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Admissions Requirements

  • Admissions requirements differ between graduate programs. Visit the Programs page for specific requirements for your desired program.
  • An applicant may apply to more than one graduate program simultaneously, but must provide separate applications and fees.  You will only need to submit one set of credentials (i.e., transcripts, test score, letters of recommendation, etc.) regardless of the number of programs you wish to apply to at UMass. 
  • The Application also represents an application for an assistantship/fellowship; no separate application is required. For information about need-based funding visit the UMass Financial Aid Web site.

Prerequisite Degrees

An applicant to the Graduate School must hold a baccalaureate degree earned in the United States or a comparable non-U.S. degree/diploma before being allowed to enroll in any graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. International student applicants (non-U.S. citizens who do not hold U.S. Permanent Resident Status) may be considered for admission to master's or doctoral degree programs if they have attained the baccalaureate degree at an American college or university, or possess an equivalent degree. "Equivalent" means four years of University undergraduate work, preceded by at least 12 years of elementary and secondary school studies. Most foreign four-year degrees are recognized as being equivalent; however, the three-year Indian Bachelor of Arts, Science, and Commerce degrees and other three-year Asian degrees are not considered to be equivalent.  If a student with a three-year degree completes a year of Master's degree coursework, he or she will have the opportunity to earn a B.A. or B.S.

Materials/Credentials Required in Submitting a Completed Application

Application Fee

For all applicants, the fee is $75. The fee can be paid by check drawn on a U.S. bank or paid by MasterCard or VISA credit cards. The application fee is non-refundable and cannot be deferred. The fee is waived only for U.S. applicants who qualify to receive a GRE fee waiver or are McNair Scholars and submit appropriate documentation. The fee or waiver documentation must accompany the application; otherwise the application will NOT be processed or considered.

Personal Statement

You have the option of submitting your Personal Statement with the on-line application or mailing it via surface mail within two days of the electronic submission of the application.  Be sure that your name appears on the first page of your document along with the name of your desired program.

Residency Statement

All applicants applying for Massachusetts residency status must complete and sign a Residency Statement for that application to be fully processed.


One official transcript from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where nine (9) or more credits were taken are required. If they are not sent electronically or mailed directly from the college/university, they should be enclosed in sealed envelopes signed by the college/university. If the official transcripts and/or degree certificate(s) are not in English, notarized English translations in duplicate must accompany them. Do not list colleges/universities where eight (8) or fewer credits were taken.

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two (Afro-American Studies, Architecture, Communication, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology require three) letters of recommendation are required from individuals best suited to assess the applicant’s quality of academic performance and ability to perform scholarly research. After submission of the electronic application, we will send an email to each referee with instructions on how to electronically deliver the recommendation to the Graduate School. When an electronic recommendation is not possible, we ask that the applicant to complete the top portion of our printed Recommendation Form and give it to the referee so that it can be used as a cover page for that recommendation letter. All recommendations will be considered non-confidential unless the applicant waives their right of access.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Tests

Official score reports must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The Institutional Code for the University of Massachusetts Amherst is 3917. Most graduate programs require the GRE General Test and a few require a Subject Test in addition to the General Test. Click here for those requirements. Test scores are valid for five years from the date of anticipated entrance.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

All applicants to Management; Hospitality and Tourism Management; and Sport Management may submit an official copy of either their GMAT or GRE General test scores. The institutional code for the University of Massachusetts Amherst is 3917. GMAT scores are valid for five years from date of anticipated entrance.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The University of Massachusetts does not require TOEFL from U.S. citizens. Permanent residents whose undergraduate institution is outside of the United States and not from an English speaking country will be required to demonstrate their English language proficiency by sitting for TOEFL. The minimum TOEFL score as set by the Graduate Council is 80, although many graduate programs expect higher scores for admission, particularly if financial assistance is required. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from anticipated date of entrance. The Institutional Code for the University of Massachusetts Amherst is 3917.  If asked for a departmental code use 0000.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The University of Massachusetts Amherst also accepts IELTS as a replacement for TOEFL. Official score reports must be received directly from the IELTS testing center with a British Council cover letter. IELTS scores are valid for two years from anticipated date of entrance. The minimum IELTS combined score required for admission is 6.5.

Application materials not submitted electronically can be mailed to:   

Graduate Student Service Center

534 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333