Graduate international applicants
Learn about requirements and materials you'll need to provide as an international graduate applicant.
Before you get started, here’s what you need to know as an international applicant.
- Applicants for admission to VCU graduate programs must hold the academic equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree from an accredited university.
- You must complete any special departmental requirements in advance, including standardized tests, and the appropriate testing agency must send your official test results to the Office of Admissions.
- The Graduate Bulletin provides information about VCU’s schools and their available graduate programs, including those offered through VCU health sciences schools. The Graduate Bulletin lists the type of degree awarded, terms of entry, application deadline dates, test and other admission requirements for each of these programs.
- Program requirements and deadlines vary by department, so pay close attention to those that apply to your chosen field of study.
- Depending on your academic history, you may be required to take additional coursework to strengthen your academic preparation for graduate study.
The admission process for international graduate students can take six to eight weeks, depending on how soon the applicant can provide the necessary materials.
Be ready to pay the application fee
A $70 state-required application fee must accompany all applications. The application fee is nonrefundable and must be submitted online using a credit card. Applications may not be processed if submitted without a fee.
Deadlines and admission decisions
Applications must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by the individual department or school’s deadlines as stated in the Graduate Bulletin. Admissions decision notification dates vary by graduate program. To check on the status of your application, please contact VCU’s international admissions staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 828-6016.
If you're applying for graduate study for a term in 2023 (summer or fall), please select one of the application links below:
The applicant must provide a personal statement discussing reasons for pursuing graduate study.
All applicants must present grades (marks) that reflect superior ability and serious effort.
Original or officially certified copies of all grade reports for all secondary and higher school studies — as well as original or officially certified copies of all academic diplomas, certificates and national or other major examination results — must be submitted in the native language along with an official English translation. Notarized copies will not be accepted.
Photographic copies or other duplications are only acceptable if the copies have been signed and sealed by the appropriate school or government official.
Your school records must include:
- Dates of attendance at each institution
- A complete list of courses taken and grades received at each institution, including the number of weeks and hours per week in lecture or laboratory for each course
- Degrees and diplomas earned from each school or university, indicating class or division of diploma (if appropriate)
- Names of examinations passed, grades received and minimum/maximum possible grades (if appropriate)
Once your application has been submitted, any other documents may be sent electronically to email@example.com, or by postal mail to:
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043
Students transferring from within the U.S.
If you are transferring from a university-level institution within the U.S., you must apply online and submit your secondary school records, as well as university transcripts.
Admission will be based on your U.S. records only if you have completed more than one year of full-time study.
Transfer students from within the U.S. must be in good academic standing and eligible to return to the last college or university attended. You must fill out the first section of the Immigration Transfer-In Clearance Form and comply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations.
Your U.S. school’s foreign student adviser should then complete the Immigration Transfer-In Clearance Form PDF and send it to the Office of Admissions.
To ensure maximum benefit from academic study at VCU, students must provide evidence of English language proficiency before enrollment.
Here are the options for fullfilling the English language proficiency requirement:
Options 1: English waiver
Applicants may be exempted from an English proficiency test if they meet any of the following criteria.
- Degree completion: A bachelor's or higher degree from a university or college in one of the following countries.
Antigua, Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Tobago, Trinidad, United Kingdom, US Virgin Islands, USA, Zimbabwe.
- VCU's English Language Program: Successful completion of VCU's English Language Program.
- U.S. Residency: Residing in the U.S. for 10 years or more (domestic applicants).
- U.S. College English: Completion of six semester hours of college-level English composition with a grade C or better (excluding ESL classes) from a U.S. university or college.
Note: If a student has met any of the above criteria or achieved the required test scores, they are eligible to apply to VCU without the need for further English proficiency testing.
Options 2: Examinations and Test Scores (VCU's Testing Code: 5570)
If applicants do not qualify for an English waiver, they can provide test scores from one of the following English proficiency exams (some graduate programs may require a higher score). Please note that all test scores are valid for two years from the test date. VCU's TOEFL testing code is 5570.
The best TOEFL score is accepted and all scores making up the MBT score should be submitted.
- 80 IBT for graduates
- 8.5 TOEFL Essential
- 6.5 for graduates
- 65 for graduates.
Duolingo Test Score
- A minimum score of 110.
- A minimum score of 68
Visit the VCU Graduate Bulletin for details on specific program requirements.
All programs require three letters of recommendation.
International students on F-1 visas studying in the United States may not take more than 25% of their total semester course load in any online, distance or hybrid class. For example, if an F-1 student is enrolled in 12 hours, no more than three hours may be taken in an online, distance or hybrid course.
For questions about I-20 requirements, please contact GEO Immigration Services at GEOIS@vcu.edu.
All supplemental application materials may be sent in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure the applicant’s full name and/or Virginia Commonwealth University ID number are included in the text of the email.
Supplemental materials may also be mailed to:
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043
Find support from the Global Education Office
From student visas to immigration advising and support finding your on-campus community, VCU's Global Education Office is here to help.