Individuals with international academic credentials will need to submit additional information for their applications to be complete. If you are an international student who requires an I-20 visa, you should submit your complete application six months prior to the start of the semester in which you wish to begin your studies. For fall 2016 admission consideration, applicants will need to submit a complete application before February 15, 2016.
In addition to the application requirements, individuals with international credentials must also submit:
1. TOEFL or IELTS scores
The TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, or IELTS, International English Testing System, must be taken by applicants for whom English is not their first language. This is not required of any student who has a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution in an English-speaking country or a regionally accredited American four-year institution. International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.
The Graduate School at University Park receives score reports monthly. Applicants must demonstrate a score of 80 (IBT exam), 550 (paper-based exam), or 213 (computer-based exam) on the TOEFL exam to be admissible to the program. A minimum of 19 is required on the Speaking Skills section of the Internet-based exam. The IELTS minimum score is 6.5.
2. Transcripts/marksheets and diploma from institutions attended
Translations to English should be conducted by Educational Credentials Evaluators, Inc.
3. Application for Visa and Financial Certification
A requirement for those applying for an I-20 is a statement of Financial Guarantee which indicates the availability of personal funds for tuition, living expenses, and health insurance. The current estimate for expenses exceeds $54,000 (U.S.). Without these documents and proof of financial support, a student visa cannot be issued. Please research these requirements in further detail from the International Programs Web site prior to applying for admission.
Please note: Individuals who are already in the United States on a work or dependent visa will need to provide scanned copies of the original passport, visa, and I-94 to the International Student Services staff at Penn State University Park, University Office of Global Programs.
Resources for Students with international credentials
The Pre-Arrival Advising website allows prospective international students to find information about requesting or refusing an I-20 or DS-2019, insurance and financial requirements, and other essential pre-arrival information. The Pre-Arrival Advising Office is physically located at the University Park campus but they serve international students at all other 24 Penn State campus locations throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.