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International Student Admission

International Services

UC International Services supports the needs of international students at the University of Cincinnati. The office assists international students in understanding the rules, regulations, and procedures that must be followed during their stay in the United States, and provides support services and cultural information to students. 

Location: Suite 3134, One Edwards Center

Phone: (513) 556-4278

Information about admission to University of Cincinnati for international students is available on their website. International students with F-1 visas can be granted admission with full graduate status only. Most international students with J-1 visas can be granted admission with full graduate status only, with some exceptions. Students with J-1 visas should inquire with UC International Services to determine the regulations that apply to them.

Students with green cards (U.S. resident aliens/permanent residents) are not defined as international students and, therefore, are not governed by the university’s international student policies. However, the English proficiency requirement does apply to green card holders (see The English Proficiency Requirement, below).

In instances where an international student holds a degree for which the U.S. equivalent is not known, or if it is determined by the program that the applicant does not have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, the program must submit a petition for admission without the bachelor’s degree, with supporting documentation and rationale, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

All international students are required to carry University of Cincinnati student health insurance unless they qualify for a waiver. Semester fees are automatically assessed each registration period. Please see here for more information on the Graduate Assistant/Fellow Health Insurance Award. 

* International Graduate Admissions Guide (11.9 MB)
This guide has admission reqs and deadlines.

English Proficiency Requirement

English proficiency is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Students can demonstrate English proficiency in a number of ways at the graduate level. Most students fulfill the English requirement by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For IELTS, an overall band score of 6.5 is sufficient for graduate admission. For TOEFL, requirements vary and scores are valid for up to two years. The minimum University requirement is:

520 (paper-based test), or

190 (computer-based test), or

68 (internet-based test)

However, many colleges and programs have higher score requirements than those listed above. Applicants can contact the programs or colleges to which they are applying for details. A listing of TOEFL requirements by college/program can also be found in the appendices.
Students who have received a baccalaureate or higher degree in English from the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:

Antigua & Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Canada (except Quebec)


Cayman Islands

China (Hong Kong Public Universities only)


New Zealand
South Africa
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
United Kingdom

United States of America

The English proficiency requirement is also met for students who have completed level 112 of Intensive English instruction at ELS Language Centers.  More information on UC’s Center for English as a Second Language can be found here.

Request for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement must be made by the applicant’s Program Director (with appropriate documentation justifying English proficiency) to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT)

The OEPT tests the spoken language skills of non-native speakers of English. An overall score of 3.0 is the minimum passing score for the test. If you score less than 3.0, you are recommended to take ESL courses before retaking the test. For students who will have teaching responsibilities, the minimum required score is 3.0. Students who pass with at least a 3.0 are certified for oral English proficiency and may assume the full range of duties associated with a teaching assistantship. Students whose oral English proficiency has not been officially certified may not assume instructional responsibilities. Students are required to take the test at the beginning of their first semester of study. Students who score 26 or above on the speaking section of the TOEFL IBT or students with a score of 50 or above on the Test of Spoken English are exempt from the OEPT test. A student is permitted to take the OEPT twice without charge during an academic year.

Compulsory Health Screening

The University of Cincinnati requires a health screening of all international students at University Health Services It is imperative that the student consult the letter from University Health Services that is included in his or her pre-arrival packet. It contains an immunization record sheet that must be completed, signed, and sealed by a medical official. Failure to complete the evaluation upon arrival will result in cancellation of classes for the subsequent semester. If classes are cancelled, the student will be in violation of immigration status.