International Students

The University of Akron welcomes international students and seeks to provide a meaningful, positive experience throughout their studies. Approximately 750 international graduate students and visiting scholars from around the world pursue studies and research at The University of Akron.


International students may apply to begin their graduate studies for the Fall, Spring, or Summer Sessions. Students should submit their applications at least six months in advance of the date they wish to begin studying. Graduate students applying for assistantships should submit applications nine months before the term begins for best consideration. The following procedures should be followed:

  • Access the online graduate application through the Graduate School website and submit along with a nonrefundable application fee of $70.
  • Submit official transcripts from all institutions attended. Original records in languages other than English must be accompanied by exact English translations and certified by the institution, U.S. consulate, or other legal certifying authority.
  • Submit proof of English Language Proficiency.

Costs, Financial Aid, and Medical Insurance

Information on estimated expenses for international graduate students on F-1/J-1 visas can be found on the form “Declaration and Certification of Finances” (DCF), which can be downloaded at Annual tuition and living expenses for the 2023-2024 academic year will be approximately $27,000. Tuition, fees, books, medical insurance, and estimated living expenses are subject to change.

Graduate students may request financial aid through fellowships and graduate assistantships. More detailed information can be found on the Graduate School website.

The University of Akron requires that all international students and visiting scholars and researchers who are taking classes purchase major medical health insurance. J visa holders are also required to purchase insurance for themselves and each child and/or spouse living with them in the United States, and the insurance policy must meet the minimum benefit levels as stated in federal regulations. Students are required to purchase The University of Akron Student Health Plan unless they have an alternate health plan that meets the requirement for a waiver. For more information about waiver requirements or to request a waiver send your request to

Information about The University of Akron insurance plan can be found at

English Language Proficiency

International applicants, U.S. citizens, and U.S. permanent residents whose native language is not English must submit evidence that they have a sufficient level of English proficiency to undertake graduate studies at The University of Akron.

Applicants to graduate programs can demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Minimum score of 79 on the internet-based TOEFL.  (The following departments require a higher standard of proficiency: English requires an internet-based TOEFL score of 92 and Biomedical Engineering requires an internet-based TOEFL score of 96). Scores more than two years old will not be accepted. See for more information about the TOEFL.
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS, which is managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, British Council, and IDP Education Australia. Scores more than two years old will not be accepted. See for more information about the IELTS.
  • Successful completion of 24 credit hours of upper-level undergraduate or 18 credit hours of graduate course work at a U.S. college or university in which English is the primary language of instruction. Successful completion is defined as maintaining a 3.0 GPA in full-time, continuous studies. Applicants must submit original transcripts of their coursework.
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate or graduate program at a university outside the United States in which English is the language of administration and instruction. English must be used for all administrative functions and for all areas of instruction (with the exception of foreign language courses) including course lectures, materials, discussions, readings, and writing assignments. Applicants must submit an original official document from the undergraduate or graduate institution certifying that all of the administrative functions and instruction are conducted in English. The document must be signed by an officer of the institution and carry an official seal. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Akron will review the submitted documentation and inform the applicant if he or she has satisfied the English requirement. The decision will be final.

Immigration Information for Graduate Students

Prospective international students who are outside the U.S. must apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa to attend The University of Akron. To obtain the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019) needed to obtain a student visa an international student must submit the following documents to the International Center, The University of Akron, Simmons Hall, Room 205, Akron, OH 44325-4724, or the completed Declaration and Certification of Finances form (available at, supporting financial documents, and a copy of the biographic page of the student's passport. The International Center will prepare the Certificate of Eligibility upon receipt of proof of adequate financial support, the copy of the passport biographic page, and admission to the University.

A student in F-1 or J-1 status transferring to The University of Akron from another U.S. college or university, without leaving the U.S., must request transfer of his or her SEVIS record to The University of Akron. The I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued upon submission of the documents proving valid status, meeting the requirements mentioned above, and the release of the SEVIS record to The University of Akron. A new I-20 or DS-2019 must be obtained before the student begins his or her program at The University of Akron.

A prospective international student in the U.S. in any other visa status should consult the International Center if he or she intends to begin the program and does not plan to leave the U.S. to obtain and F-1 or J-1 visa. The prospective student may need to submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a change of visa status.

International Student Orientation

The required International Student Orientation has two parts. Both parts are mandatory. First is an online orientation that can be completed from home. The online orientation contains much of the logistical information you need to know before you arrive in Akron as well as information that will facilitate your transition to the University. The second part is an on-campus orientation which takes place just prior to the start of classes in the Fall and Spring semesters. Students beginning academic studies during the Summer semesters must attend Fall orientation.

The international student services fee ($145 in 2023-2024) is mandatory and will automatically assessed to the student’s account during the first semester of enrollment.

In addition, useful information about your arrival in Akron can be found online at

International Transfer Credits

Transfer credit from foreign institutions is awarded at the discretion of the academic department with the final approval from the Graduate School. Transfer coursework is only accepted from institutions that are recognized by the institution’s governing academic body (e.g. Ministry of Education). The student must have earned a minimum of a “B” (or its equivalent) to be eligible for transfer credit.

Teaching Assistants

Assessment of oral English proficiency is required by Ohio law and must be certified before teaching assistant duties can be performed. Teaching assistants for whom English is a second language must have a minimum score of “Pass” on the U-ADEPT, a 23 or greater on the speaking component of the internet based TOEFL, or a 7 or greater on the speaking portion of the IELTS. A copy of the test score must be submitted to the Graduate School.

Note: International students are encouraged to contact the International Center directly at with questions about housing, cultural adjustment, climate, insurance, or immigration regulations. Questions concerning degree programs should be directed to the appropriate academic department.