Prospective International Graduate Students

Application Guidelines for International Students

In addition to the standard application requirements (which can be viewed here), international students will need to submit additional documents:

  • A true and attested copy of the applicant’s diploma or a Provisional Certificate and letter from a university indicating when the diploma will be issued.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)/International English Language System (IELTS) Score:
  • International non-native speakers of English must submit TOEFL scores.  Applicants must achieve a TOEFL score of 550 or higher on the paper- based test, 213 or higher on the computer-based tested, or 77 or higher on the Internet- based test, to be considered for admission to a degree program.  In addition, applicants who take the TOEFL iBT must achieve the following minimum test scores, in addition to the overall required score: reading, 19; listening, 14; speaking, 18, and writing, 18.
  • As an alternative to the TOEFL, the Graduate School accepts IELTS (Academic Module) scores of 6.5 or higher.  (Non-native speakers of English who are U.S. citizens or who hold permanent visas are not required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores.) The scores must be documented by an official report from Educational Testing Service or IELTS and must be no more than 24 months old at the time the application credentials are reviewed by the Graduate School.   Official score reports should be sent directly to Purdue University standardized tests.

Notes for International Graduate Students & Scholars

  • Graduate F-1 visa students must be enrolled in and complete a minimum of 9 credit hours  (6 credit hours if they have a Graduate Aide Position) each Fall and Spring semester.
  • International  students  should  never drop  a  course  without  discussing  it  with  their academic advisor or mentor, as well as the International Students Services Office (CLO 244 and 246, 989-2559 or 989-2905).
  • Dropping below the minimum required credits would immediately put an international student out of good immigration status (which would require filing for a Reinstatement or departing the United States within a few days of falling out of status).  This authorization must come from the International Students Services Office and must be recorded on the immigration documents.  There are a few reasons when a Reduced Course Load can be approved, in advance only.  RCL is authorized only one semester per program (unless for medical reasons)
      • First semester studying in the USA and experiencing difficulty adjusting to the American educational system
      • Verified medical/psychological illness
      • Natural disaster
      • Final semester of study
    • International students on probation follow the same regulations that domestic students follow.   They must achieve a certain Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to remove probation. The GPA depends on their classification, and this is information may be obtained from their advisors.  If academically dropped, they must transfer immediately to another institution or depart the United States.
    • International students can take only one distance learning course per semester that counts toward the minimum number of required credit hours per semester.
    • International students cannot work off-campus unless authorized by the International Students Services office.   This includes all paid internships, coops, or other work experience that is an integral part of the student’s program.  Students must be on campus for one academic year prior to participating in an off campus work experience (also known as Curricular Practical Training in immigration terminology).