For International Applicants
Simmons welcomes applications from international students. Faculty, alumni, and students exemplify global involvement in our profession, and are active participants in associations such as IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations.
Our alumni populate all continents; our students hail from many countries: Armenia, Romania, and Sri Lanka, to name a few. Of special note is our Vietnamese initiative: students from this program have become the first professional librarians in Vietnam. In the summer of 2004, we offered an institute to train professionals from various U.S. embassies around the world.
On this page:
- English Language Proficiency
- Visa Requirements and Full-Time Academic Status
- Interview Requirement
- Application Deadlines
- Required Academic Records
- Required Standardized Test Results
- Required Financial Documentation
- Financial Assistance
- Academic Year
English Language Proficiency
The faculty requires that all prospective students for whom English is not the first language achieve a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum score is 213 (computer-based), 550 (paper-based), or 79-80 (internet-based). No exemptions will be considered. The GSLIS institutional code is 3761; the departmental code is 90.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Contact your nearest English language testing center or:
TOEFL(R) Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151 USA
Applicants living in the Boston area should contact:
TOEFL(R) Test Center
27-43 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210 USA
Visa Requirements and Full-Time Academic Status
Due to immigration stipulations, international students requiring a student visa to study in the U.S. must be enrolled full-time in an academic program. Additionally, if you are currently in the U.S. and have any visa other than an F-1, you must check with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding procedures for changing your visa status.
An interview with a GSLIS representative is required for international applicants whose cumulative GPA is less than the equivalent of a US 3.0, for all dual degree and SLTP applicants, as well as students applying to the program at the Mount Holyoke campus. All doctoral applicants are required to interview.
International applicants to the master's degree program are requested to apply for the term commencing in September only (exceptions can be made in special cases, please contact the Admission Office for more information); the application deadline is March 1, or February 1 for those wanting priority consideration for merit aid awards. The deadline for doctoral applications is January 1. All materials must be received by the posted deadline. An I-20 will be issued if admitted and the Declaration of Finances (see below) has been submitted. Please allow ample time for the pace of international postal services, obtaining visa documents, arrival in the U.S., and transitioning to a new environment.
Application materials may be submitted to the following address. The Simmons mailing address is the same for the entire College. Please specify in the first line of the address whether you are applying for the master's or doctoral program.
GSLIS Office of Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
Required Academic Records
In the U.S., academic records or mark sheets are called "transcripts" (this is the term used throughout this Web site). All applicants who have studied abroad must submit official (signed in original ink and stamped with a seal) academic records for study completed at all universities (including schools where no degree or certificate was earned by the student). These documents should include end-of-year result sheets, national exam results, and a copy of degrees or certificates, both in the native language and English translations. Photocopies or facsimiles are not acceptable.
A "college" abroad usually means a secondary institution whereas in the U.S., a college is an institution providing higher education. A college can be part of a larger university or represent a singular institution such as Simmons College. Academic records from overseas colleges, which are actually secondary schools (high schools in the U.S.), are not required as part of the application process. Courses taken at the secondary level do not fulfill the prerequisite requirements for application and admission to a graduate program. A baccalaureate in the U.S. is a first university degree. Many overseas systems award baccalaureates which represent the completion of secondary education or a year beyond.
Required Standardized Test Results
All applicants who do not have the US equivalent of a 3.0 cumulative GPA (undergraduate or graduate degree) must submit official GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores, taken within the past five years. All doctoral students regardless of GPA must submit official GRE scores. There is no required minimum score. Copies of student score reports are not acceptable. The Simmons GRE code is 3761 (you must also choose either Library Science 4701 or Archival Science 4702). Further information about this exam can be obtained by contacting:
GRE, Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000
Applications from international students will be considered only after Simmons College has been notified directly by the appropriate testing service that the candidates have been certified as fully-proficient in English. The preferred test for GSLIS is the TOEFL and the minimum score is 213 (computer based), 550 (paper-based), or 79 (internet-based). The achievement of a satisfactory score on this test is not, in itself, a guarantee of admission, as the credential file is considered as a whole. The School does not permit the substitution of scores from other English tests, nor are testimonials accepted as a means of establishing English proficiency.
Applications cannot be reviewed without the receipt of these test scores. It is very important that applicants register for these exams well in advance of applying for admission.
Required Financial Documentation
International students must submit a Declaration of Finances demonstrating proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses while enrolled at Simmons. The school cannot issue an I-20 until we have received the required statement. (Download form.)
Please arrange with your bank, sponsor, and/or government to send an official statement indicating that you have sufficient funds in a bank for these educational expenses and/or that your tuition and expenses will be paid by your sponsor(s) or government. You may send this statement to the address below with your application for admission to the program or as a separate document. We ask that you apply to the program only if you are reasonably sure you will be able to meet the financial obligations.
Office of Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
All documents must be signed in original ink, written in English, and funds must be shown in U.S. dollars ($). Certain countries limit the amount of money which may be sent abroad. Thus, it is very important for the applicant to inquire about the regulations in the home country concerning transfer of funds. Applications cannot be reviewed without certification and documentation of financial resources. This information is required in order to process an I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa.
International students are eligible for merit based scholarships which are awarded to the top 20-25% of new students entering in the fall (September) and spring (January) semesters. International students may also apply for the Dean's Fellowships which are our most prestigious awards. International students are not eligible for need-based grants or federal loans.
There is minimal funding available for doctoral students.
International students with student visas may be able to work in the libraries of Simmons College, but may not count these earnings as income to pay for tuition and expenses. Students with a student visa may not work off campus.
For each academic semester, students receive grades for each subject (course) taken. The first (fall) semester generally begins in early September and ends in mid December. The second (spring) semester generally begins at the end of January and ends in mid May. A third term (summer) is generally held from June to August.