International Student Admission

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. UC International Services is located in Suite 7148, One Edwards Center (1-513-556-4278). Information about admission to the University of Cincinnati for international students is available on their website. International students with F-1 visas can only be granted admission as matriculated graduate status in a degree seeking program (Most international students with J-1 visas can be granted admission with matriculated 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 section).

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 or the Graduate School 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 visit the Graduate School website for more information on the Graduate Assistant/Fellow Health Insurance Award.

International Student Fee

All international students are required to pay the International Student Fee. The fee is $125 per semester for fall and spring semester. The fee is not charged for summer semester.

International students are charged the same tuition fees as other U.S. students who are not Ohio residents. The university incurs additional expenses associated with hosting international students, which include federal tracking and monitoring requirements associated with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The university also provides services and resources necessary for international students’ academic and personal success. This fee will help accomplish these tasks and ensure student success.

Please contact UC International Services at 513-556-4278 or for more information.


English Proficiency Requirement

English proficiency is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Students can demonstrate 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), the International English Testing System (IELTS), or the PEARSON Test of English (PTE).

For IELTS an overall band score of 6.5 is sufficient for graduate admission. For PEARSON a score of 47 is sufficient. TOEFL requirements vary based on the type of TOEFL test taken and scores are valid for up to two years. The minimum university requirement is:

  • 520 (paper-based test), or
  • 190 (computer-based test), or
  • 80 (internet-based test)

However, many colleges and programs have higher score requirements than those listed above. Applicants can contact the programs of colleges to which they are applying for details.

Students who have received a baccalaureate or higher degree with English as the medium of instruction from the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • China (Hong Kong Public Universities only)
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • 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 the ELS Language Center at UC can be found at their website.

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 Director of Graduate Studies. An English proficiency waiver request can be submitted if one of the following applies:

  • the applicant has taken the TOEFL (or PEARSON, or IELTS) in order to enter another institution in an exempt English-speaking country (above), are still actively enrolled in that institution, and can document the minimum requirements (e.g., TOEFL: 520 paper-based, 190 computer-based, or 80 internet-based), or
  • the applicant has passed the Cambridge CPE with a B.

Upon approval, the following individuals will be notified:

  1. the department Graduate Program Director
  2. the Director of International Student Service
  3. the Director of OEPT (Oral English Proficiency Testing)
  4. the Program Manager, Graduate School Admissions

If denied, the Graduate Program Director and Amy Robinson Wheeler, Program Manager for Graduate School admissions, will be notified.

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 a score is less than 3.0, students are recommended to take ESL courses before retaking the test. Non-native speakers of English who are awarded teaching assistantships at the University of Cincinnati are required to take the Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT) before they are able to begin their instructional duties. Score requirements and information regarding waiver based on standardized test scores are detailed in the Graduate Assistantships section.

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 included in the 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 term. If classes are cancelled, the student will be in violation of immigration status.