How to Apply
Interested in taking a course or two before applying to a degree program? Contact our office to ask about our pre-matriculated student option for the fall and spring semesters!
Get started on your Simmons SLIS application:
Once you have submitted your application you can check your application status.
Please allow at least three business days for received documents to be reflected on your application status page.
To access the application, use a newer version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Users will not be able to access forms through Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8 on Windows XP.
To Submit Your Transcripts and Test Scores
We accept both electronic and mailed transcripts. Regardless of format, these documents need to be submitted to our office directly from your institution. If your institution is able to securely email their transcripts, they can be emailed or submitted through a service such as Parchment, eSCRIP-SAFE, or National Student Clearinghouse.
If the documents must be mailed, please be sure to specify the SLIS Admission Office in the address below:
SLIS Office of Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests are required only when the applicants' GPA is below a 3.0 for all degrees. Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA for all degrees will be considered after they submit the GREs.
Applicants are expected to submit a completed application file that includes the following:
- Completed application form.
- Non-refundable application fee of $65. (For Fall 2019, fee is waived for applications submitted by February 1, 2019.
- If you have served our country through the U.S. Military, AmeriCorps, Mercy Corps, Teach For America, Peace Corps, or City Year, please contact our office for an application fee waiver.
- Statement of Purpose : In 750-1,000 words, please communicate to the Admission Committee your interests and aspirations for your future in the library and information science profession. Please discuss the following questions:
- How have your life experiences (cultural, professional, educational, etc) or other opportunities or challenges, motivated or prepared you to pursue this degree?
- Why do you wish to study at Simmons in particular?
- How will this degree help you reach your aspirations?
- What are the critical issues in the field of library and information science?
- Current résumé or C.V.
- Official college/university transcripts from all institutions attended (including those from which credit was transferred).
- Three letters of professional or academic recommendation (with at least one academic reference for applicants who have been enrolled in an academic program within the past five years). More details will be provided when you begin the application.
- GRE test scores (GRE scores are required only if the cumulative GPA from every degree earned falls below 3.0). The Simmons University GRE code is 3761. You can choose from two area of interest codes as well: Library Science - 4701, Archival Science - 4702.
- TOEFL or IELTS scores, if English is not the first language. For more information regarding this requirement, please see the English Language Proficiency section of the International Students page.
- Source of income statement (for international students).
Admission decisions are based on a composite of all documentation in the application.
You will be contacted in the event that an interview is required.
Priority Deadline: February 1
Final Deadline: May 1
Priority Deadline: October 1
Rolling admission after priority deadline.
*If you wish to receive priority consideration for merit scholarships, please make sure to have a completed application by the priority deadline.
If you wish to apply for a specific term but the final deadline has passed, please contact our office via email or at 617-521-2868 to inquire about your options.
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.
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) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum of 6.5 in each section is required for the IELTS test. The minimum TOEFL score is 220 (computer-based), 557-560 (paper-based), or 83 (internet-based). No exemptions will be considered. The SLIS 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
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Contact your nearest English language testing center or:
Find your nearest testing center and upcoming test dates on the IELTS website. Applicants living in the Boston area should contact:
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 SLIS representative is required for international applicants whose cumulative GPA is less than the equivalent of a US 3.0, for all dual degree applicants, as well as students applying to the doctoral program.
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 15. 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 University. Please specify in the first line of the address whether you are applying for the master's or doctoral program.
SLIS 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). English translations and U.S. equivalencies of all transcripts are required. Please submit your transcript(s) to an organization that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) such as WES or SpanTran. Notarized translations are not acceptable. 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 University. 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 University has been notified directly by the appropriate testing service that the candidates have been certified as fully-proficient in English. The achievement of a satisfactory score on an English language proficiency test is not, in itself, a guarantee of admission, as the credential file is considered as a whole. The School does accept testimonials 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
You are not required to submit financial documentation before you are considered for admission to the program. Once you are admitted to the program, we will send you a Declaration of Finances form. We cannot send registration information to you, nor issue the I-20 student visa application, until you have sent us the Declaration of Finances form indicating the source of funds you will use to meet your living and tuition expenses.
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. Please email or mail the documents, with signatures, to the address below. 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. 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 University, 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.
*Only Master's students are eligible for Scholarships, and U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for federal loans and most private loans. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for some private loans (contact Student Financial Services for more information).
Can I submit electronic transcripts?
Yes! We accept both electronic and mailed transcripts. Regardless of format, these documents need to be submitted to our office directly from your institution. If your institution is able to securely email their transcripts, they can be sent via email;or through a service such as Parchment, eSCRIP-SAFE, or National Student Clearinghouse.
If my supporting documents must be mailed, what address should I use?
Please be sure to specify the SLIS Admission Office in the address:
SLIS Office of Admission
300 the Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Can I submit my online application before all of my required materials are received?
Yes, and we encourage it! Once you submit your application, you will be able to log in to the self-service center to check the status of your application and to see if your materials have been received. Prior to submitting your application you cannot check your status online.
What should I do if my recommenders did not receive an email requesting a letter?
First, suggest your recommender check her/his spam folder. Since the notifications come from an automated system the messages often end up in spam. Not there? Contact us and we can resend the notification. You can also resend invitations from your self-service center.
How quickly are my application materials processed?
Once you submit your application, we will look for any previously received materials to attach to your application. It usually takes 3-5 business days, especially during peak application times, for our office to process and attach materials. We'll mark the materials as received by the date they arrived in our office, not the date we add them to your application.
If an interview is required or recommended for the program I’m applying to, do I need to complete the interview prior to the deadline?
No. Our interviews are conducted by faculty and program directors. They typically have limited availability, so we only require your other supporting materials prior to deadlines and if your interview is scheduled after a deadline, you’ll still be considered "complete" by that date.
Will I be notified when my application is complete?
Yes, you will receive an email once your application is complete and under review.
How long will a decision take after my application is complete?
You will receive a decision within 3-4 weeks from your completion date.
Will my decision letter be emailed or mailed?
We mail our decision letters. If you notice that your application status has changed to “Decision Mailed” please allow at least one week for the letter to arrive before contacting our office.
Can I take classes before I apply?
Yes, we have a pre-matriculated option each fall and spring semester. Anyone with a completed bachelor’s degree and at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA is eligible to apply to take up to two courses prior to starting the degree program. Course options are based on space availability in classes and we typically announce the classes in August for the fall semester (September start) and December for the spring semester (January start). Please contact our office for more information.
Do I need to submit the FAFSA and Student Information Form by the priority deadline?
No. Students interested in applying for federal financial aid, which is awarded in the form of loans, may do so at any point by submitting the FAFSA and the Simmons University Student Information Form to the Simmons University Office of Student Financial Services. Contact their office via email or at 617-521-2001.
Upon acceptance, eligible applicants receive automatic consideration for merit-based scholarships. Most merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the overall strength of an application for admission, and no separate application is required.
Tuition and fees at Simmons are updated annually each spring. They are assessed each semester based on the number of credits enrolled, the level of degree, and the particular program of study.
We believe that your exceptional academic preparation and hard work should be rewarded.
All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage.
Questions? Contact us via email or at 617-521-2868. We're happy to schedule visits and campus tours.