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WKU International Admissions


How to apply to WKU:


Get to know us!

Welcome to Western Kentucky University (WKU), home of the Hilltoppers.  WKU is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a city with a population of more than 60,000 approximately 110 miles south of Louisville and 65 miles north of Nashville.

Exceptional academic programs, applied learning opportunities, and world-renowned faculty are only part of what makes the WKU experience unparalleled. Your hopes, dreams and ideas are important to us. We strive to provide you with an environment where creativity is nurtured and intellect grows. WKU is a student centered, applied research university. That means we are dedicated to making sure you achieve your goals and graduate with skills for success.

You will not only graduate with a diploma, you will enter the real world with experience that makes you stand out above the rest.


Career Placement
Success beyond graduation

WKU is committed to helping you achieve your goals both in and outside of the classroom. 84% of recent WKU graduates are successful in seeking employment.

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Safe & Welcoming
A beautiful campus

WKU is 1 of 4 U.S. National Safety Council Safe Communities. With a great central location, reach any U.S. destination within a day. For more than 40 years, Bowling Green has been welcoming refugees from around the world who have built lives and businesses in our community. 

Academic Excellence
Over 200 programs of study

As a student-centered applied research university, Western Kentucky University is engaged in quality academic programs. Hands-on learning, supportive faculty, and internships ensure that you get a job and excel in your career and in life.


What do you want to study? 

WKU is home to many highly ranked and nationally-recognized  academic programs  such as  Journalism and Broadcasting,  Education,  Engineering,  Business and our award winning speech and debate team. More than 18,000 students grace our campuses. 


Explore WKU's beautiful campus virtually!

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Take a video tour of our dorm rooms:
WKU's living options will enable you to learn about yourself and others, experience meaningful connections, and realize your peak potential.


Your dining options on campus:
There are several restaurants available to students on-campus, including vegetarian and halal options as well as sensitivity to food allergies.


Campus Transportation
Explore on-campus transportation:
WKU offers transportation options to help students navigate campus including a campus bus system easily accessed free of charge.


WKU has several great scholarship opportunities for international students. 


IPAS Banner

Along with our traditional programs of study, WKU also offers an International Pathway to Academic Success (IPAS). The IPAS program is designed to facilitate international student success in several ways:

  • Exclusive courses designed for first-year international students
  • Dedicated faculty with a commitment to international student learning
  • Co-curricular support such as tutoring and academic workshops
  • Enrichment experiences to introduce students to life and study in the United States

IPAS participation is offered at no additional cost, and all courses will count toward a WKU degree for full academic credit. Enrollment in IPAS will last for one or two semesters depending on the academic needs of each student.



Talk to someone who has been through exactly what you're experiencing right now! Whether you're a current WKU student interested in studying abroad, a perspective international student interested in studying at WKU, or even a current international student looking for more ways to connect on campus, the Global Learning Ambassadors are here to help! 



Apply to WKU

View our admissions requirements below:

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

Bachelors Degree (After High School)

  • A completed application (open WKU application for admission)
  • Minimum academic requirements:
    • Freshmen: 2.5 GPA (2.25 for Pathway)
    • Transfer: 2.0 GPA (students with 24 or more earned hours of college credit)
  • English proficiency requirements (one of the following):
    • TOEFL, IBT – 71 (61 for Pathway)
    • IELTS – 6.0 (5.5 for Pathway)
    • SAT Critical Reading – 450
    • SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing – 460
    • ELS – Level 109 PTE Academic – 52
    • DuoLingo - 100 DET (90 for Pathway)
  • $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Official Academic Records from schools attended with grades and any degrees/diplomas/certificates received.  Should also include a literal English translation.
  • Financial Evidence of Support must be provided to obtain an I-20
  • Students transferring from within the US will need to fill out the Transfer-In Form

All necessary documents, including academic records, and proof of English language proficiency, must be received before an admission decision can be made.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

