Apply to a Graduate Degree or Certificate Program as an International Student

General Instructions for International Applicants

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Anyone who has or will obtain a Bachelor's degree from an officially recognized college or university outside or inside the U.S. may apply for graduate admission.

Individuals who complete a 3-year bachelor’s degree from countries where this is a common standard are eligible to apply to graduate programs at JMU. An additional year of coursework is not required. Programs evaluate the courses completed by each student. In the rare case that deficiencies are identified, programs may require or recommend some specific preparatory courses beyond the normal graduate program to help the student successfully complete their graduate program.

International students are welcome to complete any of our programs, however, visas to study in the United States can only be issued for primarily in-person programs. A visa cannot be issued for programs that are primarily online. Please see the “International Applicants” section on the bottom of your program's requirements page before submitting an application.

Step 1. Start early

Check your program for application deadlines and requirements.

If possible, apply several months prior to the application deadline for your program, ideally 6-12 months in advance of your planned enrollment term.

Do your research

Learn about the program by exploring the program website and request more information if needed. Apply to programs that have goals that match your personal aspirations.

Do you want to study on-campus or online? Determine the mode of delivery for your program and is it eligible for a student visa. Our International Student and Scholars Services office is available to assist you.

Do you need to demonstrate your English proficiency or improve your English before enrolling?

Learn about fees. How will you pay for your education?

Explore graduate assistantships and financial aid.

Step 2. Complete your Online Application

The online application will ask you to enter personal information such as your address and contact information; your academic and employment history; and other information that will be used for acceptance decisions. Requirements vary by program. Visit your program webpage to review your program's requirements.

In addition to entering information, the online application may require you to upload documents such as resumes or personal statements before clicking the submit button. You will see a pop-up view of every item you upload. Check the quality and accuracy of your uploaded documents. Illegible documents will not be processed.

Please do not send or mail items if we have not requested them. They may not be processed and may delay your application.

Transcripts & Credential Evaluation

Details regarding transcripts and credential evaluations from non-US academic institutions can be found on the Transcripts & Credential Evaluation webpage.

Applicants should upload unofficial transcripts with their online application. If your transcript is not from JMU, OFFICIAL and FINAL transcripts demonstrating the degree has conferred will be required AFTER you are accepted into a program. Instructions will be in your acceptance letter.

Transcripts - Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions should be uploaded with your electronic application and may be used for departmental admission review purposes. If offered admission, you will be directed and required to submit to the JMU Graduate School an official transcript from any institution from which a degree has been awarded to finalize your admission. Transcripts are considered official if they are sent to JMU directly from the issuing institution.

Official transcripts can also be sent through an electronic transcript database provider such as  Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or others. When using these services, please choose “other” or “employer” and use

Letters of Recommendation

Some programs require letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are not uploaded by the applicant, but instead, they are submitted directly by the recommender. As you complete the online application, you must enter information about each person who will submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. We recommend that you contact your potential references before entering their names. The online application system will send an e-mail to each of the people you identify, and will ask them to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf directly to the application system.

To check if your recommenders have sent their letters or to make changes, login to your online application, click on "Review Your Activity," navigate to "Review Page," then click on "Manage Your Recommenders."

Officially accepted test scores and demonstration of English language proficiency

If English is not your native-language, applicants must present evidence of English proficiency. Completion of an undergraduate program in which English is the primary language of instruction is considered good evidence of English-language proficiency. Individual programs may have specific requirements for TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo or other English language proficiency criteria, so check with your program of interest. Your application will be reviewed based on the evidence received with your application. Please follow this link to learn more details about English language proficiency ---> Read More

Step 3. Submit Your Application

The application fee is $60 and is subject to change. A separate application fee must accompany each program application for admission. Pay the application fee within the online application by using a valid credit/debit card.

Step 4. Submit Your Test Scores

If required by your program, send official standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.) directly from the testing center. The Graduate School's institutional code for test scores is 5392.

