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    Saybrook University
  Jun 20, 2024
2023-2024 Saybrook Academic Catalog Summer Addendum 
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2023-2024 Saybrook Academic Catalog Summer Addendum

Admissions and Enrollment Policies

Rolling Admissions

Under our rolling admissions plan, Saybrook accepts applications year-round for multiple upcoming terms. We notify applicants of admission decisions a few weeks after we receive all the materials required to complete an application.

To complete an application,

  • Select the program of interest from the list on our Areas of Study. Applicants can apply for only one program at a time.
  • Complete the online application form.
  • Submit the application fee.
  • Upload the necessary application materials (transcripts, references, writing sample, personal statement, resume, etc.) through the student portal
  • We recommend completion of the FAFSA application for Financial Aid at the same time the application is complete.

Admissions Criteria

Saybrook University is committed to identifying students who will be a "good fit" for the Saybrook experience. Rather than grade-point averages or standardized test scores, we emphasize:

  1. Academic history and professional experience
  2. Compatible background and interests with the offerings at Saybrook
  3. Ability to work well in a distance-education format
  4. Demonstrated critical thinking and writing skills
  5. Personal motivation and readiness for graduate level work
  6. Potential for scholarly research and/or ability to work actively in the field

Admission Requirements

Ability-to-benefit students are ineligible for admission to Saybrook because they do not have the required bachelor's degree.

At a minimum, you must have received, or anticipate receiving prior to the start of the semester you are applying into, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university before applying for a master’s degree at Saybrook.

Application for a PhD also requires a master’s degree from Saybrook or another regionally-accredited college. Exceptions are made for the following programs:

PhD Clinical Psychology - students applying to the PhD Clinical Psychology program may apply with a completed BA or BS from a regionally accredited college or university. A bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a related discipline is recommended, however, non-Psychology majors will be considered for admission.  

PhD IFN - students interested in applying for the PhD Integrative and Functional Nutrition (IFN) but lack a master’s degree may apply to and enter directly into the MS to PhD Pathway in IFN.  These students will take a course sequence that meets the course and credit requirements for the MS IFN while they are pursuing the PhD in IFN.

The minimum expected grade point average (GPA) requirement is 3.0 from the last degree-granting institution, though exceptions may be made.

Summary of Admissions Requirements for New, Degree-Seeking Students

  • For students who are seeking one of our masters or doctoral degrees, one of our certificate programs or non-degree coursework, please refer to the admissions requirements page of our website. Program specific admissions requirements are located in the Academic Program sections of this catalog. 

Qualifying Degree Requirement for all Graduate Admission

All new students are required to submit documentation of the qualifying degree for the program they are admitted to by the Add/Drop deadline. Students will not be eligible for financial aid until acceptable documentation of the qualifying degree has been received.   

Acceptable forms of documentation to satisfy the Qualifying Degree Conferral requirement are:

  • Official transcript showing qualifying degree conferral with a degree conferral date prior to the semester start date that the student intends to start
  • International Students Only: An official or unofficial transcript evaluation of an international transcript from a NACES approved evaluation service showing degree completion with date conferred and degree earned, along with US equivalency

If a student is unable to provide official documentation notating their qualifying degree conferral, they will be granted an extension to submit their official transcript if they are able to provide sufficient documentation by the Add/Drop deadline.  Acceptable documentation includes: 

  • Unofficial transcript showing qualifying degree conferral with a degree conferral date prior to the semester start date that the student intends to start OR
  • A letter from the qualifying degree granting institution’s Office of the Registrar on school letterhead that includes the specific conferral date, degree level, and name of the degree conferred with a degree conferral date prior to the semester start date that the student intends to start

Once either of these documents are received, students will become eligible to receive Financial Aid.  An extension allows a student to submit their official degree qualifying documentation up until the end of their first semester.  Students who are unable to submit extension documentation by the Add/Drop deadline will be administratively withdrawn.  Students who have been granted an extension but do not submit official documentation by the end of their first semester will be administratively withdrawn. 

