The university encourages qualified international students, both nonimmigrant and immigrant, to seek admission to VCU. Complete information and application materials for international students may be obtained on written request from Virginia Commonwealth University, International Admissions, P.O. Box 843043, Richmond, VA, United States 23284-3043; by phone at (804) 828-6016; by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or online at www.vcu.edu/oie/ia.
To ensure maximum benefit from academic study at VCU, all non-native English-speaking applicants, regardless of immigration status, must provide evidence of English language proficiency before admission and/or enrollment in the university.
Evidence of English language proficiency is evaluated based on factors such as length of stay in the United States, amount and type of formal U.S. education, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores and other standardized test scores such as the GRE or GMAT. TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years.
Global Education Office
The Graduate School reserves the right to require additional testing and study in the VCU English Language Program prior to full-time enrollment in university courses. The university offers a full-time English-as-a-Second-Language noncredit program. For information on the VCU English Language Program, including fees, international students can contact the English Language Program, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 843043, Richmond, VA 23284-3043, United States; (804) 828-2551, or by email: email@example.com; or online at www.vcu.edu/oie/elp.
Because of the amount of time required to process applications from international students and for international students to obtain their visas, prospective students should apply well in advance of the international application deadlines. The deadlines are April 1 for fall semester, Oct. 1 for spring semester and Feb. 1 for summer session. Students also must meet specific program deadlines that may be different from April 1, Oct. 1 and Feb. 1, respectively. The graduate dean must authorize any exception to application deadlines. All required admission documents must be submitted no later than eight weeks prior to registration if appropriate immigration documents are to be issued. Applicants who are unable to meet this credential deadline will need to defer the intended semester of entry.
Both U.S. government regulations and VCU admission policies require nonimmigrant applicants to demonstrate:
International students are advised to refer to university and program admission requirements in this bulletin for other information requested of all applicants. An applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent degree from a recognized foreign institution. Official academic records must be submitted.
International applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in the English language prior to admission and/or full-time enrollment in the university. An applicant may satisfy university English proficiency requirements by obtaining a satisfactory score on the TOEFL. The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based); however, most graduate programs prefer a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based). Some graduate programs will accept satisfactory scores on the IELTS as evidence of English proficiency. The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5, but most graduate programs prefer an IELTS score of 7.0 or higher. TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years.
Global Education Office
As VCU does not generally provide financial support for graduate international students, applicants needing a student visa (F-1) or a visiting scholar visa (J-1) also must present documented evidence of available financial support to cover annual living and educational expenses while studying at VCU.
Proof of current visa type must be submitted with the application for applicants who are in the United States on student visas. F-1 students and J-1 visiting scholars admitted to VCU must submit copies of all immigration documents to the VCU International Student Adviser prior to enrolling in classes.
Because immigrant applicants usually are in the United States at the time applications are submitted, these students are required to meet the same application deadlines as U.S. citizens.
If educated in the United States, immigrant students will be considered for admission under the same academic policies as those applied to U.S. citizens. If educated outside the United States, the same academic records are required as those for nonimmigrant students.
VCU requires detailed information concerning U.S. immigration status. Proof of permanent residency or application for permanent residency must be submitted with the admission application.