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International Students

At Oakland University, we welcome graduate students from all corners of the world. Your contributions and insight enrich our community and help broaden perspectives. Learn about the specific international student deadlines, steps to apply and other topics below.

Application Deadlines

International students wishing to apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa to attend Oakland University should submit application materials by the program and international student deadlines. Generally speaking, international student deadlines are

  • May 1 for fall (September) admission
  • September 1 for winter (January) admission
  • January 1 for summer (May) admission

However, your program deadline may be earlier than these dates. If it is, please submit all application materials by the earlier date.

Steps to Apply

Follow these steps prior to applying to Graduate School. You must submit your application online along with all required materials. Graduate applications will not be reviewed until they are complete. Current OU undergraduate students may apply for permission to enroll in graduate courses.

Step 1: Before applying to graduate school 

A. Identify your program of interest

Oakland University offers more than 130 master’s, doctoral and certificate programs. If you have questions about specific program details, contact the department or program coordinator at the top of each program listing. General application and admission process questions can be sent to Graduate Admissions.

B. Review admission criteria and program deadlines

First learn about general graduate admission requirements. Then check out admission requirements and application deadlines for your specific program of interest. Remember that an “application deadline” means that the application for admission and all supporting documents and information must be received by the deadline date

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts providing evidence of a baccalaureate degree awarded from a regionally accredited U.S. institution
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions and for any graduate-level coursework beyond a bachelor's degree
  • Two recommendations for Graduate Admission (forms will become available after you submit the application)
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume

Some programs may have additional requirements including: 

  • Official test scores (GRE, GMAT, etc.)
  • Program supplemental application 
  • Goal Statement/Experience Statement/Essay 
  • Additional recommendation for Graduate Admissions
  • Proof of certification, license, etc. 
  • Proof of program pre-requisite courses required for admission into a specific degree program 


  • Affidavit of support 
  • Certified bank statement
  • Statement of finances 
  • F-1 transfer form (students transferring from another U.S. institution) 
  • Policy on english language proficiency/english as a second language form 
  • Transcript evaluation 
  • Proof of english language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB) 
CReview Financial Aid options, tuition & costs 

D. Attend a graduate open house
Step 2: Applying to graduate school

A. Apply online
    1. Click the apply now button
    2. Select your program of interest if you do not have an account.
      If you have have an account, log in and continue from step 4. 
    3. Fill out the form completely. Make note of your email and password for future log in. 
    4. Click Start an Application or Apply Online
    5. Select your application 
    6. Fill out the application and click submit
    7. Pay the $45 application charge (beginning September 18, 2017) 

      Please note: The statement of purpose section must be appropriately completed prior to submitting your application. 
B. Submit supplemental items

After submitting your application, you can begin uploading your required supplemental items. To upload supplemental items, go to the Admission login page, log in using your email and password, and click the Submit supplement items button.

C. Transcripts and transcript evaluations

You must submit transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended.  If your last degree was obtained from an international college/university, your transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service. Oakland University will only accept transcript evaluations completed by a current member of  NACES. Most students choose  World Educational Services or  Educational Credential Evaluators . Graduate programs usually require a course-by-course (or detailed) evaluation report rather than the general evaluation report.  Since official transcripts are required for your transcript evaluation, we will accept copies of your foreign transcript(s).

If you attended a US college/university, official transcripts must be sent to:

Oakland University 
Graduate Admissions
520 O'Dowd Hall 
586 Pioneer Drive 
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
D. Request official test scores
E. Contact your recommenders

During the completion of your application, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of the people who will write your recommendations. Contact your recommenders in advance to get their email addresses and let them know that they will receive an email from Oakland University Graduate Study requesting that they submit the recommendation online.

F. Complete and upload program supplemental application 

Most graduate programs require a supplemental application in addition to the online application. 

Step 3: Check your application & admission status
You may check your status by:
  • Visiting the Admission login page
  • Signing in using your email address and password (created when you submitted your application)
  • On the application overview tab, clicking “Submit Supplemental Items”
  • Your admission status will be at the top of this page

Once Graduate Admissions has received all of the required application materials, completed admission files are shared with the academic program for admission review. 

For academic programs that admit on a rolling basis, the review process typically takes 2-3 weeks from the date the file became "complete." For programs that review applications as a group, the review process begins after the deadline date and can take 4 - 8 weeks before decisions are announced. 

Once an admission decision is made, it will appear at the top of the page where you submitted your supplemental items. You will also receive a letter from the Graduate Admissions office.

After you receive your offer of admission, the next step is to accept your offer by using the Admission Acceptance Form.
Supplemental Documents
F-2 Applicants

F-2 visa holders are permitted to engage in part-time study. Admitted F-2 students interested in pursuing full-time enrollment must obtain approval to change their status from F-2 to F-1. OU’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) can provide more information about maintaining or changing your status as well as F-2 study guidelines.


