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Facts and Figures


John D. Keenan


Salem State University, established in 1854 as Salem Normal School, is a comprehensive, publicly supported institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston and one mile from downtown Salem, and is one of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Salem State is governed by an 11-person board of trustees. Nine trustees are appointed by the governor for five-year terms, renewable once; one alumni trustee is elected by the alumni association for a five-year term, renewable once; and a student trustee is elected by the student body for one year. 

Fact Highlights

  • 39.7

    First-Year Fall 2019 Students of Color
  • 7,706

    Total Student Enrollment (Fall 2019)
  • 2,284

    Number of degrees awarded during 2018-19

Recent Facts

First-Year Students, Fall 2019


  • Applicants: 5,825
  • Accepted: 4,985
  • Enrolled: 1,011
  • Men: 361
  • Women: 650
  • Students of Color: 39.9%


  • Applicants: 947
  • Accepted: 836
  • Enrolled: 505
  • Men: 210
  • Women: 295
  • Students of Color: 39.4%

Total First-Year

  • Total First-Year Students: 1,516
  • Students of Color: 39.7%

Full-time and Part-Time, Fall 2019

Undergraduate: 6,273

Graduate: 1,433

Total Enrollment: 7,706

Students* hail from 32 states (excluding Massachusetts) and 54 countries (excluding USA)
(*students enrolled in credit courses)

(Academic Year 2018-19)

Bachelor's: 1,595

Post-Bachelors Certificates: 107

Master's: 569

Post-Master's Certificates: 13

Total Degrees Awarded: 2,284

  • As of fall 2017, 92 percent of Salem State’s 363 full-time faculty members held terminal degrees: 287 (86 percent) held doctorates and 24 (7 percent) creative and performing arts faculty held MFAs, while 32 (9 percent) held master's degrees or the equivalent and, of these, six are currently enrolled in doctoral programs. And the remaining 47 held terminal degrees in fine arts, healthcare, library sciences, business, and other areas.
  • Among full-time faculty members in 2017, 77 percent identified as white, non-Hispanic and 54 percent were female. 
  • In the past two decades, Salem State has had 20 Fulbright Scholars and four Fulbright Specialists; three of our students have also received this distinction.
  • Living alumni: 61,152 (as of June 2018)

  • Massachusetts residents: 50,503

  • Essex county residents: 26,447

  • Other U.S. residents: 12,426

  • International: 387

Located just 15 miles north of Boston in the historic seacoast city of Salem, Massachusetts, Salem State has:

  • Five campuses on 115 acres
  • Six residence halls housing more than 2,500 students
  • The Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons is the center for educational exploration, historical preservation and student academic support.
  • The Harold E. and Marilyn J. Gassett Fitness and Recreation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that provides educational, social and recreational experiences for the Salem State community.
  • The Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts is home to Salem State’s nationally award-winning theatre program and other artistic endeavors
  • Student Navigation Center is a one-stop shop for student "business" services such as student accounts, financial aid, admissions, registrar, transfer services, and the ClipperCard
  • 65+ student groups and clubs

Salem State offers its students a chance to compete in intramural athletic clubs and in a variety of competitive intercollegiate conferences.

Salem State fields men's and women's teams in 15 sports; plus 10 intramural/club teams

Athletic teams compete in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III, the Little East Conference (LEC), the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC), the National Collegiate Athletic Conference (NCAA) Division III, and the New England College Athletic Conference (NECAC).


Intercollegiate Sports:

  • Baseball (m)
  • Basketball (m/w)
  • Field Hockey (w)
  • Golf (m)
  • Ice Hockey (m/w)
  • Lacrosse (m/w)
  • Soccer (m/w)
  • Softball (w)
  • Tennis (m/w)
  • Volleyball (w)

For more than 160 years, Salem State University has been a vital part of the economic, intellectual and cultural vibrancy of Salem, the North Shore and all of Massachusetts. This economic impact study aims to quantify the significance of the activities of the university and the many contributions of Salem State’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

Executive Summary

  • During fiscal year (FY) 2014 Salem State University generated an economic impact of over $827 million in Massachusetts.
  • The economic impact on the City of Salem was more than $100 million.
  • The regional impact on Essex County reached over $443 million.
  • Read the executive summary of the 2014 economic impact report. [PDF]

Complete Report
The full 2014 economic impact report is available for download. [PDF]

For more information, please contact the external affairs office at 978.542.7757.

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