Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog



All prospective students wishing to attend Rivier University should submit their application online at www.rivier.edu.

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below

Types of Programs

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

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

Types of Admission

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

Conditional admission is granted to a student contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a variety of outstanding material that may be in progress, or to a student who does not have all the prerequisites for admission to the academic field of study. 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 the field of study. Specific requirements for the probation are expressed to the student on their acceptance notification.

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 for additional requirements.

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

Undergraduate First-Year, Transfer, and Non-Traditional Status

Undergraduate studies occur on three campuses: Day, Professional Studies, and Rivier Online (ROL). For the purpose of Day and all nursing program admissions, the following students are considered first-year applicants:

  • High school students and adults who have not completed any college/university or post-secondary school course work.
  • Transfer students are high school graduates or GED recipients who also have completed one or more courses at an accredited college/university or professional school such as a school of practical nursing.
  • Non-traditional students are adult learners 23 years or older and have not completed any college or post-secondary school course work.

Rolling Admission

The University employs a rolling admission system. Through this method, qualified students are notified of acceptance from the date their application is complete. Although there is no specified application deadline, the University recommends that students submit applications by August 1 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester. Qualified students are admitted to the University, as long as space is available.

Deferred Admission

Deferred admission may be granted to accepted students who wish to postpone entrance for up to one year. Students should notify the Admissions Office in writing of their intention to defer and state the semester they intend to enroll. Students who enroll at another institution during the deferral period must submit official transcripts of their academic work and follow the transfer credit evaluation procedure.

General Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission must have completed a minimum of 16 units in an accredited high school. College Preparatory curriculum or higher is required for all units. The following units are normally required:

English 4
Social Sciences 2
Mathematics (Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry) 3
Science 3

The remaining four units may be made up from additional courses in the disciplines listed above and offered in an accredited high school curriculum. Two years of a foreign language are strongly recommended. Consideration will be given to candidates who may not have taken a foreign language provided they meet all other admissions requirements. Such admitted students will be required to complete the University’s General Education modern language requirement. Applicants to Nursing must complete specific science and mathematics courses prior to admission.

Exceptions to the above, which may include students with equivalent diplomas such as the GED or HiSET, are reviewed on an individual basis.

Global Scholars Program

Applicants for admission to all undergraduate Day programs who have distinguished themselves in high school will be invited to apply to the Global Scholars Program. Successful candidates will participate in a program combining interdisciplinary academic inquiry, leadership development and cultural/service immersion.

Personal Appointments and Campus Visits

Rivier University highly encourages and recommends personal appointments with an admission counselor and campus tours for students seeking to learn first-hand about the University. Personal appointments and/or tour appointments can be arranged by contacting the Office of Admissions at (603) 897-8507 or by going to the university website at events.rivier.edu. Tours may be scheduled Monday through Friday and on selected Saturdays during the academic year.



First-Year Application Process:

General Guidelines

Application for admission is completed when the Office of Admissions has received the following credentials:

  • Application for Admission: Rivier’s application or the Common Application;
  • Essay: Application essay-topics are listed on the Rivier application form or the writing sample on the Common Application is also sufficient;
  • An official high school transcript. The transcript should include first quarter or first semester senior year grades and, if available, rank in class. Applicants who have earned a GED should submit an official copy of the test results;
  • Standardized Test Scores: Optional for all majors. For those applicants that want to submit SAT scores, the Rivier University SAT code number is 3728;
  • Recommendation(s): One letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher, or advisor concerning academic ability and character. Adults who are returning to school after an extended length of time should obtain a letter of recommendation from an employer or professional in the community;
  • Interview: A personal interview and campus tour are both highly recommended, although not required.

First-time students who submit a deposit must request that their high school send a final official transcript with the date of graduation to the Office of Admissions as soon as possible.

Home-schooled students only-must submit the following:

  • A high school equivalent transcript issued by the agency, school or persons overseeing the curriculum including an official date of graduation or GED;
  • Two letters of recommendation from, for example, a minister, neighbor, employer, or professional in the community;
  • An academic portfolio consisting of graded work. Specific requirements include an English essay, science project/lab/report, and a social sciences research or analytical paper.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Optional for all majors. For those applicants that want to submit SAT scores, the Rivier University SAT code number is 3728.

