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 79-68 IBT; 550-520 PBT
  • 6.5-6.0 IELTS

International students admitted 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 (SPCD 110 and/or SPCD 470) as part of the degree requirements.

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.

English test score 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.

AntiguaDominicaIrelandSouth Africa
AustraliaEnglandJamaicaSt. Kitts & Nevis
BahamasEritreaKenyaSt. Lucia
BarbadosFiji/Papua New GuineaMalawiSt. Vincent & Grenadines
BelizeGhanaNew ZealandTrinidad & Tobago
BermudaGrand Cayman IslandsNigeriaVirgin Islands
Canada (Quebec excepted)GrenadaScotlandWales