May 26, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

International Affairs

The Office of International Affairs provides leadership for the international enterprise at MTSU. The division comprises the Center for Asian Studies, the Center for Chinese Music and Culture, Education Abroad, International Enrollment Management, and the Intensive English Program.

The Office of International Enrollment Management, reporting to International Affairs, processes undergraduate international student applications. International student applicants may apply for the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. All inquiries and correspondence regarding undergraduate admissions should be addressed to this office. 

In addition this office provides immigration advisement and helps to ensure compliance with Department of State and Department of Homeland Security regulations. The office is responsible for issuing the documents necessary for securing visas. All inquiries and correspondence regarding immigration and compliance should be addressed to this office.


International Affairs determines residency for international undergraduate students. All international students are considered out-of-state for tuition purposes until they officially 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 Enrollment Management. The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted one month prior to the start of the term in which they wish to receive in-state status. Failure to file may result in classification and billing of out-of-state tuition. Students will be informed of the residency decision by email.


It is the student’s responsibility to maintain his/her legal immigration status. All immigration documents and copies 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 during Fall and Spring semesters. Summer enrollment is optional. Also, USCIS requires that F1 and J1 applicants meet all MTSU mandated admission requirements prior to enrollment.

Proof of English Proficiency

An international student whose native language is not English must submit a successful Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, International English Language Testing (IELT), Duolingo, iTEP, or ELS certificate level test score as a requirement for admission. These scores must be sent to the International Affairs Office directly by the testing company to be counted as official.

Please see the following minimum scores for undergraduate admission:

  • IELTS - 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - 61 (Computer-based -173 or paper-based-500)
  • Duolingo - 85
  • iTEP - 3.5
  • For transfer students, completion of English 1010 or 1020 at a U.S. university.
  • ELS level 110 Certificate of Completion

Undergraduate Nursing and the Aerospace, Professional-Pilot degree programs require a higher score:

  • IELTS - 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT - 70
  • Duolingo - 95
  • iTEP- 3.8
  • ELS level 112 Certificate of Completion

Financial Aid and Scholarships

F1 or J1 applicants must provide verification of financial support as required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). MTSU provides merit-based international student scholarships for qualified nonimmigrant visa holders. All qualified applicants are considered for a scholarship upon admission.

Deadlines for Completed* Files:

Fall semester: July 1 of same year; Spring semester: November 1 of previous year; Summer semester: April 15 of same year.

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

Orientation Information

All new F1 and J1 students must attend mandatory international student orientation in a University’s CUSTOMS session. They will then need to meet with an assigned academic advisor before they can register for classes. Information regarding orientation is sent with the final acceptance notification.

Health and Accident Insurance

All international students in F1 or J1 status must maintain MTSU endorsed health and accident insurance as a condition of admission and continued enrollment. Minimum requirements for coverage are specified on the insurance form provided by the Office of International Enrollment Management.


Undergraduate International Student criteria for admission

  1. Educational Level. The educational level attained must be comparable to that required of U.S. applicants.

  2. Proof of English Language Proficiency for Non-Native English Language Speakers. In order to determine an applicant’s level of proficiency in the English language, MTSU shall require that applicants, whose native language is not English, to submit scores earned on the Test of English Language Proficiency (TOEFL), the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or one of the other recognized comparable standardized examinations. Courses completed at another U.S. institution may be used in lieu of standardized examination scores.

  3. Financial Statement. To determine the international student’s ability to pay registration fees, non-resident fees, living, and other expenses, MTSU shall require international applicants to supply evidence of financial capability.

  4. Immigration Service Regulations. MTSU shall adhere to all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regulations in the admission, enrollment, and readmission of international non-immigrant applicants.

  5. Certification of Freedom from Tuberculosis. All international non-immigrant students applying for admission pursuant to a student visa shall submit within thirty (30) days from the first day of classes a certificate from a licensed physician or other qualified medical authority verifying freedom from tuberculosis. Failure to submit such certification shall result in denial of admission or continued enrollment. In the event that a student has tuberculosis or has potential tuberculosis requiring medical treatment, continued enrollment will be conditioned upon the determination by a licensed physician that further enrollment is not a risk to others and upon the student’s compliance with any prescribed medical treatment program.

  6. Medical and Hospitalization Insurance. International non-immigrant applicants with J, F, or M visas must have and maintain medical and hospitalization insurance as a condition of admission and continued enrollment at the University. Applicants with J visas must also carry adequate medical and hospitalization insurance for spouses and dependents. MTSU may require similar insurance coverage of all other international non-immigrant applicants.

International Education at MTSU

MTSU students have the opportunity to broaden their personal and professional horizons through a variety of programs offered by the University. MTSU has a tradition of an internationalized academic curriculum and has created opportunities for students to gain international experience. These opportunities include major and minor academic programs, direct exchange programs, study abroad, and experiential and service-learning projects.

B.A. in International Relations

This program is housed in the Department of Political and Global Affairs and provides preparation for future careers in government and the private sector. Graduates of this program include university professors, career diplomats, government agency analysts, and analysts in the private sector. For further information, contact the Department of Political and Global Affairs, (615) 898-2708, or see International Relations, B.A.  

B.S. in International Relations

Established in 1967, this program is housed in the Department of Political and Global Affairs and provides preparation for future careers in government and the private sector. Graduates of this program include university professors, career diplomats, government agency analysts, and analysts in the private sector. For further information, contact the Department of Political and Global Affairs, (615) 898-2708, or see International Relations, B.S.  

B.S. in Global Studies and Human Geography

Originally established as an interdisciplinary minor under a 1994 DOE grant, Global Studies and Human Geography with a concentration in Global Studies is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to create their own major, consisting of a Global Studies core, existing internationalized course offerings, and experiential learning. For more information, see Global Studies and Human Geography, Global Studies Concentration, B.S.  

Education Abroad (Study Abroad)

The Office of Education Abroad is committed to providing exceptional education abroad programming by assisting students in fulfilling their academic goals to study abroad, supporting faculty leading education abroad programs, and welcoming all new incoming exchange students each year. The Education Abroad staff provides one-on-one advising sessions to any student interested in participating in one of the various affiliated programs located within 65 countries that complement their individual academic program. Education Abroad also facilitates student preparation through informational sessions and on campus pre-departure orientations.

Experiential and Service-Learning Projects

Several departments at MTSU, in collaboration with the Education Abroad Office, offer unique opportunities for students to engage in international experiential or service-learning activities.

Regionally Specific Interdisciplinary Minors

MTSU offers a variety of interdisciplinary minors designed to increase understanding and knowledge of a specific global region. They include