Admission Criteria

Individuals may apply to the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions as formal applicants to pursue a master of arts degree, a sixth year certificate of advanced study (SYC), state certification or licensure, or to take courses as non-matriculated candidates seeking credits for career enhancement or personal growth. Applicants for the MA must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School. Applicants for the SYC must hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a 3.00 cumulative quality point average. The master's degree must be in a major relevant to the SYC program of interest. In addition, individual departments may set specific requirements concerning interviews, adequate scores on tests, course waivers, computer literacy, and distribution of undergraduate courses.

Students may be required to take one or more English writing courses if their writing skills do not meet graduate level standards.

Dates for admission vary by program. A complete listing of deadlines can be found at

If a person has been denied admission to the School twice, his or her application will not be considered again.

Applicants must complete the formal online application for admission; provide a current resume and a personal statement; present two recommendation letters (completed online), on the appropriate forms, to support their professional potential; interview with a faculty panel; and meet other entry requirements as determined by the Connecticut State Board of Education.

Testing Requirements for Programs Leading to Initial Certification. Applicants for the School Counseling, School Psychology, and all teacher preparation programs must take PRAXIS CORE, SAT, ACT or the GRE. Candidates who do not have passing scores on one or more sections of the test may be required to remediate any deficient area.  Remediation may include re-taking and passing the sections that were not passed, taking additional coursework, or other remediation activities. If additional courses are required, the candidate must complete the coursework at a grade of B (3.0) or above and provide an official transcript to the Dean’s office prior to student teaching.  Please see advisor for additional details and recommendations.

Given that we seek to admit the best qualified candidates to our programs and that our candidates must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in their program of study, we generally expect applicants to come with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Faculty realize that some otherwise qualified candidates may not possess this minimum GPA, so they carefully review applications to assess candidate qualifications for our programs.

Any applicant whose undergraduate GPA is lower than 2.67 must complete a GPA waiver request form as part of the admission process. This form allows candidates to explain any extenuating circumstances that may account for their undergraduate record. The decision to grant the formal GPA waiver will be made based on the candidate's explanation of the low GPA, demonstrated ability to meet the academic expectations of the program of study, fitness for the field, and potential for success in the field. The quality of the applicant's other admission materials (i.e., letters of recommendation, application essay, faculty interview) will also be considered.

Candidates whose GPA is below 2.4 must complete a GPA waiver request form and schedule an appointment to discuss their academic history with the associate dean prior to review of their application for admission. Most students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.4 will be required to take additional coursework to improve their academic record and demonstrate readiness for graduate-level study before their application for formal admission to the program will be considered.

Upon the granting of a GPA waiver, the approval form signed by the Department and the Dean's office will be placed in the student's file. Candidates who are granted a GPA waiver and are admitted must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be permitted to continue in the program. Candidates applying for admission to a certification program should note that Connecticut State certification program standards for formal admission to an approved initial educator certification program require candidates to possess a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of B- (2.67 on a 4.0 scale), unless an approved GPA waiver form documents that a waiver was granted.

Required coursework for elementary, secondary, and TESOL education initial educator certification programs includes a minimum of 39 general education credits with coursework in five or six of the following areas, depending on the program and certification regulations: mathematics, English, natural sciences, social studies, foreign language, and fine arts. Elementary Education majors only are required to have a survey course in U.S. history covering 50 years. This general education coursework is normally completed as part of one's undergraduate program. Applicants with missing prerequisite coursework must complete it before student teaching. Admission with prerequisite course deficiencies varies by program. Generally, no more than six credits of subject area and/or prerequisite coursework may be deficient to be formally admitted into a certification program. Students seeking certification in Secondary Education must have a B (3.0) average in the relevant content area courses.

Enrollment as a non-matriculated candidate requires prior completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Candidates in this status may take a total of six credits in certification programs or nine credits in non-certification programs before matriculation/full admission is required. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for any tuition aid or financial support. Note: successful completion of initial coursework as a non-matriculated candidate does not guarantee formal admission.

NOTE: Non-matriculated students are not eligible for any tuition aid or financial support.  Successful completion of initial coursework as a non-matriculated candidate does not guarantee formal admission.

