Sep 27, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Admission


Admission Policy

The following policies and procedures apply to the graduate admissions processes only. While the information stated in this document is complete and accurate to the best of our abilities, the policies detailed in this document in no way serve as a contract. Requirements vary by graduate program. The policies outlined in this document will undergo periodic review.

Application and Enrollment Requirements

Applications are accepted only online.  Once fully completed, they are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee of the Office of Graduate Studies.  Specific programs may require additional application components than those listed below and/or have stricter admissions requirements.

Applicants are required to create an account by registering a username and password in order to start an application, save it, and log back in at any time to complete it before submission. 

A complete application to a graduate program must include:

  • Online application - The on-line application may be completed and submitted at any time, as admissions review occurs on a rolling basis.  It is not necessary to submit all materials simultaneously. There is no application fee.
  • Official college transcript(s) - Official transcripts are required and must reflect all courses taken and grades and credentials received from all institutions attended. Transcript(s) need to be issued by the appropriate records office of the institution and must be stamped and authenticated. Transcript(s) must show courses and grades from all years of study, not just the final year(s). If credits were transferred between one or more institutions, separate transcripts must be submitted for each institution attended unless course title, level, grades and credits earned at each previous institution appear on the transcript(s) submitted to Merrimack.
  • Resume - A resume or CV that contains a summary of relevant job experience and education is required. A statement of relevant activities, awards, and interests may also be submitted.
  • Personal statement - All applicants are required to submit a personal statement (500-1,000 words) explaining their interest in the program and their future goals. Some programs have additional essay requirements, and applicants are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the requirements of the program to which they are applying.
  • Recommendations - Two professional or academic recommendations are required. Recommenders may submit a letter of recommendation or complete the recommendation form provided by the Office of Graduate Studies. 
  • Documentation of the conferral of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution in the United States or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution, reflected in an official transcript, must be submitted before a student can be matriculated.
  • Some programs may require an interview prior to admission.
  • Standardized test scores are optional.

The following programs have additional requirements:

  • Higher Education program requires one letter from a college professor and one from a college administrator.
  • Community Engagement program requires one letter from a college professor and one letter from a supervisor in a non-profit, higher education or K-12 setting.
  • Teacher Education program requires that the two letters of recommendation address the applicant’s capacity for leadership and professionalism, and their ability to succeed in this program. Letters should be from a direct supervisor or college professor who can address the applicant’s interest and potential for success in a graduate education program.
  • School Counseling program requires that the two letters of recommendation speak to the applicant’s capacity for leadership and professionalism, and their ability to succeed in the graduate program. Letters should be signed by the recommender, and in PDF format.
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling program requires three letters of recommendation, at least one of which addresses the applicant’s readiness to work in the therapeutic setting.

MTEL or copy of current license, as appropriate.

  • Additional Requirements for International Students
  • Proof of English Proficiency - All applicants whose first language is not English and who have not earned an academic degree in the U.S. must submit proof of English proficiency. This graduate entry requirement to Merrimack College can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:
    • A minimum TOEFL score of 84 on the internet-based test (with a minimum of 21 on the writing subset)
    • A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0
    • A minimum PTE Academic score of 56
  • Certificate of Finances - This form must be completed by all students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents who intend to be enrolled full-time at Merrimack College.  The form must be accompanied by current (no older than six months) proof of funding for the first year of studies in the form of a notarized bank letter.
  • Copy of Passport
  • Visa - A Visa needs to be obtained before students start their study in the graduate program

Admissions Policies and Processes

Admission Prerequisites

Some graduate programs may have required prerequisites that will not count toward a degree.

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the prerequisites for their program of interest.  Prerequisite coursework can be taken at any accredited college or university, including Merrimack College.  Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade B (3.0 GPA) or better prior to enrolling in classes at Merrimack.  For questions about prerequisite coursework, please contact

Admission Review

Once complete, applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee.  The committee reviews undergraduate GPA, course of study and curriculum in addition to relevant job or internship experience, personal or professional accomplishments or demonstrated leadership, letters of recommendation, and an applicant’s goals for the program as outlined in their personal statement.

Admission Timeline

Admission to the traditional graduate programs is on a rolling basis. Fellowship programs have different application deadlines.

