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Application Procedures for Admission and Readmission

Holders of bachelor’s degrees, from this University or from other institutions having substantially the same requirements for the bachelor’s degree, are eligible to apply for admission to a program of graduate studies. (A very limited number of applications will also be considered from exceptionally qualified applicants who do not hold the bachelor’s degree but who can demonstrate a comparable level of educational achievement. Such applicants should identify themselves when requesting application material; they will receive special instructions for applying.)

An application and fee payment can be submitted online using the Graduate School’s website: Applicants unable to submit the online application may download a paper application from the website, or write to the Graduate Admissions Office, Goodell Building, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003.

The deadline for submitting applications for admission, complete with all supporting credentials, for the summer/fall entrance cycle, varies by program (December 1 through February 1). Refer to the Graduate Application form or the Graduate Programs and Degrees Offered listing on the website for specific deadlines. For those graduate programs which offer spring entrance, the deadline is October 1.

Admission is only for the semester requested and cannot be guaranteed for a later date, except by permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. Applicants can be admitted to the Graduate School in one of the following categories:

Degree Status
Students admitted as fully qualified to undertake a program toward a graduate degree are termed degree-status students.

Provisional Status
Students admitted on a probational basis to a program are on provisional status. Students may enroll for a maximum of 12 credits or two consecutive enrollment periods (including Summer Session), whichever comes first. This status may not be renewed beyond the credit/time limitation regulation as stated above. At the conclusion of the provisional status period students are either admitted to degree status or terminated depending upon the evaluation and recommendation by the graduate program and subject to the Graduate Dean’s approval.

Special Admissions
The special admission procedures have been designed for the rare applicant who lacks an undergraduate degree but who considers himself or herself as having the appropriate qualifications for applying to a graduate program of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These would be very special circumstances that are unlikely to appear repeatedly in applicants to any graduate program of the university; therefore, standard criteria cannot be established and each case has to be considered on its merit. This procedure is not intended as substitution for any current university program that addresses degree equivalencies from other institutions, or that evaluates prior life experiences which could lead to an undergraduate degree.

Non-Degree Status
Students who have a bachelor’s degree and wish to take graduate courses are admitted on a limited basis. Enrollment in any course is subject to space availability and may require instructor’s approval. Applications for this status do not require the supporting documentation specified above for degree and provisional status. Upon recommendation by the graduate program director and approval by the Graduate School, up to six graduate credits may be applied toward a graduate degree if a student is later admitted to degree status.

Requirements for Admission

1. Completion of the application form, including the Residency Statement. The forms can be submitted online, downloaded from the website, or are available in printed form and from the Graduate School.

2. Payment of the required Application Fee. Waivers of the fee are available only to those applicants who are United States citizens and who receive a waiver of the Graduate Record Examination or Graduate Management Admission Test fee through their undergraduate financial aid office. A statement from a college or university official attesting to receipt of or eligibility for the fee waiver must accompany the application.

3. A minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.750 on a 4.000 grading scale.

4. A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from any college or university of recognized standing.

5. Two official transcripts of all previous college work (undergraduate and graduate). An applicant must request the registrar of all colleges previously attended to send two copies of the transcript directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. A final transcript showing that the bachelor’s degree has been awarded must be received before the applicant can enroll in the Graduate School.

6. Two or three letters of recommendation from persons in the field of the applicant’s academic major at the institution most recently attended. In some cases, particularly in management, letters of recommendation from other persons may be more appropriate to the proposed field of study.

7. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (required of most applicants, including international students). For a list of those graduate programs requiring the GRE General Test or a GRE Subject Test refer to the Application Form or the Graduate Programs and Degrees Offered listing on the website. Only GRE scores taken within five years of anticipated enrollment will be considered as fulfilling this requirement. Applicants must have official reports of their GRE scores sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants for fall admission are urged to take the GRE by December. The results of later testing are frequently not available before decisions on admission must be made. The Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6004, Princeton, NJ 08541, administers the test in the United States as well as abroad. Addresses of test centers may be obtained from that organization. Applicants for admission to programs in Management, Sport Management, and Hospitality and Tourism Management are required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) rather than the GRE.

