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Graduate Admission Process for International Students

Below is the admission process for graduate international students.  It should answer the majority of questions related to the process. This list is not intended to be either complete or permanent. It will be updated periodically.

If your questions have not been answered below, please contact Michelle Emrick White at

Does MSU have the degree program? Search for degree programs online with Find A Major.

Does the degree program offer sufficient face-to-face classes for an I-20?

  • Federal law requires that a program offer a certain number of face-to-face classes before immigration documents can be issued for the student to come to campus. MSU offers programs that are entirely online and many online/hybrid classes.
  • Because programs are subject to change, it is advisable to check once per semester.

There are six (6) graduate programs with sufficient face-to-face classes for an I-20

  1. Master of Arts (MA) in Art
  2. Master of Music
  3. Master of Science (MS) in Biology
  4. Master of Science (MS) in Engineering and Technology Management
  5. Master of Science (MS) in Psychology
  6. Master of Science (MS) in Space Systems Engineering (students from certain countries cannot be in this program)

Admission into a graduate program requires meeting the criteria for admission into the specific program and the University in general. An applicant must meet both sets of requirements before the admission and immigration documents can be issued.

Each program has its own admission criteria and timeline.

If it appears that one of the seven programs is a good fit, apply to the University and pay the $30 application fee.

Within 1-2 business days of a successful application, you should receive two emails listing the items needed to complete your application:

  • First email - items needed for admission into the academic program
  • Second email - items needed for admission into the University

Items needed for admission into the University:

  • Official evaluation.
    • Students completing their degree from an institute of higher education outside the United States are required to complete a credential evaluation from an organization on Choose an organization on, send the documents to that organization according to their instructions, and request that the final evaluation be sent directly to Morehead State University.
    • Note: an evaluation is different than a translation. A translation is translating from one language to another. A credential evaluation determines what a foreign institution's academic accomplishments are comparable to in the United States: GPA, degrees earned, hours completed, etc.
    • Students completing their degree in the United States do not need a credential evaluation.
  • Original, official proof of English proficiency:
    • IELTS 5.5, TOEFL 61, or Michigan Test 82, or
    • Duolingo Official, or
    • Pearson PTE, or
    • From an English-speaking country listed on MSU’s website, or
    • Successfully graduated from a U.S. high school (must also submit ACT or SAT scores) or
    • Completed at least 24 hours from a college/university in the United States
  • Original, official financial documents:
    • Must be on official bank letterhead, in English, and less than three months old
    • Must be a minimum of $23,000 US dollars (a financial award, such as a scholarship, reduces this amount)
    • If someone else, such as a parent, is sponsoring, then a Letter of Support is needed. The Letter of Support template will be emailed.
    • Scholarship letters from certain countries may be emailed.
  • Picture page of passport and/or visa and/or I-20.
  • Transfer Form (needed for students who have previously studied in the U.S.)
  • Other items as required by the student’s situation.

Once the items have been received and are satisfactory, a student’s admission request will be sent to the department for review. Once the department makes a decision, the student will be informed accordingly. Should an offer of admission be made, the student’s admission and immigration documents can then be produced.

Contact the Graduate School

Michelle Emrick White, Graduate International Admissions Specialist

701 Ginger Hall
Morehead, KY 40351

PHONE: 800-585-6781
PHONE: 606-783-2039
FAX: 606-783-5061