Application Decisions

How are decisions about applications made?  What is the process?  What is important?  How fast is the process?  What is the acceptance rate?  What are my chances?


This post outlines the ways in which decisions are made on applications.

SIT Graduate Institute makes decisions on applications in ways that are consistent with the education to which the applicant is applying.  That is, each applicant is considered on their own merit and not compared to others.  This is the same approach used in SIT classrooms.

Both application and education are learning-focused processes.  That is, they are not ends in themselves; they are means to an end.  In the case of each applicant, goals articulated in the application become the primary motivation during the education.

Step 1:  Documents

Applications for MAT must be complete before they can be considered for acceptance (or for financial aid).  Applications for all three MAT programs require the same documents.

References:  in most cases, the fourth reference is waived.  One reference of three may be for a previous purpose (“To Whom It May Concern”) or otherwise older.  Two references must be written for the SIT application.

English:  in most cases, successful applicants have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution that used English as the language of instruction of all subjects.  If this is not the case, then applicants are required to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English in another way.  By submitting official TOEFL or IELTS scores, this requirement is satisfied.

Transcripts of all institutions granting academic credit must be official.

  • Copies (photocopy, fax) are a good interim document, but must be followed by official copies.
  • Certificates:  photocopy, fax, and scanned copies are acceptable as long as the course didn’t award academic credit.
  • Transfer credits:  credits can be transferred from one institution to another.  Each institution awarding credit must send an official transcript to SIT.  If another institution accepted transfer credit, then SIT should receive the same documentation.

Essay must be between 1000 and 1500 words.  By referring to a separate resume, the essay can focus on the significance of an event rather than its description.

Application form and fee may be submitted online or on paper, including fax.

WebAdvisor allows applicants to check the status of their applications online.

Step 2: Assessment

Documents are assessed and compared with acceptance criteria.  These differ slightly for each of the three MAT programs.

Acceptance criteria

Other expectations

  • Professional experience
  • Academic ability
  • Career goals
  • Cross-cultural experience
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to analyze cross-cultural and professional experiences

Step 3:  Decision

Applications may be denied or accepted or the applicant is encouraged to defer or withdraw.  Over the past six years, an average of about 150 applications were received each year.  Each application is assessed on its own merit and compared to the acceptance criteria.  Applications are not compared to each other.  Typically, about 50 students enroll in the academic year programs (internationalist and certification) and about 20 students enroll in the summer program.

Denials are made when applicants have not demonstrated they meet the acceptance criteria.  Reasons often include insufficient English documentation, the applicant’s goals are inconsistent with the program’s goals, and the application lacked adequate demonstration of ability to reflect on and learn from experience.

Deferral or withdrawal of the application is sometimes encouraged.  In most cases, applicants recognize their experience and goals are consistent with what the program offers.  Occasionally, an applicant is encouraged to wait for a year or two before enrolling in order to build additional experience or English proficiency.  Withdrawal is occasionally utilized when a denial would be a problem for the applicant for personal or professional reasons.

Acceptance is most often offered without conditions.  In some cases however, conditions are attached.  These often include completion of previous degree requirements, English test results, or one missing reference.

Decisions are made usually within 2 weeks of the date the application is complete.


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2 Responses to “Application Decisions”

  1. w.p.g.b.lasantha Says:

    i would like to know about my application.

    • matadmissions Says:

      You can check the status of your application anytime online using the WebAdvisor. If you have not received a WebAdvisor user name and password, then SIT has not received your application. If you have forgotten your user name or password, please send a request to

      If you created an application online, please return to it and go to the final section. There, be sure to click “pay now” or “pay later” in reference to your application fee (50 USD). Until this final step is accomplished, SIT doesn’t receive your application. Please note from that top page of the online application, you may download a copy of the paper application.

      If these remedies don’t work, please contact SIT Graduate Institute Admissions using or telephone using 800-336-1616 (toll free from US phones) or +1 802-258-3510. You may send a fax to +1 802-258-3500.

      Marshall Brewer
      Admissions Counselor

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