For information about admission to graduate programs, please consult the “Admission-Graduate ” section of this catalog.
Bridgewater State University seeks to admit students who give evidence of intellectual capacity, motivation, character and who have a record of scholastic achievement. An effort is made to attract candidates of diverse academic, economic, racial, religious and geographic backgrounds. The admission requirements and procedures are designed to assist the university to select a freshman class from those applicants who can benefit from the educational opportunities at Bridgewater State University.
Bridgewater State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, political belief or affiliation, or veteran status.
Freshman Admission Requirements
Each candidate should submit the Bridgewater State University application. The form, aside from collecting biographical data, allows the candidate to provide additional information concerning their academic and extracurricular interests. The university prefers students to apply online at the university’s website, www.bridgew.edu, but also accepts the paper BSU Application as well.
High School Record
Candidates must request an official transcript of their secondary school record be sent directly to the Office of Admission. The strength of the applicant’s curriculum, grades, weighted grade point average and class rank as well as the level of competition in the applicant’s high school are taken into consideration.
The secondary program should include the following college preparatory subjects:
History/Social Science (d)
Foreign Language (e)
Elective Units (f)
Related Courses (g)
- English must be college preparatory courses in composition and literature, which include the development of reading, writing and comprehension skills.
- Mathematics must be college preparatory courses in such subjects as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, elementary functions and mathematical analysis. A fourth year of mathematics is strongly recommended for students who plan to enter fields such as computer science, management, mathematics, pre-engineering or the sciences.
- Two of the science courses must include laboratory work.
- This requirement should include one year of United States history and government.
- Students are encouraged to elect additional years of foreign language study.
- Students should choose from additional college preparatory courses in English, mathematics, computer science, foreign language, natural and physical science, visual and performing arts and humanities.
- Students are encouraged to elect courses that are consistent with their personal, educational and career goals. These courses may include, but are not limited to, such offerings as computer science, business, communications, psychology and sociology.
Students graduating from vocational-technical high schools may substitute vocational-technical vocabulary course work for the foreign language requirement. Two vocational-technical courses may be used to fulfill the two required electives.
Standardized Test Scores
Candidates for admission to the freshman class must submit the results of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT Reasoning Test) or the American College Test (ACT). Candidates should have official score reports forwarded directly from the Educational Testing Program or the American College Testing Program during the academic year in which application is made to the university.
For evaluation according to the provisions of Chapter 344, students with learning disabilities are expected to submit verification from their guidance office. In most cases, a copy of the student’s current Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is the appropriate verifying document. More specific documentation may be required for academic advising and special services when students enroll.
Chapter 344, Section 19 of the 1983 Acts and Resolves of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts states that: “No resident of the commonwealth who has been diagnosed as being developmentally disabled, including but not limited to, having dyslexia or other specific language disabilities, by any evaluation procedure prescribed by chapter seventy-one B, or equivalent testing, shall be required to take any standardized college entrance aptitude test to gain admittance to any public institution of higher education in the commonwealth. Admission shall be determined by all other relevant factors excluding standardized achievement testing.”
Candidates who graduated from high school three or more years prior to their planned entrance date are exempt from the standardized testing requirement.
Freshman Admission Review
Freshman admission to Bridgewater State University is selective. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) has established minimum admission standards that require candidates to earn a “B” average for the required high school units mentioned above. Students whose average falls below this requirement can also meet the standard by the use of a sliding scale that begins with compensating SAT scores (SAT CR and SAT-M) above 920, or an ACT composite score above 19. No student can be admitted whose high school grade point average falls below “C.” Detailed information about the DHE admission standards can be found on their website, www.mass.edu. Admission decisions at Bridgewater are based upon the strength of the candidate’s academic profile as compared to the pool of applicants. Generally, more than 8,000 applications are reviewed for a freshman class of 1,500.