Policy on High School Students Attending Rivier Classes:

High school juniors and seniors may be considered for eligibility to take courses, on a space available basis, at Rivier University during Fall/Spring semesters, upon submission of the following to the Office of Admissions:

  • An official transcript of all high school work completed to the present; in the case of a home-schooled student, submit a high school equivalent transcript issued by the agency, school or persons overseeing the curriculum;
  • A letter of recommendation from a high school counselor; in the case of a home-schooled student, submit a letter from an employer or a professional in the community.

These materials will be reviewed for evidence of ability. In some cases, an interview on campus may be required. Those accepted into courses at Rivier are responsible for all regular tuition and fees, unless enrolled in a Dual Enrollment Articulation Program. Matriculation, i.e., acceptance into a degree program, is open only to those who have graduated from high school; in the case of a home-schooled student, an official date of graduation or a GED.

Institutional Agreements:

Students may submit Project Running Start, Academy of Finance and Academy of Education courses that have been approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Advanced Placement

Incoming students who have obtained a score of three or higher on the Advanced Placement Test of the College Entrance Examination Board may be awarded credit and advanced placement. Students must have official AP test scores sent directly to the University for evaluation and consideration. 

Undergraduate Nursing Majors

Applicants for admission to the Associate of Science in Nursing or Baccalaureate Program are required to provide evidence of high school algebra, chemistry, biology or anatomy & physiology, and a secondary math course with a minimum grade of C+ in each course.  These are required for admission.

Transfer Admission

Transfer Application Process & General Guidelines

Application for admission is completed when the Office of Admissions has received the following credentials:

  • Application for Admission
  • Application essay (topics are listed on the application form)
  • An official high school transcript or official GED results. The high school transcript/ GED is waived for applicants who have earned an associate’s degree or higher
  • An official college, university or professional school transcript from each institution where credit was earned. Students enrolled in a college or university at the time of application should submit a listing of the courses in progress as well as others they may plan to take prior to enrollment at Rivier. All records of previous academic work become the property of Rivier University and are not reissued or re-copied for distribution.
  • Applicants who are 23 years of age or older may be asked to take an alternative aptitude examination at the request of the Admissions Committee.
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor, advisor, employer, or professional in the community.
  • Personal interview and campus tour are both recommended, although not required.

Rivier University has developed a number of articulation agreements with colleges and universities. These agreements ensure acceptance if the student meets the acceptable standard, “C” (2.0) or better, towards their Bachelor’s Degree. Individual departments may have different criteria; specific information is available through the Office of Admissions and in the University catalog. Any student with fewer than 30 credits will be considered for acceptance based upon their high school transcript and/or those college/university credits completed. Students with more than 30 college/university credits will be considered for admission based upon college/university coursework only. However, documentation that the student is a high school graduate, or has a GED, will be required.

Transfer Nursing Majors (Day, Professional Studies or Online) Programs

Applicants who are not LPNs or RNs and who wish to major in Nursing (A.S. or B.S. programs) must provide evidence of satisfactory completion (77 percent or higher) of high school or college level chemistry and algebra. Applicants to the traditional BS degree must also provide evidence of an additional math course and college level Anatomy and Physiology I and II with a grade of B- or higher. 

Advanced Placement for Licensed Practical Nurses: Associate of Science Degree Program (Professional Studies evening Only)

All licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are eligible to apply for advanced placement in the A.S. nursing program. Applicants may be granted advanced placement contingent upon proof of an unencumbered LPN licensure, a review of their LPN curriculum, and the successful challenge of NURS 101 Nursing Fundamentals . This assessment may be repeated only once after a month waiting period.

Applicants must submit an application, official transcripts, statement of purpose, and letter of reference, and consult with the Nursing Academic Advisor prior to registering for Challenge Examinations. TEAS are not required.

Students must submit official CLEP or challenge examination scores (meeting Rivier University’s minimum passing grades) and/or complete the course(s) to fulfill these requirements prior to beginning nursing courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II - 4 Credits Each
  • Bioethics - 3 Credits
  • English Composition - 3 Credits
  • General Psychology - 3 Credits
  • Humanities Elective - 3 Credits
  • Lifespan Development - 3 Credits
  • Microbiology - 4 Credits
  • Sociology Elective - 3 credits

Challenge Examination scores will be valid for consideration for admission to the nursing program for a period of four years from the test date. A fee is charged for each Challenge Examination. Challenge Examinations may be repeated only once, following a one-month waiting period from the date of the original examination. Applicants who do not achieve the required scores on Challenge Examinations on their second attempt will be required to take the appropriate courses at Rivier University and will be considered for admission as transfer students.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses (RN-BS)

Registered nurses who are graduates of the Rivier University A.S. in Nursing program need only submit an application, a nursing RN-BS waiver form, and proof of current RN licensure if applying within three years of graduation. Applicants who have graduated from other ACEN-accredited associate degree programs are granted admission without further evaluation of academic potential but must submit an application, application fee, all college/university and professional school transcripts, one letter of reference, and proof of current RN licensure. High school transcripts and SAT/ACT test results are not required. Graduates of Diploma Programs are required to submit high school transcripts.



Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit Evaluation

The Office of Admissions may provide a preliminary evaluation of transfer credits at the time of application. Students seeking transfer should be aware that transfer credit acceptance and year of graduation assignment or other status is subject to final review. This review may be done by the Office of the Registrar, the student’s academic advisor, and/or faculty advisor when the student is formally accepted for matriculation at the University.

If a student with transfer credit changes their major or minor after enrolling at the University, their transfer credits and previous transcripts will be reevaluated by the appropriate Academic & Career Advisor, Success Coach, or Program Director to determine if any adjustment is necessary.

Transfer Credit Policy

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. Regional accreditors are:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)(www.msche.org)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)(https://www.neche.org/)
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (https://www.hlcommission.org/)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)(http://www.nwccu.org/)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (http://www.sacscoc.org/)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC-WASC)(https://accjc.org/)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WASC-SCUC)(www.wascsenior.org)
  • Transfer credit from colleges and universities located outside of the US must come from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent in their country. International transfer credit requires transfer evaluation by a recognized agency. See “International Admissions” for details for approved agencies. If credit is earned through an approved study abroad program, credit must come from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • An undergraduate course for which a student has received at least a 2.000 on a 4.000 grade scale or a graduate course with at least a 3.000 on a 4.000 grade scale is eligible for transfer. Grades of P (pass) will only be accepted if there is documentation that the P is equivalent to a C or better. Students transferring into a nursing program must have earned a minimum of a B- in nursing-related science courses, such as Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology and a B- in any Nursing course for which they wish to receive credit.
  • Nursing courses to be used toward pre-licensure nursing programs, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), should be no older than five years. Exceptions may be made based on continued course work or current employment at the discretion of the dean. This statement does not apply to nursing courses in the RN-BSN program.
  • Graduate transfer credit must have been completed within the past six years.
  • No more than 45 credits may be transferred into an associate degree, no more than 90 into a bachelor’s degree program, and no more than nine credits for a graduate degree program. The undergraduate transfer applicant must earn a minimum of 30 credits from Rivier University before a bachelor’s degree will be conferred, and 15 credits before an associate degree will be conferred.
  • Transfer students with associate degrees are not necessarily granted junior standing, unless they are accepted through the Transfer Articulation Program (see below).
  • A course from a two-year college may transfer to Rivier University as lower-level course, unless equivalency to a Rivier upper-level course can be demonstrated.  Students demonstrate upper-level equivalency by providing course syllabi, sample texts, and other documents for evaluation by the appropriate division dean.
  • Credits accepted in transfer may be allocated to General Education requirements or electives. The faculty of each discipline will determine through course substitution which of the transferred courses will fulfill major or minor requirements. A course catalog, course description, or course syllabus may be needed to assess the course appropriately.
  • Except in extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances, once transfer credits have been approved and a transfer student’s program has been finalized, the student is expected to take all subsequent courses at Rivier University.
  • Courses accepted for transfer credit will be listed on the student’s transcript with a designation of “TR”, the number of semester hours awarded, the title of the course, and the name of the institution where the course was taken. Grades received for transfer courses will not appear on the Rivier University transcript, and the grades and related quality points are not calculated in the semester or cumulative grade point averages. However, the transfer credits awarded do contribute toward students’ totals of cumulative earned and attempted hours.
  • Students who wish to transfer credits into a teacher certification or nursing program may have additional restrictions on the acceptability of transfer credits. (See the specific department section for the major transfer policy).
  • Non-credit CEU courses, adult-enrichment or refresher courses, correspondence courses and home study courses are not recognized for transfer credit. Rivier University does not grant transfer credit for the following work completed at or assessed by other colleges: college-based credit by exam or challenge, portfolio assessment, independent study, field work, or cooperative education experience.
  • Credit for CLEP, AP, and DSST examinations are assessed consistent with relevant University policy. Credit for armed services experience or employer training programs is assessed by the registrar based on American Council on Education (ACE) guidelines. Original documentation related to such course work must be presented. Up to 15 credit hours earned through approved DSST Defense Subject Standardized Tests may be accepted.
  • Credits earned at institutions that are non-accredited or are candidates for accreditation generally will not be accepted in transfer. However, students may petition their academic and career advisor or success coach to have these credits accepted. In these cases, the student must provide copies of their course material(s) such as a copy of their course syllabus and course description, among other information.
  • Credits earned at nationally accredited institutions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • 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) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (www.aice-eval.org). Completed International Transcript Evaluations will be sent directly from the evaluation agency to: Rivier University Office of Admissions, 420 S. Main Street, Nashua NH 03060. The student is responsible for the agency fee.
  • 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. Nursing programs are governed by division specific policies.
  • Upon matriculation, nurses with an active, unencumbered RN license will be awarded 60 credits, validating the competency in Associate Degree-level courses, including BIOL 105 Human Anatomy and Physiology I , BIOL 106 Human Anatomy and Physiology II , PSYC 101 General Psychology , and PSYC 212 Life Span Development .
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for credits taken from or transcribed through Portage Learning or Geneva College.  This policy applies to credit for classes enrolled after 7/1/2023.
  • Students with the International Baccalaureate® (IB) diploma may be given transfer credit for individual courses on the Higher-Level Examinations with a score of 5, 6, or 7. Credit may be used to satisfy general requirements. No credit is given for scores lower than 5 on the Higher-Level exams. No credit will be given for any Subsidiary-Level or Standard-Level exams. Official scores must be sent directly from the testing organization to the Rivier University Office of the Registrar. Direct course equivalency will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through the faculty program coordinator of the corresponding division.
  • The University Registrar reserves the right to make the final decision on all transfer credits.