Masters Degree/PHD (After Bachelors Degree)

  • A completed application HERE
  • Official transcripts demonstrating completion of bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university & certified English translation
  • Any additional program requirements (writing samples, resume/vita, etc.)
  • GRE/GMAT scores, if required by program
  • Adequate academic preparation in the field of specialization
  • English proficiency requirements (one of the following):
    • TOEFL, IBT – 79
    • IELTS – 6.5
    • ELS - Level 112
  • $95 non-refundable application fee
  • Financial Evidence of Support must be provided to obtain an I-20
  • Students transferring from within the US will need to fill out the Transfer-In Form

Learn more about our graduate programs and specific requirements HERE

All necessary documents, including academic records, and proof of English language proficiency, must be received before an admission decision can be made.


We are now accepting DuoLingo testing scores for English language proficiency for undergraduate admission to the University. A 100 DET is required for admission our one-semester Pathway program, and a 90 DET is required for admission to our two-semester Pathway program. Email us to learn more: applyinternational@wku.

Financial ability must be demonstrated by providing an official copy of a bank statement showing enough funds for one year of study.  If the bank statement is not your own it must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Support.  E-mail financial evidence of support to applyinternational@wku.edu.

Minimum performance requirements have been determined for students educated in the following countries. If your country is not listed, please send us an email with the name of your country, whether you are applying as a freshmen or transfer.

 Country (A-K)

 Country (M-Z)


















Saudi Arabia 



Hong Kong

 South Korea








United Arab Emirates


United Kingdom






The International Admissions Office completes in-house evaluations of all international credentials and coursework. If a student has attended an educational institution within the U.S., official documents must be sent directly from the institution to WKU. Students may provide a color scan of credentials earned outside the U.S. While an admission decision can be made based upon scanned documents, students are required to present official documents to the International Admissions Office upon arrival to campus. Consulates & embassies often serve as a resource for the attestation of educational documents.

Applicants from Chinese institutions may request and submit official transcripts directly through CHESICC (China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center). Requests are processed by CHESICC and will be sent electronically to the WKU International Admissions office. You will not need to submit a paper copy of your transcript. Go here to get started.

Please note: If altered or fraudulent documents are submitted, students will be ineligible for admission and WKU will notify the issuing board and/or institution.  WKU reserves the right to request evaluation by a third independent party before an admission decision is made.

How to Submit Official Transcripts

For the quickest processing time, please upload your scanned documents HERE.

International students may also submit scanned copies of official transcripts/mark sheets/certificate via e-mail or paper documents by postal service. Please send scanned documents by e-mail to applyinternational@wku.edu. Paper documents may be sent to the following address:

Western Kentucky University
International Admissions Office
1906 College Heights Blvd. # 11066
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1020 USA

For the quickest processing time, please upload your scanned documents HERE.

International students may also submit scanned copies of official transcripts/mark sheets/certificate via e-mail or paper documents by postal service. Please send scanned documents by e-mail to applyinternational@wku.edu.  Paper documents may be sent to the following address:

Western Kentucky University
International Admissions Office
1906 College Heights Blvd. # 11066
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1020 USA

If your official transcript is not in English, you must have the document translated before the Admissions office can process your application.  English translations of transcripts/certificates/diplomas must be provided by a certified translation service or the embassy/consulate of the document's issuing country.

The following standards will apply to English translations:

  • All information listed on the document must be translated verbatim
  • All translations must be prepared using the same format as the original document
  • No interpretation or evaluation of information should be included
  • All translations must be typed, signed and dated by the translator
  • Contact information for the translator must be listed, including address, phone and fax number, and e-mail address

English Translations of Syllabi

An international transfer student may submit an official English translation of course descriptions and syllabi or the student may submit a personal translation of course descriptions and syllabi. All personal translations must be notarized or the translation will not be accepted.

