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GCAC-305

Admission Requirements for International Students

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Purpose

To define the minimum requirements for international applicants to be admitted to a graduate degree program.

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Academic Goal

To ensure all international students admitted to the Graduate School have adequate academic preparation and sufficient English language skills necessary to successfully complete their program.

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Scope

All international applicants to the Graduate School.

Policy Statement

  1. International applicants must hold either (1) a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or (2) a postsecondary degree that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.
    1. International applicants must submit official or attested university records, with certified translations if the records are not in English. Notarized copies are not sufficient.
  2. The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must demonstrate minimum English proficiency through one of the below mechanisms. Individual graduate programs of study may require higher scores for admission.
    1. Country of Earned Degree: Applicants must have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree in a country in which English is a predominant language and from an institution at which the language of instruction is English. Countries that meet this qualification are listed in GCAC-305 Procedures.
    2. Penn State Intensive English Communications Program (IECP):  Applicants must have successfully completed this noncredit program and earned the certification.  Similar programs at other institutions are not accepted as an approved method of demonstrating English proficiency.
    3. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Applicants must have a total score of at least 80 with a 19 or greater on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).
    4. IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Applicants must have a composite score for the IELTS Academic Test of at least 6.5.
    5. Provisional Admission: Applicants with the below test scores may be considered for provisional admission. To be fully admitted, students must complete specified English course work with a grade of B or higher during their first semester of enrollment. The course(s) to meet this qualification will be based on the applicant’s area(s) of deficiency in test results and are listed in GCAC-305 Procedures.
      1. TOEFL – a total score of at least 80 with a score of 16, 17, or 18 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).
      2. TOEFL – a total score of at least 76 with a 19 or greater on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).
      3. IELTS a composite score of 6.0.
      4.  

Procedures

P1 - Admission Requirements for International Students

P2 - Determining Academic Eligibility for Admission of International Students – Academic Credentials

P3 - Determining English Proficiency for Admission of International Students

Revision History

  • Approved by Graduate Council, October 18, 2023. Effective immediately.
    • Policy Statement #2 reorganized and revised to expand allowable scores for provisional admission.
  • Approved by Graduate Council, February 12, 2020. Effective immediately.
  • Adapted from Graduate Bulletin: June 2018.
  • Last Graduate Bulletin update: August 2016.
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