I am constantly impressed by the efficient and timely manner with which my questions are answered by all SIT staff and faculty. It makes me feel very confident in your programs.
Loren Lee Chiesi
Thanks for your interest in SIT Graduate Institute!
This page includes information about admissions criteria, deadlines, financial aid, and international student visas. Please keep in mind that full-time, on-campus programs begin in the fall, and online/low-residency programs begin in the summer.
Our admissions staff work one on one with every applicant to facilitate a highly personalized application experience. We are committed to assisting applicants throughout the application process, from initial inquiry to program enrollment.
- Applications: The deadline for 2016 master’s degree programs is February 24, 2016. The priority financial aid deadline is March 1, 2016.
- Financial Aid: Students must submit their enrollment deposit within two weeks of financial aid award notification.
- I-20 Deadlines for Student Visas: For 2016 programs, the deadlines are April 15, 2016 for the MA in International Education (Low Residency) program; May 15, 2016 for the MA in TESOL (Low Residency) program; and July 15, 2016 for fall programs.
SIT Graduate Admissions strives to create a diverse and experienced student body to enhance the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom.
The latest group of students in Vermont is made up of about 30% international students. Students have an average of four years of intercultural experience as well as four years of professional experience. 32% of students have studied abroad before applying to SIT, 12% served in the Peace Corps, and 10% served in AmeriCorps. Of the 65% of students who chose to share their racial identity, 10% identify as black or African American, 5% identify as Hispanic American, and 5% identify as Asian American.
The Washington, DC Center is made up of about 40% international students. Students have an average of two years of intercultural experience as well as five years of professional experience. 50% of students have studied abroad before applying to SIT, 20% served in the Peace Corps, and 6% served in AmeriCorps. Of the 50% of students who chose to share their racial identity, 13% identify as black or African American, 10% identify as Hispanic American, and 5% identify as Asian American.
Who Studies at SIT?
SIT students represent a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and come from across the globe. They have worked for educational institutions, for NGOs, and in the public and private sectors. They include activists working on issues of social justice and human rights, teachers, international education professionals, or returned Peace Corps volunteers as well as individuals looking to work in one of those areas. SIT students include experienced professionals who want to sharpen their skills, mid-career professionals seeking to change careers or boost their credentials, and recent college graduates.
To be considered for admission to any master’s or certificate program, an applicant must have the following:
- US bachelor’s degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
- Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
- Intercultural and professional experience
- Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning
SIT does not require applicants to take the GRE exam.
English Language Ability
Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English must submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS practice tests online.)
- Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of
- 600 on the paper-based test (PBT),
- 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or
- 100 on the internet-based iBT.
- Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher.
- Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.
These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.
Online Low-Residency Programs
Applicants to SIT’s low-residency programs must be currently working in their field of study and must have experience and familiarity with instructional technology, distance learning, and/or independent learning.
SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process
Our admissions staff work one on one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education — grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments — they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.
More specific admissions requirements for each program can be found on each degree page:
Master's Degree Programs
- Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management (Self Designed)
- Master of Arts in International Education
- Master of Arts in International Education (Online with Short Residencies)
- Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation
- Master of Arts in Sustainable Development: Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change
- Master of Arts in Sustainable Development: International Policy and Management
- Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Online with Short Residencies)
- Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) Summer Peacebuilding Program (Brattleboro, Vermont)
- CONTACT Peacebuilding Training and Education in South Asia (Kathmandu, Nepal)
- Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation (Online with short residency in Vermont)
- Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Security: International Policy and Practice (Washington, DC)
- Graduate Certificate in International Education (Online with short residency in Vermont)
- Certificate in TESOL (Various Locations)
To help you get started, here are the required elements of a complete master’s degree program application (certificate application elements may vary):
- A completed online application form.
- A $50 (US) application fee. Applicants who were referred by an SIT alumnus may submit an Alumni Referral Voucher in place of the application fee.
- A 1,250- to 1,750-word essay, typed in English, answering all essay questions. The essay questions for all master’s degrees and certificate programs are as follows:
- Identify a social issue that presents a significant challenge in a context that you have experienced or witnessed. The issue may concern education, development, conflict, and/or any other subject that interests you and is relevant to your degree at SIT. The context of your inquiry may be interpersonal, communal, national, and/or international in scope. Analyze the primary sources and effects of the social issue as deeply and systematically as you can. Then draw implications from your analysis for what practical action can and should be taken to address the issue constructively. (750–1000 words)
- Articulate your vision of professional development with an eye toward what you would like to do in five to ten years after the successful completion of your graduate studies at SIT. Then describe what concrete skills and capacities you will need to acquire at SIT, and how your educational, vocational, and personal experience prior to SIT will enable you to prepare for realizing your vision of graduate studies and professional development. Be sure to include thoughtful self-reflections on less developed areas of your inquiry and skill-building that will need to be developed in the course of your graduate studies at SIT. (500–750 words)
If you are applying to one of our online, low-residency master’s degree or certificate programs, please also respond to these two additional questions:
- Please describe your experience and familiarity with instructional technology, distance learning, and/or independent learning that you feel will contribute to your success in a low-residency master’s degree or graduate certificate program.
