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WKU International Admissions

International Academic Admission Requirements

Attention students from the countries included in the recent executive order (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen): 

Please know that we will continue to process your applications.  Feel free to check with your local U.S. Embassy for updates on visa processing. 

We are working to fully understand the variables in play but WKU is fully committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all people, regardless of nationality. 

We will provide more information as it becomes available.  Learn more by visiting our Immigration Updates page.   


All prospective International students must meet the WKU standard academic requirements for international admission. See below for a detailed checklist:


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

International students must also provide financial evidence of support in order to obtain an I-20.

Download the checklist for complete admission requirements.

Academic Requirements by Country

Check out Academic Requirements by Country to learn your country's specific academic requirements.

Official Transcripts

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 IEM 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 to our 

Document Upload Portal

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 iem@wku.edu.  Paper documents may be sent to the following address:

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

English Translations

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.


First-Time Freshman Applicants

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.

Transfer Applicants

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.

 J-1 Undergraduate Student Exchange Admission Requirements

(Updated April 12, 2017)

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.  


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 Last Modified 12/12/18