Admission Procedure

Applicants for the MA, SYC, or Cross-Endorsement Programs

Students seeking admission must complete and submit the following online:

  1. A completed online application. Apply online at
  2. A non-refundable $60 application fee.
  3. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts to be sent to the Office of Graduate Admission. Official transcripts are required from all colleges/universities attended, including any study abroad or summer programs.
  4. A personal statement describing intent for studying in the program.
  5. A professional resume.
  6. Two recommendation letters (completed online), accompanied by the University online recommendation forms, from current employers, supervisors, or professors.
  7. For programs leading to certification: Provide documentation of scores on the Praxis Core, SAT, ACT, GRE, or equivalent test. If students provide their social security number to Educational Testing Services (ETS) when registering for the PRAXIS Core exam, the reported score will automatically be uploaded to their Fairfield application file. Fairfield's code is 3390.
  8. Once the file has been reviewed, participate in an admissions interview.
  9. Consult a faculty advisor about course selection.

Please note: In order to be reviewed, applications must be complete on or before the program deadline. For an application to be considered complete, all documents noted above must be received by the Office of Graduate Admission by the program deadline. Program deadlines vary. A complete listing of deadlines can be found at

If formal admission has not been granted prior to the beginning of the semester, qualified applicants may apply for permission to register as a non-matriculated candidate.

Cross-endorsements: Cross-endorsement certification is negotiated between the graduate student and the Connecticut State Department of Education To ensure that required coursework is taken, applicants with some coursework in a cross-endorsement area are advised to have the State review their materials before entry to a program.

Transfer Students: The School reserves the right to contact the chair and/or director of any programs attended by students who want to transfer into a program offered by the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

Fingerprinting requirement

Matriculated students must provide evidence of fingerprinting before registering for any course. Connecticut certified teachers with a full-time teaching assignment can bring a copy of their pay stub to the Dean’s area in Canisius 102 for proof of fingerprinting.

Applicants for Advanced Training Certificate Programs

Those seeking formal admission to an advanced training certificate program must complete and submit the following online:

  1. A completed formal application. Apply online at
  2. A non-refundable $60 application fee.
  3. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts showing degrees earned sent to the Office of Graduate Admission.
  4. A brief personal statement describing why you want to pursue the advanced training for which you are applying.
  5. A professional resume.
  6. For the Advanced Training Certificate in School-based Marriage and Family Therapy: Provide documentation of scores on the Praxis Core or other equivalent test.
  7. Prior to registering for any courses in the following programs provide evidence of having been fingerprinted:
    • Advanced Training Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Advanced Training Certificate in School-based Marriage and Family Therapy

Non-Matriculated Applicants

Qualified applicants who have not completed the formal admission process may apply for permission to enroll as non-matriculated students and earn up to six credits in a certification program or nine credits in a non-certification program using the following procedure:

  1. Call the GSEAP office at 203-254-4250 to schedule an appointment or to be directed to the advisor for the program that interests you.
  2. Obtain a copy (official or unofficial) of your undergraduate transcript that shows the undergraduate degree you have earned. You will need to bring this transcript with you to the University to be reviewed. Those who wish to begin an advanced training certificate program of study as a non-matriculated student need to produce official or unofficial copies of both their undergraduate and graduate transcripts showing their degrees. NOTE: Additional requirements for international students are described below under International Applicants.
  3. Complete the online admission application and pay the $60 application fee. Apply at
  4. After you have met with the appropriate advisor and your non-matriculated status has been approved and processed by the Dean's office, you may register on or after the date when non-matriculated students may begin registering. Fingerprinting may be required for some courses prior to registration.

No recommendations are needed at this time. They will be needed if and when you apply for full matriculation.

Note: Courses taken will count toward degree or certification requirements if you later become a matriculated student, as long as you earn grades of B or better in them. However, successful completion of coursework does not guarantee formal admission.


Non-matriculated students may need to provide proof of fingerprinting for some courses before registering.

