International Graduate Applicants

How to Apply 

To complete an application as an international graduate applicant, follow the steps below.

Once the Graduate School has received a complete application, it will be forwarded to the graduate program for review. Each program makes its own recommendation, but the final admission decision is the responsibility of the Dean of the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The NDSU Graduate School application procedure places responsibility on the applicant to gather all supporting credentials and verifying that the application file is complete. The deadline for submission is dependent upon the program. If no deadline is listed on the program's catalog page, all application materials are due on the following dates:

  • Fall application deadline: May 1
  • Spring application deadline: October 1
  • Summer application deadline: March 1

Application and Fees

You are required to submit your online application and nonrefundable $35 application fee. The fee must be paid before the application will be processed or reviewed.

If you're a returning applicant, you can log in to your account here.


Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose is required for admission consideration and must be uploaded to your online application.

Please include the following information in your statement:

  • Reasons for pursuing graduate study
  • Special interests within your chosen discipline
  • Background preparation in your proposed field of study
  • Relevant skills or experience that you have acquired

Some programs may have additional requirements. Refer to your intended program for more information.

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required from persons familiar with your academic achievements. Your letter must meet the following requirements:

  • Recommendations must be submitted to the Graduate School via the online application system. Recommenders will receive an email with the link and instructions at the email address you provide for them on your application. 
  • Letters cannot be more than two years old.
  • We do not accept recommendation letters by paper, fax, or email. If received in any of these formats, they will be discarded.

Some programs may have other requirements. Refer to your intended program for more information.

Transcripts (Statement of Marks)

Submitting your transcripts (statement of marks)

Submit one official transcript (statement of marks) from each college or university at which you have been enrolled or are currently enrolled. Include both undergraduate and graduate coursework, as well as continuing education credits (if applicable).

Official original transcripts (statement of marks) are required to be sent from each institution attended, whether or not a degree was earned, and even if courses were transferred to another university.


  • The transcript (statement of marks) and degrees must bear the original stamp/seal and signature of the school official responsible for issuing such records (such as the Registrar or Controller of Examinations) for that institution. 
  • Only degrees received from colleges and universities recognized by the Ministry of Education of a foreign country or regional/global accreditation bodies are accepted.
  • Transcripts (statement of marks) from non-U.S. institutions must be in the official language of the country in which they were earned. English language translations are also required. We will accept literal (not interpretive) English translations from any qualified translator, and the translations must be sent in addition to (not in lieu of) the official academic record.
  • Do not send High School/Intermediate/Secondary transcripts.
  • A four-year Bachelor’s degree is required to be eligible for graduate admission. Any applicant with a two or three-year Bachelor’s degree must submit a transcript evaluation to determine eligibility for admission.

Official transcripts (statement of marks) may be sent in either of two ways:

  • Transcript Evaluation: the Graduate School prefers that your educational credentials be evaluated by WES (World Education Services), ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators), IEE (International Education Evaluations), SpanTran (The Evaluation Company), or another NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) member. Please Note: The evaluation must be on a course-by-course basis.
  • Official Transcript: the other option is to have one official copy of your transcript (statement of marks), as well as a copy of the degree certificate (if applicable), from each college or university at which you have been enrolled or are currently enrolled sent directly to the NDSU Graduate School. Documents must be sent in the original sealed and stamped envelope, with the seal, stamp, or signature of the Registrar (or equivalent) over the flap closure of the envelope. An evaluation of an official transcript by Graduate School staff takes at least two weeks.

  • Please note: If our staff is unable to perform an evaluation of your transcript(s), we reserve the right to require that you have a course-by-course evaluation completed and submitted by an approved NACES member. We will notify you if this additional requirement is needed. 

We do not accept unofficial transcripts:

  • Notarized, emailed, faxed, and scanned copies are not considered official.
  • Transcripts are not considered official if stamped by the department or a faculty member.
  • If a transcript has been opened or tampered with, it will be considered unofficial.


Request to have all official documents sent directly to the NDSU Graduate School at the appropriate address listed below.

Mailing Address (if using postal service):
NDSU Graduate School
Dept 2820 PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108

Delivery Address (for courier deliveries):
NDSU Graduate School
106 Putnam Hall
1349 12th Avenue NW
Fargo, ND 58102


If you have previously attended (or currently attend) NDSU, we will obtain a copy of your NDSU transcript. You do not need to request an official NDSU transcript to be sent to our office.



Test Scores

English proficiency

All graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship or residency, must demonstrate proficiency with the English language before they will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

This requirement may be met by applicants who have:

  • Been raised in a recognized country where English is the only official language
  • Earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a recognized institution in a recognized country where English is the only official language
  • Achieved a satisfactory TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or Duolingo score (see details below)

*Please note that applicants meeting either of the first two criteria listed above may need to contact the Graduate School to ensure that the test of English proficiency requirement is waived.

TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo

Minimum score requirements:

  • TOEFL: 71 (internet-based) or 525 (paper-based)
  • IELTS: 6.0 (academic version)
  • Duolingo: 105 (internet-based)

Some programs require a higher minimum score. Refer to graduate catalog program pages for more information.

The official score must be received by the Graduate School before an application will be considered.

  • Official TOEFL test scores must be sent electronically to NDSU (institution code 6474). A specific department code is not required.
  • Official IELTS test scores may be sent electronically or by mail to the NDSU Graduate School. Please note that the academic version is required. The general training version will not be accepted for admission.
  • Official Duolingo scores must be sent electronically directly from Duolingo to the NDSU Graduate School.

The test date must be within two years of the date of the application to the Graduate School.



Some departments require an admission test as part of the application. Please see the individual program pages for test requirements. All official test scores must be within five years of the date of the application to the Graduate School.

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) – Official GRE test scores should be sent electronically to NDSU (institution code 6474). A specific department code is not required.

GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) – Please arrange to have official test scores sent directly to the Graduate School.


Additional Information

Multiple Applications

If you choose to apply to more than one graduate program, submit a new statement of purpose and a $35 application fee. If you would like to use any previously submitted documents, please email us at

If it has been more than two years since your previous application was submitted, you must also request three new online letters of recommendation, new test scores, if required, and any new transcripts. If you wish to change the program you are applying to after you have submitted the application form, you must complete a new application.

Fraudulent Records

Any transcripts, certificates, translations, or examination results that appear irregular will be verified with the appropriate school or examination authorities, and the application process will be delayed until verification is received. If it is determined that an applicant has submitted false records or omitted information about previous school attendance, his/her application will be denied, and legal action may be taken.

Countries Exempt from the English Proficiency Examination Requirement

If you have been raised in one of the following countries or have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a recognized institution in one of the following countries you do not need to provide a foreign language examination score. 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Canada (Except Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Great Britain
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Scotland
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States
  • Wales
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Please note that applicants meeting the criteria above may need to contact the Graduate School to ensure their exemption from the test of English proficiency requirement.

English Language Test Score Requirements by Program

NDSU accepts the following English proficiency tests:

The Graduate School requires the following minimum scores:

  • TOEFL score of 525 (paper-based) or 71 (Internet-based)
  • IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0
  • Duolingo score of 105
  • PTE Academic score of 50

The language test date must be within two years of the date of application to the Graduate School.

Your specific graduate program may require different minimum scores. See the minimum required scores for your program of interest by selecting your program in the Graduate Catalog.

English Language Test Score Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

To be eligible for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA), applicants must meet higher English language test score minimums. View GTA score minimums for TOEFL, IELTS and Duolingo here.

Please note: Once received, all application materials become the property of North Dakota State University's Graduate School and will not be returned.