Since Bridgewater State University seeks students who will contribute to the university in a variety of ways, other factors are considered in the admission decision. These include demonstrated leadership, participation in extracurricular activities, motivation, maturity and special aptitudes and talents. Letters of recommendation and any additional supporting information a candidate wishes to submit are welcomed and encouraged.
Special consideration is given to applicants out of high school for three years or more, students from educationally disadvantaged environments, working adults and candidates who exhibit exceptional potential.
Evaluative interviews are not offered. Students are encouraged to attend one of the many group information sessions offered throughout the year. Dates and times are available on the university website, www.bridgew.edu.
Additional information concerning admission procedures, application fees, standardized testing requirements for admission, notification dates and deferred enrollment may be found in the Viewbook. Copies may be obtained from the Office of Admission – Gates House, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA 02325.
Transfer Admission Requirements
Bridgewater State University welcomes applications from qualified transfer students. To qualify for transfer admission, a student must have earned 12 semester hours of transferable credit; otherwise the applicant is considered under freshman admission requirements.
Transfer applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their previous college work and must request an official transcript to be sent from each college or university attended. Transfer applicants who have earned fewer than 24 transferable credits must also submit an official high school transcript and standardized testing results.
It is expected that candidates for transfer admission will be in good standing at the last institution attended and will have earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students transferring fewer than 24 semester hours of credit must present a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Special consideration may be granted for exceptional high school performance, evidence of maturity and motivation, or other extenuating circumstances and will be handled on an individual basis. Please note that these are minimum eligibility requirements and do not guarantee admission to the university or to a specific degree program.
Transfer credit toward the degree will be granted for course work completed at other accredited institutions of higher education. A minimum grade of “C-” is required for credit transfer. Courses that do not have a direct equivalent at Bridgewater State University may be counted as fulfilling elective requirements in the curriculum. Transfer students are required to fulfill the same degree requirements as any other student; however, any student who has completed the general education requirements of one of the other Massachusetts state colleges will not be subject to additional core curriculum requirements at Bridgewater State University. One half of the required courses in major and minor fields must be completed at Bridgewater State University. Students transferring from an accredited two-year institution are limited to 69 hours of transfer credit toward the degree. Students transferring from an accredited four-year institution are limited to 90 hours of transfer credit toward the degree.
Grades for courses taken at an institution other than BSU are not used to compute a student’s grade point average. Only courses actually taken at BSU are used to calculate a student’s BSU grade point average.
For students transferring from one Massachusetts public education institution to another, the MassTransfer program will make the process easier. For complete and detailed information, visit the Department of Higher Education website www.mass.edu/masstransfer/Students/Introduction.asp. MassTransfer has two main purposes
- To provide community college students who complete associate degrees and enroll in linked MassTransfer Programs, with the full transfer of credit, guaranteed admission and a tuition discount (each based on final GPA)
- To provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system who completes the MassTransfer Block, the benefit of satisfying the core (general education) requirements at any other public higher education institution, with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits (two courses).
The MassTransfer Block refers to a set of core (general education) requirements consisting of 34 college level credits. These credits, when completed together with a 2.0 or higher GPA, fully transfer to any Massachusetts public higher education institution, even if an associate’s degree has not been earned. These credits also satisfy the core (general education) requirements at any other Massachusetts public higher education institution; with the receiving institution being able to add no more than six additional credits (two courses). As a participant in the MassTransfer program, the Bridgewater State University application fee is waived.
Joint Admission Program
To receive the benefits of the Joint Admission Program, students are required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state college or university or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.
Bridgewater State University participates with the Massachusetts Community Colleges, Dean College and Quincy College in Joint Admission. This program guarantees admission to Bridgewater State University for transfers from participating institutions who are enrolled in preapproved programs of study, providing the associate degree is completed. Joint Admission students must maintain a cumulative grade point average at the two-year college of 2.5 or better to be eligible.
