May 19, 2019  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Process

Admission Process

Following are application guidelines for all programs in the School of Graduate Studies. Please be sure to complete specific admissions requirements as outlined in the Graduate Catalog under each program.

This page contains information about the following topics:


How to Apply

An application can be completed and submitted from Rivier’s web site ( Students may also obtain an application by mail from the Office of Graduate Admissions or by downloading an application from the Rivier website. When completing the application students are to include any names that may have been used in the past. This information is helpful to cross-reference official documents received from other colleges and universities.

Application Fee
A $25.00 application fee must accompany the application for admission.

Transcript(s): Official transcripts of all postsecondary education are required.

  • All applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • One official transcript from each college attended must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Transcripts may be sent directly to Rivier University. Transcripts submitted with the application materials must be in a sealed envelope. Schools providing electronic transcripts should email them directly to Graduates or current students of Rivier University, are not required to request transcript(s). (International students need to refer to the International Student Section for further transcript instructions.)

Recommendations: One letter of recommendation is required.
Recommendations submitted with the application materials must be in a sealed envelope. Recommendations may also be submitted directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions via parcel post or e-mail. Recommendations sent via e-mail, must have clearly indicated on the subject line of the e-mail the name of the student for whom the recommendation is being submitted.

National Exam Results: MAT/GRE
Refer to specific department requirements. Not all programs require the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Statement of Purpose
Each applicant must submit a personal statement, one or two pages in length, which addresses the following:
Your reasons for deciding to pursue graduate work in the field you have chosen. Please ensure you address these three points: What previous experiences and commitments have brought you to consider applying for graduate education? What are your chief objectives in applying now? How do you think Rivier University’s graduate program will help you in the pursuit of your objectives.

Financial Aid
Applicants interested in financial assistance need to refer to the Financial Aid Section of the catalog. Students applying for financial aid must check the appropriate box on the application. Students are urged to complete the free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. Financial Aid can only be awarded to students who have been officially accepted to a degree program.

Additional Requirements

International students

Refer to the International Student section for further instructions.

Nursing program applicants

  • Provide a copy of both NH and MA RN licensure
  • Submit an updated resume
  • Show evidence of successful completion of a statistics course

Timely submission of documents
Applicants are encouraged to submit materials all at once for a more efficient and timely processing of their application. The applicant must allow for the additional time necessary for the national exam scores and letters of recommendation to be submitted. While the Office of Graduate Admissions may periodically notify applicants regarding the status of their application, it is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that all requirements for acceptance into the program of their choice have been met.

Please note that acceptances are based on a review of all credentials and materials submitted.

Application Deadline

The Rivier University School of Graduate Studies operates under a “rolling admissions” system. However, applications should be submitted with consideration given to having all materials processed prior to the start of the new semester. A student who has been accepted into a graduate program must attend within a year of acceptance or may, at the discretion of the department or Vice President for Academic Affairs, be required to submit a new application. Application files for individuals who do not matriculate will be retained in the Office of Graduate Admissions for one (1) year from the date of application. It is possible to enroll in graduate courses during the application process. For information regarding registration prior to acceptance, please consult with the Office of Graduate Admissions. Degree-seeking students are strongly encouraged to complete an application during the first semester of enrollment in graduate courses and prior to the completion of twelve graduate credits. Such students have non-matriculated status. For more details, refer to “non-matriculated status” under the heading “Graduate Student Status.”

Types of Admission

Regular admission is granted to students whose academic records and supporting documents indicate they are qualified to undertake graduate study in their chosen fields.

Tentative admission is granted to a student admitted during the final year of undergraduate work. Admission on this basis is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the undergraduate program and submission of a complete, final transcript showing receipt of the degree.

Provisional admission is granted to a student who does not have all the prerequisites for admission to graduate study in the academic field. Prerequisite and elective courses must be made part of the student’s program of study;

Probationary admission may be granted to a student whose academic record may not meet all established academic requirements but suggests promise for success in graduate study. Admission with Probation is equivalent in every way to regular admission. In order to be removed from probationary status a student must maintain the same level of academic excellence expected of all graduate students.

Certification admission. All students applying to graduate certification programs must submit an application to the Graduate School. Certification students must have received a Bachelor’s degree. Additional credentials may be required. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Non-degree admission. All students enrolling in 500-700 level courses, regardless of whether or not they intend to receive graduate degree credit for course work, must apply for non-degree graduate admission, and will be billed at the graduate rates for the graduate level classes taken. Non-degree applicants (also referred to as non-matriculated students) must have earned a Bachelor’s degree. International students are referred to the “International Students” heading in the Admissions section of this catalog.

Non-degree/non-matriculated students who are not interested in enrolling in a Rivier graduate degree program, but who are interested in pursuing course work at the graduate level for reasons of personal enrichment of professional development, may request Non-Degree Student status by completing an application. Once a student has been granted Non-Degree Student status, he or she may take an unlimited number of graduate program courses.

If at a later date, a non-degree student decides to pursue a graduate degree, a change to degree-seeking/matriculated status would be possible. In this case, the student must be admitted before completion of the twelfth graduate credit. Students must understand that limitations may be placed on course work taken while in the non-degree/non-matriculated status. Specifically, the student must understand that a department may decide whether or not to accept any non-degree work toward the student’s graduate degree. Acceptance of credits beyond twelve is subject to the approval of the director of the program and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Admission to non-degree status does not establish eligibility for admission to degree-seeking status.

Non-degree classification applications are handled on a first come, first-served basis. Applications submitted within one month of registration may not be processed in time to begin that semester or term.

Visiting admission. Students in good standing in another recognized graduate school who wish to enroll for a limited number of course credits, and who plan to resume work at the school of original admission, may be admitted as a visiting graduate student. International students who apply this way are referred to the “International Students” heading in the Admissions section of this catalog.

