International Students

International Graduate Students

International Graduate Student Applicants

Western Colorado University welcomes graduate students from around the world. Western attracts international graduate students with small, thought-provoking, residential classes, engaging online programs and its dedicated faculty.

The School of Graduate Studies manages Western’s five graduate programs: Graduate Program in Creative Writing (MFA/M.A.), Master of Environmental Management, Master of Art in Education, a graduate program in High Altitude Exercise Physiology and a Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization program. The School’s staff will help you address the challenges of studying in the U.S. by providing pre-arrival assistance information on visas, registration, orientation and housing.

You are classified as an international student only if you will apply for or already have a non-immigrant United States F-1 visa. Applicants who have established permanent-resident status in the U.S. are not considered international for admission purposes and should apply as a U.S. resident.

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. Typically, Western does admit international students as non-degree-seeking students.

If you are applying to one of Western’s completely online programs, the Master of Arts in Education program or the Master in Gallery and Museum Management program, please contact Laurel Becker, Western’s SEVIS Coordinator ( regarding visa requirements.

Required Documentation for Admission to Graduate Programs

International graduate students seeking admission to one of Western’s master’s programs must submit an online application, official college transcripts and specific program requirements. All documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations.

How to Apply for Admission

  1. Complete and submit Western’s Online Graduate Application. All applications must be completed online.
  2. Submit a $50 non–refundable application fee. We will not process applications until we receive payment.
  3. Submit admission requirements for your particular program:
  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 credential evaluation (see next bullet item), we do not require official transcripts with the application. We do require official, final-degree-verifying 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 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 US 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
  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 7527. Photocopies of test scores are not accepted.

Before your application can be reviewed, you also must provide:

An Affidavit of Support Form for your specific graduate program and include it with your application for Admission to Western. Western Colorado University and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement require that admitted students planning to enter the U.S. on an F-1 (student) visa provide proof of financial support before immigration documents (I-20) 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. 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 U.S., 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
Academic Affairs
Taylor Hall 301
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231
Phone: 970.943.2232

* We do not accept documents received by 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.

Application Deadlines

Students are considered for summer admissions for the graduate programs in Creative Writing and the Master of Environmental Management. Students are considered for fall admissions for Master of Arts in Education and the High Altitude Exercise Physiology master program. Completed application forms must be on file with the Extended Studies Office by March 1 for admittance for the summer semester, and by May 1 for the fall semester.

Application Status

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

Confirming Your Enrollment

Once you decide to attend one of Western’s master programs, confirm your enrollment and reserve your spot in the in-coming class by submitting your $250 deposit. You will need to submit your deposit before you can register for classes.

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