A graduate program at Oakland University typically requires at least two calendar years for completion. Currently, it is estimated that an unmarried international student’s tuition, living expenses, and health insurance for one academic year will total at least $35,821 U.S. dollars (USD). This total does not include living expenses for the periods when on-campus housing is closed, for any family members who will accompany you, or for all round-trip transportation expenses between your home country and Oakland University. The breakdown of these expenses in USD is as follows for each academic year:

DescriptionMaster's, Ph.D.MBA, MACC & MSITMPhysical TherapyMedicine
Tuition (out-of-state)$16,432$18,486$38,144$53,586
Living Expenses$14,875$14,875$14,875$21,301
School Supplies & Miscellaneous$2,654$2,654$3,476$1,550
Medical Insurance$1,860$1,860$1,860Included

The above tuition and expenses are effective for the 2017-18 academic year (September 1, 2017 – September 1, 2018). Tuition and expenses are based on an eight credit schedule for graduate students and a nine credit schedule for MBA students (per semester). To estimate expenses for an academic year beyond 2017-18, add an additional 10 percent to the total in order to cover anticipated increases. All tuition and expenses are subject to change at the discretion of Oakland University. Also view OU’s full tuition and costs page.


A dependent is a spouse of any age or a child 20 years of age or younger. Please add $6,500 USD (including insurance) per year for the first dependent and $4,900 USD per year for each additional dependent who will accompany you.

In-State Tuition for Canadian Graduate Students

Graduate students from Canada may automatically qualify for Oakland University's Non-Resident Award. This scholarship awards new graduate students the difference between resident and non-resident tuition rates. 

In-State Tuition for Mexican Graduate Students 

Graduate students from Mexico may automatically qualify for Oakland University's Non-Resident Award. This scholarship awards new graduate students the difference between resident and non-resident tuition rates. 

English Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language/Internet Based Test) as proof of English language proficiency. The TOEFL is administered worldwide by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The IELTS and MELAB are also accepted.

English proficiency exam scores must be two years old or less at the time of your intended enrollment at Oakland University. View the full English language proficiency policy in OU’s graduate catalog.

Admission eligibility

TOEFL (internet): 79
TOEFL (paper): 550
TOEFL (computer): 213

  • or IELTS: 6.5
  • or MELAB: 77
  • or 24 transferable credits, excluding ESL coursework from a U.S. community college or baccalaureate institution
  • or Baccalaureate or master’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college/university
  • or One year of study at and a diploma from a U.S. high school

Some programs at Oakland University may require a higher level of proficiency than listed above. Please review the program description for your field of study for additional English proficiency requirements and furnish proof as part of the admission process.

Admission with limited standing
In addition to academic courses, ESL courses are required for students scoring below the minimum proficiency:

TOEFL (internet): 69-78
TOEFL (paper): 520-549
TOEFL (computer): 190-212
  • or IELTS: 6
  • or MELAB: 73-76

F-1 Students 

If you are eligible for admission, but your test scores fall within the range listed above, you will begin your studies with Oakland University's English as a Second Language (ESL) program. You are expected to complete your ESL course of study within one year of your admission. If you complete your ESL course of study or submit a passing TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB score during this one-year period, you will be fully admitted to your graduate program. 

All other applicants

If you do not meet the minimum score requirements, but are within the range of scores specified above, your must register for ESL courses as part of your coursework starting in your first semester of registration. ESL placement is done by OU’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Center, using Institutional TOEFL and other assessment tools.

The individualized ESL instruction sequence designed by OU’s ESL Center is not negotiable. Satisfactory completion of the individualized ESL instruction sequence is expected within one year, but ESL coursework is required until minimum proficiency is demonstrated.

Intensive English program

If you do not have adequate English proficiency for graduate admission or for admission with ESL coursework to OU, you can be admitted to the Intensive English Program. ESL placement is done by OU’s ESL Center using the Institutional TOEFL and other assessment tools. The individualized ESL program sequence determined by the ESL Center is not negotiable.

Upon completion of the Intensive English Program, you may reapply for admission to Oakland University where you will be evaluated using the admission criteria described above.

Transfer to OU

Interested in transferring from a graduate program at another institution to Oakland University? Simply complete the online application for admission and meet admission requirements to begin the process.

Upon admission, previous graduate coursework will be evaluated by a faculty adviser to determine your eligibility. A maximum of nine credits may transfer to OU. Please review OU’s Course Content and Course Waiver Substitution policy and consult with your faculty adviser for further information.

To learn more, visit the transfer credit section in the graduate catalog.

Student Resources
Campus resources
International Students and Scholars
The International Students and Scholars Office is committed to building an international campus through service, support and advocacy to nurture global citizenship and multicultural appreciation.

English as a Second Language Center
The ESL Center offers an intensive program to improve students' skills in English and to help each student reach his or her English language proficiency goals.
Off campus resources

ECE - Educational Credential Evaluators

GRE - Graduate Record Examination

GRE Guide - Includes Tips & Tricks, Test-Taking Strategies and Commonly used Formulas. 

GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test

IELTS - International English Language Testing System

MELAB - Michigan English Language Assessment Battery

NACES - National Association of Credential Evaluation Services

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language

WES - World Educational Services

Study in the States  - Study in the States serves as an innovative information hub for the international student community by bringing together the various federal agencies that play a role in implementing our student visa and exchange visitor programs.