Graduate Admission

Saint Mary’s College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability in the recruitment and admission of graduate students. This nondiscriminatory policy also applies to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College, and to the administration of educational policies, scholarships and loan programs, student employment and other College-administered programs.

Application Requirements

All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or the international equivalent unless applying to a 4+1. Candidates are normally expected to have maintained at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in undergraduate coursework. Additional requirements vary by graduate program. Please review program specific requirements in this bulletin and/or on the program website:

A complete application for graduate admission at Saint Mary’s College consists of the following requirements:

  • Application form.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended.
  • Letters of recommendation (see program requirements for specific number).
  • Official Test Scores (see program requirements for programs that require scores).
  • Personal statement.
  • Individual programs may have additional requirements.

The manner in which an applicant submits materials depends on the requirements of each application process. Some require documentation to be submitted directly to the processor while others allow for documentation to be sent to the College. Instructions on how materials should be submitted are on the website.

4+1 Pathway for Undergraduate Students

College juniors may apply to and be admitted to certain graduate programs prior to earning their bachelor’s degree allowing them to begin their graduate coursework as an undergraduate student. Students typically apply to the 4+1 programs during the junior year. Students completing a 4+1 program earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years saving both time and money. 4+1 programs are available for the Master of Autism Studies and Master of Science in Data Science. Please see the respective program section for program specific details.

Application Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Personal Statement

Standardized Testing Requirements 

Official standardized test scores are required for some Saint Mary’s College graduate programs. Test scores are never used in isolation as a single factor that determines an admission decision. For test score requirements and school codes for each program, refer to specific program requirements.

Official TOEFL (80) or IELTS (6.5) scores are required for all applicants for whom English is a second language, unless the undergraduate degree was earned at an institution where English was the primary language of instruction.


Accepted students must confirm their intention to enroll by submitting an enrollment deposit which will be applied toward the first term’s tuition (a portion of which will be applied as a security deposit for students opting for on-campus housing). Students enrolling at Saint Mary’s College must have on file all official final transcripts showing proof of baccalaureate degree or master’s degree, if applicable, and a completed health form, if applicable. These forms must be received before the beginning of the student’s first term of attendance to comply with federal regulations. Students whose baccalaureate degree will be conferred after matriculation in a Saint Mary’s graduate program will be permitted to start classes; however the lack of degree conferral prior to matriculation may impact the disbursement of federal financial aid. Additionally, a registration hold will be placed on the student’s record until the proof of degree is received. Any expenses associated with the graduate program incurred by a student without a final official transcript with degree conferral on file are the sole responsibility of the student and will not be refunded or reimbursed to the student if the student fails to provide proof of degree conferral prior to the conclusion of the first term. Enrollment deposits are not refundable.

The Office of Graduate Studies reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission if an application is found to be fraudulent or to include plagiarism. Offers of admission may also be rescinded if final grades from courses in progress at the time of admission are judged by the graduate program director to be significantly lower than the level of achievement presented in the rest of the academic record.

Deferred Enrollment

Upon request, Saint Mary’s may grant a deferral to accepted students whose plans change before they are able to enroll. It is assumed that the academic record will remain unchanged during the deferral period. Students who defer admission and complete prerequisite undergraduate or graduate level courses between the time of acceptance and deferred enrollment must reapply for admission. Requests for deferrals should be made in writing. Deferred students’ admission status will carry to the next admission cycle (for most applicants).

Admission of Transfer Students

Saint Mary’s College allows applications from students who have already earned graduate school credits at another institution. Transcripts will be reviewed as part of the admission process, and the applicant will be notified at the point of admission if transfer credits will be applied toward the Saint Mary’s College degree. Only credits from accredited graduate programs, with a grade of B or better, will be reviewed for transfer.

Typically, no more than six semester graduate credit hours may be transferred into a Saint Mary’s College graduate program. Additional graduate credit hours may be transferred by students who already have an earned graduate degree. A student pursuing a master’s degree at Saint Mary’s may transfer up to 9 credit hours; A student pursuing a doctoral degree at Saint Mary’s may transfer up to 50% of the total credits required for the Saint Mary’s degree. Transfer students who join a previous cohort will be charged according to the tuition rate applied to that cohort.

Admission of International Students

Saint Mary’s College encourages applications from international students. In addition to the general application requirements for the program, international applicants must also provide:

  1. official translated transcripts and
  2. official test scores demonstrating English competency.

A complete, official, and detailed copy of the bachelor’s degree or equivalent school record translated to English, including an explanation of the grading scale is required and should be submitted according to the program’s requirements. Notarized copies are considered official. The scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for students whose native language is not English. Information on TOEFL test dates and centers may be obtained at Saint Mary’s TOEFL code is 1702. Information on IELTS test dates and centers is available at

As soon as possible after receiving his or her acceptance, the applicant should indicate his or her desire to reserve a place in the entering class by submitting a non-refundable USD enrollment deposit. For campus-based programs, upon submission of the deposit and verification of financial responsibility, a Certification of Eligibility form will be sent to the student. The American Embassy, Consulate or Immigration Office nearest the student’s home (if residing outside the U.S.) should be contacted for passport and visa information. If currently residing in the U.S., please contact the Office of Graduate Admission for specific instructions regarding a legal transfer to Saint Mary’s College. Students wishing to participate in hybrid programs should contact the Office of Graduate Admission at for student visa information.

Non-Degree Seeking Student

Graduate non-degree students are those individuals who have earned a baccalaureate degree and take undergraduate or graduate level courses for personal enrichment, professional development, certification, to meet prerequisite course requirements for graduate programs to which they intend to apply, or to familiarize themselves with the rigors of a graduate program before applying. Graduate non-degree students are enrolled at the College, not in a specific degree granting graduate program.

Graduate non-degree students who are alumni may audit graduate courses at the approved per-credit tuition rate.

Graduate non-degree students may take courses for credit on a part-time basis. Courses typically have limited enrollment. In such cases, first priority goes to students who are admitted to the graduate program offering the course, followed by Saint Mary’s students admitted to other degree programs, followed by graduate non-degree seeking students. Enrollment in specific courses is based on eligibility criteria, space availability, and approval of instructor. Graduate non-degree students are not exempt from course prerequisites.

Admission to graduate non-degree status neither guarantees nor implies subsequent admission to a degree program. Graduate non-degree students interested in seeking  admission to a graduate degree program must submit all required application materials.

If a graduate non-degree seeking student later enrolls as a degree seeking graduate student, he or she can only apply up to six graduate-level credit hours earned as a non-degree seeking student toward a graduate degree. Generally, a graduate non-degree student does not qualify for financial aid.


A student who has officially withdrawn from and wishes to return to a Saint Mary’s College graduate program must contact the Office of Graduate Studies for an application for readmission. The application for readmission requires a personal statement stating the reasons for seeking readmission to the program and all transcripts and course descriptions for academic work completed during the intervening time. The program’s admission committee will review the application, along with any new academic information before the student receives a decision.