The admission process for international graduate students can take six to eight weeks, depending on how soon the applicant can provide the necessary materials.
Applicants must complete and sign an application. The online application form may be printed out and completed; or applicants may request a traditional paper application be mailed from international admissions. Once complete, the signed application form must be submitted to VCU with the following materials — all of which are required for application processing.
The applicant must provide a personal statement discussing reasons for graduate study.
A $50 state-required application fee must accompany all applications. The application fee is nonrefundable and must be submitted with the application. Applicants who apply online may submit their application fee online using a credit card. Applicants who apply by paper application may submit their application fee in the form of a check drawn on a U.S. bank, an international money order, or a bank draft in the amount of $50 made payable to Virginia Commonwealth University. Applications may not be processed if submitted without a fee.
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 to VCU. Official records must be submitted in the native language and must be accompanied by an official English translation. Notarized copies will not be accepted. All documents will be evaluated by the credentials evaluator at VCU. Official records should be sent directly from the institution to:
Virginia Commonwealth University – International Admissions
817 West Franklin Street
P.O. Box 843012
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043, U.S.A.
Students transferring from within the U.S.
If you are transferring from a U.S. institution to VCU, you are required to submit an I-20 transfer form before we can issue a new I-20. Your U.S. school’s foreign student adviser should complete the I-20 transfer form and send it to international admissions.
You must submit university transcripts as well. 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 also request that your previous college or university provide you with detailed course descriptions, course syllabi and a catalog in English. You should bring these documents to VCU as early as possible prior to enrolling in order to accelerate the process of evaluating and awarding your transfer credit.
Your credit will not be finalized until the VCU Transfer Center is able to assist you in having your prior credit evaluated by the appropriate academic departments. Some of your credits may transfer as university core curriculum, major and/or elective credits. You will want to know this prior to registering for your courses at VCU.
Proof of English proficiency
All applicants whose native language is not English must sit for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) offered by the Educational Testing Service in countries throughout the world, and arrange for the testing agency to send the test results to VCU (code 5570). Students also may take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
The recommended minimum TOEFL score for VCU graduate admission is either 100 iBT, 600 PBT or IELTS scores of 6.5 (academic band score). In some cases, students may be admissible with scores lower than those listed above as determined by individual departments at VCU.
Under those circumstances, students may be admitted provisionally with the need for developmental English education. These students must take VCU’s English Language Placement examination and successfully complete subsequent prescribed language training at an additional expense, or submit appropriate test scores that satisfy VCU requisites for language proficiency.
Department or school requirements
Individual departments or schools have special requirements such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and all require three letters of recommendation. Applicants may submit VCU School of the Arts portfolios online. Please visit the VCU Graduate School Web site for details on specific program requirements. The School of Social Work requires TOEFL scores and the completed Graduate Reference Form for all international applicants to the Ph.D. program.
The applicant must provide proof of adequate funds to live and study full time at VCU. However, this is not required for admissions purposes. Applicants must submit a completed financial statement accompanied by an original bank verification letter. The U.S. government requires this certification before VCU can issue the appropriate U.S. government forms necessary for obtaining a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Application deadline dates
Applications must be submitted to international admissions at least one month prior to the individual department or school’s deadlines. Some programs have deadlines earlier or later than the Jan. 1 fall semester and Sept. 1 spring semester deadlines. Applications received after the deadline will be processed for the next available term of entry. Submitting your application before the deadline date does not guarantee that space will be available in the program for which you have applied.