In the case of a student being approved to take courses elsewhere after starting at Rivier University, the official transcripts with the approved course(s) must be received by Rivier University prior to the start of the student’s final semester. If the student’s transcript is not received by the student’s final semester, the student is expected to complete outstanding courses at Rivier University. (Please see Residency Requirement policy).

Transfer Articulation Program (TAP)

In collaboration with a number of accredited two-year institutions, Rivier University offers articulation agreements to students who have completed the requirements of the associate degree in specific programs. Interested students should consult with their transfer counselor to see if such an agreement exists or is in process with their institution. Academic advising is offered to students wishing to transfer to Rivier University with an associate degree. Inquiries from students or their transfer counselors are welcome prior to application.

Application/Admission (TAP): For transfer through TAP, the general procedure for transfer admission is as follows:

  • Applicants submit transcript(s) and recommendation letters to the Office of Admissions.
  • Applicants who qualify for transfer through the guidelines of the Transfer Articulation Program and submit the required application materials are automatically accepted for admission and receive junior class standing.
  • Transfer Credit Evaluations: An admissions counselor will provide a detailed transfer-credit-evaluation after all application materials have been submitted. When transferring through the Transfer Articulation Program, the entire associate degree is accepted. A writing sample administered at Rivier University may be required and may determine placement of some English Composition courses submitted for transfer. Courses not included in the contractual agreement but that nevertheless meet requirements for the associate degree program will be accepted on an individual basis. Examples might include courses taken outside the program listed in the transfer agreement, CLEP, or other advanced placement scores accepted by the participating institutions. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the remaining requirements of the major and the core. Generally, most students transferring through TAP are able to complete their baccalaureate degree requirements in two more years of full-time study. Length of time to degree completion for education majors varies.
  • Education Majors: The New Hampshire Department of Education requires all prospective teachers to pass Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills. Rivier University requires transfer students to demonstrate successful completion of Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills as a condition of admission.

Assessment of Prior Learning (Non-College) 

Students with independently acquired knowledge or skills which are equivalent to those normally gained in an undergraduate college/university program may attempt to earn Rivier University credits through assessment of prior (non-college) learning. There are two options available: credits by examination and credits by portfolio assessment.

Credits by Examination:

Testing programs recognized by Rivier University include the following: The College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Military and Professional Training programs (DSST, CCRS), and formally-approved discipline examinations.

