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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. Please do not submit more than one application to the same program (e.g., master's and doctoral).
  • 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.  A three-year baccalaureate degree with a year of full-time Master's degree coursework may be considered equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree.

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 (made payable to UMass Amherst) 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 and Resume

You have the option of entering your Personal Statement and Resume directly into the on-line application or uploading the PDF files and attaching them to your application.

Residency Statement

All applicants applying as a Massachusetts resident or for the New England Regional Student Program must complete and sign a Residency Statement for that application to be fully processed.  The Certification of Residency form is automated into the signature process for the application.


One official transcript from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where nine (9) or more credits were taken are required. Colleges/universities in the United States (US) may submit official transcripts electronically. US institutions that do not manage transcripts electronically and all non-US institutions must mail transcripts to us in a signed and sealed envelope that has not been opened. Any transcript uploaded with the application is considered to be an unofficial transcript. 

If the official transcripts and/or degree certificate(s) are not in English, we will accept: the non-english transcript and a notarized English translation, or an official credential evaluation from a NACES member, or a non-english and english translation of the transcript that comes directly from the institution. Do not list or provide transcripts from colleges/universities where eight (8) or fewer credits were taken.

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two (Afro-American Studies, Architecture, Communication, Design, 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 complete the top portion of our Recommendation Form and give it to the referee to use as a cover page for the recommendation letter. All recommendations will be considered non-confidential unless the applicant waives their right of access.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English must prove their ability to speak and understand English by taking TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System), or PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English).  The official test scores must be transmitted electronically from the test agency to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate School.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The minimum TOEFL score as set by the Graduate Council is 80, although many graduate programs expect higher scores for admission. 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 minimum IELTS combined score is 6.5, although many graduate programs expect higher scores for admission.  IELTS scores are valid for two years from anticipated date of entrance.  Please contact the test center where you took IELTS and request that your test scores be transmitted to our e-download account.  All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to transmit your score results to our institution.

Application materials not submitted electronically with your application can be emailed to, or mailed to:   

Graduate Student Service Center

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