UMass Campus Vista
Undergraduate Admissions

International First-Year Applicants

Application Instructions

UMass Amherst welcomes you to apply for admission as an international student if you are not a United States citizen or a permanent resident of the United States.

If you have completed high school (secondary school) and have not yet enrolled in a regular session at a college or university, you should apply as a first-year student (see instructions below).  If you have completed high school (secondary school) and have been enrolled in a college or university, you should apply as a transfer student.

Application materials needed for an international first-year student:

Common Application

UMass Amherst uses the Common Application:

When completing your application please be mindful of the following sections:

Use your full legal name on all documents. Use this same full legal name on all of your application materials (including test scores, if you submit them). For U.S. citizens, this should be the name listed on your Social Security card. For non-U.S. citizens, this should be your name as listed exactly on your passport.

It is critical that applicants use their own email address, phone number, and mailing address on their application to ensure that all communication from UMass Amherst is delivered in an accurate and timely manner.  Missing any important communication from us may delay an applicant's application process and admission decisions.

Confirm that your mail address is correct and provide an email address that you will check frequently. Don’t forget to notify us if your mail or email address changes. Please add to your address book so that important emails from us do not go to your spam folder.

Note: We recommend not using a school email address, since some schools block outside emails, and you may not have access to that address after graduating.

For students interested in one of our selective majors — Computer Science, Engineering, Isenberg School of Management (Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Operations & Information Management, and Sport Management) — we recommend that you also choose a second choice major on your Common Application that is not one of these selective majors.

Financial and Visa Information

Applicants needing an F-1 student visa will receive email instructions on how to submit their financial documents after an offer of admission has been made.  For more about finances and visa processing for international students please see this page.  If you are currently living in the United States and believe your visa status will qualify you as a domestic student, please be sure to include your U.S. visa information in the "Geography and Citizenship" section of the Common Application.

Academic Letter of Recommendation

One academic letter of recommendation is required for all first-year applicants. This letter must be submitted by the recommender, preferably an academic teacher.

In addition, all first-year applicants must have their counselor or principal submit the School Report or Counselor Recommendation on the Common Application for the application to be complete. 

Application Fee

International students must verify that they have adequate finances to pay for their education — requesting a fee waiver indicates that they do not have adequate finances and therefore would not be able to enroll. For this reason, we do not waive application fees for international students.

Audition or Portfolio

Architecture, art, dance, and music majors should file an admission application with the Admissions Office early to facilitate the audition or portfolio review process.

English Language Proficiency

UMass Amherst seeks to admit students who will contribute fully to campus life, inside and outside the classroom. Therefore, all non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The following are ways in which you can satisfy the English language proficiency requirement:

  • TOEFL: minimum composite score of 80 no subscore lower than 20 (code #3917). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Scores.
  • IELTS: minimum composite score of 6.5 on the academic test with no subscore lower than 6.0 (We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms).
  • English education: Entire secondary education (four years) is at a school where English is the primary language of instruction and the British or American curriculum is followed. 
  • Unscripted interview: While not required for admission, all international students may choose to submit a third-party unscripted interview.  If you choose to submit an interview, companies that provide this service include InitialView.

We are committed to reducing barriers caused by COVID-19 disruptions for students who plan to apply for admission. Therefore, beginning with the spring 2021 term the following tests will temporarily be accepted as approved examinations for English proficiency:

  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China: minimum score of 550 is required (Scores will be provided by Vericant).
  • TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: minimum score of 80 is required (code #3917).
  • IELTS Indicator: minimum composite score of 6.5 on the academic test with no subscore lower than 6.0 (We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms).
  • Duolingo English Test (DET): minimum score of 105 is required (Use the same email address as used with the Common Application).

If you are providing proof of English language proficiency based on one of the test scores listed above, please note that the score reports must be less than two years old and come to Undergraduate Admissions directly from the testing service. Also note that we do not superscore language tests (e.g. We do not accept MyBest scores from TOEFL).

The University of Massachusetts Amherst downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account. Please contact your test center and request that your scores be sent to the following IELTS e-download account:

University of Massachusetts Amherst
534 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

Please note: Waiver of the English proficiency testing requirement will be granted only after our verification that the applicant has satisfied one of the above waiver criteria, based on official documentation contained in the student's application materials. The official verification process will be conducted after the student's application has been submitted and reviewed.

Interruption in Education History

If applicable, you should report any interruptions (gaps) in your education history.  There is a section on the Common Application to both indicate and summarize why a gap occurred, and importantly, to report whether you took courses at another institution during that time.

Official High School Transcripts or Secondary School Exams

Official transcripts showing all secondary (high school) and post-secondary (if applicable) coursework, with official translations. Note: Attested or notarized copies of original foreign transcripts are permitted for the admission decision; however, if admitted, the student must present the original document(s) upon request.


Official SAT or ACT Score Report (Optional)

Beginning with the spring 2021 term, and continuing for each spring and fall term through spring 2023, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is making standardized tests optional for its first-year entering applicants.

Optional Interview

While not required for admission, all international students may choose to submit a third-party unscripted interview.  Because many students come from educational systems that are different from that of the United States, we find it valuable to view an unscripted interview where applicants may discuss their unique backgrounds and goals.  A third-party company will conduct the interview, record the conversation, and send it directly to our admissions team for review.  If you choose to submit such an interview, companies that provide this service include InitialView. (Interviews are optional and must be submitted by the application deadline to be considered.  Applicants must contact the company to set-up and pay for the interview. Submission of an interview does not guarantee admission.)

Secondary School Exams

If an applicant’s high school (or secondary school) is in a country outside the United States that requires national or state exams in order to progress to higher educational levels, then we require a copy of official exam results for any exams completed prior to applying for admission. Examples include: IGSCE, GCSE, O Level, AS, CXC, CBSE Class X, and IGSCE Class X with school transcripts. Admitted students will need to submit official proof of completion of senior (or higher) secondary school prior to enrollment. Examples include: A Level, CAPE, CBSE Class XII, and ISC Class XII.