  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may submit official test report scores of the CLEP for evaluation. Rivier University will accept scores at or above the 50th percentile that meet the recommendation of the American Council on Education, and that also meet Rivier curriculum or program requirements. CLEP exams must be taken and scores received before the final semester of attendance. Rivier University will accept a maximum of 30 College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits towards completion of an undergraduate degree program. Three credits are generally awarded for each exam taken. Additional credits require specific authorization from the Director of Academic & Career Advising. For further information concerning CLEP, please contact the Office of Academic & Career Advising, or write directly to the College Level Examination Program, Box 1821, Princeton, NH 08540.

  • Military and Professional Training (DSST and CCRS)

Credit recommendations made by the American Council on Education for DSST (Defense Subject Standardized Tests) and National CCRS (College Credit Recommendation Service) are considered and accepted when appropriate to the program chosen by the student. For further information, please contact the Veterans Coordinator at veterans@rivier.edu. 

  • Challenge Examinations

Academic disciplines may offer opportunities for students to demonstrate competence through approved standardized examinations or faculty-designed assessment instruments. Such examinations must be approved by the Dean of the Division. See Academic Policies section for contact information.

Credit for Prior Learning Portfolio Assessment

It is possible to earn credit for learning derived from work and life experience through documentation of acquired knowledge or skills. A portfolio of work and life experience documentation is developed by the student to earn credit for an existing Rivier course that is part of the student’s program of study. To pursue this process, a one-credit portfolio class is required, as well as an appointment with the director of the Credit for Prior Learning program. Students may need to meet with the course instructor or the division dean, prior to enrolling into CFPL 399 Credit for Prior Learning  and going through the portfolio development and assessment process.

The portfolio is assessed by Rivier University faculty in the field in which the student is seeking credit. This team reviews the completed portfolio and recommends the number of credits to be awarded in the assessed areas.

Further information about these opportunities may be obtained from the dean of the division. Fees are charged on a per credit basis.

Assessment and Placement Tests

Writing Assessment and Placement

The following policy applies to transfer students:

  • Transfer students who have received a grade of C or better in a writing course equivalent to ENGL 115 Expositions and Arguments  or ENGL 120 Composition in Context  will be awarded transfer credit for the course, if this credit was earned no more than five years prior to matriculation at Rivier;
  • Transfer students who have credits in writing that are older than five years prior to matriculation are required to submit a writing sample as determined by the Director of the Writing Program.

Mathematics Skills Assessment and Placement

All First-Year students are individually evaluated by the Rivier Math Department regarding math course placement. Math Department faculty review the student’s high school transcript(s) or SAT Math scores (if available) to determine the appropriate math course placement for the student’s major degree program.

Transfer students who have not taken prior college-level math courses will also be evaluated by the Math Department faculty for appropriate math course placement.



International Admissions

International students from around the world are encouraged to apply. International students who wish to obtain F1 student status must complete the necessary requirements under federal law. Those requirements can be found online under International Admission/The Application Process section below. All international students in the Day, Professional Studies, or Graduate programs, must be admitted to Rivier University as full-time students and maintain that status for the duration of their study at Rivier University.

The Director of the Office of Global Engagement, or designee, serves as the International Student Advisor to international students and provides assistance to international students. Assistance is provided to students from the admissions inquiry until the international students obtain their F1 visa abroad or provides information with regards to change of non-immigrant to F1 status in the United States of America. Students receive guidance regarding immigration regulation issues pertaining to F1 status, pre-arrival assistance, housing, social security numbers, personal issues, driver’s licenses, cultural adjustment, employment, filing income tax, and international travel reentry. A comprehensive orientation is offered to all new international students providing them with an introduction to student services on campus, workshops that help them navigate the US classroom, and sessions to help them maintain their legal non-immigrant status in the United States. For assistance, please contact the Office of Global Engagement at (603) 897-8782, or visit https://www.rivier.edu/academics/global-engagement/ for more information.

The Application Process

Applicants who are citizens of countries other than the United States follow the general application process. In addition, they will submit the following:

  • Academic Records/Transcript Evaluation
    Applicants must submit official academic records (transcripts or mark-sheets) of their high school transcripts/diploma and for each year of post-secondary education (college or university), as well as official copies of degrees awarded. All international school transcripts must be evaluated by an agency approved by: the National Association of Credential Evaluators (www.naces.org) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (www.aice-eval.org). The agency chosen should be asked to evaluate both the student’s transcript and the degrees awarded. A course-by-course evaluation is required. The student is responsible for the agency fee.Completed International Transcript Evaluations will be sent directly from the evaluation agency to: Rivier University Office of Admissions, 420 S. Main Street, Nashua NH 03060.
  • Statement of Purpose/Essay
    At least one page, but not longer than two pages. Specific prompts will be provided within the application. 

