All prospective international students are welcome at The University of Alabama. Please visit our application page to submit your application and learn more about our requirements. Each international applicant 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. We do also consider Indian three-year degrees to be equivalent to a U.S. four-year degree. The fall semester begins in August and is considered the beginning of the academic year. 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. Students who are offered admission to The University of Alabama Graduate School will receive housing and health insurance information, a letter of admission, and an immigration document (usually Form I-20 or DS-2019). We will also provide information about our Graduate Orientation and Welcome (GROW). Upon arrival in Tuscaloosa, students should report International Student and Scholar Services. This office is also the best place to ask any questions concerning immigration.

Language Scores Requirements

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. An exception is made if the applicant fulfills the following criteria: 1) has been in residence in the United States at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, and 2) has been enrolled in coursework for two consecutive years immediately prior to enrolling at The University of Alabama or has earned a degree from that college or university within three years of enrolling at The University of Alabama. Information on registering for the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE is available online or at U.S. embassies, consulates, Institute of International Education offices, AMIDEAST offices, and other organizations concerned with international education.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The minimum score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT).
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): The minimum score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 6.5.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): The minimum score of admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 59.
The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of the student’s intended enrollment at The University of Alabama.

Conditional Language Admission

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). Please click here to check if your prospective program offers Conditional Language Admission. A conditionally admitted international student must complete the English Language Institutes’s (ELI) Intensive English Program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 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. In special circumstances an applicant may also enroll in graduate classes while enrolled in the ELI. Please see the Graduate Catalog for more information.

Transcript Requirements

During the application process please upload copies of your transcripts (with English translations if necessary) to the application portal. Once admitted, international applicants must submit one certified copy in the native language along with certified English translations of all transcripts, diplomas, and certificates of degree. Transcript and diploma copies submitted after admission must be certified by the issuing institution. Notary copies are NOT acceptable.

International Teaching Assistant Program

The University  of Alabama 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 please contact the English Language Institute

Application Deadlines

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. Some departments have earlier deadlines; applicants should contact the departments in which they are interested to obtain information about department deadlines and other requirements.

Document Mailing

Regular Delivery

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.

In-Person Pick Up

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.

University Express Mail Services (recommended for overseas shipments)

  1. The University of Alabama’s Graduate School uses an express mail service provided by University Express Mail Services – https://study.eshipglobal.com/ to deliver documents through DHL or FedEx in 3-5 days. You may request document delivery through this service at your expense. If you wish to use this service, please follow the instructions below.
  2. Register and activate your account at University Express Mail Services. Do not go through the DHL or FedEx website directly.
  3. Click the “Receive” option.
  4. Type “Alabama” in the search box, or select it from the drop down list.
  5. Select “The University of Alabama” and then “Continue.”
  6. Select the “Office of the Graduate School” and then “Continue.”
  7. Complete the shipping form, use your University of Alabama CWID number, and select “Ship/Quote.” Note: PO Box addresses are generally not preferred by express carriers. If entering a PO Box address, be sure you provide the complete physical address where the PO Box is located in order to avoid delays or misdeliveries.
  8. On the confirmation page, check your shipment details.
  9. On the same page, complete the credit card information form.
  10. Select “Confirm” to advance to the shipment summary page. Note: Please pay close attention to the information submitted, as errors in the credit card information or submitting incorrect or incomplete address information will result in a delay in the mailing of your documents. If you experience any difficulty in registering and processing the shipment, please use the “Help” link in the site for step by step instructions. If you have additional questions about how to use this service, please e-mail support@eshipglobal.com.
  11. Graduate School will automatically be notified by University Express Mail Services (eShipGlobal) that you have requested your documents via express mail. You can track the shipment using the tracking number provided.
  12. You will receive your documents in 3-5 business days from the date of mailing.