Graduate School

O'Dowd Hall, Room 520
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2700

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

a sign that says Welcome! in English and many other languages

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.

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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

The Oakland University Graduate School offers simple steps to apply. Follow the steps prior to applying to a graduate program.

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 ServicesEducational Credential Evaluators or SpanTran. 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).

Supplemental applications

There are many graduate degree programs that require a supplemental application as well as the online application. Review our supplemental applications page for more information. Remember, your admission process could be delayed if all required documents are not submitted.

Application charge

The Graduate School at Oakland University requires a non-refundable $45 USD charge for each new application submitted. This can be paid online by credit card at the time the application is submitted. Review the application charge page for additional information. 


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 $36,386 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:

  • Master's and Ph.D.
    • Tuition (out of state): $16,432 
    • Living expenses: $18,024
    • Medical insurance: $1,930
    • Total: $36,386

  • MBA, MACC & MSITM programs
    • Tuition (out of state): $18,486
    • Living expenses: $18,024
    • Medical insurance: $1,930
    • Total: $38,440

  • Medicine
    • Tuition (out of state): $55,194
    • Living expenses: $21,652
    • Medical insurance: included
    • Total: $76,908

The above tuition and expenses are effective for the 2021-22 academic year (September 1, 2021 – September 1, 2022). 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 2021-22, 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. 

  • Canadian/Mexican
    • Tuition (in-state): $12,878
    • Living expenses: $18,024
    • Medical insurance: $1,930
    • Total: $32,832
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.

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, IELTS IndicatorPTE Academic or Duolingo 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
    Note: You may use MyBest TOEFL
  • or IELTS: 6.5
  • or PTE Academic: 53
  • or Duolingo: 105

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.

Additional ways to satisfy proof of English proficiency

  • Baccalaureate or master’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college/university
  • Baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction was English
  • Oakland University non-matriculating students (guest students) who have earned a minimum of 12 academic credits in OU courses with a grade of B or above. 

The following criteria only apply to those who do not hold and are not seeking an F or J visa to study at Oakland University. 

  • Has worked full-time in the United States for at least three years in an English-speaking environment. Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources to confirm employment. 
  • Has worked full-time for at least three years in an English-speaking environment outside of the United States. Evidence must be provided such as a letter of support from human resources that confirms English as the primary language of written and oral communication. 
  • Has a U.S. professional license (e.g. United States Medical Licensing Exam - USMLE) that explicitly includes an English proficiency requirement. (Executive MBA applicants only). 
  • A letter of support or comment from the ESL Institute at Oakland University based on an interview and completion of the ESL placement test. 

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
    Note: You may use MyBest TOEFL
  • or IELTS: 6
  • or PTE Academic: 48-52

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 PTE Academic 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 Oakland University

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.

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 

IELTS Indicator - International English Language Testing System Indicator

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 

Duolingo - Duolingo English Test

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.

Frequently asked questions

Please visit the how to apply page and review the available frequently asked questions provided.

International student highlight video