Frequently Asked Questions

It’s only natural to have questions when you’re thinking of attending university in the USA. Below you can find a compiled list of information based on a few of the most common questions we receive at the International Admissions office.

Would you prefer to speak to us one-on-one? No problem! Speak to an International Admissions Counselor to make an appointment with us or visit the Office of Global Education webpage for more information.


International Application Process

Where can I apply to Kent State?

Kent State’s application can be found here. You can submit all required documents, read messages from the International Admissions Team, and check your application status by using this online portal page.

What is the deadline to apply to Kent State?

The deadline to apply for undergraduate admission is June 1 for Fall admission and October 1 for Spring admission. Please note that this may differ for certain programs with limited capacity, such as aeronautics.

Students who wish to qualify for scholarships may be required to submit their applications well in advance of this deadline. Please see our site for the most accurate information regarding scholarship deadlines.

Deadlines for graduate applicants vary between each program. We encourage you to consult the college’s individual webpage for the most updated information. For additional program-specific questions, you can contact the program coordinator listed in the catalog.

I have submitted my documents, but I have received a notification that my application is incomplete. What should I do?

If you receive notice that your application is incomplete, please login to your application status page and check for a message from the international admissions team. The team will contact you via your status page if they require additional documents or clarification on documents that you have uploaded. If you have questions about these messages, please contact or call +1-330-672-7980.

How long does the application process take?

The international admissions team will take 2-4 weeks to process your application. This amount of time may vary during periods with high volumes of applications.

Undergraduate students will receive a decision from our department.

Graduate applications will be sent to the individual graduate programs after the 2-4 weeks of processing. The graduate program will then make the final decision on your application. The amount of time to receive a decision is highly variable between graduate programs. Please note that the complete application process can sometimes take a few months.

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check your application status by logging into your online application status page. The status of your application will be listed in the title of that page.

  • Awaiting Materials – This status means that your application is incomplete and currently in need of materials. To review which materials are missing, consult the checklist on your application status page.
  • Processing Review – This status means that your application is currently being evaluated by the international admissions team.
  • Awaiting Decision – This status means that your application is currently being reviewed by your program coordinator.

Where can I find the decision on my application?

Once a decision is made on your application, you will receive an email notification to check your application status page.

Education Requirements


What education level do I need to apply as an undergraduate?

New first-year applicants must finish secondary school in their home country by the time of enrollment to be eligible for university. This should be comparable to the completion of senior high school in the U.S.

A student who has previously enrolled in a post-secondary (higher education) institution is required to apply as a transfer student.

Is there a minimum GPA to be accepted as an undergraduate?

First-year undergraduate applicants should meet the minimum requirement of GPA 2.5 on a U.S. 4.0 scale. Check for specific majors' selective requirements.  Students who want a particular program but do not meet the minimum requirements may be considered for the pre-major.

Am I required to submit a standardized test score (ACT/SAT)?

Kent state is a test-optional school. If you are applying for first-year or transfer admission, you are not required to submit standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) as per Kent's Test-Optional Policy. Some students choose to submit an SAT English score as an English proficiency score.



What education level do I need to apply for a graduate program?

Most graduate programs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university to be considered. This must be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree, or at least 4 years of study in higher education.

Students must complete this degree before attending Kent State, though it is possible to apply while the degree is in progress. Please indicate your expected graduation date in your school profile, and upload transcripts showing coursework up to your most recent semester.

What if my bachelor’s degree is not 4 years in length?

In some cases, bachelor’s degrees that are less than 4 years may be accepted as equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree. Your degree is equivalent to a US bachelor’s if:

  • It is from an Indian higher education institution with a NAAC rating of A or above. The institution or university must have received this rating during or within the 5 years before the student’s attendance, with some considerations made for delays in accreditation due to COVID-19.
  • It is from a nation in which the standard bachelor’s degree is considered equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree.

Is there a minimum GPA to be considered for a graduate program?

Graduate admission requirements differ from program to program, so you will need to follow the expectations of the specific department, school, or college you wish to apply to. Please check  our site for the latest updates.



What education level do I need to apply for the ESL program?

You must finish secondary school in your home country by the time of enrollment to be eligible for university (this is equal to the completion of senior high school in the U.S.).


What type of academic credentials does Kent State require for admissions?

Academic credentials are the accurate and complete record of a student's academic coursework at an institution. These may include, but are not limited to: transcripts, detailed mark sheets, diplomas, degree certificates, provisional degree certificates, statements of marks, certificates of graduation, etc. These may be in electronic format or paper format.

Kent State requires applicants to submit official credentials. This means that they must be issued by the institution or verified as correct by a stamp and signature from a university official.