Transfers indicate their desire to participate in Joint Admission by contacting either the Admission Office or Transfer Office at their community college. A written application for Joint Admission can be filed upon enrollment at the two-year participating institution. One semester prior to their planned enrollment at Bridgewater State University, Joint Admission students must file an Intent to Enroll form in lieu of a regular Bridgewater State University application. This form is available from the transfer counselor at the participating colleges and universities or the Office of Admission at Bridgewater State University. To complete the review process, an official transcript of all college work completed to date at any prior institution(s) and the community college must be requested by the applicant. BSU’s Joint Admission deadlines are November 1 for spring and March 1 for fall.
Commonwealth Transfer Compact
To receive the benefits of the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, students are required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state college or university or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.
For students transferring from Massachusetts community colleges to Bridgewater State University (effective January 1990)
- Requirements for Transfer Compact Status
A student shall be eligible for transfer compact status if he or she has met the following requirements:
- Completed an associate’s degree with a minimum of 60 credit hours exclusive of developmental course work.
- Achieved a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 (in a 4.0 system) at the community college awarding the degree. This is merely a minimum grade point average and by no means guarantees admission.
- Completed the following minimum core curriculum requirements, exclusive of developmental course work:
||6 credit hours
|Behavioral and Social Science
||9 credit hours
|Humanities and Fine Arts
||9 credit hours
|Natural or Physical Science
||8 credit hours
||3 credit hours
The community college from which the student is applying is responsible for identifying on the transcript of the candidate that the student has fulfilled the compact specifications.
- Credits to be Transferred
The 35 credits in core curriculum courses specified in section I will be applied toward the fulfillment of the Bridgewater State University core curriculum requirements.
A minimum of 25 additional credits will be accepted as transfer credits. These credits may be transferred as free electives toward any additional core curriculum requirements, toward the student’s major, or any combination, as Bridgewater State University deems appropriate.
Only college-level course credits consistent with the recommended standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience publication are included under this compact. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations and other life experience evaluations for course credit may be included when the community college certifies that a student qualifies under this compact.
- Credits Beyond the Associate’s Degree
To complete the baccalaureate degree, a student who transfers under this compact may be required to take no more than 68 additional credits unless:
- The student changes his or her program upon entering Bridgewater State University, or
- The combination of additional core curriculum requirements, if any, and the requirements of the student’s major at the receiving institution total more than 68 credits.
Under these circumstances, transfer students will be subject to the same requirements as students who began their undergraduate education at Bridgewater State University.
- Admission to Competitive Majors or Programs
If because of space or fiscal limitations the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for applicants who are transfer students under this compact as it does for its native students.
- Student Appeals
A student who believes that the provisions of this compact have not been applied fairly has the right to appeal.
Initially, differences of interpretation regarding the award of transfer credit shall be resolved between the student and the receiving institution. If a difference remains unresolved, the student shall present his or her evaluation of the situation to the institution from which the student is transferring.
Representatives from the two institutions shall then have the opportunity to resolve the differences.
Absent a satisfactory resolution, differences of interpretation may be presented to the State-Wide Transfer Coordinating Committee.
Decision and Notification Dates
Early Action Program*
Freshman candidates may apply under the Early Action Program. Candidates need to have fulfilled the standardized testing requirements on or before the November test date and will need to have their application complete and transcripts on file in the Office of Admission by Nov. 15.
Early Action applicants are notified by mid-December. The university either offers admission or defers admission and reviews the application again during the regular admission cycle. A student offered admission under the Early Action Program has until the May 1 Candidates Reply Date to respond to the university’s offer.
Regular Freshman Admission*
Freshman applicants for the fall semester must submit their completed application by Feb. 15 for consideration. Candidates meeting this deadline are notified of the Admission Committee decision no later than April 15. A limited number of freshman candidates are accepted for the spring semester each year. The application deadline for priority consideration is Nov. 1.
Transfer applications should be filed by April 1 for September admission or by Nov. 1 for January admission for priority consideration. Transfer applications for the summer terms are considered on a rolling basis.
