Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are there application deadlines?
A: Click here for the Application Schedule & Deadlines.

Q: What information does the Admissions Committee consider when evaluating applications?
A: We are seeking candidates who possess strong interpersonal skills and academic credentials. The Admissions Committee will consider several factors when evaluating your application, such as, grade point average, career goals, healthcare work experience, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement.

Q: What grade point average (GPA) do I need to have?
A: A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is one of the criteria for consideration for admission to the program. Professional experience in healthcare may compensate for a weak GPA from a Baccalaureate degree earned years ago.  If you have evidence of extenuating circumstances that explain a weak overall GPA, please address this in the personal statement required with the application.

Q: What documents do I need to provide for my application package?
A: Your application file will consist of the graduate application, application fee (waived for Assumption students and alumni), all official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, current resume, and 600-word personal statement.  International candidates need to also provide official TOEFL scores and transcript evaluations. As part of the admissions process, an interview with the program director is required either on campus, by phone, or skype.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: No. The program does not require that you take the GRE or other standardized tests. The Admissions Committee considers a holistic approach of each candidate’s application in assessing their potential to successfully complete the Health Advocacy program.

Q: What suggestions do you have for writing my personal statement?
A: The Admissions Committee will consider the match between your professional interests and Assumption’s program offerings. We recommend that you give considerable thought to the content of your essay as it is an important part of the evaluation process. Success in the program and in the field requires high levels of responsibility, integrity, and interpersonal skill. We are seeking candidates who have thought deeply about their place within the healthcare field. We encourage you to reflect on this and to describe your preparation thoroughly in the essay you submit.  Your personal statement should be approximately 600 words that answer each of the following questions:

  1. Describe the academic preparation and skills that you have that you believe qualify you for the rigorous training involved in our online program in Health Advocacy. Discuss experiential and field-based experiences that you believe prepare you for our program.
  2. Describe what you hope to accomplish academically during your program and how these relate to your professional career goals.
  3. Describe the qualities that you see as essential to be effective and then assess yourself in terms of these characteristics.

Q: Who should I ask for my letters of recommendation?
A: The Admissions Committee requires that you submit three strong positive recommendations from past professors or other professionals for whom you have worked. Only letters that are academic or professional in nature will be considered. Ideally, at least one recommendation should be from a professor you had for at least one course.

Q: Where do I send my application materials?
A: You are encouraged to apply online. Once we receive your application, we will start an official file and update you as materials arrive to the Office of Graduate Studies. Please send all supporting documentation to:

Graduate Studies
Admissions House
Assumption College
500 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609-1296

If you have any questions about your application or the admissions process, please do not hesitate to contact Graduate Studies at (508) 767-7387 or

Q: When will I be notified about the acceptance decision?
A: Once your application is complete you should receive notification within two weeks.

Q: Can I take courses as a non-degree student?
A: Yes. You may register for up to two courses as a non-matriculating student. This will help to mutually assess the goodness of fit between your professional goals and the program’s academic standards. Should you demonstrate passing grades in these course and you are subsequently accepted into the program, the course credits will apply toward earning your certificate or degree.

Q: When are classes scheduled?
A: Online class are currently offered in traditional fall and spring semesters and students may start either semester.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
Most students complete the Certificate in Patient Advocacy program in one year or the Master’s program in 2 – 3 years. The Certificate in Patient Advocacy is a six course, 18 credit, course sequence. The Master of Arts degree in Health Advocacy requires six additional advanced courses, for a 36 credit program of study. Most students enroll in two 3-credit courses/semester, each Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.  Other matriculation sequences are negotiated as needed through student advising. Students utilizing financial aid must be enrolled in at least six credits (two courses) per semester. Students with extenuating circumstances may enroll in one course at a time with advance permission of the program director.

Q: Can I work while I take classes?
A: The program is 100% online. The courses are organized around Wednesdays as the week’s start so that “mid-week” falls over the weekend. Working professionals report appreciation for this scheduling design. It is very challenging to hold a full-time job while engaging a full time course load. Students who have successfully negotiated both concurrently have enjoyed extensive support from their families, co-workers, and friends.

Q: Can I do my practicum and internship at the place where I work?
A: The practicum experience is designed to help Master’s students apply theory and knowledge of best practices to develop the skills that will advance your professional development and career. You will get the full benefit of the practicum experience by deliberately working with different client populations, healthcare issues or settings. Students are permitted, however, to do their practicum in the same place where they work if those hours and efforts are outside of their employed responsibilities.

Q: How many students are enrolled in a course?
A: Class size will vary from as many as 15 students to as few as 5 students. Practicum classes have 5 – 10 students to ensure a collaborative learning environment that facilitates professional interaction and academic development.

Q: Is the program accredited?
A: Assumption College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Q: If I am admitted, can I defer my enrollment?
A: Students are strongly encouraged to apply for the semester in which they wish to commence their graduate studies. Accepted students may make their deferral request in writing to the Program Director and submit an enrollment deposit by the stated deadline for deferment consideration.

Q: Does the college offer financial aid?
A: Please visit the financial aid webpage for financial aid information.

Q: When taking an online course, am I required to sit at the computer to attend class virtually on certain days and at certain times?
A: There is flexibility as to when coursework can be completed and students can log on at their discretion to interact with classmates, write in discussion boards and fulfill assigned tasks. It is important to keep in mind that there will be specific dates and times when a project, assignment, test or quiz may be due.

Q: Will I receive the same support from my professor when comparing an online program to an on campus program?
A: Yes, students in our online program have access to the same materials and support as those students in the on campus programs. You will have full access to your professor’s contact information and the best times to reach them via the syllabus. You will also have full access to the same college resources that the on campus students do.

Q: Is the cost per credit the same for an online course as it is for an on campus course?
A: Yes, the cost per credit is the same for a student taking an online course as compared to a student taking an on campus course.

Q: Are there any on campus visit requirements?
A: No, the Health Advocacy program is entirely online and there are no requirements to come to campus.

Q: What if I have never used an online interface such as Brightspace – is there training available?
A: Once you are accepted into the program and receive your portal login, you will be able to log into Brightspace to view video tutorials and access documents to help you navigate the online environment. The interface is intuitive and most students navigate it quite easily.

You are welcome to contact the Program Director, Lea Christo, LICSW to discuss your career interests and to request feedback about selecting courses to fulfill the admissions requirements.