The UC International Services Office supports international students in understanding the rules, regulations and procedures that must be followed during their stay in the United States and provides support services and cultural information to students.
International students with F-1 visas can be granted admission with full graduate status only. Most international students with J-1 visas can be granted admission with full graduate status only, with some exceptions. Students with J-1 visas should inquire at the International Student Services Office to determine the regulations that apply to them.
Students with green cards (United States resident aliens/permanent residents) are not defined as international students and, therefore, are not governed by the university’s international student policies. However, the TOEFL requirement does apply to green card holders (see The Test of English as a Foreign Language, below).
In instances where an international student holds a degree for which the United States equivalent is not known, or if it is determined by the program that the applicant does not have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, the program must submit a petition for admission without the bachelor’s degree, with supporting documentation and rationale, to the Senior Assistant University Dean of the Graduate School.
All international students are required to carry University of Cincinnati student health insurance unless they qualify for a waiver. Quarterly fees are automatically assessed each registration period. Insurance coverage for dependents is optional and may be arranged through the student health insurance office.
English Proficiency Requirement
English proficiency is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Students can demonstrate English proficiency in a number of ways at the graduate level. Most students fulfill the English requirement by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
For IELTS, an overall band score of 6.5 is sufficient for graduate admission. For TOEFL, requirements vary and scores are valid for up to two years. The minimum university requirement is:
- 520 (paper-based test), or
- 190 (computer-based test), or
- 68 (internet-based test)
However, many colleges and programs have higher score requirements than those listed above. Applicants can contact the programs or colleges to which they are applying for details. A listing of TOEFL requirements by college/program can also be found in the appendices.
The English proficiency requirement is met for applicants with degrees (e.g., a bachelor’s or master’s) earned in English from accredited universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand or other English-speaking countries. A copy of the degree or transcript is required for such applicants.
Students from the following countries are exempt from the English proficiency requirement:
|Antigua & Barbuda |
British Virgin Islands
Canada (except Quebec)
| ||Cayman Islands |
| ||New Zealand |
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Requests for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement must be made by the applicant’s Program Director (with appropriate documentation justifying English proficiency) to the Senior Assistant Dean of the Graduate School.
Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT)
The OEPT tests the spoken language skills of non-native speakers of English. An overall score of 3.0 is the minimum passing score for the test. If you score less than 3.0, you are recommended to take ESL courses before retaking the test. For students who will have teaching responsibilities, the minimum required score is 3.0.
Students who pass with at least a 3.0 are certified for oral English proficiency and may assume the full range of duties associated with a teaching assistantship. Students whose oral English proficiency has not been officially certified may not assume instructional responsibilities. Students are required to take the test at the beginning of their first quarter of study.
Students who score 26 or above on the speaking section of the TOEFL IBT or students with a score of 50 or above on the Test of Spoken English are exempt from the OEPT test. A student is permitted to take the OEPT twice without charge during an academic year.
Compulsory Health Screening
The University of Cincinnati requires a health screening of all international students at University Health Services It is imperative that the student consult the letter from University Health Services that is included in his or her pre-arrival packet. It contains an immunization record sheet that must be completed, signed and sealed by a medical official.
Failure to complete the evaluation upon arrival will result in cancellation of classes for the subsequent quarter. If classes are cancelled, the student will be in violation of immigration status.
Graduate Program in
(513) 584-9089 Phone
(513) 584-4007 Fax
Howard Elson, PhD
(513) 584-9092 Phone
(513) 584-4007 Fax