Notification for transfer candidates is done on a rolling basis as the application file becomes complete. Notification for September admission begins in March.
*A student who has been denied admission to Bridgewater State University may not register for courses at the university.
Note(s): The university reserves the right to close admission at any time.
Reinstatement and Readmission
Undergraduate students who have not registered for courses for one or more semesters, or who have been academically separated from the university and who wish to re-enroll must file an application for reinstatement/readmission with the Office of Admission. An official transcript from all colleges attended (if any) since last enrolling at BSU as well as a personal statement explaining the circumstances of separation/non-enrollment must be submitted with the application while meeting the above published priority deadlines for transfer students. On-campus housing is not offered to reinstated or readmitted students. Students seeking on-campus housing may add their name to the residence hall waiting list but will only be considered if space becomes available.
Upon readmission/reinstatement, transfer credit, if applicable, will be awarded according to established policies. The grade point average achieved at BSU upon separation will be resumed as grades achieved at other institutions are not included when calculating a student’s BSU grade point average.
Students who have been academically separated from the university must meet the requirements of separation outlined by their appropriate dean before being considered for readmission.
International students who wish to apply for admission to the university should address a letter of inquiry to the Office of Admission indicating their educational background and intended area of study. Eligible candidates will be mailed a special international student admission application packet and asked to submit official transcripts and credentials. Students for whom English is a second language will be required to submit an official copy of results from the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL), unless they have at least two years’ experience in an American college or university.
Documentation of financial support resources is required.
All students applying as freshmen are required, in addition to TOEFL, to submit official results of the SAT Reasoning or ACT Assessment exam.
During the initial orientation/registration period, international students’ TOEFL examination records and academic transcripts will be evaluated for placement in appropriate English as a Second Language courses offered through the Department of Foreign Languages and in writing courses offered through the Department of English. In addition to the above-mentioned mandatory records, other institutional placement exams may be required. Candidates should begin the application procedure no less than nine months in advance of the expected date of admission.
Placement Policy for ESL Populations
Students for whom English is a second language are evaluated and tested on their English proficiency upon admission to the university. Based on transcripts, Accuplacer, TOEFL and SAT scores, as well as precollege writing samples and other valid methods of language proficiency assessment, students are placed in an appropriate level of English as a Second Language (ESL) and writing. Depending on placement, students will complete 0 to 6 credits in ESL. Students can take three additional credits in ESL.
Students are exempt from taking ESL courses based on the following criteria:
- reading score of 68 or above on the Accuplacer
- SAT verbal score of 450 or above
- GPA of 3.00 or above from a high school in the United States or another English-speaking country
- TOEFL score of or above 550 (paper-based) or 173 (computer-based)
Program for Registered Nurses
Provisions have been made for graduates of three-year diploma schools of nursing to complete programs leading to degrees in any of the academic majors being offered at the university.
While encouraging registered nurses to pursue degree work for personal enrichment, the university supports the guidelines of the National League of Nursing for the professional education of nurses. These guidelines caution nurses whose career goals include the opportunity to assume supervisory and/or teaching responsibilities in the field of nursing, that degree programs pursued should be taken only at those institutions which offer degrees in nursing education.
Through this special admission program, students accepted to the university are granted 60 credit hours for their school or nursing work. Where applicable, these credits may be used to meet core curriculum, major or elective requirements. As with all others transferring into the university, registered nurses are expected to meet the same degree requirements as outlined in the “Undergraduate Academic Policies ” section of this catalog.
New England Regional Student Program
Bridgewater State University participates in the New England Regional Student Program. The program is administered by the New England Board of Higher Education and is designed to permit qualified New England residents to study at the instate tuition rate plus surcharge tuition in certain programs at Bridgewater State University.
Information about the program can be obtained from the Bridgewater State University Office of Admission.
Advanced standing with college credit is granted to entering students who have demonstrated college-level proficiency through established procedures.