Provisional Admission

Certain programs allow students who do not fully meet admission requirements to be admitted provisionally.  Each program’s provisional admission guidelines are listed in the Department Specific Policies section of the catalog. If a department does not have a provisional admission guideline, the department does not allow provisional admission.


Students withdrawn from Saybrook for 365 days or more must formally apply for readmission.  Students who have been withdrawn for less than 365 days may contact the Office of the Registrar (or their Academic Advisor) directly for re-entry to the University. Students withdrawn not in good standing (see Satisfactory Academic Progress policy) can only be considered for readmission after an acceptable plan for remedying any academic deficiencies has been considered and approved by Saybrook. In addition, withdrawn students can only be considered after all their financial obligations have been met. Saybrook reserves the right to determine if any terms stated at the time of administrative withdrawal have been satisfied in full.

Readmission is not guaranteed. The faculty review committee makes all readmission decisions based on the student’s academic record at Saybrook and any other factors deemed relevant.  Applicants for readmission must meet the admission requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

Readmission requirements mirror all standard admission specifications. Students on Academic & Financial Aid Warning or Probation at the time of withdrawal may be readmitted if approved, but remain subject to Warning, Probation and other guidelines in effect at the withdrawal date. These students will be readmitted on the same SAP status they had upon withdrawal.

Students returning less than 365 days from their last date of attendance return under the academic requirements that were in effect at the time of withdrawal.  Students withdrawn over 365 days from their last date of attendance are subject to the academic requirements and catalog in effect at the time of readmission.  More specifically, they may be required to attend the Residential Orientation.

Readmitted students who have been withdrawn for more than three years will be subject to the degree requirements in effect at the time of their readmission AND will be required to attend another Residential Orientation.


A student-at-large (SAL) is a non-matriculating student (i.e. is not seeking a degree or credential) allowed to enroll in courses at Saybrook University. A student-at-large may register for courses during open registration on a space availability basis after completing the Student-At-Large Application available from the Office of the Registrar.

A student-at-large must meet all the prerequisites published in the catalog for enrollment in a course and must receive departmental approval prior to registration.

A student-at-large must adhere to all policies as listed in the Saybrook Academic Catalog and Student Handbook including the Student Code of Conduct.

A student-at-large may enroll in up to six (6) credits without being officially admitted to a degree program at Saybrook University. A student-at-large who wishes to enroll in more than 6 credit hours must have written approval from the affiliated Department Chair(s).

If a student-at-large applies for admission to Saybrook University, courses taken as a student-at-large will be reviewed according to the degree requirements in the current Catalog at the time of his or her formal admission into the degree program. If admitted to a degree program, an official evaluation will be completed to determine which program requirements have been met. There is no guarantee that such courses taken as a student-at-large will be accepted toward meeting degree program requirements.

A student-at-large enrollment does not qualify for full time or half time enrollment status. A SAL is not eligible for financial aid.

A student-at-large application may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar (

There is a $25 application fee for non-alumni. Saybrook alumni do not have to pay the application fee. 

International Applicants

The Global Enrollment Management department conducts international student recruitment and admissions on behalf of Saybrook University. The GEM department will follow these policies and procedures, informed by institutional knowledge and best practices in international admission. Saybrook defines an international student as a student who does not currently hold U.S. citizenship nor U.S. permanent residence.

Instruction at Saybrook is conducted in the English language.  International applicants that indicate English is not their primary language must demonstrate English language proficiency as outlined in the International Degree Requirements. Saybrook does not offer English language services or instruction such as ESL.

Visa Options for Study

Saybrook is approved to issue certificate of eligibility (I-20) for students accepted to M.A. Transformative Social Change, Ph.D. Transformative Social Change, M.S. Psychophysiology and Ph.D. Applied Psychophysiology. The F-1 non-immigrant student visa is valid only for the duration of the Residential Learning Experience, and/or the Community Learning Experience. For all other programs, students who do not require sponsorship for an F-1 student visa and are eligible for study in the United States are welcome to apply to programs offered by Saybrook. 