Re-Admission to Graduate Studies

Any student who withdraws from the University in good academic standing shall be eligible for re-admission to the University provided that all prior financial obligations to the University are met. A student previously admitted to the Graduate School who has not attended Rivier University within the past three years must reapply for admission through the Office of Graduate Admissions. The student’s re-admission must be recommended by the department and approved by the Program Director or Divisional Dean. An applicant for re-admission will not necessarily have preference over new applicants, and will be treated in the same manner as an applicant for initial admission.

Types of programs

Degree Programs - Each degree program requires a specified number of graduate credits and specified required coursework. Departmental or program requirements for master’s students or for doctorate students may be found in the program descriptions elsewhere in this catalog.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) - A Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study is a post-master’s program for students wishing to receive an advanced level of knowledge in a specialized field after receiving a master’s degree.

Work leading to State Certification - Many graduate programs lead to both a degree and licensing or certification by a state (or national) agency. Individuals who do not wish to enroll in a degree program but rather are interested solely in pursuing programs leading to state certification should follow the same admissions guidelines listed above. Specific requirements are listed in the program information which specifically refers to “work leading to certification.” To obtain an individual education plan for certification only, meet with a faculty advisor.

Graduate Student Status

A student may enroll at Rivier University under one of two classifications:

  • Matriculated status is the category for students who have met all requirements for admission to a degree, a certificate, or a teacher certification program and who have been recommended by the department in which she or he proposes to study as a degree or certificate candidate, and thereafter accepted by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Non-matriculated status is the category for individuals without advanced degree or certificate objectives who are taking courses. Students must show appropriate documentation that they have earned a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree prior to registering as a non-matriculating student. For more details, refer to “non-degree admission” under the heading “Types of Admission.” To be eligible for financial aid, a student must have “matriculated” status.

Transfer Credit

Candidates for a master’s degree at Rivier University may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits, provided that: (1) these credits were earned at an accredited college or university, (2) these credits are of a B grade or better, (3) the course (s) were completed within the past six years (4) these credits have been approved by the dean/program director of the division.

International Students

International students are encouraged to apply. International students who wish F-1 student status must complete the necessary requirements under federal law. Those requirements can be found in the catalog or on-line under International Admission/Application Process. All international students in the day, evening, or graduate programs, must be admitted to Rivier University as full-time students and maintain that status throughout their academic study.

The International Student Advisor in the Office of Global Engagement provides all assistance to international students. The advisor assists the students from the admissions inquiry until the international students obtain their F-1 visa abroad or with their change of non-immigrant to F1 status in the United States of America. The International Student Advising Office helps with matters such as immigration regulations/procedures, housing, social security numbers, personal issues, driver’s licenses, cultural adjustment, employment, filing income tax, and traveling outside the United States as well as reentry. For assistance, please contact the International Student Advising Office at 603-897-8249, or visit for more information.

Admission Policies

  • Application Fee - Foreign applicants provide a $25 processing fee for each application submitted. This fee must be paid by check, money order, or bank draft in U. S. funds and drawn on an American bank. Friends and/or relatives in the United States may pay this fee for prospective students who are applying from abroad.
  • F-1 Student Status - If requesting a SEVIS form I-20 for F-1 visa status, an official bank statement reflecting a balance of $32,330.00 (US) for non-health sciences and $35,030.00 for health sciences programs is required for 2015-2016. An additional $3,000 (US) each must be reflected for spouse and each additional child. If the student is being sponsored, the sponsor must submit a letter stating their willingness to sponsor the student and a financial statement reflecting the balances stated above for that sponsor.
  • Academic Records/Transcript Evaluation - Applicants must submit official academic records (transcripts or mark-sheets) for each year of postsecondary education (college or university), as well as official copies of degrees awarded. All international school transcripts must be evaluated by an agency in good standing. The agency chosen should be asked to evaluate both the student’s transcript and degrees awarded. A course-by-course evaluation is encouraged, and is required for M.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Nursing applicants. The student is responsible for the agency fee.
  • Evidence of English Proficiency - Applicants whose native language is other than English must provide evidence of proficiency of the English language.

    Accepted tests:
    IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

    Required Scores for IELTS:
    Applicants must present scores of at least 5.5 for general acceptance and 6.0 for nursing acceptance on the IELTS.

    Required Scores for TOEFL:
    A score of 79 Internet Based Test (IBT), 550 points on the Paper Based Test (PBT) or 213 on the Computer Based Test (CBT) or higher is required for unrestricted acceptance.
    A score of 61-78 (IBT), 500-549 (PBT) or173-212 (CBT) requires the recommendation of the divisional chairperson or director, and an interview.
    Below 61 (IBT): An applicant does not meet the English language requirements for acceptance if their score falls below 61 (IBT), 500 (PBT), or 173 (CBT).
    Applicants may reapply after reporting a TOEFL score of 61 (IBT), 500 (PBT), 173 (CBT) or higher.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their test score report is received by the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Proficiency Test Exceptions

Providing a language proficiency test score may not be required if an applicant satisfies one or more of these conditions:

  • A college or university degree earned prior to submission of this application in the United States.
  • Students who have successfully completed two years of full-time academic study in a degree-granting program in the United States.

Communicating with Rivier after applying

Applicants are asked to wait at least ten business days after submitting all credentials before inquiring about the status of their application.

  • Applicants interested in visiting or in arranging an interview with a department, are to contact the department directly. The policy on interviews as part of the application process varies by department.
  • The application will be sent to the relevant academic department for review after all the required materials have been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Notification will be made in writing when a decision is rendered.

Official Acceptance

Offers of admission are binding only when made by the School of Graduate Studies in writing and accompanied by the signature of the Director of Graduate Admissions.