Bridgewater State University has its roots in the Bridgewater Normal School, founded in 1837 by Horace Mann. The doors to the school opened in 1840, making it the oldest permanently located institute of higher learning in Massachusetts. Its mission was to educate teachers and it is considered the home of teacher education in this country.
The school opened in the basement of the old Bridgewater Town Hall and remained there until the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agreed to construct a new building in 1845. When it was completed in 1946, it was the first in America to be built specifically for the education of teachers. In 1932, Massachusetts legislators approved college status for all normal schools and Bridgewater became the Bridgewater State Teacher's College.
Enrollment fell drastically during World War II with only 96 students enrolling in 1941. Bridgewater assisted in the war effort by sorting gas rationing cards that were disorganized when mailed from Washington to Boston. Students sorted more than two million cards as contribution to the war effort. After the war, enrollment grew steadily as soldiers returned and took advantage of the GI Bill.
In 1960, the name of the school changed again to Bridgewater State College. In 2010, the school became Bridgewater State University when the legislature approved university status. Today, there are more than 11,000 students enrolled at Bridgewater, making it the tenth largest university in Massachusetts.
Bridgewater State University Accreditation Details
Bridgewater State University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Regional accreditation indicates to parents, students and employers that graduates of programs at Bridgewater are well-prepared for the industry they have chosen. It also indicates that the school has the resources to achieve their mission and goals. In addition to regional accreditation, the following agencies or organizations accredit programs at Bridgewater:
- Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, Learning Resource Systems
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
- American Chemical Society
- Aviation Accreditation Board International
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs
- Council on Social Work
- Federal Aviation Administration
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
Bridgewater State University Application Requirements
Students who have not completed college credits after high school graduation are considered freshmen at Bridgewater State University. Students must complete an application and provide official high school transcripts. Students must also submit official SAT or ACT scores. Although an essay is not required, it is encouraged. The three topics that the student must select from for their essay include:
- A discussion of their academic interest and career goals. The essay must also include information on how Bridgewater can help the student achieve those goals; OR
- A description of an achievement or award, experience or challenge that demonstrates personal accomplishment; OR
- Any topic the student chooses including those used as part of the Common Application
Students who have completed college courses after graduation may enter Bridgewater as transfer students. Students who plan to transfer between 12 and 23 credits must have a college GPA of 2.5 while those who plan to transfer in 24 or more credits must have a college GPA of 2.0. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. At least one half of the major as well as a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed at Bridgewater.
Each graduate program has their own admission requirements. Students are encouraged to contact an admissions counselor prior to applying for graduate study at Bridgewater.
Bridgewater State University Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduate tuition at Bridgewater State University is $38 per credit hour for Massachusetts residents and $294 per credit hour for non-residents. Students who qualify for New England regional tuition pay $56.88 per credit hour. Graduate tuition is $70 per credit hour.
Financial aid is available at Bridgewater State University. The Financial Aid Office is committed to helping students cover the cost of tuition. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, waivers, loans and work programs. They also provide students with personal counseling and support in order to pay for their education. In order to qualify for any financial aid at Bridgewater, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition to financial aid, students may take advantage of the Bridgewater Payment Plan that allow them to spread tuition charges over four monthly installments. Parents may choose to apply for Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans or students may choose to apply for alternative student loans which are private loans with variable interest rates.
Bridgewater State University Psychology and Counseling Degree Programs Available
Bridgewater State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology which provides students with the tools and knowledge they need to assist individuals, families, groups and communities with mental health needs. Students are provided a numver of opportunities for hands-on learning through internships, research and several student organizations. Students must have a 2.50 GPA in the major. Courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology include:
- Abnormal Psychology*
- Applied Social Psychology
- Behavior Analysis
- Child Psychology
- Clinical Psychology*
- Cognitive Psychology
- Comparative Psychology*
- Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Drugs and Human Behavior
- Forensic Psychology
- Health Psychology*
- History of Psychology*
- Industrial and Organizational Behavior
- Introduction to Psychology
- Orientation to the Psychology Major
- Perspectives on the Holocaust*
- Psychology of Consciousness
- Psychology of Criminal Behavior*
- Psychology of Human Differences*
- Psychology of Learning
- Psychology of Personality
- Research Methods in Psychology
- Sensation and Perception
- Service-Learning in Psychology*
- Social Psychology
- Special Topics in Psychology*,
- Statistics for Psychology
*These may be either electives or clinical studies and practicum courses which means student may only take one or two of them.
Students are required to complete a practicum and may be required to complete clinical studies as part of the program.
Master of Arts in Psychology
The Master of Arts in Psychology offers specializations in clinical-psychotherapy. The program serves as a stepping stone into human services or a doctorate program. Students gain a theoretical and practical understanding of psychology with a strong clinical emphasis. Students are provided with a values-based curriculum designed to help students grow professionally and personally. Flexible schedules are available with full-time or part-time study as well as evening or summer courses. Students must provide official GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation and official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Students must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, above-average GRE scores and experience in the field. Courses required include:
- Advanced Seminar
- Career Information and Placement
- Developmental Human Psychology
- Evaluation Techniques
- Foundations for Clinical Practice
- Multicultural Counseling
- Psychopharmacology for Nonmedical Professionals
- Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice I & II
- Research Methods and Design I & II
- Theories of Psychotherapy
- Theory and Process of Group Interaction
Students must also complete a research component, 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship.
Bridgewater State University offers students flexible schedules that allow adult learners the opportunity to achieve their higher education goals in order to move into a new career or advance in a current career.