Admissions & Registration Procedures

Admission to the St. Bonaventure School of Graduate Studies is offered to students perceived to possess the academic and personal qualities necessary for success in the program of choice.  The admission committee makes this determination after a careful review of all aspects of an application - previous academic work, recommendations, work experience, aspirations and, where required, interviews, writing samples and other items.  Applicants are encouraged to complete the application process at least 30 days before the desired start date to allow sufficient time for review.

The Office of Graduate Admissions will provide applicants with written notification of the committee’s decision.  Admitted students will receive information regarding course selection and related matters, along with a confirmation form to return to SBU to confirm enrollment (needed for course registration).  Note that it is incumbent upon enrolling students to become familiar with the University’s policies and guidelines as spelled out in this catalog and the SBU student handbook.

Occasionally, admitted students may opt to defer enrollment. This can be done by notifying the Office of Graduate Admissions.  If the deferral lasts more than one year a brief re-application form is required. Similarly, if a student begins graduate study at SBU and then becomes inactive (no courses taken for one year) re-application is necessary.

Application to St. Bonaventure School of Graduate Studies may be done online.  All documents related to admission should be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 2520, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y. 14778.

The office email address is and the Web address is

Special Note: NY State Public Health Law #2165 requires that SBU collect proof of immunization (measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis) from all students who may be enrolled for more than 3 credits. Students failing to provide this information within a short time of enrollment will be blocked from course selection. Please pursue this information as soon as you start the SBU application process; sometimes it can take a while. If you are a current or recent undergraduate student you may be able to obtain and submit a copy of your health record from your college’s health center.  This is not a requirement for SBU Online students.

Applying for Admission

Director of Graduate Admissions: Danielle Schmidt
Phone: (716)-790-1837

Note that a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is a basic requirement for admission to a graduate program.  Students who are in the process of completing the undergraduate degree at the time of application may be admitted conditionally with the understanding that the degree must be completed by the time classes begin.

Application Items

  1. An application for admission completed and submitted online.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended (graduate and undergraduate).  Individuals applying while still completing a bachelor’s degree will need to provide a current transcript and then a final transcript before enrolling at SBU.
  3. Two letters of recommendation (for most programs)
  4. Test score. Some graduate programs require one of the standardized admission exams.  Test scores should be official and sent to SBU directly by the testing organization. The program director may require a new test of applicants presenting scores that are many years old.
  5. Other information as may be mandated by a specific program, or requested by a program director.  Some programs, for example, require an interview and writing sample or resume.
  6. International students should apply several months before the planned start date.

Note that any student taking 6 or more credits in any semester in a campus-based program is required by NY Public Health Law to provide proof of immunization within 30 days of the start of classes.

Graduate Students Not Seeking a Degree or Certificate

Non-matriculated graduate students: students wanting academic credit but not pursuing a degree or certificate experience an abbreviated application process.  Typically, these students fall into two categories; those who wish to transfer SBU credit back to a program at another institution, and students who are not regularly admissible to SBU who wish to demonstrate the aptitude for graduate study.  Students can import up to nine credit hours earned under this status into an SBU master’s degree or certificate program.

The application process for non-matriculating students requires:

  1. Completed online application, selecting the non-matriculating status on the Academic Degree item
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended (graduate and undergraduate)
  3. Information as may be requested by the program director

Auditing Students

Students taking classes on an audit basis will not receive academic credit, though an SBU transcript will show that the student took the class.  The admission process for auditors requires:

  1. Online application, selecting the audit status on the Academic Degree item
  2. Course-specific permission of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies
  3. All previous college transcripts, particularly those showing a Bachelor’s degree completed

As non-matriculating and audit enrollment are approved on a course by course basis, such applicants should communicate to the Office of Graduate Admissions the names and numbers of the courses they wish to take.
Non-matriculated and auditing students are required to provide proof of immunization as described earlier. Auditing and non-matriculated students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

International Students

Please note that in addition to the items already listed you’ll need to provide the following:

  1. Transcripts. Please note that if your post-secondary and/or undergraduate college academic records are not in English, you must provide a translated transcript along with the official copies.  The translation must be done by a professional translator or translation service.
  2. If English is not your native language you should plan to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam and have score reports sent to SBU.  Successful applicants typically show scores of at least 213 on the computer-based test or 79 on the internet based test.  The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) also is accepted for proof of language proficiency.  Graduate admission requires an overall score of 6.0 with no band score below 5.5.
  3. When requested by St. Bonaventure University, international students will need to provide a transcript evaluation by WES (World Education Service).

