Applying - International Students

As an international student, you should read the directions for applying, which relate to all applicants. In addition, there are some special requirements you need to know about.

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Directions for Applying

All applicants apply in the same way through the online application. If you need further help, we have prepared detailed instructions on how to apply to a degree program. Those instructions, along with the special information on this page, should provide you with lots of information about the application process. If you need additional help, email us at!

In order to qualify for admission to any of Appalachian's graduate programs, all applicants must submit to the Graduate School

  • The standard online graduate admission application and fee;
  • official academic transcripts / marksheets from all colleges and universities attended (and evidence of a postsecondary degree equivalent to an American degree);
  • scores from the appropriate standardized test (GRE, GMAT, MAT);
  • letters of reference;
  • any "supplemental" material requested by the program (a list).

Special Application Deadlines for International Applicants

Each program sets an application deadline based on the review process in the home department. It is important for you to check on what that deadline is. You can find it by looking the program up in the alphabetical listing and following the link to more information.

In order to have time to evaluate your international credentials (diplomas, certificates, marksheets, transcripts, recommendations, etc.), we need to receive some of your information early.

Proof of English Proficiency

You must provide evidence of your ability to use English at an appropriate level of competency for graduate study and for navigating a rural community in the United States. This can be done either through submitting a test score or through completing an intensive English language program.

Tests of English Proficiency: Submit scores from either TOEFL or IELTS. The test date must be within two years of the date of application. An application will not be reviewed until we receive satisfactory scores.

  • The TOEFL minimum score is 79 with no subsection under 11.
  • The IELTS minimum score is 6.5.

Intensive English language programs: If you would like to attend Appalachian but do not have sufficient English skills, we invite you to first study English through AppELS Institute at our university. Successful completion of the AppELS Institute program is recognized in lieu of the English test requirement. 

Exceptions to the Proof of English Language requirement may be granted to the following: applicants who have recently completed at least one year of full-time study with acceptable grades in a degree program at an accredited U.S. four-year college or university; or applicants who have earned baccalaureate degrees from locations where English is the primary language of education and the culture: Australia, Canada (but not Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Attending a school where the instruction is in English, but the language of the region is not English, is not sufficient to waive the test requirement.

Non-US Academic Documentation- Official Transcripts and "American-Equivalent" Degrees

To be considered for admission as an international graduate student, you must arrange for the Graduate School to receive official or certified copies of your transcripts that have been evaluated by a NACES accredited credential evaluation service (WES, ECE, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, etc.).

  • We need the list of courses you took (and the grades) usually called "transcripts" or "mark sheets." These need to come to us directly from the evaluation service.
  • We also need official dates on which you received your degrees. If these dates are not on your transcripts/mark sheets, we will need official or certified copies of a document listing the degree name (BA, BS, BEd, etc.) and the date you received the degree. In many cases this is your diploma. Don't send us your original diploma! Mail or scan and email us a copy.

For admission into a master's program, the minimum requirement is a bachelor's degree, including 4 years of study beyond a 12 year primary and secondary education. If the bachelor's degree was a 3 year program, an additional year of study is required unless your three year degree is from a university participating in the "Bologna Process."

Costs and Financial Considerations for International Students


  • All students must pay tuition and fees to attend Appalachian. The tuition and fees for international graduate students are the same as those for any graduate student who is not a resident of the state of North Carolina.
  • To see the current costs, please check the Student Accounts Tuition and Fees page. Be sure you are looking at the Graduate Table, the Total Out-Of-State row, and the Full-Time (9+ Hours) Column.
  • Tuition and fees payments cover the cost of taking classes, using the library and access to student services such as computer labs, exercise facilities, athletic events, and counseling services. These costs do NOT include housing, food, transportation or books.

Sources of Financial Support

  • Once you are admitted, you may compete for all forms of financial assistance awarded to graduate students, with the exception of US government (federal) financial aid programs.
  • In particular, your application will be considered for graduate assistantships in your program (range from $2000-$12000), tuition scholarships ($5500-$12000), and graduate fellowships ($4100-$6250). For more information on sources, please see the Financial Support page.
  • No financial awards will be offered until after you have been fully admitted to a graduate program.

Proof of Financial Support

Upon admission, you will need to submit evidence of financial resources sufficient to cover the cost of tuition and fees as well as educational and living expenses. Specifically, you will need to show the staff in Office of International Education and Development (OIED) a financial statement in your name or in someone else's name accompanied by an affidavit of support  which will cover the estimated cost of tuition, fees, accommodations, food and school supplies. This can include funding offered to you by us, such as assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships. If you are bringing family with you, you will need to show additional support for every dependent. For details on the current support amounts required, please contact the Office of International Education and Development (OIED) directly.

Getting a Student Visa

The Office of International Education and Development (OIED) assists international students with paperwork needed to obtain a Visa, but they can only help you AFTER you have been admitted.

Once you are admitted, staff from OIED will contact you to start the I-20 process and help you with housing, arranging transportation, and attending orientation.

  • Documentation for your Visa application (I-20 form) will be sent to you from our OIED office. You will need to take these documents and your admission letter to the US embassy or consulate in your home country to get a student visa.
  • Already in the US on a Visa? We may be able to help you transition to a student Visa through Appalachian State, but there are strict rules and regulations on when we can do this. For example, if you are in the US on a tourist Visa, you will need to return to your home country to apply for a student Visa. If you are in the US on a work Visa, you may have strict limits on the type of courses you can enroll in. Questions about this? Contact us ( and we will direct you to the best resource to answer your question!

Travel, Arranging Housing, and Orientation

The Office of International Education and Development (OIED) on our campus assists international students with paperwork needed to obtain a Visa and with housing, but they can only help you AFTER you have been admitted.

Once you are admitted, staff from OIED will contact you to start the I-20 process and help you with housing, arranging transportation, and attending orientation.

  • The OIED staff will help you to find housing in the local community. Please note that it is important to be close to campus, since public transportation is only readily available within a mile or so of campus.
  • The OIED staff will let you know when to arrange for a flight to the Charlotte International Airport (code: CLT) so that they can pick you up and bring you to campus. We are two hours from that airport, so let us arrange your transport! Public transport from the airport is expensive.
  • Orientation for international students is held each Fall and Spring during the week before classes begin. The OIED staff will be in touch with details once you have a Visa.
  • Health Insurance and proof of medical immunization are required and the OIED staff will help you with the forms needed.
  • The OIED staff will help you apply for a Social Security card (needed to hold a graduate assistantship or other on-campus employment) and other documentation needed for life in the US.