Our goal is to be an active part of your Saybrook experience, and to support you in many ways. Our Global Enrollment Specialists are available to you to discuss important visa matters and details on how to manage your immigration status. Additionally, if you are considering study in another visa status other than F-1, our Global Enrollment Specialists in International Admissions are available to assist you in your navigation of your visa’s eligibility for study in the U.S. Contact the Global Engagement Specialists at or +1.312.410.8982.

Please note that U.S. immigration regulations stipulate that individuals in the United States on a “B” non-immigrant (both B-1 visitors for business and B-2 visitors for pleasure) are prohibited from enrolling in a degree program.

International Degree Requirements

In addition to meeting all general and program-specific admission requirements, all international applicants are also subject to the following requirements:

  1. Official English Proficiency Scores are required of all international applicants who indicate on their application that English is not their primary language
  2. Minimum scores required are:
    1. TOEFL (iBT) 89
    2. IELTS 6.5
    3. Duolingo 120
    4. Pearson Test of English (PTE) 56

English Language Exam may be waived:

  1. If the applicant has completed a prior degree or at least 60 transfer credits from a college/university in the United States or from a college/university where coursework is taught entirely in English (example: American University of Cairo)
  2. If the applicant has successfully completed the required level at an ESL institute with which Saybrook has a Memorandum of Understanding

English Language Exam may be made a contingency of acceptance:

  1. If the applicant is currently completing a degree in the United States or is currently completing a degree at an international institution where coursework is taught entirely in English. The contingency may be fulfilled upon receipt of a final transcript from the aforementioned institution showing degree earned and date conferred or upon receipt of minimum English Proficiency Scores.
  2. If the applicant is planning to enroll or is currently enrolled at an ESL institute with which Saybrook has a Memorandum of Understanding. The contingency will be fulfilled upon receipt of a final transcript or letter from the aforementioned institution showing the required level was successfully completed or upon receipt of minimum English Proficiency Scores.

Final decisions regarding exceptions to this policy will be made by the Director of Admissions in collaboration with the Director of Global Enrollment Management.

Accepted international applicants may matriculate once they have earned the U.S. equivalent of their program’s prerequisite degree (or equivalent required course credit hours for B.A.-completion) from either a regionally accredited U.S. school or the equivalent as determined by a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services)-approved transcript evaluation agency.

  • Regarding 3-year Bachelor’s degrees: 3-year degrees will be recognized providing a NACES-approved evaluation agency equates the degree to the U.S. equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. Other 3-year degrees will require additional post-graduate coursework commonly completed by those interested in applying to U.S. graduate schools (as determined by a NACES-approved evaluation agency).
  • Regarding Bologna Degrees: Bologna Accord degrees are recognized by NACES-approved evaluation agencies (see World Education Services example) and will be recognized by Saybrook provided the credential evaluator equates the degree to the U.S. equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. 
  • Regarding Professional Degrees: Final decisions regarding professional degrees earned overseas (ex: Bachelor-level Medical degrees) will be made by the Director of Admissions in consultation with the Director of Global Enrollment Management after reviewing a NACES-approved transcript evaluation.
  • Regarding applicants with 3-year Bachelor’s degrees completing additional study in the United States: As transcript evaluation agencies will not combine international coursework with domestic coursework when performing an evaluation, this uncommon situation will be evaluated by the faculty admissions committee. Guidelines for decision will include the completion of an overseas Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum of 120 undergraduate credit hours earned (when summing total international credits earned and U.S. credits earned).

International Transcript Evaluation Policy

An international applicant must have non-U.S. transcripts evaluated by a NACES-approved ( evaluation agency.  The evaluation must include a “course-by-course” transcript evaluation of academic records from the foreign institution where the pre-requisite degree was earned is required for consideration for admission. The transcript evaluation must also include a general evaluation showing U.S. degree equivalency and grade point average (GPA).