International Student Enrollment

The International Student Services Office (ISSO) provides support for international students throughout their time at St. Bonaventure, including admission, continuing registration, graduation and post-graduate employment opportunities. This includes providing students with assistance obtaining F-1 visas, maintaining approved status per USCIS regulations, and seeking authorization for work experiences in their field of study.  International Student Services also provides one-on-one support for their academic and personal needs to help them assimilate and achieve success at St. Bonaventure.

Once admitted, international students seeking F-1 status must demonstrate sufficient resources to cover one full year of study, including tuition, fees, room & board, and indirect costs. The necessary documents and instructions will be provided with the admission application. After receiving appropriate documentation, the ISSO will issue an I-20. Once in receipt of the I-20, the student must visit the nearest US embassy or consulate to apply for the F-1 visa. (Canadian students do not need to apply for a visa in order to obtain F-1 status).  Note that consular officials may require their own proof of financial support and English proficiency. 

In accordance with federal regulations, St. Bonaventure requires international students be enrolled in a full course of study (at least 6 graduate credits), with the exception of the last semester of attendance. Also, while a limited number of online classes are allowed, international students with F-1 status must maintain in-person registration. Additionally, student health insurance is required and must be purchased through the University, unless provided through a government sponsorship or appropriate coverage can be documented from personal health insurance. 

In addition to issuing the I-20, the ISSO provides a range of advisement and services to international students. The ISSO ensures adherence to immigration regulations and works with international students to help them maintain their F-1 status. All immigration-related petitions, including employment requests, are filed through the ISSO. In addition immigration-related advising, the ISSO provides assistance for international students seeking a variety of services, such as: 

  • international student orientation 
  • social and community-building programs
  • academic success skills 
  • opening a bank account
  • applying for a driver's license
  • certifying students for international travel

The Coordinator of International Student Services can be reached via email - 

Required Admission Tests

Please consult entrance requirements for specifics for each program.

Testing company contact info (and SBU’s code number for score reporting):

International students may also be able to access testing information through American embassies and consulates, offices of the United States Information Service, United States Educational Commissions and Foundations and at bi-national centers and American/International secondary schools.

International Students must meet N.Y. State immunization requirements prior to starting classes.

Types of Admission Status

Applicants may be initially admitted to an SBU grad program under the following conditions.

Regular Status

Granted to students who have satisfied all requirements for admission and whose preparation has been deemed by the admission committee to be completely satisfactory.

Provisional Status

  1. This status may be granted to applicants whose academic records fall slightly short of the regular admission requirements.  With the approval of the dean and or program director, provisionally admitted students may enroll for up to nine (9) credit hours, twelve (12) under special circumstances. With good classroom work, provisionally admitted students will likely have their status changed to regular admission.
  2. Students applying to SBU while still completing the bachelor’s degree may be admitted under this status until their undergraduate work is done and a final transcript has been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  3. Provisionally admitted students in a qualified program are eligible to receive financial aid.
  4. Admission is based on student's unofficial transcript.

Non-Matriculated Status

This applies to applicants who indicate that they wish to earn the credit associated with their SBU graduate coursework, but are not seeking an SBU degree or certificate.  Non-matriculating students are not eligible to receive financial aid, including loans and scholarships.

Audit Status

Auditing students do not receive credit for their coursework, and are not eligible to receive any kind of financial aid, including loans and scholarships.  

SBU undergraduates taking graduate classes

Students planning to enroll in a graduate program at St. Bonaventure may take a total of 9 credit hours of graduate course work during their senior year. (3 credits in the next-to-last semester and 6 credits in the last semester provided these credits are above and beyond the 120 needed for the baccalaureate degree and their GPA is a 3.0 or better.  Approval is required by the program director, undergraduate academic dean and graduate dean. Approval is course specific.

Registration Process

All graduate students are required to register online for classes prior to each semester and summer session for which they will be enrolled. Students should consult with their adviser or program director before selecting courses. Students who are not up to date in paying tuition and fees may be unable to register for classes.

Students attending classes for which they are unregistered risk forfeiting the credit they may otherwise have earned for that class.

Late Registration

Course registration deadlines are posted on the Graduate Studies Calendar and/or otherwise conveyed to current students.  A late registration fee of $100 is assessed to those registering for class after the designated date.  Registration will not in any event be allowed later than seven (7) days after the deadline for a new semester, later than four (4) days after the deadline for a summer session, or later than the second weekend of a weekend-only format class.

Proof of Immunization

As noted in the admission section of this catalog, students who fail to provide immunization information will be barred from registration.  SBU Online students do not need to provide proof of immunization.

Changes of Enrollment

During the first six (6) days of a new semester, the first three (3) days of a summer session or prior to the second weekend of a weekend format class a student may drop or add a course with no academic penalties.  Permission of the program director and course instructor is required.

Drop/add requests are handled through the registrar’s office; students should start this process there.  A student’s record is not amended to reflect a drop or add until the proper paperwork is on file with the University registrar.

