International Students

Admissions Criteria

Messiah College seeks to provide opportunities for students from around the world to receive formal education in a Christian, liberal arts setting. To be offered admission to Messiah College, a student must have superior academic credentials. Among its distinctives, Messiah College is an academically competitive institution, currently ranked #4 among “Best Regional Colleges in the North” according to U.S. News & World Report. We are also firm in our conviction that Jesus Christ will be preeminent on our campus. Therefore, we ask that students who enroll at Messiah College live according to our Community Covenant and demonstrate Christian values in their lifestyle.

Qualified students with evidence of good scholastic standing, adequate preparation, a strong knowledge of English and a sincere desire to be part of a Christian community will be considered for admission.

Application Checklist

Your application file is complete and ready for review when we have received the following:

Application & Essay

Prospective students apply online. Be sure to follow the application instructions to apply as an international student. You must apply using the Messiah College application. We do not accept the Common Application.

As part of the application, you will be asked to write an essay in response to a prompt.

High School/Secondary School Academic Record/Transcript

Your school officials should submit, on your behalf, evidence of your academic standing. These records must be in English and bear the signature of a school official. The transcript must be original and sent in a sealed envelope directly from your school. The other option is for them to send it by Parchment.

Your transcript records must include the following:

  • Evidence of courses or subjects completed and grades earned during the four or six years preceding university standing.
  • Official copies of diplomas or certificates required in your country as evidence of qualification for university standing.
  • Evidence of courses or subjects completed, grades earned and time allotted to each course during university study, if any has been done.
  • Minimum required GPA of 2.5 (on 4.0 scale).
  • College prep curriculum highly recommended.

Applicants are encouraged to submit the results of any national exams that are required by your home country (O-levels, A-levels, IGCSE, CXC, West Africa Exams, SPM, etc.).

Standardized Test Scores

You are required to submit at least one standardized test score from the following options:

SAT: minimum composite score of 1000 on critical reading and math
ACT: minimum composite score of 22
TOEFL: minimum 80 internet-based test/ 213 computer-based test/ 550 paper-based test
IELTS: minimum 6.5

The SAT I and ACT scores can qualify you for admission and impact your eligibility for scholarships. The TOEFL and IELTS can qualify you for admission, but will not help you qualify for additional financial aid. Test results must be submitted to Messiah College directly from the testing institution or verified by your school as part of an official transcript. If you choose to have the results submitted to Messiah College by the testing institution, you will need to supply the institution with Messiah College’s unique code, as listed below:

SAT code – 2411; ACT code – 3630; TOEFL code – 2411; IELTS - no code required, simply request that your scores be sent to: Messiah College Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Suite 3005, One College Ave, Mechanicsburg PA 17055, U.S.A.

Complete International Financial Aid Form (IFF)

(Non-U.S. citizens applying for an F-1 visa): The information you provide in this document is needed both for immigration and financial aid purposes. By understanding your capacity to financially support your education, Messiah College can first determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid. Second, we can issue you a Form I-20, which affirms your ability to finance your education (when combining personal finances, support from family/sponsors and Messiah College financial aid) and is necessary to apply for an F-1 Student Visa. In completing the IFF, each person or source of educational finances must supply supporting documentation (certified letter from bank with statement balance) or it cannot be considered as a source of financial support. All documents should include a date. Original and certified documents are required. This form will be available upon the completion of your application, or you can access it here.

Immigration Documents

(Non-U.S. citizens only): To comply with U.S. federal regulations, your school record must match your official identification. To verify this compliance, all non-U.S. citizens are required to submit certain immigration documents relevant to their immigration status when they apply. See the chart below to determine what to send.

U.S. legal permanent resident

Non-U.S. citizen coming on a visa and not yet in the U.S.A

Non-U.S. citizen currently in the U.S.A on a visa

Non-U.S. citizen of another status or situation

Copy of your passport (ID page only)

Copy of your passport (ID page only)

Copy of your passport (ID page only)

If you do not fit into a category above, please contact us to discuss your situation. Email or ++717-691-6000

Copy of your U.S. Permanent Residency card

Copy of your most recent U.S. visa stamp/page in your passport

Copy of your I-94 card

Copy of your I-20 or other documents if you are on a dependent visa

These can be scanned and emailed directly to

Application Fee

The application fee is waived for students who submit their application and essay prior to Nov. 15. After November 15, applicants must pay $20. If you are in financial difficulty, we can waive the application fee if your high school guidance counselor or other school official sends us a letter requesting that we do so.


Application fee waiver deadline

Nov. 15

Highest scholarship consideration deadline

Jan. 15

International student application deadline

April 15

Proof of finances (if seeking an F-1 visa) deadline

July 1

U.S. citizen abroad application deadline

July 15

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis after all supporting documents are received. We make every effort to notify students of their admissions decision within 2-3 weeks after the file is complete. In seasons of high volume, admissions decisions may take longer.

We do not accept international applications mid-year unless the student is already in the U.S.A. and is transferring to Messiah College.