(If you are applying to a CSD program your test scores must be sent to CSDCAS institutional code 1043 and not our institutional code listed above. If applying to the Physician Assistant program - use code 7442 )

What's Next?

Once you have submitted your application watch for important emails. Most students will receive an email that will prompt you to go to your Activity Page to view your decision. You will see an admission letter on your Activity Page. For some students there will be a supplemental letter from your graduate program that can be viewed as an item on your “checklist.”

If you are accepted, please officially accept your offer of admission . Until you accept your admission offer you will not be eligible for graduate assistantships and your name will not be submitted to our International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office. The ISSS office will help you obtain a visa, if necessary, after you have been accepted and accept your offer of admission.

If you have been accepted but cannot start during the semester indicated in your acceptance letter, contact your program director and request a deferral to a future semester.

If you have been accepted but no longer wish to attend James Madison University, please officially decline your offer of admission to make your position available to another qualified student.

If you have been denied admission and you would like additional information, contact your program by email.

After You Are Admitted

Official transcripts or Credential Evaluation

Submit OFFICIAL proof of completion of your Bachelor's or higher degree before you start your program.


Individuals who must travel from another country to participate in an on-campus program must obtain a visa that permits enrollment as a student. Permanent residents, undocumented residents, individuals with DACA status and U.S. citizens may enroll in on-campus programs. International students may enroll in online programs from their home countries without a visa. JMU is unable to provide sponsorship for an F-1 or J-1 visa for an online academic program.

Calculate your tuition and living expenses

Student who will require F-1 or J-1 status to participant in their academic program, will need to provide proof of funding for all expenses. The Form I-20 or DS-2019 (immigration document issued by the program sponsor so the student can apply for an F or J visa at the US Embassy/Consulate) cannot be issued without proof of funding. The student will provide documentation that funding exists for at least the first year of study (educational and living expenses) and adequate funding will be available for subsequent years. Your available funds can include the tuition and stipend you will receive from a graduate assistantship, if awarded, although graduate assistantships will not cover all of your expenses. Visit our Tuition and Living Costs webpage to calculate your anticipated expenses.

International Student Transfer Process

For students currently studying in the U.S. under the F-1 student status, learn more about the transfer process here.

Fraudulent Documents

The Graduate School will verify every document uploaded with your application against official documents we will receive from the issuing institution. If any material is found to have been altered or falsified, we reserve the right to withdraw offers of admission or expel the student. Honesty is a requirement of the James Madison University Honor Code.

Need more help?

For more on the online application, view our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have questions regarding international applications and requirements, visit the International Applicant FAQ page or contact The Graduate School (

Contact the Office of Disability Services to determine eligibility to submit a paper application or other accommodations in the application process.

Mailing Address

You will upload most all of your documents when you apply. Please do not send documents separated from your application. However, occasionally some applicants may need to send certain test scores or credential evaluations via mail. If you need to mail documents to us, please use the following address:

James Madison University
The Graduate School
100 E. Grace St.
Room 4050 / MSC 6702
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Notice of Availability – Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains information regarding campus security and personal safety including topics such as: crime prevention, the university police law enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, disciplinary procedures, protocols for the immediate notification of students and staff upon confirmation of a significant emergency on campus and other matters of importance related to security and safety. The report includes statistics for the most recent three-year period of reported crimes that have occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by JMU or its affiliates; and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report includes campus housing fire statistics for the most recent three-year period, a description of each on-campus student housing facility fire safety system, the number of fire drills held during the previous calendar year, policies or rules on portable electrical appliances, smoking, and open flames in student housing; and procedures for student housing evacuation in the event of fire along with other fire safety information.

The JMU Annual Security and Fire Safety Report includes the Harrisonburg campus and the three overseas branch campuses; Florence, Antwerp, and London. It is available electronically

You can obtain a copy of any of this report by contacting the Office of Public Safety, MSC 6810, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807 or request that a copy be mailed to you by calling (540)568-6769/6913.

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