Evidence of English Proficiency
Official and verifiable test score reports/results are required. The approved testing providers are listed below: 

  • Required Scores for TOEFL:
    • A score of 61 on the Internet-Based Test (IBT), 500 points on the Paper Based Test (PBT) or 173 or higher on the Computer Based Test (CBT) is required for acceptance.
  • 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 Duolingo:
    • Applicants must present a score of 100  or greater for acceptance.
  • Required Scores for Pearson English Test:
    • Applicants must present a score of 43 or greater for acceptance.
  • Proficiency Test Exceptions:
    Providing a language proficiency test score may not be required if an applicant satisfies one or more of these conditions. 
    • SAT 1 or ACT test results may replace language proficiency tests.
    • The applicant has already earned a college or university degree in the United States.
    • The applicant has successfully completed at least two years of full-time academic study in a diploma- or degree-granting program in the United States.
    • Undergraduate Day applicants currently enrolled in full-time academic study in a regionally accredited high school diploma-granting institution in the United States.
    • The student is from an Anglophone country.
    • The student completed English Language courses from CEA accredited institutions. (ESL completion program with Level 5 at ASC an English Language School; ESL completion program of Level 109 with English Language Center (ELS); Boston International Academy: UG students: Complete High Advanced I level and Graduate students: Complete High Advanced II level; FLS International: Completion of Level 15; Official Cambridge English Exam;C1 Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English and C2 Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English).
  • F1 Student Status 
    If requesting a SEVIS form I-20 for F1 visa status, a current financial statement from a financially-responsible party: applicant, a parent, or a sponsor. Official bank statements must reflect balance noted (2024-2025 academic year) of:

Graduate applicants (Computer Science and Computer Information Systems majors):

$37,327.00 (U.S.)

Graduate applicants (other majors):

$36,517.00 (U.S.)

Undergraduate applicants:

$53,218.00 (U.S.) off campus/commuter


$54,855.00 (U.S.) on campus/resident

  • This documentation will be no more than one-year-old at the start of the first semester of enrollment.
  • Applicants who wish to include dependents on SEVIS I-20 form must provide additional $3,000 for each dependent.
  • Include a copy of the applicant’s current and valid visa/passport
  • If funds are not secured in the applicant’s (student’s) name, an affidavit of support statement from parent or sponsor; this document states parent or sponsor’s intent to pay schooling and living expenses. A sample Affidavit of Support form may be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-864.

Earning a Second Bachelor Degree 

An individual who has been awarded a bachelor’s degree from Rivier or another college/university may earn a second degree at Rivier University. If the student is pursuing a second bachelor’s degree at Rivier, the student must apply for admission or readmission through the Office of Admissions, whether or not the first degree was awarded by Rivier University.

  • A minimum of 30 credits beyond the requirements for the first degree must be earned at Rivier; all core curriculum and major requirements must be met. (The University policy regarding transfer credits applies to the second bachelor’s degree.)
  • For the planning of the major program, the student must consult their academic and career advisor or success coach and must have the plan approved by the academic program director/department coordinator.
  • The two degrees, as awarded by Rivier University, must be different, i.e., B.A. differs from B.S.
  • The student must complete a Declaration of Major/Minor Form.

Distinctions between B.A. and B.S. degrees:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree offers students a broader education in their major by focusing on theoretical knowledge in liberal arts subjects such as humanities, literature, history, social sciences, communications, and a foreign language.
  • The Bachelor of Science degree offers students a more specialized education in their major at a more in-depth level, most often through hands-on engagement or application, including laboratory work and practical experience or exercises. It is generally offered in technical and scientific fields like engineering, technology, mathematics, computer science, nursing, and biochemistry.

Earning Two Graduate Degrees

Under some circumstances, students enrolled in a Master’s degree program at the University, or students who earned a Master’s degree and graduated from the University, may seek additional study. For example, graduates of a Master’s degree program may wish to return to the University to earn a second degree in a different field.

Process for Graduate Students Continuing to a 2nd program of Studies
Students enrolled in, or graduates of, a Master’s degree or other Graduate level program at Rivier University are encouraged to continue their studies to further their professional expertise in a related or other field of study.  When considering a second Master’s degree program, the guidelines below should be followed:

A.  Students who are completing a Master’s degree program and wish to pursue a different Master’s degree program without interruption in their studies may do so without formally reapplying to the University.