- Please describe the setting (employment or otherwise) in which you will apply learning to and from the low-residency program as a student. How do you envision this setting will contribute to your own learning and the learning of others in your cohort?
- A professional résumé or curriculum vitae.
- Official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities (including directly enrolled study abroad programs). A transcript must include the following information:
- Your name
- The institution’s name
- The dates you attended the institution
- The titles of the specific courses or subjects in which you were enrolled
- The number of hours of instruction or other learning involved in each course or subject
- The grade, mark, or other evaluation you received for each course or subject
- Any degree, diploma, certificate, or other qualifications awarded for completion of studies. To be considered official, the transcript must contain the institution’s stamp or other certification that clearly indicates authenticity. In cases where the transcript is not in English, an original certified translation must accompany the official document.
- Three (3) letters of reference sent directly to SIT from the reference writers.
Verification of English language ability
Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not attend an undergraduate institution at which the language of instruction was English must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English).
SIT does not require applicants to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).
Financial Aid Deadline
I-20 Deadline for Student Visas
|Full-time degree programs in Vermont and Washington, DC||February 24, 2016 for programs beginning in 2016||Priority deadline is March 1, 2016, and rolling thereafter. Students must submit their enrollment deposit within two weeks of financial aid award notification.||July 15, 2016|
|Online MA in International Education and MA in TESOL||February 24, 2016||Priority deadline is March 1, 2016, and rolling thereafter. Students must submit their enrollment deposit within two weeks of financial aid award notification.||April 15, 2016 for International Education, and May 15, 2016 for TESOL|
|Certificate in Inclusive Security||March 16, 2016||Priority deadline is March 21, 2016, and rolling thereafter. Students must submit their enrollment deposit within two weeks of financial aid award notification.||Contact Admissions for details.|
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. Admissions decisions will be sent initially via email; an official paper copy will also be sent by mail.
Submitting Your Deposit: US Citizens and Permanent Residents
To secure your place in the incoming class, you must complete and return the Enrollment Form with your $400 nonrefundable deposit payment within two weeks of your financial award notification.
Students not applying for/receiving financial aid: Please deposit within two weeks of receiving your admissions decision.
Submitting Your Deposit: International Students
Because international students must pay their first semester tuition and fees as part of their student visa process, SIT does not require the $400 deposit payment for international students. International students should review the information concerning student visas and focus their efforts on completing the necessary steps to obtain their I-20 and student visa, as outlined in the deadline section above.
Visit the Financial Aid section for detailed instructions on how to apply for financial aid. Financial Aid decisions are made on a rolling basis after your application for admission has been submitted.
A note about SIT’s application process
Our admissions staff work one on one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience.
Applicants are encouraged to attend an Open House, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with an SIT education—grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments—they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.
Availability of Employees for Information Dissemination Purposes
Requests for information by students about the university should be directed to Carla LIneback, associate dean for Academic Affairs, 802 258-3266. Other employees, such as admissions officers and financial aid staff, may also provide information regarding their specific areas of responsibility. If a student needs a paper copy of any of the information, they can contact Admissions at email@example.com or Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIT Graduate Institute is committed to helping students from all socioeconomic backgrounds follow their passion and realize their potential through an SIT master’s degree.
As part of SIT’s commitment to student success, we provide nearly 90 percent of our students with scholarships and grants from SIT funds — more than $1.3 million dollars each year.
US students and permanent residents may apply for federal student loans, and international applicants are eligible for specially designated financial aid funds administrated by SIT.
Please visit the Financial Aid section of the website for complete information on financial aid options and services, including specific information on:
- Financial Aid for US citizens and permanent residents
- Financial Aid for international students
- Scholarships and Grants
Past participants of Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, JET Program, and other organizations may be eligible for tuition benefits through SIT partnership programs.
SIT’s Financial Aid Office provides guidance on all aspects of funding your degree throughout the application process and during your degree program. We are dedicated to providing financial aid to as many students as possible and to ensuring our students have the information they need to successfully access funding for their graduate education.
If you have questions about financial aid, please contact:
SIT Financial Aid Office
Tel: 802 258-3281
Tel: 800 336-1616 (toll-free in US)
Fax: 802 258-3500
- Joan Perreault
Graduate Admissions Officer and Marketing Specialist
- Nkenge Ransom-Friday
Nkenge currently serves as the coordinator of Graduate Admissions and Student Affairs at SIT Graduate Institute’s Washington, DC Center. She is a graduate of Tougaloo College with a BA in English and the University of Oklahoma with an MA in international/human relations.