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Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies

International Student Resources

International Student Resources

Pursuing a graduate education can be consuming. Navigating a new country? Well, that can be a greater challenge. International Students Services in the Center for International Affairs provides resources for new students to make your move to Cleveland seamless. See our Application FAQs for more application information. 

Academic English Proficiency Program (AEP)

The AEP Program is designed for promising international graduate students to receive English language development needed to raise language scores on the TOEFL or IELTS tests exams. Students will be admitted provisionally and will take 1-2 full time (9 credit hours) modules depending on their language score. Students must finish all requirements for the program and score a 90 or above on the TOEFL at the end of the module in order to be fully admitted to the program. After successfully completing the course, you will also receive a Certificate to list on your resume at the conclusion of the program. 

Please note that students cannot simply sign up for this program. Your application for admission is submitted online and reviewed by the department. If they decide to proceed with the admit but the TOEFL or IELTS score is lower than the minimum standards, then the AEP program can be an option to proceed with provisional admission. 

Please see the International Student Services website about the AEP Program or email for more information. 

Submitting Transcripts & Degree Certification

Transcripts or degree certifications in languages other than English, must be accompanied by an English translation. If accepted, the School of Graduate Studies will need official copies of both the English and original language version submitted, not just the English version. Scanned copies sent by email or PDF are not considered official; official copies must be in a sealed envelope from the university or come via encrypted email directly from the university. 

All transcripts, degree certifications and translations will become the property of the School of Graduate Studies. Do not send official transcripts until you have been formally accepted. 

* We understand that some international universities take a substantial amount of time to certify degrees. If you are accepted and cannot produce a transcript with degree verification due to a delay in your school's processing times, please contact the School of Graduate Studies.

Language Scores (TOEFL, IELTS and PTE)

Minimum scores (all of these scores are valid for 2 years from the date of testing):

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based: 90

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based: 577

International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0

Pearson Test of English (PTE-Academic): 61

* Note: Some departments (Art History & Museum Studies, Biomedical Engineering, Engineering and Management, STEP Entrepreneurship Program) require a higher score, check with your department to determine if they require a higher score. Those higher scores are 100 on the TOEFL, 7.0 on the IELTS, and 68 on the PTE Academic.

* The language test requirement will be waived if you have completed a bachelors or masters degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.

* Applicants that do not meet the minimum required scores above can still apply to CWRU. But first, consult with the department which you intend to apply to discuss your options for participating in the AEP Program sponsored through the Center for International Affairs (see above). However, the minimum scores to participate in that program are a 75 iBT TOEFL or 6.0 IELTS. Please note that you must first be accepted into your degree program in order to participate in the AEP Program. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below is a list of frequently asked questions by our international students. Find additional FAQs about the admissions process here

If your department recommends you for admission, the School of Graduate Studies will then review your record and make the final decision. Regardless of the decision, you will receive an email notification prompting you to log back in to the online application system. Please note that a decision is not final until you receive the email notice from Graduate Studies. If accepted, you will need to Accept or Decline our offer of admission - this sets the process in motion with the Center for International Affairs and International Student Services to begin working on your visa and I-20 paperwork. 

International Student Services will process all paperwork related to your travel and stay in the U.S. You will hear from ISS after you receive your official acceptance letter (via email) from the School of Graduate Studies and Accept our offer of admission. ISS will not start your visa unless you have accepted the offer from Graduate Studies in the online application system. ISS will communicate with students via email, the New Student Checklist, or Terra Dotta for processing your paperwork. 

Possibly. There are three ways to qualify for a waiver of the language score requirement:

  • If you graduated with a bachelors or higher from a U.S. institution where English was the main method of instruction, the score requirement will be waived upon receipt of the transcripts with degree verification.
  • If you graduated from a university outside of the U.S. that the instruction was in English, the score requirement will be waived upon receipt of the transcripts with degree verification. You must be able to provide a transcript stating that English was the method of instruction or a letter from the school.
  • If your home country's primary spoken language is English.

* Please note there is no waiver for the PhD in Organizational Behavior. 

During the application process, we prefer that applicants use their legal name rather than a nickname or preferred name. This helps us to better match incoming transcripts or documents sent to us that list your legal name. If accepted to the university, you can later submit a Preferred Name Form to change your name on rosters and in the Student Information System. 

Government Help with Application

The U.S. State Department's EducationUSA offers assistance with the application process and information on how to contact an advising center in your country.