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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.

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.

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 $35,938 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: $17,646
    • Medical insurance: $1,860
    • Total: $35,938

  • MBA, MACC & MSITM programs
    • Tuition (out of state): $18,486
    • Living expenses: $17,646
    • Medical insurance: $1,860
    • Total: $37,992

  • Medicine
    • Tuition (out of state): $55,194
    • Living expenses: $21,652
    • Medical insurance: included
    • Total: $76,846

The above tuition and expenses are effective for the 2019-20 academic year (September 1, 2019 – September 1, 2020). 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 2019-20, 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. 

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 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 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. 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.

Frequently asked questions

General questions

  1. How do I apply to a graduate program? 

    Students can apply to a graduate program by filling out and submitting the online application.
  2. How do I check the status of my application?

    Students can check the status of their application and required documents by logging into their account. You must enter your email and password that you created when you first applied.  

  3. What is the application fee for admission? 

    Beginning September 18, 2017 there will be a non-refundable, $45 USD charge for each new application submitted to the Graduate School at Oakland University. 

  4. Do I need to take the TOEFL exam? 

    Non-Native English speakers are required to provide proof of English proficiency. Students with foreign academic credentials can provide proof of English proficiency with test scores from TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB. 

    A TOEFL exemption exists for students from countries where English is both the official language and the language of instruction in higher education. For more information visit our Graduate Catalog

  5. After you receive my online application with the required documents, how long will it be before I know if I have been admitted? 

    For academic programs that admit on a rolling basis (admission decisions made on a continual basis) the review process typically takes 2-3 weeks from the date the file become "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 the academic recommendation is received and a final decision is given, the office of the Graduate School will notify you of the admission decision. 

  6. How and when do new students register for classes? 

    Web registration is staggered by class standing and earned credit hours. New Students should register after their admission decision has been delivered. Visit the web registration information page at for more information. 

  7. How do I transfer from another university to Oakland University? 

    If you are interested in "transferring" to Oakland University, you must complete the online application and meet the same admission requirements as any other graduate applicant. Upon admission to the Graduate School, your previous graduate coursework will be evaluated by the faculty adviser to determine transfer to Oakland University. Please note: A maximum of nine (9) credits may transfer to the OU graduate program. 

  8. How do I transfer a graduate credit from another university to Oakland University? 

    With the approval of the faculty adviser and the Graduate School, selected credits for prior coursework earned at another accredited U.S. college or university may be transferred to count toward an Oakland University degree. You must have earned graduate level credit in the course according to the institution at which the course was taken. 

    You must complete one semester in your graduate program at Oakland University and be in good academic standing (not on probation or limited standing) before the Transfer Credit Request can be given final approval. You should be prepared to provide the graduate program adviser a catalog copy of the course description from the former institution and/or a course syllabus. Visit our transfer credit policy for more information. The graduate transfer credit request form is available online.

  9. May I speak to an academic adviser regarding my graduate program? 

    Academic advising at the graduate level is conducted in the academic departments. Visit and click on the program of your choice. At the top of the page, you will find the contact information for the program coordinator who will answer any questions regarding the program. 

  10. When is the deadline for a graduate admission? 

    Deadlines for admission to a graduate program vary by academic program. Visit and click on the program of your interest. 

  11. How do I obtain a course catalog? 

    The graduate catalog is available online. 

  12. What is my student number? 

    Your student number is your Grizzly ID Number. It is typically listed towards the bottom of the incomplete and admission letters. 

  13. If I am an out-of-state or international student, how can I change my residency rates? 

    You must contact the Registrar's Office and inquire about Residency Reclassification after receiving admission to your graduate program. You can call 248-370-3450 or email

  14. How does an international student receive an I-20? 

    After the admissions office determines that your file is complete and you have been accepted into the program, your file is sent to the International Students and Scholars Office, where your I-20 is prepared and mailed to you along with your official admission letter and other helpful information. 

  15. If I am an international student, do I need to attend an orientation? 

    YES! The office of International Students and Scholars coordinates a special program to meet your needs. They will provide you information regarding your orientation. 

  16. How do I transfer my F-1 visa at my current school to Oakland University? 

    The F-1 Transfer Form is required if you are currently attending a college or university within the United States. Submitting the F-1 Transfer Form does not automatically transfer your SEVIS record. During the application process, the form is only used to confirm if you are currently in status. Once admitted, your International Advisor at your current institution must release your SEVIS record to Oakland University. Contact our International Students and Scholars Office if you have any questions about the SEVIS transfer process at 248-370-3358 or email

Application questions

  1. What are "official" transcripts? I sent a copy of my transcript with my application. Is that sufficient?

    Official transcripts are sent from the registrar's office of the institution(s) you attended directly to our office (Graduate Admissions, 520 O'Dowd Hall, Rochester, MI 48309). Copies issued to students may be used for application review but official transcripts are required to finalize the admission process

  2. Do I need to have my Oakland University transcript sent to Graduate Admissions?

    No. We will obtain your OU record for your file. You do not need to make a formal request.  

  3. If I had my previous college transcripts sent to Oakland University when I was an undergrad, do I need to request them again for graduate school? 

    If you graduated with a bachelor's degree from OU in the past year, we can obtain all transcripts you previously submitted for your undergraduate program. If it has been more than one year, you may need to request the transcripts as your undergraduate record is no longer accessible to Graduate Admissions. 

    Some academic programs need to see the actual grades you received for prerequisite coursework so you may be required to request them again. After we process your application, you will be notified if previous college transcripts are required. 

  4. I won't finish my bachelor's degree until just before the semester to which I am applying. Is that a problem? 

    Most graduate programs accept applications for admission from students who are still completing their bachelor's degree. Any admission decision will be made contingent upon the successful completion of degree. You will be required to submit an official transcript with your degree posted in order to finalize the admission process. Some programs may require that you complete your degree prior to applying for admission. 

  5. What is a transcript evaluation? 

    A transcript evaluation is required for all students with foreign academic credentials. If you studied in an educational system other than within the United States, you are required to furnish a detailed transcript evaluation. The detailed transcript evaluation (course-by-course) includes all the coursework you completed including information on course credit hours and grades. The evaluation must be completed by a NACES member organization. Many students use World Educational Services (WES). 

  6. I am a citizen of another country but have worked in the U.S. for 10 years. Do I need to take the TOEFL? 

    All Non-US citizens are required to provide proof of English proficiency. Time spend working in the US is not used to determine proficiency. Foreign students are encouraged to take the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS exam. 

  7. I took the TOEFL 2.5 years ago, do I need to retake the exam? 

    Educational Testing Services only retains test scores for 2 years. Students who complete the TOEFL more than 2 years ago will be required to retest. Student copies of dated scores are not sufficient. You must be able to provide an official exam score report sent directly to Oakland University by ETS. Visit ETS for more information. 

  8. I took the GRE in 1990, can I use those scores? 

    GRE test scores are "good" for 5 years. Educational Testing Services only retains GRE scores for 5 years. Student copies of dated scores are not sufficient. You must be able to provide an official exam score report sent directly to Oakland University by ETS.  

  9. How can I submit non-required documents to be included with my application?  

    You can't. Only the listed required documents will be assigned to your application file. If you submit non-required documents, they will be discarded. 
International student highlight video