How to Apply & Deadlines

Requirements for International Applicants ONLY for programs administered through the School of Education


In addition to a completed application, international applicants are required to submit the items listed below.

Test Score Requirements

All international applicants must submit acceptable, official TOEFL (reported directly from or IELTS (reported directly from scores. We accept no other English Language tests.

We recommend that you plan to take any required exams no later than October to allow time for scores to arrive in time for consideration for fall admission.

Standardized test scores must be official and are reportable for a period of two years from the date of the exam. Exam results more than two years old cannot be considered. Standardized test scores that are submitted to this institution are kept on file for only one year.

When you register for any tests, you should indicate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education as a score recipient. If you did not specify the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education as a score recipient at the time of taking the test, you must promptly ask to send your scores to us. While self-reported scores are useful for informal evaluation, the official report of your scores must arrive before final review and admission can be offered.

The required minimum total score on the exams are:

  • The internet-based TOEFL exam = 79.
  • The paper-based TOEFL exam = 550 with a minimum of 50 in each section.
  • The IELTS exam = 7

Some programs have their own minimal score requirements which are higher than those stated above, in which case these higher standards will be required.

Exceptions to the English Standardized exams are available for the three categories listed below:

  1. Applicants from countries where English is the SOLE OFFICIAL language of instruction. (Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-except Québec, England, Ghana, Ireland, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Uganda, and Wales.)
  2. Applicants who have received or will receive a degree from an accredited university in the United States. (You must upload an unofficial transcript or verification of degree candidate status from that institution within the online admissions application. If you are offered admission, the official transcript must be received, or the English exam scores will be required to enroll.)
  3. Applicants who have received or will receive a degree from an accredited university where English is the SOLE language of instruction. (If you are a degree candidate in a university where English is the SOLE language of instruction, along with your request, you must submit an official verification from that university that English is the SOLE language of instruction along with your anticipated date of graduation. If the degree or an official verification is not received, the English exam scores will again be required.)

Applicants in category 1 will automatically receive the exception. If you believe you qualify for a waiver of the English standardized exam under categories 2 or 3, you must submit a request along with any required official verification letters. This request should be sent after submission of your application. Please send the request as an email to the School of Education indicating your desire to have the English standardized exam waived along with the category.

All newly admitted international students are required to take an English Proficiency exam prior to enrolling for classes. Individuals who do not achieve a passing score on this exam are required to register for an English course (ENGL 601) their first semester of enrollment. Failure to take the test and/or register for the required course will prevent future registrations.

International Student Data and Financial Certification

In order to meet U.S. Immigration requirements for entry into the United States, proof of sufficient financial resources to cover educational and living expenses for the duration of your program must be in place before a certificate of eligibility document (Form I-20 or DS-2019) can be issued. The original Financial Certificate and original supporting documents (such as bank statements, scholarship award letters and sponsor letters) should outline financial support available to you. Please include a photocopy of the identification page of your passport.

The financial certificate is required for all international students, including those currently residing in the United States or anticipating an award by the university to cover some or all expenses. Please note the University does not have special travel or study scholarships for international students.

Required forms and documentation may be uploaded within the ‘International Applicants Only’ page in your application prior to your application submission.

A current ESTIMATE of minimum expenses for one academic year (September through May) is indicated on the certificate. Please note, however, that annual North Carolina State mandated tuition increases often occur just prior to registration.

Processing the International Student Data Form and Financial Certification Worksheet is accomplished in the following steps:

  1. Step One: All international applicants download and complete the International Student Data Form (page 1).Upload the completed form with copies of immigration documents as requested on the form. Please do not mail in forms or supporting documents.

    Only if you are requesting F-1 or J-1 immigration status, complete steps one through six of the Financial Certification Instructions/Worksheet (pages 2 & 3), sign the form, and upload it, along with your required support materials, within your application. Please do not mail in forms or supporting documents.
  2. Step Two: After funding decisions have been made, your graduate program will access your uploaded materials, complete PART B (of page 3), and forward the necessary documents to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).
  3. Step Three: The financial documents must be evaluated and approved by ISSS prior to creating the Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 or DS-2019. If ISSS has questions regarding your financial documents, you will be contacted via email.

If additional documentation is requested you will be able to upload the requested documentation in your application.

Information for new international students is available on the ISSS website. Please do not contact ISSS regarding the verification of your documents, as answering numerous inquiries takes away from immigration document processing and may cause delays in receiving student visa eligibility documents.

Immigration Document Status

No action will be taken on your International Student Data and Financial Certification documents until you have been offered admission. You may check the status of your documents by logging into your application and accessing the ‘International Students Only’ page.

International applicants in need of financial aid may write to the Institute of International Education, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, or review the IIE website.

The University's Office of Scholarships and Student Aid can only fund students who are U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent residents with I-151 or I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Cards, permanent residents of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Trust Territory or the Pacific Islands, and other non-citizens who have Arrival-Departure Records (I-94) showing “refugee” or “adjustment applicant” or official grant of asylum in the United States. Students who meet these requirements should apply for financial assistance before March 1.


Before accepting any employment, either on-campus or off-campus, students in F-1 or J-1 immigration status should consult with International Student and Scholar Services. Students in F-1/J-1 status are permitted to work on-campus at UNC-Chapel Hill up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Students should not look to employment as a significant means of financial support while at UNC-Chapel Hill unless it’s a fully-funded assistantship that meets the Graduate School’s minimum standards. In order to work on-campus, students must submit a letter of employment from the campus department to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). ISSS will provide students in F-1/J-1 status with a letter to apply for the social security number (SSN) at the Social Security Administration office in Durham. International students in F-1 or J-1 status are not eligible for an SSN unless they have employment.

Students who plan to work off-campus (student teaching, etc.), must have prior approval from the office of International Student and Scholar Services. They may be contacted at (919) 962-5661 or via their website, Students in F-1 or J-1 status may also require authorization from USCIS, so it is recommended that you apply early. Please be advised that failure to obtain proper work authorization before beginning employment will result in the termination of your immigration status. If you are in a category other than F-1 or J-1, you must be permitted by the terms of your immigration status to accept employment. Failure to do so may result in a violation of your immigration status.

Students that are enrolled in programs that lead to licensure will be required to have a social security number to apply. Please consult with the office of International Student and Scholar Services for more information on approved procedures for qualifying.

For any additional questions, please review our Admissions Office Contacts.