Students can obtain a discounted rate through IEE’s custom link:
Saybrook University - Custom Link: 
Password: world2023  
Students can also contact Global Engagement specialists for assistance.


Transcript evaluations are not required from American universities operating overseas, provided the institution is regionally accredited by a recognized U.S. regional accrediting body (Example: The American University of Cairo).

International Degree Conferral Admission Requirements

A graduate student must submit documentation proving conferral of the qualifying degree for their academic program by the start of the second semester of enrollment. The qualifying degree conferral date must be a date prior to the term/semester of entry. Any individual who fails to meet this requirement by the designated due date will not be eligible for course registration in subsequent semester, which will have an impact on students on international student visas to maintain status.

International Institution Conferral

While a student may submit documentation listed in letters (a) through (d) below to meet the designated due date, submission of the official transcript evaluation is required for all students who attended an institution outside of the United States A Saybrook student who fails to provide an official transcript evaluation showing degree conferred by the start of the second semester of enrollment will be withdrawn from the institution on the Add/Drop deadline of the second semester.

  1. Official transcript showing qualifying degree conferral. An official transcript is printed on official transcript paper and bears the embossed or raised college seal, date, and the Registrar’s signature. An official transcript is delivered in a sealed envelope with the Registrar’s signature stamped across the seal. An official transcript can also be sent electronically directly from a transcript vendor.
  2. Unofficial transcript showing qualifying degree conferral. An unofficial transcript is printed on plain paper and does not bear a college seal or registrar’s signature or is an opened transcript submitted by a student, marked as a student copy or stamped unofficial. An unofficial transcript must document: student name, institution name, courses completed with grades earned, specific degree conferred and the conferral date.
  3. An official letter on school letterhead from the qualifying degree granting institution’s Office of the Registrar that includes the specific conferral date, degree level, and name of degree conferred.
  4. An official or unofficial transcript evaluation of an international transcript from a National Association of Credential Evaluations Services (NACES)-approved evaluation service that includes the specific conferral date, degree level, and name of degree conferred, along with US equivalency.

Transcripts and Testing


Saybrook requires that transcripts submitted to the Admissions Office be “official.” If you open a sealed transcript envelope, you will invalidate the transcript as an official document. We encourage you to visit your previous institutions’ websites to request that official transcripts be sent directly to the Saybrook University Admissions Office at the address below. On other websites, look for Registrar’s Office, Transcript Office, or Transcript Request Form.

All applicants must provide official, sealed transcripts from all previously-attended, degree-granting, post-secondary institutions. You may submit transcripts from non-degree granting, post-secondary institutions (e.g., from a certificate program) if you feel it would strengthen your application, or if the transcripts contain graduate coursework that may qualify for transfer credit.  An official review of transfer credits cannot occur until official transcripts are received.  Official transcripts must be received by the end of your first semester in the program. Failure to submit all final official documents, including proof of required degree conferral will result in a registration hold being placed on your account.

Mail official transcripts to:

Admissions Operations
c/o Saybrook University
203 N. La Salle, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Standardized Testing

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) are not required for admission to Saybrook University.  If you wish to supplement your application with optional test scores, please request that the scores be sent directly to the Admissions Office at the address above.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Saybrook Institutional Code: 4211
Phone: 800.473.2255

Miller Analogies Test (MAT by the Psychological Corporation)

Saybrook Institutional Code: 1950
Phone: 800.872.1726

English Proficiency Tests

If English is not your primary language, you must submit proof directly to the Admissions Office that you are able to communicate in English at a proficient level. Acceptable proof of proficiency includes:

  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report (TOEFL code: 9007). To be considered for admission, you must earn a minimum score of 89 on the internet-based test as a graduate program applicant.
  • Official Pearson Test of English (PTE) score report. To be considered for admission, you must earn a minimum score of 56 as a graduate program applicant.
  • Official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report. To be considered for admission, you must earn a minimum score of 6.5 as a graduate program applicant.
  • Duolingo English Test score report. To be considered for admission, you must earn a minimum score of 120 as a graduate program applicant.
  • Completion of the required level at a partner ESL institution (please inquire).

