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Undergraduate Admissions Policies

Admissions Policies

The information within this online catalog describes in detail university requirements and processes concerning the admission of high school graduates, non-traditional students, and transfer students; the admission of international students and candidates for second degrees; the admission of non-matriculating students; and the readmission of previously enrolled University students. It also provides the basic information concerning degree programs, applicant inquiries, application deadlines, Advanced Placement, health certification requirements, and joint admission.

For further information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions website.

General Undergraduate Admissions Policies

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Other Important Requirements and Policies for Incoming Undergraduates

General Policies

Admission to all baccalaureate day programs is made through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions according to established undergraduate policies. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions upholds UMass Lowell’s Equal and Fair Treatment policy in its practices. Accordingly, applicants are required to submit truthful and complete records, including accounts of their educational and disciplinary history. Further, all items submitted, such as application essays, must be entirely the applicant’s original work products. The University reserves the right to rescind the application or admission of any student who fails to abide fully by these requirements.
Admission to programs of professional studies or to winter intersession and summer school, is made through the Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies, and does not constitute admission to baccalaureate day programs and implies no commitment, per se, for subsequent application of professional studies or summer school courses to baccalaureate day programs.
The admission policies of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which are in keeping with its mission and the guidelines of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, specify procedures for admitting three types of applicants for undergraduate degrees:
  1. high school seniors and individuals who have graduated from high schools within the past three years;
  2. non-traditional students (students who have graduated from high school more than three years at time of application to the University of Massachusetts Lowell); and
  3. transfer students.
Accordingly, these policies not only protect the intellectual integrity and strength of the university by requiring standards of preparation and objective evidence of the student’s potential for success, but also provide access for a diverse student population, including traditional and non-traditional students and students with special needs and talents.
Individuals who are admitted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions must be accepted under one of the following categories:
  1. as undeclared students (entering as first-year or transfer students with less than 45 semester credits) who wish to establish initial matriculation in an undeclared status offered by one of the colleges
  2. as declared students (entering as first-year or transfer students) who wish to establish initial matriculation for a University of Massachusetts Lowell degree and who have a commitment to an academic major or professional program which is offered by one of the colleges of the university;
  3. as declared students with advanced standing who wish to pursue a second baccalaureate degree at the University of Massachusetts Lowell after having completed an initial baccalaureate degree at the university or at another accredited institution;
  4. as non-matriculating students admitted on a semester-by-semester basis.
To be admitted for undergraduate study, applicants must present records of academic performance that indicate a reasonable probability of success in their chosen programs or colleges.
Within the space available in particular programs, admission is offered first to those whose performance record indicates the highest probability of success in the chosen college and/or program. Specific academic standards and requirements are described below under headings for admission categories. 
The university welcomes correspondence from prospective students who may need assistance in adapting their high school programs to satisfy specific program requirements. Such correspondence should be addressed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Students may apply online through the Common Application, Coalition application by Scoir or the UMass Lowell Application.
Applicants are responsible for updating the university with respect to any changes from their initial application. Failure to do so may jeopardize their admissions standing. In addition, applicants agree upon submitting their application that all the information is true and valid, if discrepancies are found or academic histories are falsified then applications and admission decisions may be withdrawn after review by the Enrollment Management division.
The university provides applicants with a portal that helps students through the admission and enrollment process. This portal outlines requirements and resources for a successful start of the semester including, but not limited to, financial resources and health documentation and orientation and registration information.

Graduating High School Seniors and High School Graduates

Graduating high school seniors and high school graduates who wish to be admitted to the university as matriculating students must complete the following steps:
  1. file an official application form, including a non-refundable application fee or fee waiver, by all stated deadlines,
  2. request high schools forward official transcripts of secondary school grades,
  3. if necessary, as identified upon application review, submit SAT/ACT exam results, any required English Proficiency Tests, art portfolios and any official transcripts for college courses completed during high school
Special information is provided in the following sections concerning required aptitude examinations for applicants to music programs, and portfolio requirements for art majors.
The general expectation is that applicants will present course work that has been taken within a college preparatory curricula. However, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will evaluate the academic units of vocational technical school (Chapter 74) graduates to determine their relevance for university curricula. The ultimate judgment concerning such equivalency rests solely with the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Applicants must satisfactorily complete prescribed units prior to enrollment. Table 1 specifies the high school unit distribution which is required for general university admission consideration.

