International Admissions

International Students

You’re considered an international student for admission purposes if you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Here’s an overview of the international admission requirements for international students and a step-by-step guide to the application process.

For graduate admission requirements, please visit the graduate admission webpage.

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Need help?

WSU Tri-Cities, located in Richland, Washington, USA, is part of the Washington State University system. The main campus in Pullman, WA, USA maintains helpful F-1 information.

Remember that there is an International Student Advisor on the Tri-Cities campus who will help explain immigration rules and regulations for you or anything you read on the WSU’s Office of International Programs site.

Requirements for applying

Secondary school

Applicants must complete at least 12 years of elementary through secondary school, culminating in an appropriate secondary certificate or external examination. Grades must be distinctly above average.

Applicants graduating from accredited high schools outside the United States of America (USA) must have a minimum grade point average of 2.70 (on a 4.00 scale). Your schooling should include preparation in humanities, mathematics, basic sciences, and social sciences.

College or university transfer

You’re considered an international transfer applicant if you have completed the equivalent of a “B” average (2.5 on a 4.0 scale) in at least one full year of study at a recognized or accredited post-secondary school. As an international transfer applicant, you don’t have to submit secondary school information — instead, you’ll be considered for admission on the basis of the college-level work you have completed.

You may qualify for guaranteed admission. To request more information, please fill out the guarantee letter request form (below).

English proficiency

All international students need to demonstrate basic proficiency in the English language and there are three ways you can meet this requirement:

Take a language exam.
The two most commonly accepted exams are the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Other examinations may also be accepted. You will need to score at least 550 (paper-based), 79 (internet-based), or 213 (computer-based) on the TOEFL. The IELTS minimum score is 6.5. The minimum score is 77 on the MELAB.

The required competency level for the transition from the Intensive American Language Center (IALC) to undergraduate admission will remain at Level 5. We will continue to monitor international students’ progress and other ramifications associated with this change in admissions criteria.

Please see the current International Student Application for up-to-date information.

Qualify for a language waiver
You can qualify for a language proficiency waiver if you meet one of these criteria at the time you apply:

  • Earn a “B” grade or better in a transferable equivalent of WSU’s English 101 and 102 and have 27 semester (40 quarter) transferable credits at the time of application.
  • At least 3 years of attendance at a U.S. high school.
  • Earn at least 53 semester (80 quarter) hours of transferable credits at the time of enrollment with grades averaging 2.50 (or above) from an accredited U.S. college or university.

Applicants from these countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:
Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, British Guyana, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand, Trinidad, Tobago, and Zambia.


Along with the admission application, you’ll need to submit the Certificate of Financial Responsibility to demonstrate that you have adequate financial resources to meet your educational expenses. Please read the instructions on the form carefully.

If you meet the prerequisite requirements, you’re ready to apply for admission.

How to apply

Follow these steps to apply for admission to WSU Tri-Cities.

1. Complete the international student application.

2. Send proof of English proficiency.
Scores must come directly from the testing agency to WSU; do not send copies. Request official TOEFL scores from Educational Testing Service (phone 609-771-7500). For other ways to meet English proficiency requirements, please refer to the English proficiency information under “International Requirements” on this page.

3. Send educational credentials and supporting information.
Freshman applicants should send a general secondary school evaluation report while transfer applicants should provide a course by course/detailed transcript evaluation. Materials sent directly to Washington State University will not be returned.

4. Complete and return the Certificate of Financial Responsibility.
For students requiring an F-1 or J-1 visa, the USA government requires proof of financial ability to pay for studies and living expenses. You’ll need to show assured support for the first year and projected support for the total years needed to complete your degree.