International Students FAQs

Is your question listed? If not, return to the FAQ index.

English is not my first language. May I still apply for admission?

International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not previously graduated from an English-speaking institution within an English-speaking country must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE). Test scores should be less than two years old. An applicant should submit the application within two years of the test date to ensure that the testing agency will still be able to send an official score report. Please note that taking an English language proficiency exam does not waive the required GRE for any program listing GRE scores as an application requirement.

What are the institutional codes for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences?

3261 for official TOEFL scores. No department code is necessary.
3092 for official GRE scores. No department code is necessary.
1197 for official Miller Analogy Test scores.
IELTS, PTE, and MCAT do not have an institutional code.

What is the minimum score for TOEFL or IELTS Exam?

Students who have graduated from a university in the following English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada (except Quebec), New Zealand, South Africa, USA, and United Kingdom) are exempt from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE requirement.

Minimum scores for each exam are:

  • 600 (paper-based TOEFL)
  • 250 (computer-based TOEFL)
  • 100 (internet-based TOEFL)
  • 7 (IELTS)
  • 68 (PTE)
My TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score is less than your minimum score requirement. May I still apply?

The official policy of the Brandeis University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is to require a minimum score of 100 for the TOEFL exam, a 7 for the IELTS exam, and a 68 for the PTE exam; however, our departments evaluate each student individually and holistically, considering all aspects of the application before making a final decision on admission. If your score is less than our published minimum, please check with the department in which you intend to apply to see if you are eligible.

Must I submit official standardized score reports?

Your application will not be reviewed without official test scores submitted directly from the testing agencies.

You will enter your unofficial scores directly into the Test Score section of the application. You should not upload, email, or mail any copies of the score reports. Instead, you should request that official scores be sent to Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences using the appropriate testing code (i.e. TOEFL is 3261).

How long does it take for my official test scores to be included in my application?

Please keep in mind that there is a delay from when you order your official scores to when the testing agency sends us these scores. Your scores then need to be uploaded into our application system and matched with your application. Overall, this process can take up to three weeks.

Can I enter in my unofficial test scores even though my program of interest does not require test scores?

Yes, but in order for your application to be reviewed, you will need to either submit official test scores to replace the unofficial test scores you entered on your application or you will need to email our office at asking for the official scores to be waived.

What if I have not taken the required test yet?

In the Test Score section of the application, there is a link to add new test scores. Simply click on the link, select the appropriate test, and then enter a future test date. This will allow you to submit the application without scores for that specific test.

When you take the test, enter the appropriate Brandeis institution code at the testing center. When the official scores arrive, we will be able to associate them with your application.

Does my transcript have to be in English?

Yes. All transcripts must be in English, or if you are submitting an official transcript from an international school, you must include a certified English translation of the transcript. This includes the unofficial copies that you upload with your application.

Are international applicants eligible for financial assistance?

International applicants in Ph.D. programs are eligible for fully funded positions and may be awarded scholarships, fellowships and/or assistantships.

Master's candidates are eligible for institutional need-based and merit (scholarship) aid. Applicants for institutional need-based aid must file an International Application for Financial Aid, which will be included with the offer of admission.

For complete information about sources of funding, including loans, please see Financial Aid.

Are international applicants required to submit a statement of financial support with the application for admission?

No, we do not need financial documentation until the applicant has accepted an offer of admission. This documentation must be returned with the applicant's acceptance of our offer.

When will my I-20 be issued to me?

Once you have been admitted, you must complete a Visa Declaration of Finances Form, which should be done online.  On this form, you will indicate your financial contributions for graduate study. The I-20 form will be mailed to you after it is processed by the office. 

I am an international student. Can I take one course at a time (enroll as a non-degree student) or enroll as a part-time student?

Generally, international students are ineligible to apply as a Non-Degree Special Students or as a part-time student due to visa regulations. Questions regarding visa status and or eligibility should be referred to the International Students and Scholars Office at (781) 736-3480 or at The staff of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will gladly address any concerns that may arise for visiting special students.