Jun 18, 2024  
2022-23 Graduate Catalog 
2022-23 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.

All applicants wishing to pursue a graduate degree at MTSU must formally apply for admission to the College of Graduate Studies as degree-seeking students. 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 internationalgrad@mtsu.edu. Application information including forms, requirements, and instructions may be obtained by contacting the college or at www.mtsu.edu/graduate.

International applicants with degrees from outside the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by an acceptable evaluation service (for acceptable services, see www.naces.org/members). 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.

It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to gain admission to MTSU, represents orally or in writing that such person has

  1. successfully completed the required work and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. successfully completed the required coursework and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
  3. successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.

Any applicant who misrepresents his or her credentials will be subject to disciplinary action from the University which may include dismissal from the University.

All international applicants should submit their materials to the College of Graduate Studies by the deadline for guaranteed consideration. Some programs have earlier deadlines than that for general admission. Please see individual program listings and/or contact the program director for further information. International applicants wishing to be admitted to a graduate program should take note of the following:

  1. Submit an online application for admission (www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php).
  2. Pay $35 nonrefundable application fee (money order or check with routing numbers); American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted for online applications.
  3. Provide a copy of valid passport.
  4. Order a course-by-course evaluation of transcript(s) from institutions outside the United States by an acceptable evaluation service. All acceptable evaluation services are listed at www.naces.org/members. Evaluations should be sent electronically to internationalgrad@mtsu.edu or, if necessary, mailed to College of Graduate Studies, MTSU Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.
  5. Order official transcripts certifying coursework from each United States college or university attended with the exception of MTSU. Official transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly (or through an established clearinghouse) from the institution to MTSU and must be received prior to enrollment. U.S. Transcripts should be sent electronically to askgrad@mtsu.edu or, if necessary, mailed to College of Graduate Studies, MTSU Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.
  6. Provide contact details for recommenders, supplemental applications, official test scores, resumes, portfolios, and other items as required by the graduate program and submit to the College of Graduate Studies through the Graduate Portal. Please refer to the relevant graduate program information section of this catalog to determine if additional application materials are required.
  7. International students who will be attending the University on a visa and who are not native speakers of English or graduates of undergraduate or graduate institutions in the United States must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language score (TOEFL; www.ets.org/toefl; minimum score of 71 Internet-based), International English Language Testing System score (IELTS; www.ielts.org; minimum score of 6.0), International Test of English Proficiency score (iTEP; www.itepexam.com; minimum score of 4.5), E.L.S. instruction (www.els.edu; completion of level 112), as a 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.
  8. International applicants on F and J visas must provide verification of financial support prior to admission as required by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. An affidavit of support is not required for admission; however, international students (F1) requiring issuance of Form I-20 must supply sufficient evidence of financial support for the applicant and all members of their family requiring issuance of dependent Form I-20. Further information may be obtained from the Office of International Affairs at mtsu.edu/intered/grad_students.php.
  9. Undocumented aliens may be admitted to MTSU as out-of-state students and are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  10. Upon notification of admission by the College of Graduate Studies to a specific graduate program, the admitted student should contact the graduate program director for information on any required prerequisite courses.
  11. An applicant not meeting University or program requirements for admission as a degree-seeking student may appeal to the individual program for special consideration. If recommended for admission by the program, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies has final approval or denial authority.
  12. Based on time requirements to obtain the necessary documentation, international applicants are encouraged to apply four months or more before the beginning of classes. Some programs have earlier application deadlines. See individual program pages for these dates.
  13. If an applicant fails to meet the deadline for submitting all materials for admission, it will be necessary for the applicant to reapply for admission. All materials submitted will be retained for one year from the date of submission. Students pursuing a graduate degree must be fully admitted to the program prior to their initial semester of coursework.

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. International students are required to purchase insurance through MTSU’s designated provider shortly before matriculation. The only exception is for students who have insurance through their home country’s sponsorship.


It is the student’s responsibility to see that they possess 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 or the last term of a student’s degree program. 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 an Immigration 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.

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 fill out the “Request for In-State Tuition for International Students” form at mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php. 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 e-mail. Students holding F or J visas do not qualify for in-state classification.