8. For international student requirements see section titled International Applicants.

9. Application procedures for the Five College Cooperative Ph.D. Program are listed in the section entitled Doctoral Degree Requirements.

10. Applicants for dual master’s degrees must indicate the specific programs on the application. Each program makes its admission decision independently. Some applicants may be accepted into only one of the collaborating programs.

11. Finally, recommendation of admission by the graduate program applied for and formal acceptance by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Admission of Faculty and Staff Members to Graduate Study
Members of the university faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher who wish to retrain or redirect their professional interests may, under special circumstances, earn a graduate degree from the university. The Dean of the Graduate School may permit eligible faculty to become degree candidates subsequent to a favorable recommendation from both the appropriate academic dean and department head, assurance that no conflict of interest will occur, and that the university’s best interests will be served. The degree may not be earned in the department in which the candidate is a faculty member. However, faculty members of any rank may enroll as non-degree students in any university courses.

Full-time university employees who enroll in one or more courses are eligible for full tuition waivers, including a waiver of the general fee. For employees on at least a half-time basis but less than full-time, no more than seven tuition-free credits may be approved for any one semester. Employees working less than one-half time are not eligible for a tuition waiver.


A student or applicant who falls into one of these categories must reapply:

1. An applicant who has previously been admitted to the university but did not enroll on the entrance date stated in the acceptance letter;

2. A graduate student at this university who was accepted for one degree program and wishes to apply for another program or degree; and

3. A degree candidate who has not continuously enrolled in courses or paid the Program Fee (Continuous Enrollment), (see the General Regulations) must reapply and pay all associated fees.

New England Regional Student Program
The New England Regional Student Program (RSP), one of the basic programs administered by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), was established in 1957. The RSP enables a resident of New England to attend the University of Massachusetts and pay the resident Massachusetts tuition rate plus a 75 percent surcharge for those graduate programs which are not available at any of the student’s home-state public institutions. The RSP Graduate Catalogue, commonly known as the “Apple Book,” is available by writing the New England Board of Higher Education, New England Regional Student Program, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111 or calling (617) 357-9620 or online at

At the graduate level only, some programs not listed as open in the “Apple Book,” and others not listed at all, may also be available through the RSP. For example, some highly specialized graduate programs and options under a general subject area are not listed. If one of these specialized programs or options is not available at a home-state public institution, the student should contact the Graduate Dean at his/her state university, as negotiation is possible in some cases.

Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for the reduced rate under the RSP.

New England Land-Grant Universities Student Exchange Program
In order to provide undergraduate and graduate students at the New England Land-Grant Universities with expanded access to unique programs and faculty expertise, the institutions have agreed to encourage short-term student exchanges. Students with special academic interests may take advantage of the talent and resources available at the state universities of the region, without becoming a degree candidate at another institution. Contact the office of the Graduate Registrar for more information.

International Applicants

Information for Prospective Students from Other Countries giving detailed information of use to foreign students is part of the Graduate School Application. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants for admission to the Graduate School who are not citizens of the United States and whose native language is not English. Applicants from India are required to submit TOEFL scores. Information about the examination may be obtained online at or by writing to:
Test of English as a Foreign Language
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 U.S.A.

TOEFL may be waived if the applicant has attended on a full-time basis an American college or university for a period of at least two academic years immediately preceding anticipated entrance date. A score of 550 (213 on Computer-Based Test, 80 on the Internet-Based Test) or above is required for admission. Students scoring between 530 and 549 (197 and 212 on CBT, 71 and 79 on the IBT) who otherwise meet the requirements set by department may be admitted provisionally provided they agree to attend, at their own expense in the summer prior to admission, a summer institute in English.