Bristol Community College has an open enrollment policy in keeping with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education's "Open Door" philosophy. Applicants seeking admission to an associate degree or certificate program must have a high school diploma or state-approved high school equivalency certificate or college degree.  

Admission to some programs is competitive because of the limited number of openings and/or the pre-admission requirements. The open enrollment policy does not apply to students seeking admission to the following programs: Clinical Laboratory Science, Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paralegal Studies (Certificate Option) and Phlebotomy.  Learn more about the Health Science Admissions Requirements here. 

International students seeking to enroll at the College on an F-1 Student Visa must meet additional criteria in alignment with Federal regulations in order to be admitted. Bristol is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.  

Admission requirements to specific programs may change in accordance with policies established by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) and the Bristol Community College Board of Trustees.  

As a state-assisted institution, Bristol Community College gives first priority to legal residents of Massachusetts and second priority to students who apply under the New England Regional Student Program (NERSP). All others are admitted as space is available. 

Learn More About Bristol 

Bristol offers a variety of options for interested students to learn more about Bristol. Please visit our Campus Tour and Information Session page to learn more. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Admissions Coordinators by visiting our Admissions Office Appointments page. 

The Application Process 

The details of the application process, including Bristol’s free online application, are available at If you need assistance with the application, please contact the Admissions Office at or 774.357.2947.  

In addition to submitting your application, please contact your high school or state-approved high school equivalency testing center and all regionally accredited post-secondary schools (if you attended) to send an official transcript or scoresheet to the Admissions Office at Bristol. In certain cases, no admission decision can be made without these credentials. Fall semester applicants still enrolled in high school should submit an intermediate transcript at the time of application to Bristol. For those conditionally admitted to a non-selective program, no less than 10 days prior to the start of registration for the next term, the Admissions Office places a registration hold on any students who remain as conditional admit and for whom a final high school transcript (or the equivalent as defined in above policy) has not been received. This prohibits the student from registering for a subsequent term beyond that to which they were conditionally admitted. 

If you provide an official college/university transcript showing proof of having completed an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution as part of an application to an open enrollment program, you are not required to submit a high school transcript or state-approved high school equivalency certificate.  

Please note that credentials are only considered official if they are received directly from the institution where the credential was earned. Credentials submitted by students may be kept on file but are not considered to be official documents.  

Further details about the Admissions Credential Policy are available here

If you graduated from high school or a secondary school outside the United States (or its territories), you must submit an official evaluation that demonstrates U.S. Equivalency. More information, including lists of approved credential evaluation services, is available by clicking here.   

Please note if you are applying to any selective admission program (Clinical Laboratory Science, Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paralegal Studies (Certificate Option) or Phlebotomy) you must submit ALL official transcripts including high school/state-approved high school equivalency transcripts as well as all college/ university transcripts (if you attended) from regionally accredited institutions before an admission decision can be made. Please note, depending upon your intended program, not all coursework may be eligible for consideration in the admission review process as some programs have specific time frame requirements for pre-admission criteria. Please review the specific program/certificate pages in this catalog for details.  

The Application Timeline 

Applications to open enrollment programs are processed as they are received. Submitting your completed application well in advance of the semester in which you plan to begin your studies will give you time to complete the enrollment process (including, but not limited to, financial aid, placement testing, orientation, and course registration).  

  • Fall Semester: Begins in September  
  • Wintersession Courses: Begin in December 
  • Spring Semester: Begins in January  
  • Summer Semester: Begins in June  

If you are applying for fall admission to Nursing, please submit your completed application (including all required credentials and requested documents) by February 1 to receive priority consideration for admission to the fall semester beginning in September. Applications received or completed after February 1 will not be considered. If you are applying for admission to the LPN Bridge Nursing option (Fall semester) please submit your completed application (including all required credentials and requested documents) by April 1 to receive priority consideration. If you are applying for admission to the LPN Challenge Nursing option (Spring semester) please submit your completed application (including all required credentials and requested documents) by November 15 to receive priority consideration.  