Students wishing to change from one area of study to another should confer first with the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Specific University Regulations

  1. Changes in Regulations: The University’s Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend at any time SBU’s requirements for admission and to change courses, graduation requirements, degree programs, costs (tuition, room, board and fees) and regulations governing the student body. Such regulations will apply to all students and will become effective on the date established by the trustees.  This catalog shall be considered sufficient notice to students. Students must assume the responsibility to stay up-to-date with University policy.
  2. Attendance at Class: Graduate students are expected to attend all meetings of the courses in which they are enrolled.
  3. Withdrawal from the University: Graduate students wishing to withdraw from class while a semester is underway do so through the registrar’s office to make sure the necessary paperwork is completed. Simply ceasing to go to class is not considered official notice of withdrawal.  A student who leaves the University without withdrawing is likely to receive a failing grade (F) in any coursework for which he/she has signed up.

    Students called to active military duty should contact the registrar to commence the process of military withdrawal.  This status will be granted upon receipt of a copy of the student’s official orders or written notice from the student’s commander.  If timing does not allow a student to start the military withdrawal process before leaving the University, he/she may request a military leave in writing, providing a copy of his/her orders, and the registrar will commence the withdrawal process on the student’s behalf.  Such a request may be conveyed to the SBU registrar at PO Box C, St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY 14778 or via fax to (716) 375-2087.
  4. Address: Any change in a student’s address should be reported to the Registrar’s office.
  5. Required Records: It is the student’s responsibility to provide the University with all required documents, either through direct provision, or by requesting them of the relevant parties (e.g. transcripts). Moreover, some of these will require the student’s signature.  These records will be maintained in the Office of Graduate Admissions or with the University registrar, as appropriate.
  6. Limitations on the Use of Graduate Credits: Up to 6 credits submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of a degree toward a graduate degree may be applied to a second graduate degree at St. Bonaventure with program director approval.
  7. Cancellation of Courses by the University: The University reserves the right to cancel any course in which it deems the enrollment to be insufficient.
  8. Transcripts of Record in the School of Graduate Studies:  The two types of transcripts of a student’s record in the School of Graduate Studies issued by the Registrar’s office are as follows:
    1. Official Transcripts: This type of transcript is signed by the Registrar and bears an imprint of the seal of the University.  Such transcripts as requested by the student will be mailed directly to the agency or institution specified in the request.  A transcript will not be issued until all fees and tuition obligations have been met. Each request (in writing) must include the complete name and address of the agency, institution or official to whom the transcript is to be sent and the transcript fee.
    2. Unofficial Transcripts: This type of transcript is not signed and it does not bear an imprint of the seal of the University.  Such transcripts will be sent to the student for information purposes.  Each request for an unofficial transcript should contain the student’s current address and must be accompanied by the transcript fee.
  9. Full-Time Status: A student whose major portion of time is devoted to activities that are part of a graduate degree program shall be considered a full-time graduate student.  In accordance with this policy, a student shall be considered on full-time status if:
    1. the student is enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours of graduate course work or six credit hours during the summer session, or
    2. the program director of the student’s major field certifies that the student is enrolled and is engaged in full-time pursuit of a graduate degree, upon approval of the program dean and the dean of Graduate Studies.
  10. Grade Changes, Except for I and IP Grades should not be made without just cause.  Students are expected to complete all prescribed course work within the semester of registration.  Students who question a grade must notify the instructor in writing no later than 30 days after the end of the semester for which the grade was recorded.  A copy of the written notice must be sent to the academic dean of the school where the course is housed within the same time constraints.  Instructors must respond in writing before the end of the drop/add period of the subsequent semester.
  11. Student Leave of Absence: A leave of absence for medical reasons is issued by the Vice President for Student Affairs only upon the written recommendation of the University physician or upon the written advice of other appropriate professional persons.  Students leaving the University for medical reasons will be able to return only after they have received necessary treatment and upon approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs, University physician, and/or Director of the Counseling Center.  The University reserves the right to require consultations between the student and relevant professionals of the University’s choice.
  12. Re-Application for Admission: If after receiving one graduate degree from St. Bonaventure University, a student decides to do additional graduate work, either as a non-degree candidate, as a candidate for another graduate degree, or as a candidate for and advanced certificate, the student must file a new formal application for admission. Students must also file an application for readmission when there has been a lapse in graduate enrollment of more than one year. Students who have been dismissed from a program for poor academic performance or violation of the academic integrity policy may not reapply or be admitted to the same graduate program. Students asking to change graduate programs must also file an application for readmission. Students who reapply for admission must be readmitted by the appropriate departments admissions committee. Additional documents as outlined by the programs admissions requirements may be requested of the applicant. Successful work in one SBU graduate program does not guarantee admission to another graduate program.