Prescribed High School Unit Requirements

Table 1: General University Admission
Subject RequiredUnits
English4 courses
Mathematics4 courses (Algebra I&II, Geometry or Trigonometry, Precalculus or Calculus or comparable coursework), including a course senior year
Sciences3 courses (including 3 courses with laboratory work)
Social Sciences2 courses (including 1 course in U.S. History0
Foreign Languages2 courses (in a single language)
Electives2 courses (from the above subjects or from the Arts and Humanities or Computer Sciences)
Minimum Prescribed Units 17

First-Year Applicant Admissions Standards

The University of Massachusetts Lowell practices a holistic review process for its applicants. Applicants are evaluated using standards determined by both the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the university.
The applications of students who do not meet the standards, but who demonstrate the potential to be successful at UMass Lowell, are reviewed on a case by case basis.
Entering first-year students in Fall 2023 had an average GPA of 3.690 and an average combined Evidence Based Reading and Math SAT score of 1265 (ACT equivalent 28).
Submitting Final High School Transcripts
Students must provide final official transcripts prior to the start of the semester. Final official transcripts must confirm the student has earned a high school diploma with the date of graduation or completion. Students are expected to maintain the same academic rigor and performance they demonstrated at the time of admission, failure to do so will result in a re-evaluation of their admissions status. Students who do not submit proof of graduation by designated dates will be withdrawn from the university.
Provide one of the following documents that indicates your successful high school graduation status:
  • A copy of your final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded.
  • To be considered official, the transcript must be sent directly to UMass Lowell from the high school.
  • A state certificate or transcript received after you passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma (GED test, HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination).
  • If you are a homeschooled student and the law in your home state requires you to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential.
  • If the law in your home state does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript or the equivalent, signed by your parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses you completed and includes a statement that you successfully completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting. If you are unable to obtain the documentation listed above, please contact us immediately.
  • If you completed secondary education in a foreign country, a final high school transcript, a copy of the "secondary school leaving certificate" or other similar document. Academic records must be original official records, with a seal and signature in ink of an authorized official of the institution or examining board issuing the records, or an exact copy which has been certified by the authorized institutional official or examining board. The seal and signature must appear as original. We require copies of both the front and back of all academic documents. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by official English translations.

Admission Policies for Non-Traditional Students

Students applying for admission more than three years after high school graduation, or who have completed the GED or HiSET and would have graduated from high school three or more years prior to applying to college, must show their ability to succeed in college based upon their official high school record, for as long as they attended, and other application materials.
Applicants who have been out of high school for at least three years are considered Non-traditional and therefore exempt from taking the SAT/ACT. Non-traditional students must meet the 3.000 GPA minimum to be considered for admission. Non-traditional students who have below a 3.000 must present potential to be successful and are reviewed in Committee Review.
Students who drop out of high school, earn a GED/HiSET, and apply to college within three years of when they would have graduated with their high school class are subject to the same admission standards as students applying within three years of graduation from high school.
Applicants must complete the following steps:
  1. file an official application form, including a non-refundable application fee or fee waiver, by all stated deadlines,
  2. submit official high schools transcripts for as long as they attended;
  3. submit one letter of recommendation,
  4. GRE or HiSET results
  5. if necessary, as identified upon application review, submit SAT/ACT exam results, any required English Proficiency Tests, art portfolios and any official transcripts for college courses completed during high school

Application Procedures for Transfer Students

Transfer students who wish to be admitted to the university as matriculating students must complete the following steps:
  1. file an official application form, including non-refundable application fee or fee waiver
  2. submit official transcripts from all secondary education institutions attended
  3. if necessary, submit College Transfer Reports, official high school transcripts, art portfolios or English Proficiency Tests
It is the responsibility of students seeking transfer to arrange for all official transcripts and notations on courses in progress to be forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions directly from all previous institution(s).
Additionally, official final transcripts of all completed courses must be forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions following the completion of previously designated courses in progress. Transfer students whose records are incomplete on the first day of semester classes may be prohibited from attending courses and may be required to withdraw from the university.
An applicant who has attended one or more institutions must request each registrar to mail directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions a transcript of his or her record, even if credits were not earned or credits are not presented for transfer.

