Apr 15, 2024  
2011-12 Undergraduate Catalog 
2011-12 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Admissions/Education

International Undergraduate Admissions

The International Affairs Office serves international students. All inquiries and correspondence should be addressed to this office. Application packets, including forms and requirement instructions, can be obtained by telephoning or writing Admissions or via www.mtsu.edu/admissn/Intnl_admissions_main.shtml. Applicants abroad can apply for the Fall and Spring semesters only. Applicants who are already in the United States and in F1 or J1 status may apply for the Summer term.

The University provides immigration advisement through the International Affairs Office. The office is responsible for issuing I-20s and DS-2019 documents necessary for securing visas. It also serves as a liaison among faculty members, administrators, and international students.


The International Affairs Office determines residency for international students. All international students will be considered out-of-state for tuition 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 International Affairs Office. The completed form and supporting documentation should be submitted one month prior to the start of the term. Failure to file may result in payment of out-of-state tuition. Students will be informed of the residency decision by mail.


It is the student’s responsibility to see that he/she is in 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 12 credit hours if undergraduate and 9 credit hours if graduate) during Fall and Spring semesters. Summer enrollment is optional. Also, USCIS requires that F1 and J1 applicants meet all admission requirements prior to enrollment.

Proof of English Proficiency

An international student must submit a successful Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, International English Language Testing (IELT), or ELS score of certificate level test before he/she can register at MTSU.

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

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

Financial Aid and Scholarships

International students in F1 or J1 status must provide verification of financial support prior to admission as required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are a limited number of merit-based international student scholarships available for nonimmigrant visa holders.

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. (Applies to students already in the United States.)

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

Orientation Information

All F1 and J1 students must attend international student orientation before they can register for classes. Information regarding orientation is sent with the final acceptance letter. Students who are in status other than F1 or J1 with USCIS will be invited to CUSTOMS orientation in the summer if they are entering in the Fall term.

Health and Accident Insurance

All international students in F1 or J1 status must obtain health and accident insurance as a condition of admission and continued enrollment at MTSU. Minimum requirements for coverage set by the Tennessee Board of Regents are specified on the insurance form provided by the International Education Office.


An international student will be admitted on the basis of placement recommendation by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. International applicants are subject to academic assessment placement testing criteria and assessment when applicable.

Application to MTSU:

Nonimmigrants submit
  1. a complete undergraduate application for admission.
  2. $30.00 nonrefundable application fee (money order or check with routing numbers).
  3. a financial statement.
  4. official ACT or SAT scores. (We do not accept any other than the ETS official test scores.)
  5. official English Proficiency Test score from one of the following: TOEFL paper-based score of 525; TOEFL iBT-based score of 70; TOEFL computer-based score of 193; IELT (International English Language Test) score of 6.0; or ELS Language Center (completed program level 111 verified by official transcript from ELS institution). All test scores must be received directly in the International Affairs Office from the testing agency. Student copies of score results are not accepted.
  6. a completed insurance form for F1 and J1 applicants.
  7. a front and back photocopy of 1-94, if applicable.
  8. a front and back photocopy of 1-20 or DS-2019, if applicable.
  9. a photocopy of the passport expiration page, if applicable.
  10. a photocopy of the visa expiration page, if applicable.
  11. an official transcript evaluation. If transcripts are written in a foreign language, an official translation in English and an official untranslated transcript must both be sent. A syllabus of each class may be required in order to receive course substitution credit. Document evaluations of your official transcripts can be obtained by any of the NACES.org members.

Regular admission will be granted to applicants who have one of the following: a GPA of 3.00 if a new freshman; a minimum composite ACT of 22 or SAT composite of 1020; a minimum 2.7 GPA and minimum ACT of 19; or a GPA of 2.00 if transferring from an accredited institution.

NOTE: Sending all documents except transcript(s) and test scores in one envelope will expedite processing of the application. The office will assign a student ID number for record-keeping purposes only. The student ID number should be on all correspondence sent to the office. All materials received become the property of MTSU and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to a third party.

Special English Courses

All admitted students will be subject to an English Placement exam administered by the Department of English. Results will determine whether a student enrolls in ENGL 1040 (for credit but not fulfilling degree requirements), ENGL 1010  for ESL (fulfilling degree requirements), or ENGL 1010 . ENGL 1010  for ESL requires permission of department for registration.

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. Since the 1960s, MTSU has had 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.S. in International Relations

Established in 1967, this program is housed in the Department of Political Science 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 Science, (615) 898-2708, or see International Relations, B.S. 

B.A. in Global Studies

Originally established as an interdisciplinary minor under a 1994 DOE grant, 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. Working with the Global Studies advisor, students may choose from over 100 courses in five colleges at MTSU. For more information, contact Douglas Heffington, (615) 898-5978, or see Global Studies, B.A. 

International Education and Exchange (Study Abroad)

The Education Abroad Office supports students and faculty participating in study abroad, exchange programs, and other international education opportunities. Education Abroad provides information about opportunities originating from MTSU as well as those coordinated through various study abroad consortia. The Education Abroad staff assists students in completing required applications, meeting insurance requirements and investigating financial aid. The office also provides pre-departure orientations and reentry debriefings. Education Abroad also assists faculty interested in teaching in an MTSU or other study abroad program. For information regarding international education and exchange programs, call (615) 898-5179.

Among the programs available are

  • Foreign language study abroad through the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
  • Cooperative education programs in French, German, and Spanish. Contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
  • Direct exchange programs with universities in France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Japan, China, Scotland, the Philippines, Thailand, and the Republic of Korea. (Contact Education Abroad for further information.)
  • The Kentucky Institute of International Studies, a consortium that offers programs around the globe. (Contact Education Abroad.)
  • Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA), a consortium offering courses in English-speaking countries. (Contact Education Abroad.)
  • Universal Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP), a consortium offering programs in Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. (Contact Education Abroad.)
  • International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), independent exchange programs (contact Education Abroad.)

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. These minors can be found in the Interdisciplinary Minors section. They include

  • African Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Early Modern European Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Portuguese Studies
  • Russian Studies
  • Twentieth-Century European Studies