Course Catalog: Graduate Study at Wheelock College

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2016-2017 academic year.


Graduate Admissions

Wheelock College seeks applications from individuals with diverse social, professional, educational, racial, geographic and economic backgrounds who have the personal and academic potential to be-come outstanding educators, early childhood specialists, social workers, child life specialists, advocates and leaders for non-profit organizations. Admissions decisions are based on a thorough evaluation of each applicant’s academic record, written application, essay, résumé, references and relevant experience, professieonal, academic and personal background, skills and goals.

Graduate students matriculating into degree programs enter Wheelock in the fall, spring, or summer semester, although some pro-grams begin at specified semesters. Our graduate programs adhere to the following priority deadlines for application. In setting these priority deadlines the College has taken into consideration the need for applicants to secure academic and field experience advising prior to the start of their academic program. However, we will consider applications past the deadline as long as we are able. Please Note: The Child Life and the Social Work Advanced Standing programs will not consider applications submitted or completed after the below deadlines.

Spring Semester (January) December 1
Summer Semester (June) March 1
Fall Semester (September) May 1

Child Life Program (summer or fall) February 1 (firm)
Social Work Adv. Standing (summer) March 1 (firm)
(Boston and Worcester locations)

The Admissions Committee makes every attempt to notify applicants of a decision within two to four weeks of receipt of a complete application. However, the Child Life program does not make admissions decisions until after the February 1 deadline. Details can be found in the Graduate Programs section of this catalog.

All requests for information should be made to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA, 02215-4176, by calling 617)879-1114 , or by email at


I. U.S. Graduate Students

Candidates for admission to Wheelock College graduate programs must have received a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution and generally attained a minimum of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA for the last two years of undergraduate study.

To apply, you should submit:

  • A completed online graduate application.
  • Official transcripts showing degree conferral and any completed graduate coursework.
  • A current résumé.
  • A 3-5 page personal essay that discusses the applicant’s career goals, strengths, challenges, and interest either in Wheelock’s vision and mission or in the particular program of interest.
  • Three (3) letters of reference. One should be of an academic nature from a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant’s academic work (e.g., a former professor or instructor of the applicant). The second reference should be from an individual who can discuss the applicant’s work or relevant experience. The third letter may be either academic or professional at the applicant’s discretion. References from family members or friends are not acceptable. Please note that additional letters of reference may be requested at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

Please note that applicants to certificate or non-degree programs are only required to submit one professional letter of reference and their personal essay is only required to be 1-2 pages in length. Certificate and non-degree applicants are still required to submit an online application, official transcripts and a current resume.

Some degree and certificate programs may have other requirements in addition to the materials listed above. These can be found on program specific webpages on the website or by contacting the Office of Graduate Admissions.

All references must arrive be submitted electronically in conjunction with the online application requirements. While an applicant’s recommender may draft a letter and attach to the electronic reference we do require that the Reference Rating Form be completed as part of the electronic reference. Please make sure that information regarding the confidentiality of the letter is appropriately marked on this form.

Applicants to the Master of Social Work: Advanced Standing pro-gram must have a reference from their field liaison, field instructor or director of the BSW program from which they graduated. Advanced standing applicants must also submit their senior year fall and spring field evaluations.

Applicants to the Child Life and Family Centered Care program are highly encouraged to provide a reference from the Child Life Specialist who supervised their 100 hours of volunteer work.

Integrated Elementary and Special Education (IESE), Nonprofit Leadership, International Teaching and Global Learning and Child Life programs require an interview with faculty once an application is complete. Preference for admission to the IESE program is given to applicants with prior experience working with children and families, preferably in a group setting; and a requirement for admission is completion of an undergraduate major in the Arts and Sciences or its equivalent. All applicants are welcome to request an interview through the Office of Graduate Admissions to map out a program plan and possible completion dates.

Applicants should reference program specific admissions requirements. For example, applicants for an initial master’s program in education are admitted to the college and to a specific program. Although there is no conditional admission, continued progress is supported and monitored at transition points throughout each educator preparation program, including upon successful completion of required entry level courses and a first supervised clinical experience.

II. International Graduate Students

Wheelock welcomes students of diverse cultural backgrounds. In order to ensure a successful experience for students, the Wheelock College Graduate Programs require additional information from international students.

TOEFL - Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a degree from a college or university in the United States or another English-speaking country, are required to submit scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) as evidence of proficiency in oral and written English. The minimum TOEFL score generally accepted is 550 paper based test, or 80 internet-based test.

Transcript Evaluation - Applicants are required to provide an evaluation of their undergraduate and graduate course of study, if completed outside of the U.S. Acceptable evaluations can be obtained by sending all international transcripts to:

Education Credentials Evaluators
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
PO Box 514070 Milwaukee WI 53203-3470

or to:

World Education Services
Bowling Green Station
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087

Financial Statement - Prior to being issued an I-20 immigration or visa form, all international applicants are required to certify that they have made adequate financial arrangements to cover their ex-penses for the full duration of their program of graduate study as a full-time student. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further explanation of what is required.

International applicants are also required, if needed, to obtain third party translations of any letters of recommendation or other sup-porting documents if those documents are not written in English. Applicants are not permitted to translate the documents them-selves. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further information if needed.