Institutional Transfer Credit Guidelines

Transfer credits based on equivalent graduate courses taken at another regionally accredited institution in the same or similar discipline where the student received a grade of B or better may be transferred and will reduce the number of course credits required to be completed at Saybrook. Allowable transfer credits must be suitable for transfer to the intended degree as determined by the degree Department Chair. Transfer credit will  be applied towards courses in a student’s degree program as specified by the Department.  Transfer course credits do not affect the minimum number of credits required for the degree. Information on transfer credit criteria by degree program is available in the Academic Programs section in this Catalog.

Transfer credits from an institution that uses the quarter system will be converted to semester credits. Transfer credits appear on the Saybrook transcript as a single block of credits, not as specific course titles. While matriculated at Saybrook University, students may not receive academic credit or credits for coursework to apply to their Saybrook degree in process from another institution.

Students should be sure to review their Transfer Credit Evaluation once it has been sent to them by the Registrar’s Office and should contact the Registrar if they have questions. Students have the option to request removal of any transferred credits prior to the end of their second semester at Saybrook University.  We recommend that students check with their Department Chair prior to requesting credit be removed. Once removed, the update is permanent and transfer credits may not be reinstated.

Students who change degree programs will have their transfer credit evaluated again by the Department Chair of the new program. Transfer credit awarded is not guaranteed to apply to the new program. Please refer to the Program Change policy section of this catalog for additional information on changing degree programs.

Degree Program Maximum Transfer
Credit Hours
Age of transfer credit in calendar years
CSS Degree Programs
MA Counseling 9 5
MA Psychology 6 7
MA Transformative Social Change 6 7
MBA 9 10
PhD Clinical Psychology 15 5
PhD Counselor Education & Supervision 9 5
PhD Managing Organizational Systems 12 10
PhD Transformative Social Change 12 7
PhD Psychology 12 7
DBA 12 10
CIMHS Degree Programs
MS Integrative & Functional Nutrition 6 10
MS Mind-Body Medicine 3 10
MS Psychophysiology 3 10
PhD Applied Psychophysiology 9 10
PhD Integrative & Functional Nutrition 9 10
PhD Integrative Social Work 9 10
PhD Mind-Body Medicine 9 10

As a general rule, Saybrook does not accept credit or offer academic credit in the following situations (but is not limited to):

1)    Prior experiential learning

2)    Institutions that do not have Regional or National accreditation

3)    Service in the Armed forces

4)    Paid or unpaid employment

5)    or other demonstrated competency or learning

Note: Some programs may allow credit for prior experiential learning.  Please see the appropriate program section of the catalog for additional information or contact the Department Chair or Specialization Coordinator for additional information. 

Transfer Credit Policy Exceptions 

For some applicants, transfer credit will be granted for training hours in specified areas. This will apply only for training from organizations pre-approved after Saybrook University has conducted a review of their curriculum and established an articulation agreement.

If transfer credit is not available, but a course waiver or course equivalency may be more applicable, students may request that their degree requirement be met by another course requirement.  This is facilitated by the Course Waiver/Substitution Form, which must be approved by their Department Chair (note: not all departments allow substitutions).  Course Waivers/Substitutions must indicate the degree course requirement to be replaced, and the new course it will be replaced with.  The new course should be of equal or higher credit value than the original course requirement.  This policy is not meant to facilitate waivers/substitutions of non-course degree requirements.


In some cases, maximum transfer credit allowance may be accepted to accommodate prospective students enrolled at other institutions that are facing extenuating circumstances such as the loss of regional accreditation or campus closure. Prospective students adversely affected by such circumstances may be eligible for transfer into a comparable Saybrook program. Arrangements generally occur through an MOU with the sending institution.*

*In the event of extraordinary circumstances with individuals transferring from an institution in distress or facing other difficulties, the university reserves the right to alter aspects of its transfer policies (expanded transfer of credits, course and curriculum exceptions, etc.) across any or all programs to support student progression and completion. 