Advanced Placement Program
Bridgewater State University participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board, providing academic credit for students qualified for advanced placement standing. Those interested should take the College Board Advanced Placement tests and have the results submitted to the Office of Admission for evaluation. Students scoring three, four or five will receive placement and credit from the university.
Bridgewater State University welcomes International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students and will consider awarding academic credit toward completion of a Bachelor’s degree for IB Higher Level courses in which students have earned scores of 4 or higher. Decisions regarding the award of academic credit will be made by the Office of Admission in consultation with the appropriate department chairpersons. Course credits will be regarded as transfer credits. No credit will be awarded for standard level courses.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Bridgewater State University awards academic credits that students may earn though the College Level Exam Program (CLEP) of the College Board.
Credit earned with CLEP examinations may be applied toward fulfilling core curriculum requirements, major and elective requirements. The chart in this section provides information about the specific CLEP examinations and equivalent BSU courses.
Credit by CLEP is regarded as transfer credit and is not reflected in the BSU grade point average. CLEP transcripts are regarded as four-year-school transfer credit and are counted towards the maximum allowance of transfer credit. CLEP credit does not satisfy residency requirements for financial aid, student housing or student medical insurance purposes.
CLEP credit may not be awarded if equivalent course work is completed either prior to or later than the equivalent CLEP examination or if the CLEP equivalent already appears on a student transcript. CLEP credit may not be retroactively substituted for requirements waived or satisfied through prior academic arrangement.
Bridgewater State University follows the American Council of Education (ACE) recommendation that a student achieve a minimum score of 50 to earn credit for most CLEP examinations. Please note that some exams require higher scores to earn full credit.
Students may arrange to take CLEP examinations at any of the national test centers, including Bridgewater State University. Those interested in taking CLEP examinations at BSU should contact the Office of Testing Services in the Academic Achievement Center at 508.531.1780.
BSU Office of Testing Services: www.bridgew.edu/TestingServices
College Board Online: www.collegeboard.com/clep
Second Degree Option
A student who has earned a bachelor’s degree at Bridgewater State University or at another accredited institution may be admitted to the university to pursue an additional bachelor’s degree in a field of study substantially different from the initial degree program. That student should make application through the Undergraduate Office of Admission, providing official transcripts from all previous colleges other than Bridgewater State University. Please note that second bachelor degree candidates are subject to transfer admission deadlines of April 1 for fall entrance and Nov. 1 for spring entrance.
Admission is dependent on approval of the department in which the student wishes to pursue a major. Certain departments may recommend that the student pursue a graduate program with some prerequisite courses rather than a second bachelor’s degree. Some majors have specific admission requirements and/or limited space, which may result in a student not being accepted into the desired major.
For second undergraduate degree graduation requirements, see the “Undergraduate Academic Policies ” section of this catalog.
A student who does not wish to seek a degree but who wishes to broaden his or her interests or to review or improve certain skills may register for courses as an undergraduate non-degree student at Bridgewater State University. A non-degree student should be aware, however, that he or she is not eligible for financial aid or various other services provided for degree-seeking students.
A non-degree student must have a high school diploma or GED and must meet any prerequisites for the courses for which he or she wishes to register. A non-degree student must also maintain the same academic standards required of degree-seeking students (see the “Undergraduate Academic Policies ” section of this catalog for more information regarding undergraduate academic standards).
An undergraduate non-degree student may register for courses after the registration sessions for new degree-seeking students have been held in August and January.
Once an undergraduate non-degree student has earned 15 or more credit hours, he or she must meet with a representative of the Office of Admission to determine the purpose of continuing as a non-degree student. If a non-degree student is seeking to obtain a degree from Bridgewater State University, he or she will be required to apply as a degree-seeking student and meet the admission requirements as outlined in this catalog. If admitted, the student must satisfy the requirements for a bachelor’s degree under the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation and complete a minimum of 30 credit hours as a matriculated student.
Note: A student who has been denied undergraduate admission to Bridgewater State University may not register for courses at the university.