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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.

Required Application Materials

1) $80 Application Fee

  • The $80 application fee is payable online via credit card following completion of the online application.
  • The fee can also 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.

2) Official Transcripts

  • Official transcripts must be sumitted from all colleges/universities attended, undergraduate and graduate, where nine (9) or more credits were taken.
  • Transcripts are considered official if submitted directly by the institution's Registrar to the Graduate Student Service Center.
  • English Translation: Transcripts and degree documents that are in a language other than English must be accompanied with an official English translation or an official credential evaluation from a NACES member.
  • Certified Electronic Transcripts: Secure electronically delivered transcripts must be digitally signed, passcode protected, and properly certified by the issuing institution.  Transcripts sent as email attachments are not considered official.
  • Paper Transcripts: It is preferred that the official documents be delivered directly from the issuing institution.  However, if the document is given to you to forward to UMass, it must be received in the official sealed envelope that is signed and stamped across the envelope flap by the appropriate academic officer at the institution issuing the document.  If the envelope has been opened or there is no stamp or signature across the envelope flap, it will not be accepted.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) Letters of Recommendation

  • Afro-American Studies, Architecture, Communication, Design, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology require three letters of recommendation.
  • All other programs require a minimum of two letters of recommendation.
  • 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.

6) English Language Proficiency

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their English proficiency 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 gradadm@grad.umass.edu.