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. Please note that applicants who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents of the U.S. may be required to show proof of English language proficiency.
Applicants from countries where English is not considered the native language are required to provide proof of English language ability.
As proof, the University of Missouri Graduate School accepts scores from one of the following testing services:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS – Academic)
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)
- Cambridge English Tests (B2 First, C1 Advanced, and C2 Proficiency)
- Duolingo English Test
*Note: Institutional TOEFL (TOEFL ITP) results from schools or institutions other than the University of Missouri are not acceptable.
Minimum English Proficiency Test Scores
Non-native English speakers must earn a minimum total score as well as subsection scores on one of the English proficiency tests listed below. English proficiency test scores are considered valid for two years beyond the test date.
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Required scores may vary by academic program. Some academic programs require test scores that are higher than the minimum university requirements. Click the test type below to view a list of academic programs requiring higher test scores with their minimum scores.
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
Address: 210 Jesse Hall
Zip code: 65211
- PTE: Have your scores sent electronically to the University of Missouri, Columbia via your PTE account. Click here to see more information on sending your scores electronically.
- Cambridge C1 Advanced: Upload an official copy of your test score report including your Candidate ID and Candidate Secret Number to the Tests section of your online application.
Exemptions and Waivers
Applicants from a nation or territory listed below, where English is considered the native language, are not required to provide English proficiency examination scores.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Canada (except Quebec)
- New Zealand
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
Language Proficiency Test Waiver
Some non-native English-speaking applicants may be exempt from the English language requirement.
To be exempt from this requirement, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- 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.
- Successfully completed the year of study (passed all the classes).
- 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 an English proficiency test score regardless of the previous educational experience. Please check with your academic program about requirements.Search Degree Programs
Special Cases for Waivers
Each graduate program reserves the right to require an applicant to submit an English proficiency test 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 total score but have a subsection score below the minimum 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 (Assistant Dean for Graduate Enrollment Management). 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 English proficiency test (or retake the test) and submit their qualifying score to the Graduate Admissions Office prior to their admission.
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
English Learning in Columbia
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
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:
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. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
New MU graduate students holding an active student visa and immigration documents from another U.S. institution will work with MU International Center to transfer you immigration documents.