NMSU Master’s Bridge Program


The New Mexico State University Master’s Bridge Program is specifically designed for prospective international graduate students who want to attend university in the United States but lack the necessary English language skills and grade point average (GPA) required for regular university admission to graduate school. The Master’s Bridge Program strategically combines intensive English study through NMSU’s Center for English Language Programs (CELP) with an Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program. Students participating in the Bridging Program, and who are academically qualified, are provided the opportunity to complete the requirements for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at an accelerated pace. The result is a fast-paced pathway program to graduate study at New Mexico State University for international students interested in receiving a Master’s degree from a top-tier American university. Participants of the program work through three (3) phases:

  1. Phase I. Intensive English Program through NMSU’s Center for English Language Programs

  2. Phase II. The Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program

  3. Phase III. The Master’s Accelerated Program—Senior Petitioner Program and Discovering New Scholars Program


Phase I. Intensive English Program through NMSU’s Center for English Language Programs

CELP’s Intensive English Program (IEP) consists of five (5) levels with each level lasting eight (8) weeks. An English Placement Test is administered to students upon arrival to CELP to determine which level is most appropriate in which to begin study. Upon successful completion the last level (105), students matriculate to NMSU for undergraduate or graduate studies by receiving a TOEFL/IELTS waiver exclusively for NMSU.

Phase I. Summary of Important Details

  1. Students with TOEFL scores < 79 ibt or < 6.5 IELTS are conditionally admitted to NMSU and issued an I-20 to participate in intensive English language courses facilitated by CELP.
  2. Students participate in CELP’s Intensive English Program until level 105 is successfully completed.
  3. Upon completion of CELP level 105, student is issued a TOEFL/IELTS waiver that satisfies the English language requirement for admission to NMSU only.
  4. Students’ admission status is changed from conditional to regular and issued an I-20 to attend NMSU .
  5. Students begin their Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program.


Phase II. The Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program

New Mexico State University’s Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program is specifically designed for international students who want to receive a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. university. In some cases, students can arrange with their home institutions to earn a dual-degree (diplomas from both NNSU and the foreign institution). However, more commonly, students are interested in transferring their existing credit from their Bachelor’s degree abroad to NMSU in an effort to obtain a U.S. degree without having to study for 4+ years while paying out-of-state or international tuition rates.

Another advantage to the Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program is for international students who are seeking admission to graduate programs but whose GPAs (grade point averages) from their Bachelor’s degrees are too low for admission to most graduate programs in the U.S. Through the credit transfer process at New Mexico State University, credit hours are transferred but grades are not. Therefore, students who participate in the program have a fresh start, and with a little effort, can improve their grades significantly and quickly thereby improving their chances for admission to graduate programs.

Perhaps the most important element of the Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program is its partnership with the Graduate School at NMSU. Students who participate in the program, receive a GPA of 3.0 or better in their first semester at NMSU, and who are academically qualified, will be given an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at an accelerated pace through the University’s Master’s Accelerated Program. Additional details about this program are shared in Phase III.

*The Undergraduate Degree-Completion Program is available for any undergraduate major at NMSU. For a list of undergraduate majors, please visit https://admissions.nmsu.edu/academics/

GRE Preparation Course

New Mexico State University will facilitate a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparatory course for program participants.  The proposed course will include instruction in the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical sections of the GRE. The instruction is proposed over an eight-week span with classes meeting twice a week. It is critical that sufficient instructional time be dedicated for the GRE component in order to prepare the students to take the GRE. In addition to instructional time, there will be a one-week (40 hours) training period for GRE instructional staff that will be required. The GRE Preparation Course will provide all the necessary materials for students including the GRE textbook, a dictionary and thesaurus, Geometry and Algebra sheets, flash drives, notebooks, notebook paper.

Phase II. Summary of Important Details

  1. Undergraduate credit for students is transferred to NMSU (at the time of application) and applied toward a second Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Credit is transferred for students from their original Bachelor’s degree. However, their GPA/grades do not transfer. Therefore, students begin with no GPA at NMSU.
  3. Students are required to complete their last 30 credits on campus at NMSU, so at a minimum, students will be expected to spend one academic year completing their Bachelor’s degree at NMSU.
  4. Students who earn a 3.0 GPA or higher in their first semester, and are academically qualified, are tracked for the Master’s Accelerated Program.
  5. Students who are academically qualified for the Master’s Accelerated Program participate in the Developing New Scholars Program.
  6. Students who are academically qualified for the Master’s Accelerated Program participate in GRE preparation classes while completing their Bachelor’s degree.
  7. Students who graduate with their Bachelor’s degree from NMSU with a GPA of 2.5 to 2.99 are eligible to apply for Provisional Admission to Graduate School.


Phase III. The Master’s Accelerated Program—Senior Petitioner Program and Discovering New Scholars Program

The Senior Petitioner program is available to students with senior standing who have not yet completed a Bachelor’s degree and have not been accepted into the Graduate School at New Mexico State University (NMSU) through the graduate admissions process.

