International Students

Graduate Programs: Admissions: International Students

Messiah College Graduate Programs considers applications submitted by permanent residents/green card holders and non-U.S. citizens/international students. Permanent residents as well as non-U.S. citizens/international students must submit a copy of their passport/citizen ID card and/or green card as a part of their application to

As the majority of our graduate programs are delivered online, those studying strictly online that do not have academic requirements that require an intensive residential course in the United States, do not need to obtain a visa. For those that will be traveling to the United States for an intensive residential course, Messiah College will assist students in obtaining the correct visa.

Students residing in the U.S.on a visa that permits studying must be aware that the majority of our graduate courses are online. F-1 and J-1 international students are obligated to adhere to limitations regarding long distance and online course registration in order to maintain legal status. Students on F-1 and J-1 visas are required to be in school full-time.  Full-time status at Messiah College is six (6) graduate credits a semester. The federal government only permits three (3) online credits toward a student's full-time enrollment status of the six (6) required credits needed to maintain legal status. Therefore, international students that are currently in the United States on a F-1 or J-1 visa are encouraged to contact Dr. Robert Pepper, the Director of Graduate Enrollment and Student Services to discuss their visa.

International accreditation, undergraduate degrees, and transcripts

Students must submit all transcripts (those from both U.S. and non-U.S. institutions) as part of their application. Messiah College requires a course-by-course evaluation of international transcripts and the transcript must be converted to the American grade point average system. Transcripts in a language other than English must also include an official English translation.

Messiah College highly recommends that all international transcripts be evaluated by World Education Services, Inc.  The translation and evaluation fees must be paid directly to WES. Messiah College requires the WES Basic course-by-course evaluation. There is no need to send a copy of your official international transcript to Messiah College. Request that WES send the evaluation to Messiah College electronically to

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency by submitting official test scores from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Messiah’s official minimum score for the TOEFL is an 80 ibt or 550 pbt. The official minimum score for the IELTS is a 6.5. 

Test scores must be from the last two years or more recent.  Photocopies of score reports will not be accepted.   TOEFL scores should be sent directly to Messiah College (code 2411) from ETS. IELTS scores should be mailed to Messiah College Graduate Programs.  International applications are not considered complete until Messiah College Graduate Programs receives official TOEFL or IELTS scores.  An offer of admission cannot be made nor can a visa document be issued if an application is incomplete.  If your TOEFL or IELTS score does not meet the requirement, we cannot issue the document, and you will not be able to enter the country.


The TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of three criteria:

1. Native citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec) do not have to meet the test requirement. Students who are citizens of India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore or British Commonwealth countries are NOT exempt from the TOEFL requirement.

2. Students who have studied full-time for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada.  Transcripts are required that demonstrate that this requirement has been met. 

3. Students who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or Canada (except Quebec).

If you have questions about your English language proficiency, contact the  Dr. Rob Pepper, Director of Graduate Enrollment and Student Services.