Admission Standards for Transfer Admissions

Transfer students must meet one of the following criteria, in addition to any specific departmental criteria:
  1. 12 or more transferable college credits and a minimum of 2.500 college GPA;
  2. Up to 23 transferable college credits, a minimum 2.000 college GPA, and a high school transcript that meets the admission standards for freshmen applicants; or
  3. 24 or more transferable credits and a minimum 2.000 college GPA.
Transfer students who have fewer than 12 transferable college credits must meet the admission standards for first-year applicants.,
Preference for admission to the university is based upon the record of each individual transfer applicant at the end of the semester preceding admission.

Transfer Credits

All credits to be transferred must be identified at the time of application for transfer. The university reserves the right to deny credit for course work taken by the student prior to admission if it is identified and presented after transfer.
A preliminary evaluation of course credits to be transferred to the university is made by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the time of acceptance. Students seeking transfer should be aware that this evaluation by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is preliminary in nature and that acceptance of transfer credit and assignment of a year of graduation or other status is subject to final review by the student’s major department when the student is formally accepted for matriculation by one of the colleges of the university. Credit which is acceptable according to general university standards is not necessarily acceptable for specific programs. This is especially true when program transfer quotas have been imposed.
In general, the University of Massachusetts Lowell will accept on an hour-for-hour basis semester credits with grades of C- (1.70 on a 4.00 scale) or better as shown on official transcripts of record which are received directly from other regionally accredited collegiate institutions and which are applied to an initial baccalaureate degree. No credit will be recognized for the grade of P unless the catalog of the transferring institution specifically states that P is equivalent to a final course grade of C-. Quarter credits are recognized on a prorated basis of three quarter credits to two semester credits. (Students who are interested in transferring credits for an additional baccalaureate degree should consult the appropriate section).
Applicants should familiarize themselves with the university’s residency policy.
UML accepts credits only from accredited institutions. Individual colleges may also apply more restrictive requirements.
UML does not award credit for:
  • Non credit CEU
  • Adult enrichment courses
  • Secondary school correspondence
  • Home study courses
  • Departmental exam credit issued by another college or university
  • Challenge exam credit issued by another college or university
  • Competency based credit
  • Professional certifications or trainings

International Applicants

International applicants must submit all required materials by the given deadline to ensure time for visa processing.
International applicants should review admissions requirements specific to their application.

English Language Learners

An English language learner, or limited English proficient student, is defined as a student who does not speak English (or whose native language is not English) and is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English, or a student who was identified as an English language learner or limited English proficient student at any point during their high school career. Students who were English language learners during high school must complete all required high school level academic courses with two exceptions:
  1. They may substitute up to two academic electives based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for the two required foreign language courses; and
  2. They may substitute up to two years of English as a Second Language courses for English courses.
Students may be reviewed by the English Proficiency Committee (EPC) to determine ability to succeed in the classroom. The EPC considers essays, letters of recommendation, general coursework, and grades to determine proficiency. Students can be admitted through this committee or the committee can recommend students complete TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Versant, or Duolingo to determine proficiency in English.

