Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
Who is an international student?
An international student is an applicant who is not a US citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder). Students who hold F1, F2, J1, J2 or G series visas or other eligible non-citizens are considered international students for the application process. Please note, these are a few of the many visas and non-immigrant categories we work with in the international admission process.
I/my parents have applied for a green card. Am I still an international student?
Yes. You are still considered an international student until you have the green card and can provide us a copy.
I attended a university after finishing high school (grades 9-12). Can I apply as a freshman, even if I only have a few university or college credits?
No. Anyone who attended a university or college after finishing high school must apply as a transfer student.
What are the differences between a domestic (US citizen or permanent resident) application and an international application?
All undergraduate applicants use the same application and submit the same admissions materials. However, there are three differences for international students:
- An English language proficiency test may be required. It can be waived under certain circumstances (please see below);
- A certification of finances is required; and,
- Transfer student applicants with international transfer credit (college or university credit completed after high school outside the United States) are required to submit a course-by-course evaluation of their coursework from foreign universities and official course descriptions. Please see: Credential Evaluation List.
Do I need to submit an official English language proficiency examination score?
Yes, all international applicants are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS or other accepted examination. Your scores must be sent to our office directly by the testing company. We cannot accept these documents from you. Choose one of the following options:
- IELTS score of 5.5 or above: http://www.ielts.org
- TOEFL iBT score of 61 or above (Computer-based 173 or above or paper-based 500 or above. The MTSU institution code is 1466.) https://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/about
- Duolingo English Test with a score of 85 or above.
- iTEP score of 3.5 or above.
- For transfer students, completion of English 1010 and 1020 at a U.S. university.
- The ELS completion certificate of level 110: https://www.els.edu/destinations/nashville (contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please Note: Proof of English Proficiency is not required if...
- English is the native language of your country of citizenship, or
- You have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S. accredited 4 year college or university.
- Nursing and Professional-Pilot degree programs require higher minimum English language proficiency scores: IELTS 6.0, TOEFL iBT 70, Duolingo 95, iTEP 3.8, or ELS level 112.
- If you are funded by an organization, please make sure the type of English test is also acceptable to the funding organization.
- SAT Critical Reading (Verbal) score of 510 or higher;
- ACT Composite score of 22 or higher;
- One academic year (two semesters, or four quarters) of English courses at a university in the United States, with grades of B or higher;
- Graduate of a US high school or a graduate of a high school outside of the US where the primary language of instruction is English (not all cases apply).
MTSU will accept certain SAT or ACT scores for English proficiency. We also accept high school transcripts for AP, IB, IGSC and from certain countries or institutions for English Proficiency.
- Official test scores are required for all exams before admission to the credit level is given. Tests must have been taken within the previous 24 months of your application to MTSU.
List MTSU on your College Board account so we receive your score reports as soon as possible.
We grant college credit for scores of 3 or higher on most AP exams. Specific information can be found on the MTSU Credit by Examination page.
IB Exam Results
Ask your diploma program coordinator to submit a request for your IB exam results. In some cases, you may be able to request results yourself.
We grant credit for IB exam results of 4 or higher. Specific information can be found on the MTSU Credit by Examination page.
Cambridge International Examinations
MTSU grants appropriate semester hours credit to qualified students presenting official record of acceptable grades on Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) examinations. Credit will be awarded for A (Advanced) level and AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level. The following courses have been approved for award of credits. Other AICE examinations may be approved for award of university credits following institutional review. Specific information can be found on the MTSU Credit by Examination page.
I need to study English as Second Language (ESL) before I begin my major. Do you offer conditional admission?
Yes, please see: Conditional Admission.
What are your admissions deadlines?
- Priority Fall admission: May 1
- Final Fall deadline: July 1
- Priority Spring admission: November 1
- Final Spring admission: December 1
Are offers of admission binding in any way?
An offer of admission is not binding. We do, however, ask that you confirm with us if you intend to attend MTSU prior to Orientation. Specific deadlines for confirmation will be included in your offer of admission.
I want transfer credit for my classes at a university outside of the United States. Will I receive transfer credit?
International students, U.S. citizens and permanent residents who attended (or attend) universities outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation of their academic records by World Education Services (WES: www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Services Inc. (ECE: www.ece.org) in order for their work to be calculated for transfer credit.
Applicants must also submit official course descriptions for all their university work completed outside the United States.
Do you have scholarships for international students?
Yes. MTSU does offer scholarships for international students. Scholarships in the amounts of $4,000, $8,000, and $16,000 per academic year are available and are merit-based. Applicants are automatically considered for a scholarship when admitted and notifications will be included in the admission letter. The scholarships are renewable annually during a student's full-time enrollment but do not include summers.
Do you know of any other sources for scholarships and financial aid?
What is the total cost of attendance? How much do I need to have on my certification of finances?
The total attendance cost for international students for the 2019-2020 academic year is available at: MTSU: Cost of Attendance. Costs typically increase by about 3-5% every year.
What is a certification of finances? Why do I need to send one? How do I submit it?
If you are not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, you must certify that you have sufficient financial resources to study in the United States for one year. You must submit a certification of finances for MTSU to create the required documents, including the I-20, for your F1 visa application.
You have two choices for your certification of finances.
- If you are paying for your education:
a. Submit a current bank statement (on official bank stationery) showing a balance of at least tuition and fees for one year of study at MTSU. The balance should be converted into US currency.
- If someone else (a sponsor or sponsors, government agencies, family members) is paying
for your education:
a. Sponsors must submit a current bank statement (on official bank stationery) showing a balance of at least the current cost of one year of attendance. The balance should be converted into US currency.
b. Sponsors must submit a letter indicating they will pay for your education in the United States.
Please submit your certification of finances to:
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 Main Street Campus, Box 120
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Housing or Lodging
What are my housing options?
- On-campus Housing
Students planning to attend MTSU may want to live on campus. To do so, you must first submit an MTSU Housing application. This is a separate process from applying for admission to the university.
- On-campus Guest Housing The university has a limited number of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments available to visiting professors and guests of the university. These apartments are typically used on a short-term basis. In some instances, they are rented for an academic school year. For more information or to check on availability, please email Housing in the Housing and Residential Life.
- Off-campus Housing
This website has a database to search for apartments close to campus. You can also use the message board to find a roommate, buy or sell furnishings, find someone to carpool to campus, and more.
How do I apply for on-campus housing?