  • Students must obtain the authorization of the program director or dean in their new area of specialization.
  • If the request is approved, students must complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the program director or dean signs and forwards directly to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students are subject to the degree/program requirements in effect at the time of the degree program change.

B. Graduates of a Master’s degree program who continue their studies without interruption but in a different Master’s level program may do so without formally reapplying to the University.

  • Students must obtain the authorization of the program director or dean in their new area of specialization.
  • If the request is approved, students must complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the program director or dean signs and forwards directly to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students are subject to the new degree/program requirements then in effect.

C.  Students or graduates of any Master’s level program or Doctoral program who interrupt their studies for more than one year, and then wish to continue in the same or another Master’s level program

  • Must seek readmission to the University through the Office of Admissions.
  • Are subject to the degree program requirements then in effect.

Students who have completed a Master’s degree outside of the United States may be eligible to apply for a similar degree program at Rivier University. 


Any student who withdraws from the University in good academic standing shall be eligible for readmission to the University provided that all prior financial obligations to the University are met.  A student who has been away from the University for three calendar years or more or has not met the appropriate Leave of Absence (LOA) process must reapply to the university through the Office of Admissions. A graduate student applying for readmission must have a recommendation from the department and the recommendation must be approved by the Program Director or Divisional Dean. An applicant for readmission will be treated in the same manner as an applicant for initial admission. 

Service Member Readmission Policy

Per Chapter 3 of Volume 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook, and in line with the Department of Defense (DoD) Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Rivier University will readmit service members and reservists if they are unable to attend class or have to suspend their studies due to service requirements. Accommodations may include options such as withdrawal or leaves of absences, as well as readmission at the conclusion of active duty. Details regarding the accommodations made will be based on a student’s specific military obligation.

At the time of readmission, the service member will be admitted at the same enrollment status, with the same credit hours previously completed, and with the same academic standing, into the next available class or classes in the student’s program beginning after the student provides notice of intent to re-enroll, unless a later date is requested. If the exact program is no longer offered, admittance will be offered to the program that is most similar to that program unless the student requests or agrees to admission to a different program.  

If the student is admitted to the same program, for the academic year in which the student returns the University shall assess fees and tuition consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 668.18(a)(2)(iii)(E)(1). If the student is admitted to a different academic program, and for subsequent academic years for a student admitted to the same program the University shall assess tuition and fees consistent with the provisions of 34 CFR 668.18(a)(2)(iii)(E)(2).  The University is not required to readmit the student on the student’s return if: (1) after reasonable efforts by the University, the University determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program at the point where the student left off; (2) after reasonable efforts by the University, the University determines that the student is unable to complete the program; or (3) the University determines that there are no reasonable efforts the University can take to prepare the student to resume the program at the point where the student left off or to enable the student to complete the program.

Service members are encouraged to contact the Veterans Coordinator for assistance with initiating specific procedures regarding withdrawals, leaves of absence, readmission, and information regarding other policies that may be particularly applicable to students in the military.

Additional Criteria

Students seeking reapplication or readmission are required to submit official transcripts for additional coursework attempted from each post-secondary institution which they have attended since the last semester in attendance at Rivier University. Major requirements and liberal arts and sciences requirements in effect at the time of readmission must be completed. Only under special circumstances will a student be readmitted to the University after having been dismissed. In such cases, the student must petition in writing for reinstatement prior to applying for readmission. Such statements will be reviewed by the academic and career advisor or success coach, and/or program director or coordinator/dean of the division), who makes the decision regarding readmission.

The Fresh Start Program (Undergraduate Students Only)

The “Fresh Start” Program enables a student who, for whatever reason(s), failed to meet the academic standards of the University in a chosen discipline, to begin their undergraduate program of study anew.  This opportunity is available to the student after a hiatus of at least one full academic year. The following conditions apply:

  • If a student applies for and is readmitted to the University under the Fresh Start Program, all courses and grades will be retained on the permanent transcript.
  • Previously earned credits and grades from coursework with a “C” or better will carry forward.  Courses with grades below a “C” will not count toward the student’s degree.
  • If any courses with a “C-” or below are required in the student’s major, the student must retake these courses.
  • A student may be admitted to the Fresh Start only one time, and must do so prior to the first semester of re-enrollment.
  • This option can be taken only after appropriate advising and approval by the Director of Academic & Career Advising.
  • If a student receives financial aid, they must contact the Financial Aid Office to create an academic plan prior to re-enrollment.
  • If, after being approved for the Fresh Start Program, a student is academically unsuccessful after their first term of readmission, the student will be academically dismissed from the University.