Applicants for Additional Bachelor's Degree

A student who has earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Massachusetts Lowell or at another accredited bachelor's institution may be admitted to the university to pursue an additional bachelor's degree subject to the following requirements:
  1. the major field of the previous degree must be clearly distinct from that of the additional degree (as determined by the department awarding the second degree);
  2. the work for the additional degree must consist of not less than two semesters (or the equivalent) of full-time study;
  3. the final 30 credits presented for the additional degree must be in addition to and independent of any previously awarded bachelor's; and
  4. a minimum of 15 credits must be taken at the University in the major field which is presented for the additional degree.
Candidates for the additional bachelor's degree must earn a minimum of 30 credits and must comply with any special college regulations concerning completion at the university of major field and professional program requirements (including collateral and prerequisite course requirements for the major/professional program). Second-degree candidates may be eligible for major field honors but are not eligible for university honors unless they have completed 60 credits at the university for the additional bachelor's degree.
Application for admission to the university as a candidate for an additional bachelor's degree is made through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Retention standards for candidates for additional bachelor's degrees are based upon the grade point averages for achieving satisfactory standing which are specified for the several levels of course credits completed. Grade point averages are computed solely on the basis of qualitatively graded courses which have been completed at the university for the additional bachelor's degree. The number of course credits completed include those which have been applied from previous bachelor's programs.
Please note that students who enroll in a second degree program do not qualify or receive federal Financial Aid.
Admissions Policies for Post Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificates
The undergraduate Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre Physician Assistant certificates are intended to give students who already possess a baccalaureate degree the opportunity to complete or improve their performance in courses required to successfully apply to medical school. This is an advanced undergraduate certificate for achievement.
Applicants interested in the university’s Post Baccalaureate Undergraduate Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Physician Assistant certificate for achievement, must submit an application, along with a non-refundable application fee and all supporting documents, through the office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Applicants will be evaluated on their submitted materials including:
  • Personal Statement
  • Final Official Transcript from an Undergraduate Degree Program
  • WES Evaluation if college transcript is from outside the United States
  • English Proficiency Results (as needed)
The following guidelines are in place for students within this program:
  • Courses must be completed within a five-year period
  • All certificate classes must be taken at UMass Lowell, in the classroom, and no transfer credits will be accepted
  • Courses may not be applied to any graduate programs

Departmental Admission Requirements

Music Aptitude and Proficiency Examinations, College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Students who wish to enroll as a music major are required to demonstrate vocal or instrumental ability in a performance audition with a member of the faculty of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. In addition to prepared audition materials, applicants will take a diagnostic theory exam. This exam will not be factored into acceptance into the major. Performance auditions and theory testing are scheduled throughout the spring semester.
Applicants will be invited to take these special music tests at the university when all credentials have been evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the applicant has applied to the university.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will offer a conditional acceptance into a music program pending a successful audition. If a student does not pass the audition they may be eligible to enroll at the university in another major. Students who failed the audition and did not select an alternate major will automatically be placed by the admissions office by May 15 for the fall semester and January 7 for the spring semester.

Exercise Science Admissions Requirements

Freshman Admission Requirements to the Exercise Science Program (Clinical Option or Exercise & Fitness Management Option)
  • High school GPA of 3.250 or better.
  • Completion of college prep courses including: English, biology and chemistry.
  • Recommended: high school pre-calculus or calculus, and physics.
  • Combined SAT scores totaling at least 1080 (mathematics and verbal).
  • Evidence of good health through a physical exam, which attests to the student's ability to actively and safely participate in all phases of laboratory work.
Transfer Admission Requirements to the Exercise Science Program
UMass Lowell (UML) students and students from other colleges or universities are invited to apply to the Exercise Science BS program.
Requirements include:
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.700
  • A science GPA of 2.700 in at least one, two-semester required science sequence of either: Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Physiological Chemistry or Chemistry I and II, Physics I and II, or Biology I and II.
Students must have successfully completed at least one of the two-semester prerequisite science sequences identified above, and be on track to complete all prerequisite science course sequences by the completion of their fourth semester at UML. This means that students must complete all prerequisite science courses prior to beginning professional courses (EXER.xxxx) in the Junior year of the curriculum (see degree pathway).
We strongly recommend that transfer students complete college level pre-calculus or calculus prior to transfer.
ES to Doctorate (DPT)
Students who meet the qualifications as incoming freshmen are notified in their letter of acceptance to the university from Admissions. Students must be enrolled in the Clinical Option to be eligible. Students will also obtain real-world experience by completing a required 35 hours of physical therapy observation prior to your senior year. The UMass Lowell DPT program does not offer deferred acceptance. All accepted students must begin matriculation the immediately subsequent summer term.
The program requirements are:
  • Completion of the B.S. in Exercise Science program with an overall GPA of 3.400 or higher
Completion of the DPT pre-requisite science courses outlined below with an earned GPA of 3.400 or higher:
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II, with labs
  • Chemistry I & II, with labs
  • Physics I & II, with labs
  • Exercise Physiology lecture
  • Kinesiology lecture
Your class GPA will be calculated after the end of your junior year of studies and again after your senior year is completed. GPA calculation will occur once more at the end of your senior year prior to matriculation into the program.

