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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

  • 34.8

    Freshman Fall 2016 Students of Color
  • 9,001

    Total Student Enrollment (Fall 2016)
  • 2,215

    Number of degrees awarded during 2015-16

Recent Facts

  • First-Year Students Fall 2016


    Applicants: 6,139

    Accepted: 4,517

    Enrolled: 1,145

    Men: 397

    Women: 748

    Total Freshman Class: 1,145

    Students of Color 34.8%


    Applicants: 1,543

    Accepted: 1,268

    Enrolled: 752

    Men: 309

    Women: 443

    Total Transfer Class: 752

    Students of Color: 37.6%

    Total First-Year Students: 1,897

    Student of Color: 35.9%

  • Enrollment

    Full-time and Part-Time, Fall 2016

    Undergraduate: 7,346

    Graduate: 1,655

    Total Enrollment: 9,001

    Students hail from 28 states and 63 countries (students enrolled in credit courses)

  • Degrees Awarded

    (Academic Year 2015-2016)

    Bachelor's: 1,670

    Post-Bachelors Certificates: 28

    Master's: 495

    Post-Master's Certificates: 22

    Total Degrees Awarded: 2,215

  • Faculty

    • As of fall 2015, 91 percent of Salem State’s 352 full-time faculty members held terminal degrees: 294 (84 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.
    • Among full-time faculty members in 2015, 80 percent identified as white, non-Hispanic (compared to 90 percent in 2010) and 56 percent were female (compared to 53 percent in 2010). Of Salem State’s part-time faculty, in 2015, 95 percent continued to identify as white, non-Hispanic, while the number of females increased to 61 percent (compared to 59 percent in 2010).
    • Since 2011, Salem State has had six Fulbright Scholars and three Fulbright Specialists. 
  • Alumni

    • Living alumni: 60,768 (as of January 2017)
    • Massachusetts residents: 48,449
    • Essex county residents: 25,315
    • Other U.S. residents: 11,946
    • International: 345
  • Campus Life

    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
  • Athletics

    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)
  • Economic Impact Report 2014

    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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