Verification of Credentials

It is the policy of the Office of Graduate Studies to verify all credentials submitted in support of an application. All transcripts, recommendations, publications, standardized test scores, and supplemental materials must be traceable to their source in order to confirm their authenticity. Written materials submitted by an applicant may be subject to review for the purpose of identifying plagiarism.

Final Transcripts

All students must have submitted final transcripts, with proof of bachelor’s degree earned, by the end of the first month of the first semester or a registration hold will be placed on the student’s account.  At that time the student will be prevented from registering for following semesters until proof of degree is received.

Official transcripts should be mailed to:

Merrimack College

Office of Graduate Studies 

315 Turnpike Street

North Andover, MA 01845


Students may only apply to one program for any given term. Any additional applications will be automatically denied admission.  Only the first submitted application will be considered.

Admission Deposit

Admitted students who wish to accept their offer of admission must submit a deposit. The deposit is non-refundable and will be applied toward the student’s tuition bill. The exact deposit amount will be announced in the admission decision letter.

Deferment Policy and Process

If an admitted student would like to defer their admission, the following two items are required:

  1. A written request
  2. Deposit received

An admission deferral may be requested for one term or one academic year. Students may only defer their admission once.  Students who do not matriculate after deferring will need to reapply.

Reapplication and Readmission Policy

Applicants to a graduate program who did not attend or did not complete the program and applicants who have been denied admission must submit a new application to be considered for admission. The new application must include all required documents to be reviewed. All supporting materials must be updated. Deposits for previous applications or enrollments do not count towards new applications or enrollments. If admitted, the applicant must submit a new deposit.

Prospective students who are reapplying and who had previously submitted all documents may use those documents for their new application for up to one calendar year from date of submission.

Prospective students who have been admitted to a term, but who do not deposit for that term, can request in writing to have their application reviewed for the following term without submitting a new application but with no guarantee of admission. This request can only be made once and for only one term.

Responding to Offers of Admission

Prospective students must accept offers of admission by depositing as indicated in the instructions contained in their offer letter.

Transfer Credit

Matriculated graduate students may request to transfer up to two courses (eight credits) for which they have received a grade of B (3.0 GPA) or better. To be eligible for consideration, the credits must have been obtained at another accredited graduate program within a time frame which will allow the student to complete the Merrimack program with all credits falling under the six year time limit, including those accepted in transfer.  All courses submitted for transfer credit at the time of application must be completed prior to the student’s acceptance into the program.  All transfer credits must be reviewed and approved in writing by the corresponding graduate program director in order for the credits be used to complete the program. Students must provide official transcripts, course descriptions, and syllabi for review.

Admission to Graduate Courses through the GRAD Advantage Program

The Merrimack GRAD Advantage program allows Merrimack undergraduate students to take up to two graduate degree courses (eight credits) during their senior year, covered by a GRAD Advantage scholarship.  Courses cross-listed as graduate/undergraduate courses may be taken for either undergraduate or graduate credit but not both.  Students in the GRAD Advantage Program wanting to gain graduate credit for a cross-listed course must register for it as a graduate course to gain graduate credit.

Undergraduate students with a 3.0 GPA who meet all the prerequisites can apply to the GRAD Advantage program. To prepare to apply to the program, Merrimack undergraduate students should start working with their academic advisor to plan courses around the program as early as freshman year.  To apply, students should return their completed Intent to Pursue Form to the Office of Graduate Studies and complete the online application. All additional application requirements will be waived. Then, a student can take up to two graduate courses (eight credits) during their senior year, if their schedule allows. They can continue in the program as long as they earn a B or better in each of their graduate courses and maintain a 3.0 GPA during their senior undergraduate year.

Even if a student chooses not to take courses through GRAD Advantage as an undergraduate, they are still eligible to graduate courses covered by the GRAD Advantage scholarship up to one calendar year after they graduate. After one year, however, they must apply through the standard application process, which may not include a scholarship or which may be subject to a different scholarship amount.

Please note: All Merrimack “fellowship programs” are different and separate from the GRAD Advantage program and have a separate application process and different admission requirements. Fellowships do not qualify for the GRAD Advantage program.  See below for descriptions of various fellowships.

