Admission of International Students
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln welcomes students from all countries as part of the student body and Graduate Studies encourages applications from qualiﬁed students throughout the world.
It is recognized that educational systems in other countries differ from that of the United States. Comparability of international course work and degrees will be determined by departmental Graduate Committees and by Graduate Studies. Generally, a four-year ﬁrst university degree from an academic institution outside the U.S. will be accepted as comparable to the U.S. bachelors degree if the degree grants eligibility for graduate study at institutions within the same country.
How and When to Apply
Application materials from international students must include uploaded copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations. These unofficial documents will be used for application review. Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records cannot be used. Students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to Graduate Studies.
It is recommended that applicants outside the U.S. begin applying approximately one year in advance of the desired ﬁrst enrollment. See Programs Offered for deadlines for each program.
All international applicants seeking F-1 student visas must apply for degree programs rather than non-degree, post-baccalaureate status.
Evidence of adequate ﬁnancial resources for tuition and living expenses is required of all international students seeking F-1 or J-1 visas, including those who received their baccalaureate degrees at UNL. Students should not assume funds or work opportunities will be available at a later date, and should be prepared to have their living and educational expenses increase annually. University-wide fellowships may be sought after one year of graduate study in the U.S. More information is available to eligible candidates from Graduate Studies.
See English Proficiency in our Prospective Students section for additional information.
When Applying: TOEFL or IELTS
Applicants to the Graduate College whose native language is not English are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL; 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of at least 6.5. Some departments require higher scores for admission.
Upon Arrival: English Language Test (ELT)
Typically all new international students are required to take the ELT upon arrival in Lincoln if they are not native speakers of English and their scores are:
- A TOEFL iBT writing score below 25 or a TOEFL total below 100
- An IELTS writing score or total IELTS score below 7.0
Each international student's Certiﬁcate of Admission will state whether they are required to sit for the ELT. Exemptions from the ELT requirement may be granted based on sufficiently high TOEFL or IELTS writing scores, or for non-native speakers who have received a bachelor's or more advanced degree from a U.S. university or a university outside the U.S. at which English is the official language of instruction.