What if my academic credentials are not in English?

If your institution does not issue academic credentials in English, you must submit them in both the original language and a certified English translation. Translations must be literal rather than interpretive. We do not accept notarized documents and third-party credential evaluations (WES, ECE).

Do you accept WES (World Education Services) document evaluations?

We do not accept evaluations from World Education Services or any other third-party. We must have originals (or copies of originals) in both the issuing language and an English translation. We evaluate them ourselves according to Kent State’s policies.

In some instances International Admissions may request that applicants submit a WES ICAP Evaluation for verification purposes.

When do I need to submit financial documents?

You do not need to submit financial documentation until after acceptance. You are welcome to submit your documents if you have them ready, but doing so is not required during the initial application process.

When should I submit my academic credentials?

We encourage you to submit your academic credentials as soon as possible. We cannot start processing an application until we receive ALL required admission materials.

Where do I send or submit my academic credentials?

For admissions purposes, we accept scanned copies of official academic credentials from both international and U.S. institutions. Please upload these to your application portal page under the correct institution name.

If you experience issues uploading your academic credentials, you can contact the Office of Global Education at +1-330-672-7980 to speak with an international admissions counselor for assistance. You can also send official credentials to the International Admissions office; however, please note that it may be a while before we receive your credentials. Please address physical mail to:

International Admissions
Office of Global Education
625 Loop Road
106 Van Campen Hall
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001

If you are admitted, you will be required to bring the original and official documents with you to be verified by the International Admissions office.

What is a letter of reference? 

A letter of reference is an official letter from a former or present professor, employer, or adviser who can attest to your ability to pursue graduate study. They can also address your moral character. Please do not send letters of reference from family members or personal friends. 

Do I need to submit a letter of reference with my application?

Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit a letter of reference. Letters of reference are required for graduate applications. The number of reference letters required varies between programs. These letters must be submitted with your application.

Applicants may input their chosen references’ name and information on their application portal page. They will receive an automated reference form from Kent State that they can complete and send directly back to us. If they have trouble accessing this form, they can either email it to with the applicant’s name or send it to the applicant to upload.

It is your responsibility to contact your references and provide them with information on how to submit a letter of reference. Please ensure that their contact information as up to date and correct.

Can I change or update my references?

Yes, you can change or update your references on your application status page. Click on the link at the bottom of the page that says “update your recommenders.”

What documents does Kent State need after I am admitted?

If you are accepted to Kent State University, you will need to bring in a hard copy of your final and official documents (International and U.S. transcript, mark sheet, diploma, etc.) to the Office of Global Education before you can register for your second semester (or second module for ESL students) of classes.

Failure to do so will result in a hold on your account preventing you from registering for your second semester (or second module for ESL students) of classes.


How can I qualify for an Application Fee Waiver?

Kent State does not generally issue application fee waivers.

However, there are a few exceptions to this, such as:

  • Undergraduate students who meet at least one of the indicators of financial need listed on the Common Application. It will require your college counselor to complete the approval page to validate the fee waiver.
  • A student applies from a country experiencing significant political or social unrest that prevents them from making overseas payments at the time of application.
  • Students have filled out an interest form during an International Admissions Counselor's overseas visit or during a campus visit program hosted by Kent State International Admissions Office.

If you are requesting a fee waiver based on financial hardship, please submit a statement explaining how you are planning to pay for tuition, as our merit-based scholarship does not cover full tuition and living expenses at Kent State. You can send this request to Please note that only a few requests are approved.

How much does it cost to study at Kent State?

Please see our Fees & Tuition page for details.

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is funding assistance from outside of your family used to pay for your college education. Financial aid comes has two categories:

  • Gift aid: Grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid.
  • Self-help: Loans that must be repaid, and employment.

Financial aid at Kent State University is awarded to students based on financial need and/or merit. Your financial aid might include a combination of grants, loans, scholarships, and part-time employment.

How can I learn about scholarship opportunities?

Please visit our International Student Scholarships Resources page for more info.

Can my government help me pay for an American education?

Yes. Governments all over the world offer grants and scholarships to enable their students to study in the USA. Learn about the support we provide to funded students and the governments and organizations that sponsor them.

English Proficiency Requirements & Conditional Admission

Is an English language proficiency test score necessary to apply to Kent State?

All international undergraduate and graduate applicants must submit an English language proficiency test score to be considered for a Kent State program unless they meet specific exceptions, such as:

What English proficiency tests does Kent State accept?

Kent State accepts: IELTS, TOEFL (both internet- and paper-based), PTE, and Duolingo. Some undergraduate applicants may choose to submit an SAT or ACT English score as evidence of English proficiency.

