Applicants who are citizens of countries other than the United States are welcome at The University of Alabama. Highly qualified students from around the world have been extremely successful in our graduate programs, and the contributions made by our international students in the areas of teaching, research, and general cultural enrichment have been great. Standards for admission and financial aid are extremely competitive, ensuring academic excellence.
Interested students should visit the application portion of the Graduate Catalog to learn more about requirement and applying electronically. Applicants with restrictions that prevent the use of our online application should contact the Graduate School, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118, U.S.A, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The request should contain information on the student’s citizenship, formal academic preparation, English language ability, standardized test scores, financial situation, proposed major, and date of entry. Requests for application materials receive initial reviews from the Graduate School dean’s office.
The fall semester begins in August and is considered the beginning of the academic year, and international students are strongly advised to plan to begin their studies then. Many of our departments and programs will consider applications for the spring semester, which starts in January, but fewer openings for new students are available at that time.
Each international application must hold the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for graduate admission. While individual departments may have more stringent requirements, bachelor degrees from Bologna Accord certified institutions are considered to meet this criterion.
Students whose applications to the Graduate School are approved will receive housing and health-service information, a letter of admission, and an immigration document (usually Form I-20 or DS-2019).
Upon arrival in Tuscaloosa, students should report to Capstone International Programs and Services in order to obtain registration materials and information on the special orientation session for international students that is held prior to the beginning of each semester.
Nonresident foreign students who are offered graduate assistantships are limited to a maximum.50 FTE (half-time) assistantship. Additional employment outside the University is not permitted.
Students are encouraged to direct any questions they may have concerning immigration, housing, or the health service to the Director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Box 870304, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0304, U.S.A. Questions concerning admission procedures should be directed to the Graduate School.
Requirements and deadlines for submitting applications are subject to change; applicants should review the specific instructions on the application forms for current requirements and deadlines.
An international graduate applicant to The University of Alabama may be considered for conditional language admission if he or she does not meet the minimum TOEFL score requirement of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or 79 on the iBT, 6.5 on the IELTS or 59 on the PTE and/or does not have an admission test score (e.g. GRE/GMAT/MAT). The applicant must meet all other admission criteria as stated for regular or conditional admission earlier in this Catalog, meet all financial and immigration requirements, and be recommended by the individual University of Alabama graduate department to receive conditional language admission. A student holding conditional language admission may not hold an internally funded graduate assistantship.
Students who have conditional language admission are accepted to the Graduate School but must attend full-time intensive English language instruction at the English Language Institute (ELI). If the student does not hold an admission test score, the admission test must be taken while the student is enrolled in ELI classes. A score that meets admission requirements for regular admission must be submitted to the Graduate School prior to enrolling full time in regular graduate classes. The student must complete the ELI’s Intensive English Program with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the advanced levels (levels 4, 5, and 6) or earn a score of at least 550 on the paper- based TOEFL or 79 on the iBT, or 6.5 on the IELTS before he or she will be allowed to enroll in graduate courses, hold teaching assistantships, or hold internally funded research assistantships. Students who have conditional language admission are eligible to hold only externally funded research assistantships.
NOTE: In special circumstances, a student may initiate the following requests to his or her department chair. The student’s request and the specific course to be taken must be approved by the student’s department, advisor, course instructor, ELI, and the Graduate School:
When a student with conditional language admission begins enrollment in graduate courses, he or she must meet all other requirements for conditional admission, as in the Admission Criteria section of this Catalog.
International graduate applicants should inform the Graduate School that they wish to be considered for conditional language admission when they submit their graduate application forms
According to current University of Alabama graduate policy, “each international applicant must hold the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for graduate admission.” The University of Alabama International Bridge Program is intended for the international graduate applicant who holds a three-year bachelor’s degree from a country where that credential is not deemed equivalent to the four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. By completing a fourth year, or bridge year of undergraduate study at The University of Alabama, an international student from a recognized foreign institution with a three-year bachelor’s degree will have the opportunity to enter graduate study without completing a separate four-year bachelor’s degree. The student will complete a “bridge year” of University of Alabama undergraduate coursework and then begin the graduate degree program.
International applicants interested in the International Bridge Program should consult the list of participating departments that are approved to accept applications for the bridge program. If the intended major is listed as participating, then the international applicant will apply for the International Bridge Program following the same graduate application process as other international graduate applicants to the degree program. International applicants may apply electronically using the Graduate School ‘s website or the print application forms. International applicants meeting the Graduate School ‘s and department’s minimum GPA, GRE, and TOEFL requirements for regular admission to a graduate degree program and who receive the department’s recommendation will be considered for admission in the International Bridge Program. Students admitted into the International Bridge Program will hold a regular graduate admission for a degree program, but will first complete the bridge year of University of Alabama undergraduate coursework and then begin graduate study to complete their graduate degree program.
Each department that participates in the International Bridge Program will provide a written description and specific departmental requirements for their bridge students. Bridge year requirements include the following, at a minimum:
A student, whether an international or a permanent resident, whose first language is not English, must submit an official score report from one of the following proficiency examinations:
The University of Alabama offers intensive English language instruction to prepare students for further academic study at colleges and universities in the United States. In addition, the University maintains (through the English Language Institute) the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP), a program that all graduate assistants with any teaching or instructional activities who are non-native speakers of English must successfully complete before they are allowed to teach. Students are recommended for ITAP by their departments. For information about these programs write to the Director, English Language Institute, Box 870250, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0250, U.S.A. Admission to the English Language Institute does not constitute admission to a graduate program at The University of Alabama.
For information on registering for the TOEFL, or TSE available worldwide, IELTS and PTE visit the testing center websites or contact U.S. embassies, consulates, USIS offices, Institute of International Education offices, AMIDEAST offices, and other organizations concerned with international education.
The University of Alabama recognizes that, to be accurately evaluated, applications from international students require more time and more supporting information than do domestic applications. For this reason, international applicants applying from outside the U.S. are encouraged to have complete applications, with all supporting documents, at least 180 days before the beginning of the semester for which application is made. All applications must be complete at least 120 days before the beginning of the semester for which application is made. Some departments have earlier deadlines; applicants should contact the departments in which they are interested to obtain information about department deadlines and other requirements. Applications completed after the deadline will automatically be considered for the following semester. The student whose application is completed well in advance of our deadlines is more likely to be admitted and to receive admission and immigration materials in time to make travel arrangements.
Graduate admission documents are normally sent through regular mail. This can take 7-10 days for domestic mail and 4-6 weeks for international mail. Tracking is not an option.
Students who can easily get to Tuscaloosa at the time of admission may pick up their graduate admission documents (I-20/DS-2019) from Capstone International Services in 105 B.B. Comer Hall. Capstone International Services normally will contact the student when their documents are ready to be picked up. Capstone International Services will allow friends or family members to pick up documents for you only if you provide specific instructions and tell us the name and CWID of the friend or family who will pick up the document. Student ID is required when picking up a document from Capstone International Services.