Academic Eligibility Requirements
For admission to the Graduate School of Penn State, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Documentation for Visa Holders
Individuals with international academic credentials will need to submit additional information for their applications to be completely processed and approved. The Office of International Students, located at the University Park campus, will prompt students to submit required documentation for work or student visa, after the Graduate School approves foreign academic credentials.
Individuals who are in the US on a work visa can follow the application deadline dates stated on the How to Apply page.
Individuals who require an I-20 visa, should have a complete application submitted six months prior to the start of the semester in which they wish to begin studies. For fall 2015 admission consideration, applicants will need to have submitted a complete application by February 16, 2015.
Additional Application Requirements
In addition to the application requirements, individuals with international credentials must also submit:
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. The TOEFL/IELTS is not required for individuals 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 on a regular basis and uploads these to a central, student database.
On the day of testing, select:
- Penn State's Institution Code: 2660
- Department Code: 02
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. A minimum of 19 is required on the Speaking Skills section of the Internet-based exam. The IELTS minimum score is 6.5.
- The MPAcc program doesn't offer conditional or provisional admission under any circumstances.
- An Intensive English Communication program is not offered at Penn State Behrend.
- Applicants cannot be considered for admission unless the minimum requirements stated above, are met.
Transcripts/marksheets and diploma from institutions attended
- Original or university-attested copies of transcripts/marksheets in the native language and in English from each institution attended (undergraduate and graduate).
- Original or university-attested copy of the diploma, in the native language and English, indicating both the date the degree was conferred and the name of the academic program.
- Applicants who only have original documents will need to provide the original diploma and the original transcript. These will be reviewed by the Graduate School of Penn State then returned.
Translations to English should be conducted by Educational Credentials Evaluators, Inc.
Transcripts/Marksheets should be sent to:
Penn State Behrend
Graduate Admissions Office - MPAcc
5451 Merwin Lane
Erie, PA 16510
Application for Visa and Financial Certification
A statement of Financial Guarantee is required for those applying for an I-20 visa. This 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 website prior to applying for admission.
Please note: Individuals who are in the United States on a work or dependent visa, and are offered admission, 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. At the appropriate time, you will be asked to submit information on Penn State’s iSTART program.
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.
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