Kent State does not accept medium of instruction letters as evidence of English proficiency.

How do I submit my English proficiency test score?

Kent State accepts scans of score reports from IELTS, TOEFL (iBT and pBT), and PTE. Please note that these must be the official score reports. We cannot accept unofficial score reports.

For students who have taken the Duolingo English Test, score should be reported to Kent State using these instructions. You may also upload a copy of your official score report to your application portal.

All English scores will be verified for authenticity.

Students with fraudulent documents will result in denial of admission or immediate dismissal.

What English score is required to apply as an undergraduate?

All undergraduate applicants must obtain one of the following:

  • TOEFL iBT: 71; Home Edition iBT: 71
  • Revised PBT: 18 (average score)
  • IELTS Academic and IELTS indicator: 6.0
  • Duolingo:100
  • PTE Academic: 48
  • Completion of the Kent State University ESL Center Level 8 Intensive English program with a minimum of 3.75 out of 4.0 GPA
  • ELS Level 112 Intensive English Program completion
  • SAT: a minimum of 510 evidence-based reading and writing
  • ACT: a minimum of 21 in English

Please note, Kent State accepts MyBest™ scores for the TOEFL iBT® test, in addition to TOEFL iBT scores from a single test date.

What English score is required to apply for a graduate program?

Graduate programs set their own English requirements. Please review the Graduate Program English Requirements before submitting your application.

Some graduate programs offer Conditional Admission. Graduate applicants who are interested in Conditional Admission should still provide an English language proficiency test to be considered.

What is Conditional Admission?

Conditional Admission means students will take English language classes at our ESL Center before entering their programs.

If you only want to apply for the ESL program, please submit an ESL application.

How do I qualify for Conditional Admission?

If your fluency in English does not meet our entry requirements, then you may consider enrolling conditionally. Conditional Admission enables you to take English language classes at our ESL Center before entering your program.

  • Undergraduate students - If you do not meet the minimum language score for admission but meet academic requirements, you may be admitted conditionally.
  • Graduate students - You must submit all required application materials when applying to a graduate program, including proof of English proficiency. Otherwise, you must apply directly to the ESL program. The completion of ESL does not guarantee admission to a graduate program. Some programs do not offer conditional admission. Check here for program-specific information about conditional admission or contact the program coordinator listed on the catalog page.

Please check the English Language Proficiency Requirements for more information.

Transfer Students

I have credits from another institution. Will Kent State accept them?

International Admissions plays only a small role in the process of transferring international credits. We determine what the equivalent credit hours and grades are, but it is your responsibility to meet with an academic advisor to see how these courses fit into your major at Kent State. If possible, please bring course syllabi and descriptions in English to make this process easier. The transfer credit evaluation will take place after admittance and arrival at Kent State.

We cannot guarantee all your credits will transfer to exact equivalents in your Kent State program.

Defer, Change or Reapply for Admission

What if I want to defer or change my enrollment start time?

If you are admitted to Kent State University and do not attend another institution in the meantime, you can defer your current application. Admission can be deferred for up to one year. You can request a deferral here.

If you attempt to defer beyond one year, you will have to begin the application process again. Please be aware of that some graduate programs only allow for certain semesters of intake.

If you are admitted to Kent State University and choose to attend another institution, you cannot defer your current application. If you wish to apply again in the future, then you must reapply using your same login and account identification.

It is important to list the current school you are attending on your application. Make sure your new transcripts sent to ensure the most accurate and current academic information is reflected on your application.

What is the difference between deferring my admission versus deferring my I-20?

Deferring your admission means you will wait to start your studies in a later semester. You can defer your admission for up to one year here.

Deferring your I-20 means that you intend to start studying remotely or online, but you do not plan to come to Kent State this semester. You can defer your I-20 by contacting

What happens after I submit my request to defer?

Your new admissions letter and I-20 will be processed as soon as possible. You will receive an email with tracking information once your I-20 and admission package are sent to the address that you provided.

I applied but wasn’t offered a place at Kent State. Can I reapply?

If you have been denied admission, we cannot defer your application.

If you are still interested in the program, you may consider applying again for the next available term. We recommend you reach out to to find out if this is a suitable course of action for you.

How do I know if I need to reapply for admission?

You need to submit a new application if you fall into one of these three categories:

  • You previously applied to Kent State University but decided to attend another institution; or
  • Your previous application was rejected, and you wish to be considered for a different program.
  • You have exceeded your one-year limit to defer your admission and wish to be considered for the following term.

In these instances, you will need to pay your application fee again with your new application.