The Merrimack GRAD Advantage scholarship program covers the cost of two graduate courses (up to eight credits) taken during a student’s senior undergraduate year or in the one-year period following graduation from their undergraduate program. The value of this scholarship varies based on the number of credits each course provides. If it is fully applied to the student’s senior year courses, the scholarship will no longer apply after graduation; if not, it will be prorated and applied to student’s graduate studies based on the student’s credit load. Students will need to inform the Office of Graduate Studies if their credit load changes at any point during the academic year, as this directly impacts their scholarship amount.

Undergraduate students should take note that they must be enrolled in at least 12 undergraduate credits to remain in Merrimack student housing and to continue to receive undergraduate financial aid. Graduate credits taken through the GRAD Advantage program do not count towards the 12 undergraduate credit total.

Graduate students enrolled at least half time (a minimum of four credits per semester) in the Grad Advantage program may also qualify for financial aid in the form of Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

Appeal of Admission Denial

Admission is denied when a prospective student fails to meet the minimum admission requirements of the program to which they have applied.  If a student believes there are extenuating circumstances that should be considered, they may appeal the admission decision. Prospective students wishing to appeal a denial can write a letter of appeal to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Conditional Admit

Conditional admission can be awarded to prospective students for certain programs who have met all requirements for admission except for the English language proficiency requirements. Conditionally-admitted applicants must provide updated English language test scores as outlined in their decision letter. Conditionally-admitted students may not take courses or earn credits until they can successfully prove that they meet the Merrimack English language proficiency requirements, at which point they may be fully admitted into the program.

Provisional Admit

Provisionally-admitted students must satisfy the additional requirements outlined in their decision letter before they can be fully admitted to their intended graduate program and matriculate. Once the additional requirements are met, their original application, along with their new grades, will be re-reviewed by the Graduate Admission Committee which will decide on whether the student can be fully admitted.

Provisionally-admitted students should take the following steps to register for classes:

  • Contact the program director as indicated in your decision letter in order to determine an appropriate course of action.
  • Depending on the program, a provisionally-admitted student may be able to take up to two graduate courses (eight credits) as a non-matriculated graduate student while working towards completing additional requirements.
  • Students may take additional required classes at another accredited institution of their choice, but must get prior written permission from the program director prior to registering, as some courses may not be accepted as satisfactory transfer credits. Additionally, only courses with a grade of B (3.0) or better will be accepted.
  • Please note that non-matriculated students must check with the Office of Financial Aid to determine their eligibility for financial aid under the provisionally-admitted status.
  • Once a student has completed the required classes, they should update the Office of Graduate Studies at All transcripts outside of Merrimack College can be mailed to the following address:

Merrimack College

Office of Graduate Studies

315 Turnpike Street 

North Andover, MA 01845

Non-Matriculated Student Status

Students can take up to two courses (eight credits) without being accepted into a degree program.

Before registering for a graduate course, non-matriculated students must submit an official transcript to the Office of Graduate Studies indicating the conferral of a bachelor’s degree. Please note international students cannot take courses under the non-matriculated status.

Change in Program of Graduate Study

Admission for graduate study is admission to a specific program. Therefore, a student is not free to change graduate programs at will. Students seeking to change from one graduate program to another need to withdraw from their initial program as well as reapply to the new program. Previous acceptance into one graduate program does not guarantee acceptance into another.

Records Maintenance and Disposal

All admission documents, including academic records sent from other institutions, become part of the official college file. Admission credentials are retained for only 12 months. They are subsequently destroyed if applicants 1) do not register for courses within the period for which the offer of admission is valid; 2) have been denied admission; 3) do not respond to requests for additional information; or 4) fail to submit complete applications, including all official transcripts and test results.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Merrimack College is firmly committed to the practice of equal opportunity. Every student is entitled to an environment free of discrimination, which erodes dignity and morale. The College prohibits discrimination of any kind.

Discrimination constitutes a serious infraction of College policy as well as a violation of state and federal law. Any member of the Merrimack College community who discriminates against, excludes, degrades or otherwise devalues another on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, or other lawfully protected categories will be disciplined accordingly, up to and including dismissal.

It is the policy of Merrimack College to administer all decisions without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, or other lawfully protected categories.