A graduate international student must hold at minimum a four year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and is able to demonstrate English proficiency, both written and oral by submitting an official TOEFL or IELTS score report.

English Proficiency for Admission

  • TOEFL 79 IBT; 550 PBT
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Duolingo 105

Doctoral level students must provide official proof of an English Proficiency minimum score as stated above. International students admitted into a master's degree program, with TOEFL 68 to 78 IBT, 520 to 549 PBT or 6.0 IELTS, are required to sit for the English Placement Exam prior to beginning academic coursework. (The International Student and Scholar Services Office arranges this test upon arrival). If the results of the English Placement Exam do not meet the requirements for academic coursework the student can be required to take additional academic English classes (ENGL 1105M Intermediate ESL Composition and Grammar Review and/or ENGL 471 M Scholarly Writing for International Graduate Students) as part of the degree requirements.

English Proficiency Waiver

International students are waived from the English language test requirement if they have received a university degree in the U.S. or from one of the following countries (listed below), or have attended a U.S. college/university as a full-time student for a minimum of one academic year resulting in 30 academic credits.


Antigua Dominica Ireland South Africa
Australia England Jamaica St. Kitts & Nevis
Bahamas Eritrea Kenya St. Lucia
Barbados Fiji/Papua New Guinea       Malawi  St. Vincent & Grenadines
Belize Ghana New Zealand    Trinidad & Tobago
Bermuda Grand Cayman Islands Nigeria Virgin Islands
Canada (Quebec excepted)       Grenada Scotland Wales

International COVID-19 Updates 

Frequently Asked Questions

Due to COVID-19, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) instituted a temporary exemption regarding online courses for the 2020 spring and summer semesters. This policy permitted non-immigrant students to take more online courses than normally permitted by federal regulation to maintain their non-immigrant status during the COVID-19 emergency.

SEVP has issued an updated regulation (released July 6th, 2020) regarding student course loads for Fall 2020.

NMSU is moving towards opening our campus with some modification in the mode of instruction for Fall 2020.  International students are still bound by existing federal regulations regarding class course loads:

-International students may take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online. 

-All F-1 Undergraduate students have to register for 12 credits total and of those credits only 3 credits can count towards online classes.

-Graduate students need to take 9 credits and of those credits only 3 credits can count towards online classes to maintain their F-1 status.

For students interested in taking hybrid classes, please note the following: hybrid classes are a combination of classroom and online work.
Hybrid courses are considered in-person courses as per SEVP regulation. They have to be coded in Banner as such. 

Students can't take courses completely online while in the US and maintain their status at NMSU.

Admission process

Please visit the admissions tab for information regarding the application review process. The Graduate School will only offer admission to international students for Fall and Spring semesters.


Because international students have visa requirements, please ensure that you apply by the graduate program’s deadline or if a deadline is not posted by March 1 for Fall semester or October 1 for Spring semester. The Graduate School cannot guarantee that an application will be processed in time for the semester requested if it is received after the deadline. For questions about the i-20 process, please contact International Student and Scholar Services.

Transcript evaluation

Graduate School does not require transcript evaluations as part of the application process but reserve’s the right to request an evaluation should there be a concern or question regarding the academic record. If the GPA calculation by the Graduate School does not correspond to the applicant’s idea of equivalency, the applicant is welcome to have the academic record evaluated by a third party evaluator. All evaluations must be performed by a recognized member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Academic records sent for third party evaluation should request a course-by-course evaluation as well as degree level achieved. Graduate School reserves the right not to accept evaluations omitting academic marks. NMSU nor the Graduate School accept responsibility for any fees pertaining to third party evaluations.