Professional Development Non-Degree Students

Post-master's degree students seeking cross-endorsement or licensure who only need one to five courses (3 to 15 credits) may apply for non-degree student status. Students who are interested in taking courses for professional development and are not seeking a degree may also apply for non-degree status. Courses taken under this designation cannot be applied toward a degree and students cannot apply for financial aid. Students may apply for this designation by using the following procedure:

  1. Call the GSEAP office at 203-254-4250 to set up an appointment to meet with the Associate Dean.
  2. Obtain a copy of your official or unofficial graduate school transcript that shows you have completed your master's degree. Bring this transcript to the meeting with the Associate Dean.
  3. Complete the non-degree form in the dean's office and pay the $60 application fee, payable by cash or check.
  4. After you have met with the Associate Dean and discussed prospective courses, the dean's office will process and approve the registration. Registration is online.

Note: Courses taken with this designation cannot be used toward a degree program.

Continuing Education (CEU) Credits

The Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions is an Approved Continuing Education Unit Provider with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). Within the school, the Counselor Education Department is authorized by the National Board of Certified Counselors to offer continuing education for licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists. The Marriage and Family Therapy Department is authorized by the Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to offer continuing education for marriage and family therapists.

Background Check and Fingerprinting

In compliance with Connecticut state law, effective July 1, 2010, applicants whose programs of study will require participation in school-based field experiences (i.e., observations, practica, student teaching, internships, etc.) must undergo State and National criminal history background checks before beginning their program of study. The regional educational service centers (RESCs) that are authorized to conduct fingerprinting services and provide the background check results to the Connecticut State Department of Education and local school districts are listed at University students who have a history of a federal or state conviction may be barred from participating in school-based field work and may be exited from their degree program, depending on the nature of the conviction. Confirmation of fingerprinting at a RESC must be received by the Dean's Office (Canisius 102) prior to course registration.

The background check is valid for three years if the student remains an active student. It is the student's responsibility to maintain documentation of current fingerprinting on file with the dean's office. Students whose background check has expired will not be permitted to register for courses. Note, too, that school districts and other clinical sites may have more stringent requirements and may mandate a new background check prior to students beginning a placement.

Mandatory Immunizations

Connecticut State law requires each full-time or matriculated student to provide proof of immunity or screening against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox), meningitis and tuberculosis. Certain exemptions based on age and housing status apply. Matriculating students are defined as those enrolled in a degree seeking program. More detailed information and the required downloadable forms are available online. Completed forms should be submitted directly to the Student Health Center. Although this is not required to complete an application, you must provide proof of immunity/screening prior to course registration. Please consult you private health care provider to obtain the necessary immunizations. Questions may be directed to the Student Health Center: 203-254-4000 x2241 or e-mail

International Students

International applicants must also provide a certificate of finances (evidence of adequate financial resources in U.S. dollars) and must submit their transcripts for course-by-course evaluations, done by an approved evaluator (found on our website) of all academic records. All international students whose native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by taking either TOEFL or IELTS exams. A TOEFL composite score of 550 for the paper test, 213 for the computer-based, or 80 on the internet based test is strongly recommended for admission to the graduate school. Scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is strongly recommended for admission to the graduate school. Scores must be sent directly from the (Fairfield's ETS code is 3390). TOEFL and IELTS may be waived for those international students who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. International applications and supporting credentials must be submitted at least three months prior to the intended start date.

Students with Disabilities

Fairfield University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities an equal opportunity to access the benefits, rights, and privileges of its services, programs, and activities in an accessible setting. Furthermore, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Connecticut laws, the University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified students to reduce the impact of disabilities on academic functioning or upon other major life activities. It is important to note that the University will not alter the essential elements of its courses or programs.

If a student with a disability would like to be considered for accommodations, he or she must make this request in writing and send the supporting documentation to the Director of Accessibility. This should be done prior to the start of the academic semester and is strictly voluntary. However, if a student with a disability chooses not to self-identify and provide the necessary documentation, accommodations need not be provided. All information concerning disabilities is confidential and will be shared only with a student's permission. For more information regarding this process, please email, or call 203-254-4000 x2615. Also, please see our website. Documentation can be sent directly to:

Academic and Career Development Center
Accessibility Services
Fairfield University
1073 North Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824