Jul 21, 2024  
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Application Requirements

To apply for admission into a graduate program, applicants are required to submit the following to the Admissions Office:

  • Graduate application for admission.
  • Non-refundable application fee: $50 for all graduate applicants. Applicants will submit their $50 application fee after they submit their application on their Application Status page.
  • Official transcript from your baccalaureate degree granting college/university. The transcript must indicate degree received and date of graduation. The transcript must be sent directly from the institution to the Admissions Office. (Applicants to CAGS programs are not required to submit a transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting college/university but must submit a transcript from the master’s degree granting institution. See below.)
  • Official transcripts from all graduate programs from which you are requesting transfer credit and, if applicable, all institutions from which you have received graduate degrees. Transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to the Admissions Office. If you are applying to a CAGS program, you must submit an official transcript from your master’s degree granting institution listing degree received and date of graduation.
  • Standardized test scores. Fitchburg State University does not require any standardized tests for graduate admissions, including the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).
  • IMPORTANT: The following additional items are required for applicants to teacher preparation, MAT, MEd, and CAGS in education programs, as well as the MS in school counseling programs. (If you are applying to a degree program that does not lead to a Massachusetts teaching license, such as the MEd in curriculum and teaching, you are not required to submit the two items listed below.)
    • Passing scores for the Communications and Literacy subtests of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) are required for all applicants to graduate and certificate programs leading to initial licensure to teach in the state of Massachusetts. MTEL Communications and Literacy results are also required of all applicants to the CAGS Educational Leadership and Management: School Principal or Supervisor/Director. Note: Subject area MTEL test(s) must be completed prior to student teaching.
    • Copy of initial teaching license for applicants to programs leading to professional licensure. (If you have a valid initial teaching license from Massachusetts, you do not need to submit the Communications and Literacy subtest scores referred to above.)
  • Letters of recommendation from individuals under whom the applicant has studied or under whose supervision he/she has worked in a professional capacity. At least one letter of recommendation should speak to the applicant’s academic abilities. Please use the Letter of Recommendation forms provided and ask the evaluator to submit the narrative portion of the recommendation on professional letterhead if possible. All letters of recommendation must be mailed by the evaluator directly to the Admissions Office.
  • Letters of recommendation for Accelerated/Online programs: Students applying to the Online/Accelerated MBA, the Online/Accelerated Non-Licensure M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management, or the Online/Accelerated Non-Licensure M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching only need to provide one letter of recommendation if their previous GPA is below a 2.8.
  • A professional resume.
  • A personal statement. Please see graduate application for details regarding requirements for specific programs.
  • A writing sample. Required only for applicants to the MA in history.
  • A copy of current U.S. RN license for applicants to the MS or Certificate in Forensic Nursing. (Applicants who reside and work outside the U.S. are not required to hold a U.S. RN License but instead must possess a current license from the country they reside in and/or for which they will complete clinical coursework hours.)

Application materials should be sent to:

Admissions Office
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697

Admissions Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Contact Us

If you have questions and would like to speak to an admissions representative, please contact (978) 665-3144 or e-mail gceadmissions@fitchburgstate.edu.

Additional Application Requirements for International Students

Non U.S. citizens who do not possess a permanent visa with an alien registration number must submit the paperwork listed below in order to be considered for admission to Fitchburg State University. Students on an F-1 visa must study on a full-time basis and are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.

International Applicants

In addition to requirements listed above, applicants with international credentials must submit the following:

  • English Language Proficiency
    If your first language or the primary language spoken in your home is not English, you must take either the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) or the International English language Testing System (IELTS), with the following exceptions:
    •  If you have earned a secondary school, associate’s, 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.
    The minimum passing score is:
    •  TOEFL iBT (internet-based) …………………….. 79
    •  IELTS …………………………………………… 6.5
    The TOEFL code for Fitchburg State University is 3518
  • Transcripts:
    • The school accepts only official transcripts that are signed and stamped. (If the seal on the envelope is not intact, the transcript will not be accepted)
    • All international students must have a general evaluation completed of their foreign transcripts which identifies and describes each diploma or certificate, indicates periods of education and provides a U.S. equivalency for each document. International graduate applicants must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or university-level degree program.
      Following are some suggested organizations that provide foreign credential evaluation services:
      The Center for Educational Documentation …………. www.cedevaluations.com
      World Education Services……………………………. www.wes.org
      Educational Credential Evaluators …………………… www.ece.org
    • If your transcripts are not in English, they must be translated.
  • F-1 applicants only. If you plan to study at Fitchburg State University under an F-1 visa status and are admitted to the University, you must submit the following forms along with theappropriate financial documentation with your application for admission.
    • Financial Verification Forms
    • Photocopies of your passport and visa, if you are currently in the United States.
    • 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
    • Students can upload this documentation through their student status page.


Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis. On average, admission decisions are emailed two to three weeks after an application file is complete. Applicants who are accepted to a program after the add/drop period (traditionally, two weeks after the start of the semester) will be accepted for the subsequent semester.

Exception: International applicants 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 application deadline:    March 1
  • Spring semester application deadline:   November 1
  • Application deadlines for the Online/Accelerated programs vary, based on the start date of the term of admission. Please review this information on the web pages for these programs:
    The Online/Accelerated MBA; the Online/Accelerated Non-Licensure M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management; or the Online/Accelerated Non-Licensure M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching.

Admissions Procedures

Once all application materials have been received by the Admissions Office, the appropriate departmental committee reviews an applicant’s qualifications and makes a recommendation. The admission process is completed when the director of admissions concurs with the program’s decision and approves or denies the applicant’s admission. While admission decisions are prompted by a completed application, the admissions process and its outcome are based on academic department criteria.

Admissions Standards and Criteria

Applicants who meet the following minimum criteria are eligible for consideration for regular admission status:

  • A 2.8 average or better on a 4.0 scale from an accredited four-year institution

Some programs have additional requirements. Please refer to the relevant program descriptions in this publication.

Provisional Admission

Students who do not meet requirements for full acceptance into a graduate program may be eligible for provisional admission.  Not all programs permit provisional admission. Provisional Admission is not available for students in Online Accelerated programs.

To be eligible for full admission, provisionally admitted students must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in their first term and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in their second term.  Students must also fulfill any other requirements listed in their letter of provisional admission such as completing the necessary prerequisite courses. Students who meet these requirements will move to full admission status, and students who do not meet these requirements in either their first or second terms will be denied full admission and withdrawn from the program.

Provisional Student Enrollment in Another Graduate Program

Provisionally accepted students who do not achieve full admission status in their program may, on a one-time basis, request enrollment with a provisional admission status in a new program in another academic area. Students must sit out at least one term prior to requesting enrollment in a second program and satisfy the admissions requirements of the second program. Students who have been provisionally admitted into a second program must meet the provisional admission requirements to remain in the program. Students approved to enroll in a second program and who are denied regular admission status and withdrawn from the program will not be allowed to request enrollment in another graduate program.

Transfer of Credit

The university accepts a maximum of six semester hours in transfer credits from regionally accredited graduate schools. Transfer credit requests are acted upon as part of the admission process when a student submits the Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit Form, official transcripts from the appropriate institution and has been accepted into the graduate program. Transferred courses are not included in the cumulative GPA. No requests for transfer credits are accepted during the semester prior to a student’s anticipated graduation.

The transfer of credits must be approved by the program chairperson and by the dean and meet the following criteria:

  • A grade of B (3.0) or better; pass/fail grades are not transferrable
  • Courses accepted in transfer must carry graduate level credit above the professional development level
  • Courses must be relevant to degree specialization
  • Transferred courses are only valid if taken within six years of the date of graduation from a matriculant’s graduate program
  • Courses previously counted toward a graduate degree or CAGS from Fitchburg State University or another accredited institution do not qualify for transfer towards a Fitchburg State University master’s or CAGS program

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 two 4+1 programs:

MBA 4+1 Program

Students admitted into this program can take up to 6 credits of graduate coursework in their Senior year.  To remain qualified for enrollment in graduate courses students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher to register for a graduate course and must maintain this GPA throughout their Senior year. For more information, please see the undergraduate business adminstration degree program pages in the Catalog.

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.

Reactivation of Application for Graduate Admission

Students admitted into a graduate program are required to enroll in a minimum of one course in their program at Fitchburg State University within one academic year of their admission term. For example, students admitted into the fall term must enroll in at least one course prior to the start of the subsequent fall term. Students that fail to enroll within this time period may request a reactivation of their application of graduate admission through the Office of Admissions. Graduate application materials are maintained by the Office of Admissions for three years.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Definition - A graduate non-degree seeking student has a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university who is not applying for a degree program but wishes to enroll in University graduate courses.

Enrollment and Registration
•    Enrollment as a non-degree student is not guaranteed and may be subject to approval.
•    Applicants who have been denied admission to a degree program may not register as a non-degree seeking student without approval from a department chair and school dean and must complete and submit a student petition form for review.
•    Course registration is on a space-available basis.
•    Coursework taken as a non-degree student only counts towards a degree program if the student is admitted to an academic program at the University, the coursework meets the GPA requirements and has been completed within the statute of limitations for that degree. Up to 12 semester credit hours earned as a graduate non-degree student may be applied toward a graduate degree within the statute of limitations for that degree (provided that a grade of “B” [3.0] or better has been achieved).

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

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

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