Dual Enrollment

The Massachusetts Dual Enrollment Program was established by the Education Reform Act of 1993. The program provides qualified high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take courses at public colleges and universities and thus earn both high school and college credit. Dual enrollment students are limited to enrolling in 1000 and 2000 level courses. The university reserves the right to decline admittance to students on the basis of academic ability. Students are financially responsible for all Dual Enrollment Courses.

UMass Lowell Dual Enrollment Requirements:

  • Student must be a high school Junior or Senior
  • Student must be recommended by a school principal or guidance counselor
  • Student must file an application with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and submit a High School Transcript
  • Student must provide a parental signature and a guidance counselor signature allowing the student to take classes on campus
Student is financially responsible for all Dual Enrollment courses and any materials needed.
If you are interested in taking a course online or are unable to travel onto our campus, we provide online courses through our Graduate, Online & Professional Studies Department.
For questions about cost, accommodations, vaccine requirements and many others, please take a look at our Dual Enrollment Frequently Aasked Questions (FAQ).


Non-Matriculating Programs for Students Holding Baccalaureate Degrees

An individual who holds a baccalaureate degree and who wishes to pursue a limited non-degree program (up to a maximum of 15 credits, limited to 11 credits per semester) may be admitted full- or part-time to the university as a non-matriculating student. Course enrollment requires course prerequisites be met as well as all admissions criteria.
University of Massachusetts Lowell graduates should indicate their date of graduation on their application forms. Other applicants must request the registrars of the institutions by which their degrees were conferred to mail transcripts of their baccalaureate records directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and are warned that permission to enroll in courses will be denied if transcripts have not been received prior to course registration.
A student who holds a baccalaureate degree and who wishes to pursue a second baccalaureate should investigate the appropriateness of both degree and non-degree programs of the Graduate School before applying for such status.

Non-Matriculating Programs for Students Enrolled at Another Institution

Students who are enrolled at another higher education institution may enroll in courses (up to a maximum of 15 credits, limited to 11 credits per semester) may be admitted full- or part-time to the university as a non-matriculating student.
To meet this requirement students must submit proof from their institution that they meet the following requirements:
  1. Enrolled as a student in good standing
  2. Have permission from their current institution to enroll in coursework at the university.

Non-Matriculating Students Course Registration Process

Registration for courses will occur no earlier than two weeks before the start of the semester, priority will be given to matriculated students. Students must submit their application and supporting documents by the application deadline for the upcoming term. Students are responsible for completing the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA), obtaining necessary permission numbers and enrolling in coursework.

Change of Baccalaureate Program Declaration After Application

Individuals who are admitted to specific programs and who wish to change their major may do so by requestion a change through their admissions portal. Changes will be approved only if space in the desired program is available and the applicant has satisfied all admission requirements for the new college or program.

Undergraduate Deferral Policy

A student may request a deferment of enrollment up to one year beyond the date when he or she was scheduled to begin his or her undergraduate program. If the one-year time period is exceeded, the student must submit a new application and a non-refundable application fee. The deferral must be requested before the start of the semester for which the student was originally accepted.
Students admitted to the Nursing program are not permitted to defer admission but may defer an application for re-evaluation for a future fall term. We do not permit Nursing students to defer an application to the spring semester.
Students who defer their application and have a change in their educational history must be re-evaluated.
Students are responsible for communicating any updates to their application, including, but not limited to: educational history, disciplinary history, and biographical information, when requesting a deferral.
Merit scholarship may be deferred on a pro-rated basis for students who defer from a Fall to Spring semester. Merit scholarships will not be deferred for any other deferrals.
Request a deferment.