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International Graduate Student Applicants

Western Colorado University welcomes graduate students from around the world to earn a degree from an accredited university with a commitment to diversity and lifelong learning.

Western considers you an international applicant if:

  • You reside outside of the United States and will require an F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the United States, or
  • You already reside in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, or
  • You are going through the process of becoming a United States permanent resident.

Applicants who have established permanent-resident status in the United States are not considered international for admission purposes and should apply as a United States resident.

Considerations for International Students Applying to Online Graduate Programs

There are some factors you should consider before applying to one of Western Colorado University’s online graduate degree programs:

  • United States federal government regulations require all F-1 and J-1 international students to maintain valid immigration status. One of the primary requirements of student status is full-time enrollment with an on-campus presence throughout the academic year. The number of credit hours required for full-time status for WCU graduate students is nine credit hours. Students are permitted to take more than one online course, but only three online course credit hours will count toward the full-time enrollment requirement.
  • If you are a student living outside the United States and are not a U.S. citizen, enrolling in a fully online graduate program from WCU will not qualify you for either a visa or for work authorization in the U.S. following your chosen program of study.
  • Not all countries or professions accept degrees obtained through distance education as sufficient for educational experience. You should contact your country’s education department and appropriate professional licensing bodies before applying with WCU in order to determine whether an online degree is right for you.

F-1 VISA

Residential graduate programs that have an on-campus presence throughout the academic year:

J-1 VISA

Online graduate programs that have at least one short-term on-campus requirement per academic year:

If you are applying to one of Western’s online graduate programs, please contact Laurel Becker, Western’s SEVIS Coordinator (lbecker@western.edu) regarding visa requirements.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for graduate programs at Western, you must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. You must have earned the degree at an institution recognized and approved to award such credentials. Western does not admit international students as non-degree-seeking students.

International graduate students seeking admission to any of Western’s graduate programs must submit an online application, official degree-conferring university transcript(s) or an official course-by-course credential evaluation, and specific program requirements. All documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations.

Application Deadlines

Students are considered for summer admission for the following graduate programs:

  • Master in Environmental Management
  • Graduate Program in Creative Writing (MA & MFA)

Completed applications must be submitted by March 1 for summer admission.

Students are considered for fall admission for the following graduate programs:

  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Gallery & Museum Management
  • Master of Behavioral Science in Rural Community Health
  • Master of Science in Ecology
  • Master of Science in Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology
  • Outdoor Industry MBA

Completed applications must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission.

How to Apply for Admission

  1. Complete and submit Western’s Online Graduate Application. All applications must be completed online.
  2. Submit admission requirements for your program of interest:
  3. Pay a $50 non–refundable application fee.
  4. If you earned your degree at a U.S. Institution, submit official copies of all secondary transcripts and verification that you received a degree. International applicants must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. We do not return submitted documents to applicants. If you were educated overseas and are submitting a detailed course-by-course credential evaluation (see next bullet item), we do not require official transcripts with the application. We do require official, degree-conferring transcripts if you have not received your degree at the time of application.
  5. If you earned your degree at a foreign, non-U.S. Institution, submit a course-by-course credential evaluation prepared by a reputable credential evaluator. Western Colorado University will accept evaluations prepared by a National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services member. Each credential evaluation agency has different names for different services. The evaluation, regardless of what it is called by the evaluation agency, must include a detailed listing of the courses completed while you were enrolled at the overseas institutions, the grade received in each course, and an overall evaluation of your cumulative coursework at each institution. International applicants who will not have earned a degree prior to applying to a graduate program should request that the evaluation agency note the U.S. equivalency of the anticipated awarded degree. Evaluations must be sent directly from the evaluation service agency. Photocopies are not accepted.
  6. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) International students must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL or IELTS results. Minimum scores on the TOEFL are iBT (internet based test): 79-120, Paper Version: 550, Computer-Based Test: 213. Applicants from countries where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Quebec, England, the Gambia, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda and Wales) are typically not required to submit TOEFL results. For more information on TOEFL, please visit http://www.ets.org/toefl.
  7. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is required by some academic programs. All test scores must be submitted directly by the testing agency. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for Western Colorado University Graduate School is 4946. Photocopies

Application Status

Typically, you will receive your admission decision four to six weeks after we have received all of your application materials. Contact the School of Graduate Studies for additional information.

Admitted International Student:

Western Colorado University and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement require that admitted students planning to enter the U.S. on a student visa provide proof of financial support before immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019) can be issued. Proof of the ability to cover the first year’s educational costs, living expenses and other miscellaneous expenses must be made available to the University. Admitted international students must submit an Affidavit of Support Form for your specific graduate program. The program specific Affidavit of Support contains estimated tuition and fee cost for each program. The tuition and fee cost for each program is subject to change.

Other Required Documents:

  • A letter of financial support and bank statement showing sufficient funds to cover the first year of study.
  • A photocopy of your passport, listing official name, birthdate, etc.
  • If you are in the United States, a photocopy of your visa and I-94 by which you entered the country.

You must submit financial documents via postal mail.

Send materials to:

Western Colorado University
Office of the Registrar
Taylor Hall 300
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231
Phone: 970.943.7003

We do not accept documents via email or fax.

We do not return documents submitted as part of a graduate application.

Federal financial aid is not available to international graduate students.

Confirming Your Enrollment

Once you decide to attend one of Western’s graduate programs, confirm your enrollment and reserve your spot in the in-coming cohort by submitting your non-refundable tuition deposit. You will need to submit your deposit before you can register for classes.

To submit your deposit by check, contact the Cashier’s Office at 970.943.3003.

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

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Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.