Apr 20, 2024  
2018-19 Graduate Catalog 
2018-19 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Graduate Admissions

The Office of International Graduate Admissions under International Affairs (IA) will process all information regarding application to the University and immigration status. The University provides immigration advisement through Designated School Officials (DSOs) located within IA. The DSOs are responsible for issuing I-20 and DS-2019 documents used for applying for F and J visas. They serve as liaisons among faculty members, administrators, and international students. To expedite the processing of your file, please review the information listed below and the information found at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/international.


An applicant applies to the College of Graduate Studies, and the complete application is forwarded to the individual program for consideration upon receipt of all application materials. The College of Graduate Studies is responsible for the admission of all graduate students to the University. International applicants must meet the admission standards for the College of Graduate Studies and be admitted to an individual graduate program. All inquiries and correspondence regarding admission should be addressed to the College of Graduate Studies. Application information including forms, requirements, and instructions may be obtained by contacting the college or at www.mtsu.edu/graduate.

The College of Graduate Studies requires official university records submitted in a sealed and stamped envelope. For records not in English, certified translations are also required. Notarized copies are not acceptable. International applicants with degrees from outside the United States will be required to have their credentials evaluated by an acceptable evaluation service. A list of acceptable evaluation services is listed on the College of Graduate Studies website (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/international.php). The MTSU Graduate Catalog is available online only. Applicants residing outside the United States at the time of application can apply for admission for the Fall and Spring semesters only. Applicants who are already in the United States and in F1 or J1 status may also apply for Summer, depending on the availability of summer courses in the graduate program.

Application to MTSU

International applicants

  1. complete graduate application for admission (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php); online applications are preferred.
  2. submit $35 nonrefundable application fee (money order or check with routing numbers); American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted for online applications.
  3. submit proof of English language proficiency: official TOEFL (paper-based minimum score 525 or Internet-based minimum score 71), UMELI (minimum score 85), IELTS (minimum score 6), or E.L.S. level 112. TOEFL scores must be submitted directly from ETS (use institution code 1466).
  4. submit a copy of valid passport.
  5. already in the U.S., submit a copy of valid Visa and copies of pages 1-3 of your current I-20 and the front and back of your I-94 card or I-94 information print out. Use www.cbp.gov/i94 to obtain this information.
  6. submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institution(s). We request transcripts be sent directly to an accredited external evaluation service. If transcripts are written in a foreign language, an official translation in English is required in addition to the official original copy. Students seeking transfer credit must obtain the approval of their academic department and submit copies of course syllabi from the transferring institution. 
  7. submit official GRE or GMAT score. We can only accept GRE copies if our ETS institution code (1466) is listed as a score recipient. Student should select the school codes based on the following: ETS/GRE - 1466; Pearson/GMAT - 6ZR-KJ-25 (M.B.A.-full time), 6ZR-KJ-52 (M.B.A. - part time), 6ZR-KJ-63 (Accounting), 6ZR-KJ-37 (Information Systems).
  8. submit a financial statement demonstrating resources sufficient to cover expenses to study at MTSU.
  9. submit evidence of two measles, mumps, and rubeola (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccinations. Applicants should consult the MTSU Student Health Services website for current information on immunization requirements (www.mtsu.edu/health services).
  10. submit evidence of freedom from tuberculosis. Forms are located on the College of Graduate Studies website.

NOTE: Applying online will expedite the processing of the application. In the event that a paper application is used, sending all documents except transcript(s) and test scores in one envelope will expedite processing of the application. The University will assign a student ID number for record-keeping purposes only. The student ID number should be on all correspondence sent to the College of Graduate Studies. All materials received become the property of MTSU and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to a third party.

Financial Aid

International students possessing F1 or J1 status must provide verification of financial support prior to issuance of an I-20 as required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Information and appropriate forms are available in the international students section of the CGS website at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/international.php.

Priority Dates for Completed* Files

Fall semester: June 1 of same year; Spring semester: October 1 of previous year; Summer semester: March 1 of same year. (Applications received after these dates will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.) Based on time requirements to obtain the necessary documentation, international applicants are encouraged to apply four months or more before the beginning of classes.

*NOTE: A completed file contains ALL materials required for admission.

Health and Accident Insurance

All international students with F1 or J1 status must obtain and present evidence of comprehensive health and accident insurance as a condition of admission and continued enrollment at MTSU. We recommend international students purchase insurance through MTSU’s designated provider shortly before matriculation.


It is the student’s responsibility to see that he/she possesses legal immigration status. All immigration documents should be kept in a safe place. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), F1 and J1 students must be enrolled full time (minimum 9 hours) during Fall and Spring semesters. Summer enrollment is optional, unless it is the first term of enrollment. Also, USCIS requires that F1 and J1 applicants meet all admission requirements prior to the first date of enrollment. No conditional enrollment is possible.

Orientation Information

All F1 students must attend a College of Graduate Studies orientation which is held shortly before the beginning of classes each Fall and Spring. Information regarding orientation requirements is sent once the student has received final acceptance into the University and program of study. Any F1 students admitted for the summer term will be required to complete orientation requirements as instructed.

Proof of English Proficiency

International students who will be attending the University on a visa and who are not native speakers of English or graduates of a United States undergraduate or graduate institution must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score (minimum score of 525 paper-based or 71 Internet-based), Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) test score (minimum score of 74), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score (minimum score of 6),  PTE Academic (minimum score of 55), International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) score (minimum score of 4.5), or ELS instruction (completion of level 112), as demonstration of English proficiency in order to be admitted to graduate studies at MTSU. Note that certain programs may require higher standards, so please consult the program coordinator for more information.

For information on TOEFL, visit www.ets.org/toefl.

For information on MELAB testing, visit www.CambridgeMichigan.org.

For information on IELTS testing, visit www.ielts.org/contact_us.aspx.

For information on PTE Academic, visit www.pearsonpte.com.

For information on iTEP testing, visit www.iTEPexam.com

For information on E.L.S., visit www.els.edu/en.

Residency Classification for Fee-Paying Purposes

The College of Graduate Studies determines residency for international students. All international students will be considered out-of-state for fee-paying purposes until they apply for and receive in-state status. Those who believe they meet the in-state criteria may obtain an application and submit it to the Office of International Graduate Admissions. The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted at minimum one month prior to the start of the term. Failure to file for residency may result in student payment of out-of-state tuition. Students will be informed of the residency decision by mail. Students holding F or J visas do not qualify for in-state classification.