Employment as a teacher in public and many private PreK-12 schools in Massachusetts requires an initial license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Eligibility for the first Initial license includes completion of a state approved program. Wheelock graduate programs in Early Child-hood (PreK-2), and Integrated Elementary (1-6) and Special Eduction (PreK-8) are state approved and nationally recognized and the college is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (In 2013 NCATE that merged with another accrediting body and was renamed the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)) Each of the nationally recognized programs leads to an initial teacher license for employment in Massachusetts, and is favored in terms of reciprocity for licensure with other states and internationally.

Wheelock College is the only private institution in the Common-wealth that is accredited by NCATE and offers nationally recognized programs. Wheelock programs that are nationally recognized include Master’s in Care and Education for teaching prekindergarten/kindergarten. Graduates qualify for the Lead Teacher credential issued by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. A version of the Care and Education Master’s program provides continuing practitioners an opportunity to focus on a new age level or area of study, also at the initial level.

Advanced Licensure

An advanced master’s program offered by the Language and Liter-a cy Department leads to the Teacher of Reading license, an advanced specialist credential for work with all grade levels, PreK-12. Entrance to this program requires an initial teacher license and a year of experience under that license in the state that issued the credential.

Certificate Option Program

A certificate option program is available to recent graduates of Wheelock College who completed most of the requirements for an education major or licensure program. Examples of additional requirements include additional course content, additional field or clinical experience requirements, or additional licensure specific state requirements or tests. A candidate can apply to enter the Certificate Option Program and complete the remaining or new state or Wheelock requirements for institutional endorsement Completion of program-specific MTEL exams is an entrance requirement for the Certificate Option Program.

Because the Certificate Option Program is not degree-granting, financial aid is not available. Explanation of tuition and fees is included in the Financial Information section below. Certificate option candidates develop a program plan with the Educator Licensure Officer and Department Chair prior to admission and registration in courses.


Child Life and Family-Centered Care Program

Applicants who wish to pursue a program of study in Child Life must submit a completed verification form and a favorable letter of reference documenting 100 hours experience in a pediatric health care setting under the direct supervision of a Child Life Specialist. A background in child development is preferred. An interview is required for this program.

Early Childhood and the Integrated Elementary and Special Education Programs

These degree programs include full school year internships and in-depth mentoring by sponsoring teachers at partnering schools. All internships are processed through the Office of Field Experience and involve the department chair and school principal. Each partner school has its own interview requirements and employment criteria for paid internships.

Since most students entering the profession must complete at least three prerequisite courses before beginning the internship in the fall, they should contact the Office of Field Experience (617-879-1212) as soon as they have made a deposit to attend Wheelock and have spoken with their academic advisor. The placement process, which can take up to two months, begins in March. Most placements for the following fall semester are completed by early June before public schools close. Some graduate internships are paid; however, a paid internship is not guaranteed; neither is acceptance to an internship by a partner school site.


  1. Early submission of application materials is strongly encouraged for all programs.
  2. Once all application materials are received, candidates are reviewed for admission consideration, and each applicant is notified, in writing, of acceptance or denial as soon as a decision has been made.
  3. Accepted students who plan to enroll are required to return the enrollment form with a non-refundable tuition deposit of $100. This deposit is applicable to tuition charges.


Students who have been offered admission to a master’s degree program offered at the Boston campus only may request deferral of admission or admission to the next appropriate term of entry if the program has set entry terms. To do so students must submit, in writing, an explanation for this request to the Office of Graduate Admissions. This request will then be discussed with the appropriate Dean or Department Chair for approval. Students who defer for one year may be asked to submit new letters of recommendation and a new resume to be used in the placement process for practicum and field experience. Students who have received approval for deferral of admission are expected to update the Office of Graduate Admission regarding any change in address, phone or contact in-formation.


Students who are accepted to a graduate program but do not enroll, or students who do not complete their application, may reactivate their status within a period of two years. For further information on reactivating an application, students should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (617) 879-1114.


Graduate students are eligible to transfer up to six (6) graduate credit hours for courses successfully completed at an accredited institution of higher education. Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken pass/fail. No credits will be transferred unless the graduate student received a grade of B or higher in the course and the credits in question were earned within five years of the time of admission. The credits in question also may not duplicate any graduate or undergraduate work for which credit has been given at Wheelock College and cannot have been applied to an academic degree at any other institution. All requests for transfer of credit must be submitted within one year from the student’s date of matriculation.

To have credits considered for transfer, students must:

  • Obtain and complete the Transfer of Credit form available from the Office of Records and Registration;
  • Obtain written approval from the student’s advisor;
  • Submit course description(s) of the courses successfully completed at the other institution for review by the Dean of the school or Department Chair or Director.
  • Submit to the Registrar an official transcript issued by the other institution.


Matriculated students must obtain written approval from the Dean of their school before enrolling in graduate courses that are to be transferred for credit into a Wheelock College degree program. Only courses that are to be completed at an accredited graduate institution shall be eligible for such approval. Students will be held to a limit of 6 graduate transferred credit hours. Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken pass/fail. No credits will be transferred unless the graduate student receives a grade of B or higher in the course. The credits in question also may not du-plicate any graduate or undergraduate work for which credit has been given at Wheelock College and cannot have been applied to an academic degree at any other institution.

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