Feb 22, 2020  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 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

A completed online application or a paper version may be submitted.

Application Fee
A nonrefundable $25 fee is submitted with paper applications. Checks should be made payable to Rivier University. Applications submitted online do not require a fee.

Official Academic Transcripts
Official academic transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended, undergraduate and graduate are required. These are generally submitted directly from the previous school’s registrar to Rivier University Admissions. Refer to the International Admissions section for required transcript evaluations of college or university programs attended outside of the United States. Applicants for graduate programs must have transcripts indicating that they have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or an equivalent international institution.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are submitted directly from a current or former academic or professional reference. This may be submitted directly from the author to gadmissions@rivier.edu. Nursing programs require two letters of recommendation, with one of these from a nurse leader. The Master of Public Health program also requires two letters.

While not usually required, many graduate programs recommend that applicants have an in-person, or telephone interview during the application process with an academic leader in their program area to ensure the intended program fits with the educational goals of the applicant.

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? Online MBA programs do not require a Statement of Purpose.

Test Scores
River University master’s degree level programs do not require G.R.E., G.M.A.T. or M.A.T. results for entry.

Program Specific Requirements

Nursing Programs:

  • Resume of Curriculum Vitae
  • Course of Study Form completed indicating your preferences for full or part-time study options that may be available for your academic program
  • Verification of active, unencumbered RN license(s)
  • Evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate statistics course
  • Students without a bachelor’s degree in Nursing (RN-MS entry options): Professional Nursing Portfolio

M.A.T. Programs in English and Social Studies:

  • Writing sample
  • Interview - phone or in person interview is required

Master of Public Health Program:

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate statistics course

International Students

Refer to the International Student section for further instructions.

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 may expect normal processing time of 2-4 weeks for response times, especially during peak times of the year.  Applicants should ensure that letters of recommendation are submitted by checking with the authors. 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. This time frame is usually 30 days for domestic applications, and 60 days for international applicants, to allow for time to process visa appointments with their local US Embassy. 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.”

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 admissions 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.

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.

Conditional 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 may refer 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, Educational Specialists (Ed.S.) students or for doctoral students may be found in the program descriptions elsewhere in this catalog.

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

Consideration for award of transfer credit will be conducted according to all of the following policies.

Only courses completed at a regionally accredited institution of higher education will be accepted.  Regional accrediting bodies are:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) (www.msche.org)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE) (cihe.neasc.org)
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) (www.nwccu.org)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (www.sacscoc.org)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC-WASC) (www.accjc.org)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WASC-SCUC) (www.wascsenior.org)

International Students

International students are encouraged to apply. International students who wish to obtain F-1 student visa status must complete the necessary requirements under U.S. 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 to comply with U.S. Federal student visa regulations.

The International Student Advisor in the Office of Global Engagement provides all assistance to international students. The advisor assists the students from the admissions acceptance 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 Global Engagement’s International Student staff 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 Global Engagement’s International Student Services  at 603-897-8782, or visit http://www.rivier.edu/international/default.aspx for more information.

Admission applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and there is no admission deadline. Please ensure that there is enough time to review your application before your start term begins, generally 60 days prior to the intended term start date to allow enough time for admission review, visa processing and travel plans. Normal processing time for an admission response is two to four weeks from when your completed application material submission is received in Admissions. Partial admission applications are not reviewed for preliminary decisions.

International Admissions

In addition to the standard graduate admission requirements, applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents must submit the following:

Transcript Evaluations

Transcripts from schools, colleges and universities outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by an agency approved by: the National Association of Credential Evaluators (www.naces.org), the Association of International Credential Evaluators (www.aice-eval.org), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (ies.aacrao.org), or by IDP Education. Full course-by-course evaluations are required for most academic programs. Completed International Transcript Evaluations will be sent directly from the evaluation agency to: The Office of Graduate Admissions Rivier University, 420 Main Street, Nashua NH 03060

Evidence of English Proficiency

Students whose native language is not English must provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are accepted.

  • Minimum acceptable scores for standard English tests are: TOEFL (61), IELTS (5.5) , PTE (43) for Master’s degree programs. Doctoral programs require minimum scores of TOEFL (95), IELTS (7.0), PTE (66).
  • Exceptions to the English testing requirement:
    • A college or university degree has been earned in the United States prior to applying to Rivier.
    • Students who have successfully completed two years of full-time academic study in a degree-granting program in the United States.

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

Minimum test scores do not guarantee admission, and are only one part of the admission decision.

F-1 visa - SEVIS Form I-20 Information

If an international applicant is requesting an I-20 form to apply for an F-1 student visa you are also required to submit:

  • Photocopies of the applicants’ current passport/visa
  • Official bank statements must reflect minimum balances to show the ability to pay for all educational related expenses as outlined by the Office of Global Engagement each academic year.
  • If the student is sponsored (frequently this is by a parent), the sponsor (parent) must submit a letter stating their willingness to sponsor the student and a financial statement reflecting the balances stated above.

I-20 forms  cannot be produced by the Office of Global Engagement prior to an admission acceptance decision.

Communicating with Rivier after applying

Applicants are asked to wait at least 14 calendar days after all required credentials are expected to be received by Rivier Graduate Admissions 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.
  • Applications are sent to the relevant academic department for review only after all the required materials have been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Notification will be made in writing or via e-mail when a decision is rendered.

Official Acceptance

Offers of admission are binding only when made by the Admissions Office. Online program acceptance notifications are emailed directly from Enrollment Counselors to students, and on campus/hybrid program notifications are mailed with a signed hard copy.