Applicants to Clinical Laboratory Science, Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting, Occupational Therapy Assistant, or Phlebotomy must submit a completed application (including all required credentials and requested documents) by February 1 to receive priority consideration for admission to the fall semester beginning in September. Applications received or completed after February 1 are reviewed on a space available basis. Students interested in applying to Phlebotomy for the summer semester are able to apply beginning February 1 and should complete the application by April 1 to receive priority consideration for admission to the summer semester beginning in June. Applications for the summer Phlebotomy cohort that are received or completed after April 1 are reviewed on a space available basis. 

Please carefully review the special application requirements for these programs found in each program description in this catalog. Also, note that some of these programs may also offer entry dates in the spring or summer semester. 

Please attend a Health Science Information Session for your program of interest or contact the Admissions Office for more information.  

International Applicants 

Bristol Community College is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) as eligible to enroll F-1 students. For more information and to review the list of admission requirements and ways to meet each, please click here.  

Transfer Admission 

Transfer students from another regionally accredited college or university are encouraged to submit official transcripts to the Admissions Office for review. The awarding of transfer credit is based on the following principles:  

  1. Grades earned must be equivalent to a "C-" or higher;  

  1. There must be a match of course description and credit hours between the course completed at the prior institution and the Bristol course for which you are seeking credit;  

  1. A maximum of 60 transfer credits may be awarded. However, students must meet the college residency requirement by earning 25% of the credits toward the associate degree or 50% of the credits toward a certificate program at Bristol;  

  1. Students with military experience are encouraged to submit transcripts from their branch of service for review. In accordance with the Valor Act, Bristol Community College uses the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services as the primary method for evaluating and awarding academic credit for military occupation, training, experience, and coursework.  

Appealing Transfer Credit Evaluation 

Requests for re-evaluation may be submitted by email to In your request for a second review, please include the following information. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.  

  • First and Last Name  
  • Bristol ID number (900-xxx-xxx)  
  • Detailed narrative supporting rationale and reason for appeal.  
  • Documentation which supports the request. This could include course descriptions (from the year in which the course was completed), course syllabus, course objectives, learning outcomes, transcripts or other relevant information.  

The Admissions Office will review requests and render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the request. Notification will be sent via email to the address on record. Please note that a request for secondary review is not a guarantee of modification to the original evaluation. 

Other Information 

Career and Vocational Education (CVTE) students from one of the area member high schools within the Bristol Career/Vocational Technical Education Consortium should complete the section on the Application for Admission designated for students enrolled in a high school technical education program. For more information contact the College Access Office at  

The New England Board of Higher Education’s (NEBHE) Tuition Break program (also known as the New England Regional Student Program (RSP), provides significant tuition savings to residents of the six New England states when pursuing approved programs at out-of-state public colleges and universities. As eligibility for the RSP Tuition Break varies by state and by institution, we advise you to learn more by clicking here or contacting the Admissions Office for more information.     

Massachusetts One-Stop Education and Career Liaison 

The Education and Career Liaison is a Bristol Academic Coordinator who offers enrollment and advising assistance to students through the One-Stop Career Centers in southeastern Massachusetts. Special services include:  

  1. Training Opportunity Program application and Section 30 forms  
  2. Third-party funding contracts (Trade, Individual Training Assistance for Title I Adults & Youth programs, dislocated workers, and National Emergency Grant).  
  3. The Admissions Office, in addition to conventional recruitment efforts, provides outreach services both at Bristol's Fall River Campus and in the following career centers: Fall River, New Bedford, Attleboro, and Taunton. 

Veterans may use G.I. benefits at Bristol Community College. The College’s Certifying Official, located in the Joseph A. Marshall Veterans Center on the first floor of the Thomas A Rodgers, Jr. Science Bldg. (E Building) on the Fall River campus, will assist you in applying for your benefits from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and accessing college services. For more information, please call 774-357-2227 or visit them on the web at