Jul 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] See drop-down menu above to access other catalogs.

Admission – Undergraduate

For information about admission to graduate programs, please consult the Admission – Graduate  section of this catalog.

Bridgewater State University seeks to admit students who demonstrate intellectual capacity, motivation, character and a record of scholastic achievement. Effort is made to attract candidates of diverse academic, economic, racial, religious and geographic backgrounds. The admission requirements and procedures are designed to select a first-year class who can benefit from the educational opportunities that Bridgewater State University has to offer.

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.

Admission Requirements

New First-Year Admission Requirements

Application Form

Each candidate should submit the Bridgewater State University online application or the Common App. These forms, aside from collecting biographical data, allow the candidate to provide additional information concerning their academic and extracurricular interests. Students may apply online at the BSU Admissions website or at the Common App website.

High School Record

Candidates must request an official transcript from their secondary school to be sent directly to the Office of Admission. The strength of the applicant’s curriculum, grades, and weighted grade point average, 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:

  1. English (4 units) – English must be college preparatory courses in composition and literature, which include the development of reading, writing and comprehension skills.
  2. Mathematics (4 units) – Mathematics must be college preparatory courses in such subjects as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, elementary functions and mathematical analysis. A fourth year of mathematics is required, and math must be taken during the senior year of high school.
  3. Science (3 units) – The three science courses must include laboratory work.
  4. History/Social Science (2 units) – This requirement should include one year of United States history and government.
  5. Foreign Language (2 units)* – Students are encouraged to elect additional years of foreign language study.
  6. Electives (2 units)* – 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.
  7. Related courses (2 units) – 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 (and “No Test Option”)

Candidates for admission to the First-Year class may 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.

No Test Option

As part of a national trend, Bridgewater State University is now allowing First-Year applicants to choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) to be considered in the admission process. Regardless of whether or not scores are submitted, the high school transcript remains the most important factor in the admission process. Even before becoming test optional, a strong high school record would outweigh low SAT/ACT scores allowing qualified students to be admitted. Students are still recommended to submit scores if they have taken either test. 

Students may choose the “No Test Option” on their application for admission. These students will be required to also submit a personal statement (essay) in its place as well as at least one letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or counselor. These are not required of students submitting SAT or ACT scores.

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.”

First-Year Admission Review

New First-Year admission to Bridgewater State University is selective. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) has established minimum admission standards that recommend candidates earn an overall “B” average for the required high school units mentioned above. Students whose average falls below this recommendation can also meet the standard by the use of a sliding scale that begins with compensating SAT scores (SAT CR and SAT-M) above 990, or an ACT composite score above 19. No student may be admitted whose overall high school grade point average falls below a 2.00. 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.

Since Bridgewater State University seeks students who will contribute to the university in a variety of ways, other factors may be 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 offered through the Office of Admissions, but are not required. Students are encouraged to attend one of the many group information sessions offered throughout the year. Dates and times are available on the Admissions website, as well as additional information concerning admission procedures, application fees, standardized testing requirements for admission, notification dates and deferred enrollment.

Transfer Admission Requirements

Bridgewater State University welcomes applications from qualified transfer students. A student is considered a transfer student once a course is taken at another institution after graduating from high school; otherwise the applicant is considered a new First-Year student.

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 may submit 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 2.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale. Students transferring fewer than 24 semester hours of credit should present a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale. Special consideration may be granted to students not meeting this standard 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 or universities 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.

Students who wish to check their unofficial credit status in advance of their written credit evaluation may find information regarding the transferability of credit (both college and military) on the Transfer Services website. Information regarding testing credit may be found at the Testing Services website. Information for military and veteran students may be found at the Military and Veteran Student Services website.

MassTransfer Program 

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. 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.

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. Please see the Testing Services website for 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

Credit for Global Seal in Foreign Language 

Students entering BSU with the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy or Global Seal of Biliteracy will receive college credit.

Students achieving the intermediate-high level on the Seal of Biliteracy or Global Seal of Biliteracy will earn up to 12 credits in the language: 101, 102, 151 and 200 (or their equivalent).

Students achieving the advanced-low level on the Seal of Biliteracy or Global Seal of Biliteracy will earn up to 15 credits in the language: 101, 102, 151, 200, and 234 (or their equivalent, if offered).

VALOR Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy

Consistent with the Massachusetts VALOR Act, Bridgewater State University has adopted the following policy governing the evaluating of a student’s military occupation(s), military training, course work and experience, in order to determine whether academic credit shall be awarded for such experience, training and course work.

The university accepts military course work credit listed on the Joint Services transcript as recommended by the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services. The majority of military course work is accepted as free elective credit and may be evaluated to fulfill further specific degree requirements on a case-by-case basis. Credit may also be earned and accepted from exams taken through CLEP and DSST. A maximum of 90 transfer credits may be awarded through the submission of any combination of college, military and testing transcripts.

Credits are evaluated at the time of receipt of transcripts and/or test reports. Applicants who have submitted a Joint Services transcript with their initial application will have their military credits evaluated at the time of admission and will receive official written notification of credits that have been transferred with their acceptance letter. Academic credits earned through the evaluation of military occupation, training, experience and course work are transferable within the public higher education system in accordance with the Mass Transfer agreement.

Campus contact: Michael Siegel, Military and Veteran Student Counselor. Email: veteran@bridgew.edu.

International Admission

International students who wish to apply for admission to the university may apply using the Common Application or the BSU online application. Eligible candidates will be mailed an additional international student admission supplemental 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), or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System),unless they have at least two years’ experience in an American college or university.

Documentation of financial support resources is required.

During the initial orientation/registration period, international students’ TOEFL  or IELTS examination records and academic transcripts will be evaluated for placement in appropriate English as a Second Language courses offered through the Department of Global Languages and Literatures 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.

Decision and Notification Dates

Early Action Program

First-Year candidates may apply under the Early Action Program. Candidates will need to submit their online application by November 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 Cycle First-Year Admission

First-Year applicants for the fall semester must submit their completed application by February 15 for priority consideration. Applications received after the priority deadline are considered on a space-available basis. Candidates meeting this deadline are notified of the Admission Committee decision no later than April 1. A limited number of First-Year candidates are accepted for the spring semester each year. The application deadline for priority consideration is November 1.

Transfer Admission

Transfer applications should be filed by August 1 for priority consideration for September admission and November 1 for priority consideration for January admission.  Applications received after the priority deadline are considered on a space-available basis. Transfer applications for the summer term 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.

NOTE: The university reserves the right to close admission at any time.

Placement and Special Admission Programs

Advanced Standing

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.

International Baccalaureate

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.

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 in-state 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.

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 and Procedures  section of this catalog.

Reinstatement and Readmission

A Reinstatement Application is required of all previously enrolled undergraduate students seeking to re-enroll who have not enrolled in a course at Bridgewater State University for one academic year or longer (three consecutive terms, including the summer session). Students who have been academically separated cannot use this form, but, instead, MUST submit the Application for Readmission.

Note: Students who stop out for less than one full academic year must obtain preapproval for all courses taken at another institution if they wish to transfer the courses back to their BSU degree. See Transfer of Credit After Admission in the Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures  section of this catalog.

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 August 1 for fall entrance and November 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 and Procedures  section of this catalog.

Non-Degree Status

A student who does not wish to seek a degree but who wishes to broaden their 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 they are not eligible for financial aid or various other services provided for degree-seeking students.

A non-degree student must file an application for admission as a non-degree student with the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and must meet any prerequisites for the courses for which they wish to register. A non-degree student must also maintain the same academic standards required of degree-seeking students (see the Undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures  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, they 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, they 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.