International ESL Student Requirements

Kent State’s ESL Center offers several programs that provide intensive English language instruction to international students who want to improve their English for academic or professional purposes. The ESL Center’s goal is to help students learn to communicate and study effectively in English and to gain a greater understanding of United States culture. The ESL Center is committed to academic excellence through flexibility in program design. All courses are available at various proficiency levels to ensure that students receive the best English training possible.



Admissions Criteria and Requirements

Before you begin your application, please review Kent State’s requirements.

Education Requirements

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.).

Visa Requirements

Please be aware that for some countries it might be more difficult to get a U.S. visa issued with only ESL admission.

Conditional Admission

The ESL Center offers classes to help you meet the entry requirements for full admission to a degree program with Kent State as well as many other institutions or professions. 

The ESL application is for students whose main interest is learning English. If you only want to apply for the ESL program then you should submit an ESL application.

Please apply directly to the degree program if you intend to enter it under Conditional Admission. If you enter under Conditional Admission, you will take English language classes at our ESL Center before entering your program. 

Please note that all international university applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency unless they qualify for a proficiency waiver. 

  • Undergraduate applicants who do not meet the minimum language score for admission may be admitted conditionally if they meet academic requirements. 
  • 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. 

Application Deadlines

There are five entry dates for the ESL program, starting in January, March, May, August and October. Admissions are on a rolling basis, which means you can apply any time and choose your start date.

Application Process and Steps

Follow the steps below to become part of the Kent State community. If you have any questions, please reach out to us any time.

Submit Your Online Application

Submit an online application and non-refundable application fee of $30.

Prepare Your Application Documents
  • Copy of Passport biographical page.

  • Financial guarantee (bank statements) that show sufficient funds to cover educational expenses (view tuition costs for ESL).

Submit All Required Documents to the Office of Global Education

Include the student’s full name and Kent State ID when sending documents.

For faster processing, all the documents should be scanned as one PDF (the size of the PDF file should be under 5MB) and sent to the International Admissions Office through

Apply for Immigration Documents (I-20)

Now that you are admitted, you will need an immigration document in order to obtain your student visa. Please check the immigration document page for additional information.

Transfer Your SEVIS record (If Applicable)

If you are an F-1 student transferring from a school in the United States, please review the Transfer In Guide regarding your SEVIS record transfer. F-1 students must transfer their SEVIS record in order to maintain their F-1 status.