Secondary educational systems vary across the globe. The United States has a 12-year secondary educational system. Many countries have 10, 11, or 13-year secondary educational systems. If you have attended school in a country where the secondary system differs from the United States, you may be eligible for admission. Each undergraduate admissions application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

All international students must submit a transcript(s) from all tertiary institution(s) attended.  Failure to disclose all previously attended institutions could result in being ineligible for admission to WKU. The International Admissions office will perform a course-by-course evaluation of the transcript(s), including GPA calculation, for admission purposes. Upon admission, a general transcript evaluation is conducted to determine the amount of transfer credit to be awarded.  Most credits will be applied as transfer electives.

After a student has been admitted, the Transfer Center will perform a course-by-course articulation to determine which credits may be applied to the student’s degree program. In order to be awarded credit for upper-level courses, students must submit a course description or syllabus for each upper-level course to the appropriate department for review.

To see if equivalencies already exist, please visit: How Will My Credits Transfer.  You can also view our Policy for International Transfer Students.

Option 1:  Exemption for Exchange Visitors from English-speaking Countries

Exchange Visitors from countries in which English is an official language may be exempted from the requirement to submit documentation of English language proficiency.

Option 2:  English Language Tests

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Degree-seeking J-1 Exchange Visitors:  71 Internet-based test
  • Non-degree seeking J-1 Exchange Visitors:  40 Internet-based test

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Degree-seeking J-1 Exchange Visitors:  6.0
  • Non-degree seeking J-1 Exchange Visitors:  5.0

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE – Academic)

  • Degree-seeking J-1 Exchange Visitors:  52


  • Critical Reading Score of 450

Option 3:  English Language Programs

  • ESLi Completion
  • ELS Language Centers – Completion of Level 109 Minimum

Option 4:  Signed Documentation from an Academic Institution

For exchange agreements created before July 1, 2016, the designated exchange coordinator at the partner institution may submit a signed letter confirming that in their professional opinion the exchange visitor’s language ability meets or exceeds the minimum TOEFL/IELTS requirement.

Option 5:  English Course Completion at a WKU Partner Institution

The Exchange Visitor submits official transcripts from their home institution which shows their completion of two semesters of English courses with a passing grade of “C” or better. 

Option 6:  Secondary School Completion at an Institution with English Instruction

The Exchange Visitor submits official transcripts from an institution in which English is the language of instruction.  

WKU offers several scholarship options for international students. Learn more about our costs and funding options HERE.




WKU issues your I20 so you can apply for your F-1 Visa

Once you have been admitted to WKU and we have received proper documentation of your financial records, WKU will issue you an I20. You will then schedule an appointment for your F-1 visa interview (make sure you take your I20 and admissions letter with you). Be prepared to pay a service fee for the interview. If you have questions about the interview process or need additional assistance, we highly encourage you to reach out to your local EducationUSA office.




Prepare for your arrival!

It is our goal to make sure that you are as prepared as possible before classes start and to help you through your transition, all international students are provided a throrough orientation. 

You can being to work through these required virtual and in person settings by clicking the link below: 



Need help? We're here for you. Submit a ticket or view our FAQs below:

View our frequently asked questions!

*For 2022-2023 Academic Year (10 months) in U.S. Dollars

Tuition - $27,648

Living Expenses - $12,000

Health Insurance - $2,500

Total - $42,148*


Tuition - $17,154

Living Expenses - $12,000

Health Insurance - $2,500

Total - $31,654*

 * Fee structure subject to change.

Persons receiving a scholarship may demonstrate financial ability by sending an original or certified copy of the award letter, including the amount of the scholarship or the expenses it covers. Additional mandatory fees apply depending on student’s registrations; students can expect cost of attendance to rise by each year of enrollment.

NOTE: Tuition and fees are also subject to change as are scholarship award amounts. For more details on student fees and tuition visit the Office of Student Billing & Account Services.  


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 Last Modified 12/6/23