Students will still need to meet admissions requirements. Program crosswalks will be assessed on an individual basis. Determination of an “institution in distress” will be the responsibility of the university only, and students are not able to petition this determination. Transfer credit must be verified by the end of the first semester and will not be subject to additional evaluation/appeal.

Students will still need to meet admissions requirements. Program crosswalks will be assessed on an individual basis. Determination of an “institution in distress” will be the responsibility of the university only, and students are not able to petition this determination. Transfer credit must be verified by the end of the first semester and will not be subject to additional evaluation/appeal.

Course Equivalencies

It is expected that a matriculated student will fulfill all degree requirements through courses offered at Saybrook University. The course equivalency process provides an opportunity for a student in a master or doctoral program to have course content completed at another institution applied to a Saybrook degree program. To be considered for equivalency, all courses must be completed before matriculation at Saybrook.

A waiver of a required course met by equivalency does not reduce the overall credit hour total of the degree. A student who waives a course must replace the credit hours with other Saybrook courses appropriate to the course of study.

Not all programs permit course equivalencies. Please consult with your degree Department Chair for more information.

Course equivalency is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Credit hours must have been earned from a recognized, regionally accredited degree-granting institution.
  2. Course grade is a “B” or higher. Courses which carry Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit grades are not eligible.
  3. Course is at or above the equivalent degree level.
  4. Course content is substantially equivalent to requested course.
  5. Equivalency is not granted for clinical practicum, internship, thesis, or dissertation courses.
  6. No credit hours will be waived for coursework that does not meet the degree programs calendar age limit requirement.

Course equivalency requests must be made before the start of the semester. The decision to grant a waiver by means of equivalency rests solely with Saybrook University. Should an approved course equivalency result in a schedule change after the Add/Drop deadline, the student will be held to the refund schedule.

CIMHS Course Waiver

Students who can document expertise, training, and professional experience covering the content of a required CIMHS course, and who do not have a graduate course qualifying for transfer, may be allowed to waive the required course. However, they will not receive transfer course credit and must choose another course as a substitute. Students must present documentation of relevant expertise, training, and knowledge to their academic advisor and their Department Chair for approval.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Integrative & Functional Nutrition - Advanced Standing for Registered Dietitians

Students who hold the credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) through the Commission on Dietetic Registration are eligible for Advanced Standing and will receive a 6-credit reduction from the course requirements for the M.S. in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program or a 9-credit reduction from the course requirements for the Ph.D. in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program.  This is the maximum credit reduction allowance for these programs. Credit reduction will occur through the removal of required or elective courses and will be determined on an individual basis by the department chair or faculty advisor. Students receiving this credit reduction are not eligible to receive transfer credit in addition to the credit reduction. Students must provide proof of RD credential.

Articulation Agreements

Prospective students interested in programs at Saybrook University may be eligible to be admitted through an established Academic Partnership. Saybrook University has partnered with educational enterprises, academic institutions, and community partners to create pathways to select programs.

General information regarding each academic partnership can be found HERE. For more specific information about the available opportunities, please contact admissions at 888.308.0032 or

Transferring Credits to Other Institutions

The transferability of credits earned at Saybrook University is at the discretion of the receiving college, university, or other educational institution. Students considering transferring to any institution should not assume that credits earned in any program of study at Saybrook University will be accepted by the receiving institution. Similarly, the ability of a degree, certificate, diploma, or other academic credential earned at Saybrook University to satisfy an admission requirement of another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Accreditation does not guarantee credentials or credits earned at Saybrook University will be accepted by or transferred to another institution. To minimize the risk of having to repeat coursework, students should contact the receiving institution in advance for evaluation and determination of transferability of credits and/or acceptability of degrees, diplomas, or certificates earned.