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International Graduate Applicant Checklist

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International Graduate Applicant Checklist

Western Colorado University welcomes admission applications from international students across the globe. Western considers you an international applicant if:

  • You reside outside of the United States and will require an F-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 United States residents.

United States federal government regulations require all F-1 visa 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 graduate students is nine credit hours.

If you live outside the United States and are not a U.S. citizen, enrolling in one of Western’s fully online graduate programs will not qualify you for a visa or 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 to an online graduate program to determine whether an online degree is right for you.

Before applying, it is important to carefully consider what program best suits your academic and/or professional interests. You should review Western’s graduate programs and submit an inquiry for more information.

Residential graduate programs with an on-campus presence throughout the academic year that meet requirements for an F-1 visa:

Fully online graduate programs DO NOT meet the requirements for an F-1 visa. Western will not issue I20 forms for visas to students enrolled in the following fully online distance learning programs:

Completed applications for summer semester admission must be submitted by February 1.

Completed applications for fall semester admission must be submitted by April 1.

Applicants must pay the $70 non-refundable application fee.

International applicants must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

If you earned your bachelor’s degree at a foreign, non-U.S. Institution, submit a course-by-course credential evaluation prepared by a National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services member. The evaluation must include a detailed listing of the courses completed, the grade received in each course, and an overall evaluation of your cumulative coursework at the institution. International applicants who have yet to earn a degree before 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.

If you earned your bachelor’s degree at a U.S. Institution, submit official copies of all secondary transcripts and verification that you received a degree. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of application, you may upload an unofficial in-progress transcript to expedite the application review process. We require an official degree-conferring transcript upon degree completion.

Western will not return submitted documents to applicants.

If English is not your native language, you must submit proof of your English proficiency as part of the application process. Any of the following may fulfill English proficiency:

Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL iBT
Minimum acceptable score of 79.
Western Colorado University Graduate School code is 4946.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Minimum overall band of 6.5 with no band below 6.0.

Duolingo English test
Minimum acceptable score of 105 with no sub score below 100.

Tests must have been taken within the past two years and must not expire during the application process.

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 English proficiency test results.

At its sole discretion, the School of Graduate Studies reserves the right to make exceptions to these proficiency requirements or waive the submission of required official test results when considering a student for admission.

Is there a fee waiver for the application fee?
No, applicants must pay the $70 non–refundable application fee.

Who can I contact for assistance with visa requirements?

Please get in touch with any of Western’s SEVIS coordinators for more information about visa requirements:

Marlo Frazier, graduate student Designated School Official, mfrazier@western.edu
Laurel Becker, Primary Designated School Official, lbecker@western.edu

Can I apply for financial aid?
International students studying on an F-1 visa in the U.S. are not eligible for U.S. federal or state financial aid. Western Colorado University assumes that international students will be responsible for financing their education.

What fellowships/scholarships are available to me?
Contact the graduate program of interest for information about fellowship/scholarship opportunities.

I submitted my application. What happens next?
Typically, applicants receive an admission decision four to six weeks after the application deadline or after the review committee reviews application materials.

Are international applicants evaluated differently than domestic applicants?
No, all graduate applicants receive a holistic application review by the admissions committee from the program to which the application is submitted.

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