International Student Requirements

The successful completion of a minimum of 12 years of primary and secondary studies is required for admission to any program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree at Washington University.

A secondary school diploma or equivalent is required.

If you apply for admission, you will need to submit detailed information about your previous education, including:

  • Original academic transcripts or certified copies
  • A description of the grading system
  • Examination results (IGCSE, HKCEE, predicted A-Levels, national exams, etc.)
  • School-leaving certificates
  • Certified English translations of all of the above

Academic records must include:

  • Transcripts of all work completed at the secondary school level
  • Transcripts of formal studies completed beyond secondary school (when appropriate)
  • Subjects covered during each year of study (the specific month and year)
  • Duration of time of each course
  • Number of lectures or laboratory periods included within each course
  • Grades (marks) received

All prospective Washington University international students whose first language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or IELTS. See our English Testing Requirements page for more information.

Transfer/Prematriculation Credit

Credits can be accepted by Washington University for studies completed at another college or university, or for scores achieved on AP, IB, or British A Level examinations.

However, an official statement of advanced standing cannot be given until a student has been admitted to WashU, has arrived on campus, and has consulted with an academic advisor regarding the evaluation of previous academic achievement.

English Language Instruction

The academic programs at Washington University require students to have well-developed skills in written and oral communication. During the academic year, international students seeking to improve their language skills in English may enroll in courses designed especially for advanced learners. These courses will help in refining and perfecting areas such as reading and writing, speaking and pronunciation, presentation, debating skills, and knowledge of American idiomatic expressions. For further information, please visit the English Language Program website.

Visa Eligibility

Washington University has authorization to issue eligibility documents needed to obtain either an “F-1” or “J-1” student visa.

Although both visas allow for full-time study, the J-1 is used for reciprocal exchange programs and government scholarship programs; the F-1 is the usual student visa.

Documents for visa eligibility may be issued by WashU only after applicants have been officially admitted into a program of study and have given proof of sufficient funds to finance expenses for the duration of their proposed program of study.

International students are not allowed to enter the United States on a tourist (B-2) visa when arriving to begin university studies. It is not legal to study in a degree program on a tourist visa.

Students who are currently in the United States on an F-2 visa will be required to change to an F-1 visa.

Proof of Financial Support

In compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, Washington University requires all admitted international students to submit detailed financial information statements before a Form I-20 can be processed, including:

  • Statements of amounts and sources of funds available for their educational expenses in the United States.
  • Declaration and Certification of Finances
  • Certified bank statements in English verifying that they have sufficient funds available to finance their first year’s tuition and living expenses and that a comparable amount of money will be available for every subsequent year of study.
  • Some embassy officials verify students’ financial certification. Students should obtain two original copies (with original signatures) of both the sponsor’s letter and the bank letter. Retain a copy for obtaining a visa.

Financial aid awards may be deducted from the amount to be certified.

Medical Care & Health Insurance

All students who have decided to enroll at Washington University must:

  • Submit a completed health history form through Student Health Services. WashU requires all incoming students living in campus residential areas to have received the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4), including a booster if the initial dose was given before age 16, along with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) after age one year or proof of immunity.
  • Submit proof of freedom from tuberculosis by either a negative skin test or negative chest X-ray within six months of completing the health history form.

To protect the health of our entire community, we require all full-time degree-seeking students to have health insurance. You either must purchase the Washington University Student Health Insurance Plan or prove that you have adequate coverage through another plan. If you do not demonstrate that you have adequate coverage through another plan, you will be automatically enrolled in our plan and billed accordingly. The cost of the WashU Student Health Insurance Plan, as well as instructions for obtaining a waiver through proof of adequate coverage, will be provided to enrolling students.

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