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International Students – Admission,Visa and Health Insurance Information

International students may apply to any of the undergraduate programs. They are eligible to receive scholarships through the general scholarship fund, with awards ranging from $500-$4,500.

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Larger scholarships are available for students from particular countries as special scholarship funds are established by donors. We currently have special funds for students from Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Slovak Republic.

Application Instructions

International students should follow the normal application procedures. The only additional requirement is proof of English proficiency. It is preferred that students submit scores from one of the following tests. A phone interview may be conducted for applicants who have not taken one of these tests:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): A score of 88 or higher on the internet-based exam, 230 or higher on the computer-based exam, and 570 or higher on the paper-based exam. (Please note that the TOEFL ITP is not a valid form of the test)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): A score of 6.5 on the academic exam.
  • Completion of the Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) Exam.
  • Pearson Academic Test of English: A minimum score of 59.
  • SAT I Critical Reading/ACT-English: A score of 450 or higher on the SAT I critical reading section or an ACT-English score of 20 or higher.

International applicants who have completed a year of study at a regionally accredited university in the U.S., Canada (excluding province of Quebec), United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand or another university where classes are conducted in English are considered to have met the level of English proficiency, and do not need submit additional documentation.

Admissions Timeline

International applicants should pay close attention to deadlines set for each summer or semester program. Applicants will be reviewed as a group after the international deadline has passed.

International applicants already studying full-time in the U.S. may apply for any of the application deadlines.

Please click here to review current deadline information.

Visa Process

Once admitted, international students will need to obtain a student visa through George Mason University. GMU will provide students with the documents needed to obtain a J-1 student visa. The following materials are required to be submitted to TFAS staff within two weeks of enrollment:

  • A copy of the biographic (picture page) of the passport.
  • Documentation of the funds necessary to participate in the program. This includes any tuition balance owed as well as estimated living expenses and books. Please note that any scholarship received from TFAS should be deducted from the total funds to be documented.

There are two options for this:

  • Personal Funds – A bank statement or bank letter in English and on official bank letterhead indicating the type of account, the current balance, and the type of currency. Current balance must appear in numeric figures. The student’s name must appear on the bank document.
  • Family Funds – 1. A letter of support in English signed and dated by a family member who intends to provide the student’s expenses. The letter must indicate in U.S. dollars the amount of funds to be provided, the duration of the support, and the individual’s relationship to the student. AND 2. A bank statement or bank letter in English and on official bank letterhead indicating the type of account, the current balance, and type of currency. Current balance must appear in numeric figures. The name of the family member providing support must appear on the bank document.

Applicants are encouraged to gather these materials during the admissions process in order to have them ready in a timely fashion.

Students will be responsible for paying all fees associated with the visa application process, including the SEVIS fee, estimated at 200 USD, and charges associated with sending visa documents via DHL, estimated at between 50 – 150 USD. Students are also responsible for funding their own travel to the U.S. unless provided for as part of their scholarship award.

Health Insurance

All students entering the United States on a J-1 visa sponsored by George Mason University will be required to purchase health insurance through the GMU student insurance plan. The cost for summer 2018 will be $855. For more information, please check here.

Questions may be directed to Mallie Woodfin at mwoodfin@TFAS.org or 202.986.0384.