A minimum of 30 credit hours toward the bachelor’s degree must be earned at Rivier University.

Nursing majors must meet Nursing Program guidelines and should consult with the Nursing Department prior to applying to the Fresh Start Program.

Note: Fresh Start does not change suspension from financial aid.

Academic Renewal Policy (Graduate Students Only)

Academic renewal is a process that allows graduate students to exclude previously low grades from their GPA calculation in their academic record from years prior to completing a degree or a certificate. It’s also known as “grade forgiveness”. Students can petition to have D or F grades excluded from GPA calculations, but the grades and courses will still appear on their transcript. Academic renewal can help students who have shown improved academic performance, and can make it easier to transfer, complete degrees and certificates, and avoid academic probation or disqualification. Consideration for the Academic Renewal Policy must be approved through the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Academic Renewal Policy may be used one time only throughout a graduate program of study.

Students are responsible for all outstanding financial obligations prior to taking new course(s) and must meet with a representative from the Financial Aid Office if a financial hold has been placed on their account.

Non-Degree Students

Non-degree (non-matriculating) students are those pursuing course work, but who have not been accepted through the Office of Admissions and are not enrolled in a degree program. Students who have been registered and enrolled in a non-degree status must apply and be accepted through the Office of Admissions to become degree-seeking (matriculated) students.

Students may take up to four courses (12 credits) under a non-matriculated or unclassified status, after which time they must file an application for formal admission to a program. Non-matriculated students need permission of the Division Dean to register for any Nursing prefix course.

Professional Studies Program Admissions

To be considered for admission, the applicant must submit the following:

  • An admissions application form available online at rivier.edu/apply
  • Official transcripts of academic records from all colleges and universities previously attended.
  • Official transcript from the high school which awarded the applicant a diploma. If the applicant earned a GED or HiSET, the official GED or HiSET must be submitted. The high school transcript or GED/HiSET requirement is waived for applicants who have earned an associate’s degree. All records of previous academic work become the property of Rivier University and are not reissued or re-copied for distribution.

Those applicants who do not present records that indicate a reasonable likelihood for success may be counseled to complete up to 12 credits at Rivier before an admission decision is made.



Graduate and Doctoral Admissions

The following are application guidelines for all programs in Graduate Studies. Please be sure to complete specific admissions requirements as outlined under each Academic program.

Application Process

An application for admission is required for acceptance to all graduate studies programs. Students may submit a completed online application at rivier.edu/apply. In addition to the application, students must submit the following supplemental materials:

  • 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, if required, must be submitted directly by a current or former academic or professional reference. The letter of recommendation may be sent by the author via email to admissions@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.
  • Interview:
    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, at least one page, but no longer than two pages. Your statement of purpose must address the following questions:
    • What previous experiences and commitments have brought you to consider applying for graduate training?
    • What are your most important objectives in applying now?
    • How do you think Rivier University’s graduate program will help you in the pursuit of your objectives?
    • Why did you select your specific program of study?
  • Test Scores
    • River University master’s degree level programs do not require GRE, GMAT, or MAT results for entry.

Program Specific Requirements

Nursing Programs:

  • Resume or 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

Master of Public Health Program:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Evidence of successful completion of an undergraduate 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 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 Admissions will contact applicants regarding documents still required to be submitted, it is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure that all requirements for acceptance into the program of their choice have been met. Applications are not reviewed for a decision until all required materials are received in Admissions.

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

Application Deadline

Admission for Graduate study at Rivier University operates under a “rolling admissions” system. Applications, however, 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 will be required to submit a new application. Application files for individuals who do not matriculate will be retained in the Office of Admissions for one (1) year from the date of application. It is possible to enroll in graduate courses during the application process (non-matriculated status). For information regarding registration prior to acceptance, please consult with the Office of Admissions. Non-matriculated students intending to move to degree-seeking status 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. 

Transfer Admission for Graduate and Doctoral Students

Candidates for a master’s degree program at Rivier University may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits, provided that: (1) these credits were earned at a regionally 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 and (4) these credits have been approved by the dean/program director of the division.

Candidates for doctoral degree programs may be approved for transfer credit based on the doctoral program to which they are accepted and should refer to the respective Ed.D., Psy.D., or DNP Handbook.