Requesting Application Materials
Schools usually have different application materials for international
students, so it is important that you identify yourself as an
international student when you contact the admissions office.
Some possible differences include:
- The need to include certified translations of your education credentials.
- No eligibility for early action and early decision programs.
Application requirements and deadlines are usually the
same. Nevertheless, you should
allow extra time for applications to arrive, because the international
postal system introduces delays. Expect it to take four to six weeks
for you to get a response to inquiries. So allow plenty of time. Get information as much as possible
from web sites and by email and facsimile. You should begin the
process at least a year and a half in advance of the application
deadline, and no later than August of the year before the academic year in
which you plan to enroll.
Send all inquiries by airmail and request an airmail reply. Even if
you are able to correspond by facsimile and email, the actual
application and accompanying documents will need to be sent by airmail.
Your initial inquiry should be addressed to the Director of
Undergraduate Admissions for undergraduate applications, to the
Department Chair or Dean of the Graduate School or Director of
Graduate Admissions for graduate applications.
Your initial inquiry should either include a preliminary application
form obtained from the nearest educational advising center, or at
least the following information:
If you don't provide this information, the school will respond with a
preliminary application that requests it. Otherwise, if you meet their preliminary
criteria, they will send you a full formal application for admission
- Your name, indicated which of your names is your personal or given
name and which of your names is your family name. It is helpful if you
underline the family name or write it in all capital letters. You should spell
your name the way it appears on your passport.
When corresponding with a school, it is important to always use the
same spelling of your name, especially if your name was transliterated
from a non-roman alphabet. If you change the spelling of your name,
some of your records might get lost. If some of your documents will
contain a different spelling of your name, attach a note giving your
name as it will be used on your application form.
- Your date of birth, written with the month first, followed by
the day then the year, using the Gregorian calendar system. Spell out
the name of the month instead of using numbers, because date
conventions differ from country to country. For example, 4/3/67 is
April 3, 1967 in the United States, not March 4.
- Your mailing address.
- Your citizenship and the name of the country issuing your passport.
- Your marital status and the number of dependents.
- Your past and present education, listed in chronological order,
including all secondary schools, colleges, and universities you have
attended. Include examination results, grades, and class rank if available.
- Your intended program of study and the month and year in which
you hope to begin studying in the United States.
- A summary of the total funds you have available to meet your
educational and living expenses during each year of study in the
United States. Give as much detail as possible, such as the sources of
these funds. Otherwise the admissions officers will refuse to issue
the certificates you need to request a visa to study in the United
States. You may be asked to provide a copy of the College Board
Scholarship Service's Foreign Student's Certification of
Finances and photocopies of your family's most recent tax return
(if applicable) and bank statements as part of your application.
- A list of your scores on TOEFL and other admission tests. If
you have not yet taken the tests, list the dates on which you are
registered to take the tests. Also mention where you studied English
and the total number of years of
English language study.
There are several organizations that allow you to apply for admission
using the World Wide Web. You will still need to submit your
credentials via airmail, but using the web-based application services
can save you some time. No one service handles applications for all
the schools, so you may need to visit several sites.
The services include APPLY,
and Peterson's CollegeQuest
(GradAdvantage for MBA programs).