Graduate School International Student Admission – 509.9

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Graduate School International Student Admission
Policy Number: 509.9
Effective Date: August 15, 2011

Policy Statement

In addition to the issues that face domestic students with respect to applying to Graduate School, there are a number of visas, language proficiency, legal, and administrative considerations with which international students are required to deal. This policy addresses these issues unique to international applicants.

Completed Application Form

All applicants to the Graduate School at UALR must complete an application form that can be found on the UALR BOSS web site at: https://boss.ualr.edu.

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $US 40.00 is required for reach application submitted to the Graduate School. The fee covers the administrative costs to process each student’s application.

Official Copy of Academic Records

Students should submit originals or official copies with certified English translations of the applicant’s entire academic record in secondary school, college, or university. The records must show a level of achievement that satisfies the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the degree program to which the student seeks admission. Students must have their academic records articulated by one of three outside agencies. For details, students should contact at least one of the following organizations:

  • NACES: www.naces.org/members.htm
  • AACRAO: www.aacrao.org/international/foreignEdCred.cfm
  • WES: www.wes.org

Demonstrate Proof of English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and have the official score sent to the Graduate School at UALR. Only students who have studied full-time for two or more years at a college or university where English is the language of instruction located in a country where English is the native language are exempt from the TOEFL or the IELTS.

Many applicants should have access to the Internet-Based Test (IBT) version of the TOEFL. This version will test all four language skills important for effective communication: writing, listening, reading, and speaking. Each section has its own score, and the Graduate School has set the following minimum scores for admissions: Master’s or educational specialist applicants must achieve a score of 525 on the paper-based test, 197 on the computer-based version, or 71 on the Internet-based version. Doctoral applicants must achieve a score of 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based version, or 79 on the Internet-based version. For the IELTS, graduate students must earn a 6.5 or above.

Applicants will not be admitted or allowed to enroll until the requirement is met. Some programs require higher scores or other proof of proficiency such as the Test of Spoken English (TSE). TOEFL application forms and information are available from the UALR Office of Testing Services and Student Life Research (ualr.edu/testing) or from the Educational Testing Service (www.ets.org), Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 U.S.A. The TOEFL test can be taken in Little Rock. Information for the IELTS can be found at http://www.ielts.org/default.aspx. United States consulates and embassies may also provide useful and additional information.

Applicants may also be asked to take additional tests on campus (at the Office of Testing Services) to demonstrate their proficiency. For example, applicants may be asked to take the COMPASS test or the Michigan test. The Office of Testing Services is currently located in Ross Hall 409 and can be reached by phone at 501-569-3198, or online at http://ualr.edu/testing/.

For more information on English Proficiency, please consult the Standard American English Requirement policy that may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Documentation Required After Official Admission

Once officially admitted, students who will take courses on campus at UALR are required to complete and/or submit the following information in a timely fashion:

  • Health and Accident Insurance. All international students are required to purchase health and accident insurance provided by UALR and to maintain coverage year-round. Students will be billed at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Students entering at the beginning of the summer semester will be billed three times for their first academic year.
  • Tuberculosis Screening. According to an Arkansas Department of Health directive, all international applicants must be screened for tuberculosis. The screening test can be done at Student Health Services, which is located in the Donaghey Student Center, Room 102, or through a primary care provider.
  • Transfer and Visa Form. Applicants transferring from another institution within the U.S. must submit a Transfer and Visa Form for International Students completed by the applicant and the foreign student adviser of the institution the applicant is currently attending.
  • Financial Statement (for issuance of F and J visas only). Once accepted by the Graduate School, students must provide a financial statement to prove that they are financially capable of pursuing an education in the U.S. (The estimated cost for books, fees, and livings expenses for the 2011-2012 academic year was approximately $20,000.) Tuition payments are due at the beginning of each semester and do not include the cost of books, supplies, and miscellaneous fees. In some instances, UALR will require cash deposits for tuition and living expenses before admission is granted.

Exception: Students who will reside outside of the U.S. while completing distance education courses or online programs do not need to provide the documentation described in this section.

Additional Issues

  • Deadlines. No action will be taken on an application for admission until all credentials have been received. They must be received no later than May 31 for the fall semester and October 15 for the spring semester. Transfer students must have all credentials on file one month before the date of registration.
  • Employment. U.S. immigration laws do not permit international students to apply for permission to accept off-campus employment until they have been in this country for at least one year. Students on graduate assistantships generally are not allowed to have any outside employment.

Source:
Revised:
Approved By: Graduate Council and Faculty Senate
Custodian: Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School