In the Senior Petitioner Program, students with senior standing may take up to 12 credit hours during their undergraduate studies that, upon graduation with their Bachelor’s degree, can be transferred to the NMSU Graduate School for graduate credit toward a Master’s or other graduate degree.

Upon graduation with the Bachelor’s degree and final admission into the Master’s/graduate program, the approved 12 credits will be transferred from the student’s undergraduate transcript to their graduate transcript.


Program Timeline for Starting During the Fall Semester

Spring Semester (Pre-arrival) Student application and admissions period
Fall Semester (Year 1)

(Intensive English Program)

Students with TOEFL scores < 79 ibt or 6.5 IELTS begin with Intensive English at NMSU’s Center for English Language Programs, and depending upon their English Placement Test scores, will spend between 16 weeks (1 semester) or 32 weeks (2 semesters) studying with CELP. As soon as students complete level 105, their admissions status will be changed from conditional to regular, and they will begin taking academic credit classes in their respective majors.
Spring Semester (Year 1)

(Intensive English Program and/or Academic Program)

Some intensive English students will matriculate to the NMSU academic program. This will depend upon how the student initially scored on the English Language Placement Test as well as how the student progressed in the CELP program. Other students will continue their intensive English studies, partially or completely, through this semester.
Spring Semester (Year 1)

(Academic Program)

Students whose GPAs are 3.0 or greater after their first semester of their academic program at NMSU will gain admission to the Master’s Accelerated Program (MAP) as a Senior Petitioner. They will also participate in the Discovering New Scholars Program.
Fall Semester (Year 2)

(Academic Program)


Students who began their academic program during the Fall semester should start Graduate School. Reminder: Students who completed their first semester with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will participate in the Master’s Accelerated Program.

*Note: Admission to graduate school will depend upon GPA, GRE/GMAT scores and English language ability.

Fall Semester (Year 2)

(Intensive English Program)

When this semester begins, all students who started with intensive English should be transitioning to their NMSU academic programs.

Application Process

Step 1.

Visit https://isss.nmsu.edu to confirm that you meet all NMSU admission requirements.

TOEFL or IELTS scores. Students are required to submit their TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of the application process. Through New Mexico State University’s Conditional Admission policy, international students who do not meet the minimum English language requirements for regular admission may be conditionally admitted to NMSU for intensive English through CELP. Students with no TOEFL or IELTS scores are also admissible to the program.

Step 2.

Complete the NMSU Online Application:

  • Click on Create Account
  • Complete the Application Account Creation Form

Make sure to write down your login and password details so that you can access your application later if the need arises.

  • Login and begin application
  • Enrollment Status—select transferring to NMSU from another college or university outside New Mexico
  • Degree Expected—select second undergraduate degree

Step 3.

Submit your Program Application Packet.

Your Program Application Packet should include:
  • A printed copy of your Application for Undergraduate Admission
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
    • One official copy in English, and
    • An original transcript in Chinese (if student’s undergraduate program was in China)
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores. Students who are applying for conditional admission and that do not have their TOEFL or IELTS scores do not need to submit scores for admission.
  • Since credit will be transferred to NMSU toward a second undergraduate program, NMSU requires copies of the student’s course syllabi, course descriptions, and degree plans to accompany transcripts. This will speed up the transfer process and allow for greater accuracy as we process transferability of credit.
  • Copy of student’s passport.
  • Completed and signed Top-Up Requirement Contract
  • Financial statement verifying funds for at least $35,000 USD
  • $500 non-refundable application fee, paid through CELP Shop Cart

Reminder: Send official transcripts, translated in English, from each university or college attended.

Step 4.

Courier Program Application Packet to:

Dr. Kristian Chervenock
Center for English Language Programs
New Mexico State University
International Programs
P.O. Box 30001—MSC 3567
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001


Additional Information about the Transfer Credit Process

Transfer students from other colleges or universities may be accepted for undergraduate studies if they have completed at least 36 college credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.  Students who have earned 35 or fewer college credits must fulfill the freshman admission requirements and have at least a 2.75 overall grade point average in a college or university.

NMSU evaluates courses from post-secondary institutions that are regionally accredited or are candidates for regional accreditation. Provided the classes taken are similar or equivalent to courses offered at NMSU, credits will be matched for coursework completed with a grade of D or better.  However, colleges or departments may choose to accept only courses graded C- or higher within their programs. Each college determines which transferred courses are applicable toward a degree or a minor. Grades earned in courses taken at other institutions are not included in the calculation of the NMSU GPA, except for grades earned by approved National Student Exchange students.

Any lower-division course from another institution receiving transfer credit from NMSU at the 300 or above level will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Transcripts may need to be re-evaluated when students transfer from one NMSU college to another.


