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The application process for international applicants is very similar to the process for domestic applicants. However, international applicants do have to show English proficiency to be admitted and a minimum amount of financial support to be issued immigration documents.

Click on a category below for more details.

International Teaching Assistant Program

Language Requirements

All non-native English-speaking applicants are required to provide proof of English language ability.

As proof, the University of Missouri Graduate School accepts scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Graduate School requires electronic reporting of IELTS examination scores.

Non-native English speakers must score at least a 550 on the paper-based TOEFL80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on the Academic IELTS. In addition, it is expected that applicants will achieve subsection minimums of no less than 17 on IBT52 on PBT or 6.0 on IELTS (subsections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing).  Native English speakers are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for two years beyond the test date. Required scores vary by academic program. Please note that Institutional TOEFL (TOEFL ITP) results from schools or institutions other than the University of Missouri are not acceptable.


Test TypeTotal ScoreReadingListeningSpeakingWriting
TOEFL Internet-based8017171717
TOEFL Paper-based5505252N/A52
TOEFL Paper-deliveredN/A1717N/A17
IELTS Academic6.56666


Students who cannot meet the English language proficiency requirements may enroll in the intensive English program at Mizzou. This program is designed to provide students with the English language skills necessary to successfully study for an academic degree in the United States. Please contact the Center for English Language Learning for more information. You may also wish to ask the director of graduate studies in your degree program about this option.

English-language development resources are available at Mizzou and in the local community.

Explore the Options

Sending Test Scores

  • TOEFL:  To send TOEFL exam results to Mizzou, use the Educational Testing Services (ETS) institutional code 6875. No departmental code is required.
  • IELTS: Electronic delivery via the IELTS Results Service is preferred. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution. Please contact the test center directly where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent via E-Delivery. When requesting your scores, provide the following information to the test center where you took the test:

Account Name: University of Missouri- Columbia, Graduate Admissions
210 Jesse Hall
Zip code:

Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Instructors

All graduate students who assume any teaching role in a classroom or lab and are non-native English speakers must speak well enough to effectively communicate in the classroom as required by state law and University policy.

If your degree program has offered you a teaching assistantship or graduate instructorship, you must undergo additional English-language evaluation. This evaluation happens after the admission process and will affect your ability to teach on the Mizzou campus.

Learn More Through the International Teaching Assistant Program

Language Proficiency Test Waiver

Some non-native English-speaking applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.

To be exempt from this requirement, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Completed at least one-year of full-time college-level study at a school in a country where English is the native language within the last two years.
  2. Successfully completed the year of study (passed all the classes).
  3. Enrolled full-time for a minimum of one year, defined as 24 credit hours over 2 semesters at the undergraduate level, or 18 credit hours over 2 semesters at the graduate level. Note: English as a second language, intensive English, and/or remedial English courses cannot be included in the credit hour count.

Each graduate program reserves the right to require an applicant to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score regardless of the previous educational experience. Please check with your academic program about requirements.

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Special Cases for Waivers

Each graduate program reserves the right to require an applicant to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

Please consult your academic program to determine if the program is willing to request a waiver for your case to the Graduate School. 

Waiver of Minimum Subsection Score

On occasion, programs may feel applicants who meet the minimum TOEFL requirement of 80 but have a subsection score below 17 deserve consideration. Programs may request a waiver for such cases by justifying or explaining why this score will not impede the progress or success of the student in that program; special consideration should be given to speaking and listening scores if programs anticipate the student will be funded through a teaching assistantship. Instructions for submitting a waiver request are described below.

Waiver Request Instructions

Waiver requests should be addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School but sent either to the appropriate admissions advisor (per alpha-divisions) or to Terrence Grus (Director of Admissions). They will present these requests to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final decision as to whether the waiver will be granted. Some are approved, but many are not. If the waiver request is not approved, then the applicant will be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS (or retake the test) and submit their qualifying score to the Graduate Admissions Office prior to their admission.

Financial Documentation

Proof of Financial Support

International students attending American universities must prove they can financially support themselves while living in the United States.

Mizzou applicants are required to complete the Affidavit of Support (pdf) or provide a letter of support from a University of Missouri graduate degree program before immigration documents can be issued. The proof of financial support must show enough funding to cover the first academic year at Mizzou.

The MU International Center gives more information about:

Please be aware that the submission of the Affidavit of Support and/or financial documentation is not a requirement for the initial review process.

Immigration Documents

The Graduate School issues the majority of immigration documents for new MU international graduate students seeking a new student visa. After official admission to the University, international applicants will be asked to complete an enrollment form in the application system. Applicants who intend to enroll at MU will be prompted to provide more information about immigration status and document needs on the enrollment form.

New MU graduate students holding an active student visa and immigration documents from another U.S. institution will work with MU’s International Center to transfer you immigration documents.

Contact with questions.