of the clinic. Routine tests are offered free of charge. Any specimen that needs to be analyzed by the commercial laboratory will be charged to the student’s insurance.

Health and Immunization Requirements

In compliance with Massachusetts Public Law 105 CMR 220.700 as of August 2005, all newly enrolled part-time undergraduate and graduate, resident and non-resident students enrolled in a degree granting program must provide documentation of receipt of one dose of meningococcal vaccine within the last five years or provide Health Services with a signed waiver for meningococcal vaccination requirement state approved form. The documented vaccine or the completed waiver form must be received by Health Services prior to the start of your first semester either by July 15 or December 15.

Fitchburg State University requires all full-time matriculated graduate, or international student studying on campus to comply with Massachusetts Public Law 105 CMR 220.600:

Every student must provide Health Services with the following information before they start their first semester either by July 15 or December 15.

  • Two doses of MMR vaccine (one after 12 months of age and update) or proof of a positive titer
  • One dose of TDAP
  • Tuberculosis risk assessment; TB T-spot test will be required if “yes” to any of the 3 questions on the TB risk assessment. If the TB test is positive, Chest X-Ray is required.
  • Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine or proof of a positive titer
  • Two doses of Varicella or documented proof of disease or titer
  • Meningitis vaccine or sign a waiver


Fitchburg State University Health Services is legally and ethically obligated to protect the patient’s right to privacy. Student medical records are strictly confidential. All Fitchburg State University Health Services staff are required to sign a statement of adherence to confidentiality policies. No one other than Fitchburg State University Health Services staff has access to student medical records without a patient’s prior written permission. This restriction includes parents, faculty and staff or outside agencies. In life-threatening emergencies, only pertinent information will be released to appropriate parties.

If a student is younger than 18 years of age, any care that is sought or provided related to reproductive health is also a confidential matter and will not be disclosed to a parent unless Health Services has prior written permission from the student. In the event that a student reports abuse or there is suspected abuse the providers at Health Services are mandated to report the abuse to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services.

If a student wishes to have their records released to themselves or another facility, they must sign the medical release of records form that is available in Health Services.

Limited Exceptions

Certain communicable diseases need to be reported to the Department of Public Health and patients will be informed of this action prior to Fitchburg State University Health Services notifying the department.

Absences Due to Illness

It is the responsibility of students to contact their professors if they will miss classes because of illness. In the event of an extended absence, you are advised to contact the Vice-President for Student Affairs.

Student Health Insurance

Every student registered for nine or more credits is required by law to purchase health insurance. Students must purchase the school sponsored health plan or show proof of comparable coverage in an alternate health plan in order to enroll in classes.  Graduate students registered for 4.5 or more credits must also purchase Health Insurance or show proof of comparable coverage.

After a student registers they will receive an enrollment/ waiver form. All students must complete this form by either choosing to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Program or waiving participation by providing the policy number of an alternate insurance plan.

If a student does not complete the enrollment/waiver form, the university will automatically enroll them in the health plan and include the cost of the insurance in the tuition bill. Students will be enrolled in the plan unless they waive the health insurance requirement online.

For more information regarding the Student Health Insurance Program, call Student Accounts at 978-665-3486.

University Police Department

The University Police Department, located at 32 Clinton Street. Our mission is to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, to partner with the community to solve problems, and to enhance public safety in a manner that is reasonable, unbiased, and transparent.  The Fitchburg State University Police Department strives to provide exemplary community-oriented policing services by creating partnerships and problem solving strategies that promote the safety, security, and well-being of our community.  The department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week utilizing cruiser, bike, and foot patrols of the entire campus.

Safety Escorts

Between the hours of 8 pm and 1 am, our student security officers assist University Police Officers in providing safe, personal escorts to and from any point on campus. In addition, our police officers will provide escorts outside of those times. Students are encouraged to take advantage of our escort program by calling our dispatch center at 978-665-3111.

Emergency Call Boxes

Emergency call boxes with blue lights that connect directly to University Police are located throughout campus at strategic spots. When used, an officer will immediately be dispatched to that location.

Personal Safety Programs and Presentations

The University Police Department provides several personal safety programs, to include; Violence Identification and Reporting (V.I.P.R.), Community Response to Active Shooter (C.R.A.S.E.), Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.), Until Help Arrives, and First Aid/CPR/AED.  We also provide liaisons to the campus residence halls, organizations, and departments.

Fitchburg State Alert (alert.fitchburgstate.edu)

Fitchburg State Alert will enable the university to notify students of important campus announcements, such as campus and regional emergencies, snow closures/delays, and faculty absences. Fitchburg State Alert is set up to send notifications to student email accounts by default. Mobile phones, land lines, and additional email addresses must be entered by the user by visiting alert.fitchburgstate.edu

Parking Services

University Police and Housing and Residential Services jointly operate Parking Services functions for Fitchburg State University. The Parking Committee reviews policy and planning related to parking functions for the university, and includes student, faculty, and staff representatives. Fitchburg State University provides parking facilities for more than 1,600 vehicles. The university requires that all vehicles utilizing the parking facilities must display a valid permit. Permits may be obtained at the Housing and Residential Services Office, located in Aubuchon Hall. Parking permits are available to both resident and commuter students, who must pay the required permit fee before the permit will be issued. Shuttle service from the Civic Center to campus is provided at no cost.  Anyone using campus parking facilities must adhere to all parking regulations.  Parking lot maps and the current Parking Rules and Regulations guide are also available at both offices. The university is not responsible for any loss or damage to vehicles while parking in lots on the main campus or at the Civic Center. For more information please visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/parking/.

Motorist Aid

If you are a Fitchburg State University community member, the University Police provides numerous motor vehicle services for your convenience including:
•    Guest parking passes outside of normal business hours at Parking Services
•    Disabled motor vehicle passes
•    Motor vehicle lock outs
•    Vehicle jump starts with a booster pack, available in the station to loan out or an Officer can respond with the pack
•    Vehicle towing can be referred to a local AAA tow, or a local tow company
•    Snow brushes and shovels are able to be loaned out in the winter months
Please call us at (978) 665-3111 anytime or use an emergency call box. 

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act

The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime, policies, and statistics. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. The various reporting aspects of the Clery Act can be found on the University Police website, which includes the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, Daily Crime and Fire Logs, Maps of the university Clery Geography, as well as all Timely and Emergency Notification.  

To opt in to receive university emergency notifications text FSUAlerts to 67283 or 2266787, or text STOP to un-enroll.

University Police Web Site

For additional information about the University Police Department, please visit the Web site at www.fitchburgstate.edu/campuspolice.

Fitchburg State University Shuttle Bus and Additional Parking

Administrative Services oversees the university shuttle service which continuously transports students, staff and faculty to and from the Wallace Civic Center parking lot (John Fitch Highway) and the main campus. The Fitchburg State University parking shuttle operates on class days during the academic year, non-stop. The schedule for shuttle service is as follows:
Sunday     4:30 p.m. midnight
Monday–Thursday     6:30 a.m.–midnight
Friday     6:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Weekday holidays     4:30 p.m.–midnight

EXCEPTIONS: Sundays preceding a holiday—no service

Thanksgiving Recess—service will end at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 27, 2013.

During heavier usage hours an additional shuttle is available.

The University provides shuttle tracking via the mobile website during the academic year.  You can see up-to-date locations on our shuttles by browsing to: http://m.fitchburgstate.edu and selecting the Shuttles link.

Expanded MART Service reaches into the Community

Fitchburg State University has partnered with MART to provide free, comprehensive transportation service for all Fitchburg State students. You will be amazed where your Student ID will bring you throughout the Fitchburg/ Leominster area. At a nominal fee, there is additional MART service to Gardner. Services run Monday–Saturday (for more details visit: www.mrta.us/)

Recreation Services

The Recreation Services program offers structured and informal opportunities for recreation in a wide variety of activities. Intramural programs are offered throughout the year in volleyball, soccer, ultimate, dodgeball, racquetball, flag football, basketball, table tennis and several other areas.  Registration is at www.imleagues.com/fitchburgstate.

Students who prefer something more informal may use the Recreation Center’s pool, fitness center, dance studio, jogging track, racquetball courts or gymnasium at their leisure. Group fitness classes are offered in the areas of aerobics, group cycling and others.  Simply bring your One Card with you and check in at the front desk when you arrive.