Acceptance Decision Notification, Confirmation of Acceptance, and Payment Details


Acceptance Decision Notification

After the university approves the student’s eligibility, an official Acceptance Confirmation Letter will be sent to the student. This letter will be sent to the student by e-mail and will describe the program policies as well as provide the student with a study plan that details how many transfer credits were awarded. The study plan will include an estimated time-frame to complete the student’s second undergraduate degree. At this time, NMSU will request the non-refundable Program Deposit of $5,000 USD that needs to be paid no later than 45 days after receipt of the letter.

Final Confirmation of Acceptance

After the university receives the signed Acceptance Confirmation Letter and the Program Deposit, student will receive an official Letter of Acceptance (Conditional Offer for both Undergraduate/Graduate Program) and I-20. With the Letter of Acceptance and I-20, student will be able to submit a request for a student (F-1) visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the area.

Payment Details

After students have obtained their Student Visa they will be expected to pay the balance of the tuition and fees before the Program Start Date.

Fee Amount Payment Due Date Payment Instructions
Non-refundable application fee $500.00 Due upon submission of Program Application Packet CELP Shop Cart


Program Deposit $5,000.00 Due no later than 45 days after Acceptance Decision Notification Letter Wire transfer

(see instructions below)

Program Balance $29,134.00
<79 TOEFL ibt or <6.5

>79 TOEFL ibt or >6.5
15 days before program start date Wire transfer

(see instructions below)

Instructions for Wires to New Mexico State University

Wires should include the following from Originator (Sender) to Beneficiary (NMSU) in the optional addenda lines:

  • Sender‘s name
  • Recipient’s contact information
  • If applicable, invoice number, grant number, etc.
  • Student’s name and Aggie ID number

Account for international transactions:

200 Lomas Boulevard Northwest
Albuquerque, NM 87102
NAME OF ACCOUNT: New Mexico State University
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 4121379788

Top-Up Requirement

Students who do not complete their Intensive English Program in two (2) sessions, will need to “top-up” which means they will continue their studies in the Center for English Language Program’s Intensive English Program until level 105 is completed. The “top-up” requirement will be the financial responsibility of the student and will not be included in the original package price. Additionally, students who do not complete their Bachelor’s degree at NMSU after the two semesters of undergraduate tuition, as outlined in the program budget, will be responsible for paying for any additional semesters of undergraduate tuition at NMSU, until the participant has completed her/his program.

*As noted in the Application Process section, program participants will be required to complete and submit the Top-Up Requirement Contract which mandates that students self-pay for additional CELP sessions as well as self-pay for academic semesters for the undergraduate program.


Program Registration Policies & Deadlines


Enrollment Deferral

Applicants may request a deferral to another Program Start Date by submitting a deferral request in writing at least 15 days before the program start date. Upon deferral approval, NMSU will then issue a new Letter of Acceptance and Form I-20 for admission for a later start date. Deferral will be offered only once to each applicant. Applicants who defer to a later program must be aware that higher tuition and fee rates due to increases at the university may apply, and it will be the responsibility of the student to pay the increase in tuition and fees.


Enrollment Cancellation

NMSU will refund an applicant’s program fees only in the case of visa denial. The non-refundable application fee will not be refunded.  In situations where the U.S. embassy or consulate has denied the applicant a visa, NMSU will refund the program fees if the following two (2) conditions are met:

  1. NMSU is notified at least 15 days before the Program Start Date that the student has been denied a visa


  1. NMSU receives within 30 days after the student visa is denied (1) the original written documentation from the U.S. embassy or consulate verifying that the student visa has been denied and (2) the original Letter of Acceptance (LOA) issued by NMSU.


  • Application (2 months before Program Start Date)
  • Tuition Deposit (within 45 days after the receipt of LOA)
  • Tuition Balance (15 days before Program Start Date)
  • Deferral and Cancellation Request (15 days before Program Start Date)

No other refunds of fees will be given.

Note: If a student wishes to withdraw from the program at any time after the scheduled start date, he or she must consult with NMSU in advance. Failure to do so may result in expulsion, and no refund or credit will be given.

Tuition and Fees for Master’s Bridge Program

TOEFL Score Center for English Language Programs New Mexico State University Tuition HTH Health Insurance Student Service Fee University Program Management Fee Non-refundable Application Fee Airport Pick-up Fee GRE Prep


Total Package Cost

*based on 2 sessions  of CELP


*based on 2 semesters of non-resident UG tuition


*based on 1 year of HTH insurance

$3,000 $3,000 $500 $200 $500 $34,634

*CELP not necessary for these students


*based on 2 semesters of non-resident UG tuition


*based on 1 year of HTH insurance

$3,000 $3,000 $500 $200 $500 $29,634

*Tuition and fees based on 2016-2017 rates. Tuition and fees may change in the future.

NMSU Housing and Dining Options

New Mexico State University highly recommends that program participants live on campus as well as consider one of NMSU’s many dining options.

NMSU Housing & Residential Life provides comfortable, convenient, and affordable options that cater to different levels of independence, lifestyle, and amenities. Learn more about housing options and fees here: https://housing.nmsu.edu/options/

To learn more about the dining and meal plan options available, visit http://dining.nmsu.edu/


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