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Admissions for International Students

US colleges & universities have similar requirements for students from other countries.

International students (like all students) have specific admissions requirements at colleges and universities in America.

Many of these requirements, however, are similar from college to college. International students should expect to submit specific documents and test scores with their US university application.

Like what?

Documents Needed by International Students

International students must provide many US colleges and universities with records and recommendations from previous schools they attended. This may include:

  • academic transcripts
  • degrees
  • lists of completed courses

If these records are in a language other than English, many colleges and universities will ask international students to provide a certified translation.

International students also may be asked to provide proof of their ability to pay tuition and other college-related costs, or the ability of a sponsor to pay tuition.

Tests for International Students

Many of the tests international students must take before they are admitted to a college or university are the same tests American students must take.

The SAT and ACT are requirements for nearly all students who seek an undergraduate degree in the US. These tests are offered around the world.

Some schools also request SAT II Subject Test scores. SAT II tests are offered in specific subjects such as chemistry, English literature and US history.

GRE or GMAT scores are required by many US graduate schools.

In general, the GMAT is for students who plan to attend a business school, and the GRE is for students who want to earn most other types of master’s degrees. Some subjects require a different test, such as the LSAT for future law students, and the MCAT for future medical students.

English Proficiency by International Students

International students whose native language is not English often must take an English proficiency test before they attend a US college or university. Two popular proficiency tests are the TOEFL and IELTS.

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is accepted by more than 6,000 institutions in the US and abroad.

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is accepted by hundreds of colleges and universities in the US and most institutions in the rest of the English-speaking world.

Some institutions accept either a TOEFL or IELTS score, but others prefer a specific test. They also may accept other indicators of your English proficiency, such as minimum scores on the:

  • English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT)
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
  • Advanced Placement International English Language test (APIEL)
  • SAT critical reading section
  • ACT English section
  • college or university’s intensive English program
.
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Do you still feel uneasy about the process? Check out some more admissions tips for international students.

Admissions requirements for both international students and students from the US vary slightly from college to college. Always check the specific requirements of any colleges or universities you want to attend!