General Graduate Admission Information

The Graduate School Mission Statement

The Graduate School at Worcester State University is the leading public graduate school serving citizens of Central Massachusetts and New England. The school’s mission is to provide high-quality graduate education that facilitates research, creative activity, and scholarship. The programs offered are designed to prepare graduates to take on leadership roles within their organizations or professions and to contribute to the greater good of an ever emerging global society.

The Graduate School offers Master Degrees in the areas of Education, Administration, Arts and Sciences, Nursing, and Allied Health. In addition, Education Specialist certificates are awarded in Education. The programs are designed to incorporate a close interdependence between research and practice, as well as faculty and students.

Graduate Education

Graduate education is both exciting and challenging. Academic expectations are higher than at the undergraduate level, but the career rewards in terms of both financial gain and self-esteem are also higher.

At the graduate level students begin to focus explicitly on a single discipline or professional program. Here students attain a level of knowledge in their field whereby they are considered masters in it. Indeed, some contribute to the world of scholarship through research leading to a thesis or publication. Those students pursuing a practice-oriented master’s degree demonstrate mastery through a project, a practicum, or an internship. While for many students a master’s degree serves as a terminal degree, others continue at the doctoral level where new contributions to the world of scholarship are required.

Graduate students seriously pursue a specific area of study. There are no longer broad distribution requirements to fulfill as there are at the undergraduate level. Students acquire knowledge and demonstrate expertise in their field through the completion of course work, seminars, colloquia, field placements, and internships, as suitable to their area of study.

One goal of graduate study is to prepare the student to become an independent scholar or practitioner. Graduate students are expected not only to read assigned articles, but to search for other related articles to obtain a deeper understanding of the issues. In some fields, they are expected to design, implement and evaluate experiments, drawing conclusions and making recommendations. As in course work, field work, or internship experiences at the graduate level are intensive and integrative in nature. Graduate students are expected to be reflective and creative in approaching all graduate learning experiences.

Some scholars consider perseverance the sine qua non of success in graduate school. Adapting to the more rigorous standards and more intensive learning experiences at the graduate level can be challenging and intellectually productive. Since research often leads to unexpected discoveries which may require the student to rethink and redesign the research project persistence and dedication are essential. Preparation for exams, which is done independently, also demands consistent, self-motivated hard work. All of these experiences provide a gateway to further personal and professional development.

A desirable feature of graduate education is mentorship: a relationship between a professor and a student in which the professor not only advises the student about reaching scholarly or practical goals, but also joins in discussion of ideas, theories and practices within the student’s chosen field. While mentorship is not a requirement for either faculty or students, those professors and graduate students who take part in it gain professionally from the experience. Graduate education offers an opportunity for students to explore new academic and professional horizons and to experience the joy of learning and of scholarship. There is an excitement of discovery that is contagious, and those who catch it are justly proud of their achievement.

Degree Programs

  • Master of Arts in English
  • Master of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in Spanish
  • Master of Science in Biotechnology
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Health Care Administration
  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Science in Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Master of Education in:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Leadership and Administration
  • Middle School Education
  • Moderate Disabilities
  • Reading
  • Secondary School Education

Education Specialist Programs

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • School Psychology (Includes M.Ed.)
  • Secondary Education

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs

  • Middle School Initial Licensure
  • Secondary School Initial Licensure
  • Reading Specialist Initial Licensure
  • Moderate Disabilities Initial Licensure
  • English as a Second Language Initial License
  • Certificate in College Teaching
  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education
  • Post-Master’s Certificate in Community and Public Health Nursing

Admission

Applicants for admission to graduate studies must have completed a baccalaureate degree program at an accredited institution. To be considered for admission, applicants must also meet the minimum eligibility requirements listed below.

Priority Admissions Deadlines

With the exception of Speech-Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, and the Education Specialist programs that follow separate deadlines, completed applications received by the following dates will be reviewed for admissions decisions prior to the respective semesters.

June 15 Fall semester
November 1 Spring semester
April 1 Summer semester

Only completed applications will be reviewed for admissions decisions. All application materials become the property of Worcester State University and will not be returned. Ordinarily, applications received after a deadline will be considered for the following semester.

Unconditional Acceptance

  1. Minimum Undergraduate GPA of 2.75

  2. Score in the top 50% on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT), or General Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). GMAT is required for the Master of Science in Management, and is preferred for Master of Science in Health Care Administration.

Conditional Acceptance

  1. Meet one of the criteria of Unconditional Acceptance

  2. Receive Departmental Approval

  3. Maintain a “B” or better through the first four courses

Only applicants who have already received a graduate degree from an accredited institution in addition to a baccalaureate will be exempted from taking the GRE, MAT or GMAT unless otherwise stated. Applicants from countries outside of the United States in which English is not the language of instruction, must also submit a score of 61 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 6 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Persons denied admission because they do not meet the above stated eligibility index, but who exhibit strong credentials for their selected field of study, will be considered for an alternate form of admission. Following the admissions review, applicants will be advised in writing if this alternative is available to them.

Each applicant must supply the following materials:

  • an official transcript with calculated GPA from the institution awarding the baccalaureate;
  • an official transcript from each graduate institution awarding degree(s) or course credit beyond the baccalaureate (All transcript materials requested by the applicant become the property of Worcester State University and cannot be released to the applicant or to other institutions or agencies.);
  • a completed application form for graduate study along with remittance of the application fee ($50.00 for all students);
  • two current letters of recommendation (three for Management and MEd Lead & Admin applicants);
  • career plan/occupational history essay (approximately 500 words);
  • evidence of completion of applicable departmental admission requirements;
  • where applicable, official results of the GRE, MAT or GMAT, and TOEFL or IELTS;
  • Tuition residency statement (for Master of Occupational Therapy  applicants only).

*Since up to six weeks may elapse between the test date and receipt of scores, applicants should take the examination well in advance of the application deadline.

Note: The application deadline for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program is February 1, for a summer start. Because of the sequence of course offerings, the Summer term is the only entrance period for the program. The deadline for the Master of Occupational Therapy program is March 1 for Summer admission. Please contact the Program Coordinator for Education Specialist deadlines.

Pre-entrance immunization requirements

Massachusetts State Law (Chapter 76, Section 15C) requires that each full-time graduate student born after 1956 present evidence of immunization in order to register for classes. Health Insurance: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 15A requires that certain students enrolled in institutions of higher education carry health insurance under a qualifying student health insurance program. Coverage for degree-seeking graduate students is required if they register for seven (7) or more semester hours of credit. For additional information about participation in and charges for the University’s plan call 508-929-8875.

Graduate Teacher Certification Programs

Worcester State University encourages current teachers and those individuals who wish to change their careers to become teachers to pursue graduate education. If you are already a teacher with partial or full certification, Worcester State University encourages you to continue your professional development by matriculating into a master’s program.

If you are changing careers to become a teacher, you may begin taking courses with the advice of an advisor, but are encouraged to apply to admission as soon as possible. As a prerequisite for admission, however, you need to demonstrate that you are certified at least at the temporary license stage.

To obtain temporary licensure you must apply to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Teacher Certification and Credentialing. Applications and information about the application process can be obtained by looking online at www.doe.mass.edu/Educators/e_license.html?section=k12 or by contacting 781-338-6600. In addition to demonstrating competence in the subject that you intend to teach (usually satisfied with a bachelor’s degree in the subject area), candidates for temporary licensure as of April 1998 must pass the Massachusetts Teacher Test. Applications for these tests can also be obtained from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.Test dates are located at www.mtel.nesinc.com.

Degree Requirements

Please refer to specific program requirements.