International Students

Prepare to Apply

Most materials, including unofficial transcripts, your statement of purpose, and writing samples (if required), are required to be uploaded at the time you submit your application. Preparing them in advance will expedite your process.

If you have questions about the application, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance. Our staff is available Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time), at (360) 650-3170 or


As an international applicant, you will need additional processing time for your international transcript evaluation and visa application. In some countries, 6 to 8 months is required.

Contact the local U.S. consulate for processing requirements. Learn about U.S. travel at the Department of State.

Not all programs accept applications for all quarters. Consult the program page listed in Find a Program for program-specific application deadlines.

International Student and Scholar Services

Contact ISSS, which supports international students at Western with immigration, practical matters, and social and cultural adjustment.

English Language Proficiency

You must complete either the TOEFL or IELTS exam and satisfy the minimum score requirement to submit your application. Score at or above the minimum TOEFL (86 iBT) or IELTS (7.0). 

Applicants to the MS in Computer Science must score a minimum of 79 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS test.


  • English is your native language, or
  • You have earned, or are in the process of earning, a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand or English-speaking provinces of Canada.
  • Note: English as a medium of instruction does not fulfill the English Language Proficiency requirement. 

Official TOEFL or IELTS scores must be on file in the Graduate School office when the application is received. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be no older than one year at the time of application.


You are required to upload a scanned or electronically generated unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution attended as part of the application. Provide a copy of your diploma if your transcript does not list the degree awarded.

If you are admitted, a final, official transcript from each institution is still required before you can enroll. If your undergraduate degree is still in progress, please upload current transcripts at the time of application. If you are admitted and choose to attend WWU, you will be required to submit a final official transcript showing the award of the bachelor's degree prior to registration.

  • Documents must be issued within the last two years at the time of application.
  • To be considered official, transcripts must be in sealed envelopes prepared by the university or college; attested / certified copies prepared by the institution may be accepted if originals cannot be provided by the institution.
  • All transcripts and diplomas must be translated into English by the institution, Ministry of Education (or equivalent), or an accredited agency.


Choosing the WES ICAP or Certifile Credential Evaluation service for your credential evaluation eliminates the need to provide an official transcript to our office.

Applicants attending institutions in China must request official transcripts from the Ministry-authorized verification offices listed below; transcripts directly from an institution cannot be considered official.

Credential Evaluation

This is NOT in lieu of official transcripts, but an additional requirement.

  • If your degree was earned outside the US or Canada, submit an official course-by-course credential evaluation. We accept both WES evaluations (standard course-by-course or ICAP), and Educational Perspectives evaluations through the CertiFile Certified Credential Attachment service.
    • Note: If you choose to submit a WES evaluation, we recommend the ICAP product, because it includes verified copies of your official transcripts and eliminates the need to provide a separate official transcript to our office if you are admitted and choose to attend WWU.
    • Please see Certifile Order Process for detailed information about ordering a degree evaluation through the CertiFile service.
  • You must have earned, or must be in the process of earning the equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree prior to beginning the graduate program.
  • The degree-granting institution must be recognized by the Ministry of Education (or equivalent) in the country where the degree was earned.

Please contact the Graduate School office if you have questions or need clarification on these requirements. Applications cannot be sent to the department for admission consideration until all required documents are received.

Visa Requirements

International students are not eligible for financial aid and must provide verification of funding for one year of expenses. Please see our International Student Costs page for details and program-specific Statement of Financial Responsibility forms.

If an international student is hired as a Teaching Assistant (TA), the compensation for the TA (stipend and waiver) can be used to offset some of the financial documentation required for the visa processing. However, TA compensation will not cover all  costs of attendance. Some additional documentation of other funding will be required to qualify for a student visa.

If you are admitted and choose to attend, you will need to provide verification of funding and sponsor letter (if applicable) either by email to or in hard copy.

Additional visa information is available on the Department of State website.

Mailing Address

WWU Graduate School

516 High St

Bellingham, WA 98225-9037