International Applicants

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

In addition to the standard application requirements, international applicants must meet Department of Psychology and UMN Graduate School requirements for English Language Proficiency (ELP). Most international applicants meet this requirement by providing TOEFL iBT or IELTS exam scores or demonstrating proficiency with English-language coursework. 

Applicants whose first language is English from specific countries are exempted from the requirement to provide test scores. A University-wide committee determines which countries are exempted. 


Applicants who will earn the entirety of their undergraduate degree (or four years combined undergraduate and graduate education) at US institutions or institutions in other specific English-speaking countries. Please note the Department of Psychology’s requirement for four years of study is more stringent than, and supersedes, the Graduate School’s requirement of two years.   

  • If an applicant is admitted, this requirement must be met before the term of admission starts.
  • At least 16-semester credits (or 24 quarter credits) must have been completed within the past 2 years. 

TOEFL iBT Operational Standard

The University's operational standard for admission on the TOEFL iBT is, at a minimum:

Minimum Total Score: 79

Subject Minimum Score
Writing 21
Reading 19

*The minimum TOEFL speaking score requirement for a teaching assistant (TA) position in the Department of Psychology is 23. Acceptance of an international student whose speaking score falls below this minimum is rare.

IELTS Operational Standard

Our operational standard for admission on the IELTS is, at a minimum:

Minimum Total Score: 6.5

Subject Minimum Score
Writing 6.5
Reading 6.5
Speaking 7


International credentials, including all transcripts, must include both the original language document and an English translation. Include original language diplomas if a degree was conferred. 

Learn more about unofficial transcripts and credentials

Resources for International Students

Applicants admitted to UMN graduate programs receive assistance with I-20s and arrival dates from the Graduate School Admissions Office. Their staff work with new students and can answer a range of questions about obtaining a student visa and related topics.

As new students prepare for arrival, they begin working with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), which provides robust support for international students throughout their time at the University of Minnesota. ISSS offers counseling and advising services for visa requirements and other immigration issues; social, personal, and financial matters; international and intercultural education opportunities; academic support; and much more.  

Learn about additional resources to support international applicants and graduate students.


Please route questions as follows so we can make sure you receive timely assistance:

  • Transcript requirements (including translations), submission of IELTS and TOEFL test scores, and related topics:
  • Application requirements specific to the Department of Psychology, such as our proficiency requirements: