UMass Campus Vista
Undergraduate Admissions

International First-Year Instructions

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.

A note on spring admission for international students: Due to the lengthy student visa process we are unable to admit international students for the spring semester unless they are currently in a U.S.-based high school with a valid student visa.

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 mail@admissions.umass.edu 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.

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.

Official High School Transcripts

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.

Secondary School External Exams

We use “Secondary School External Exams” as a broad term to describe a test or credential needed in addition to your high school transcript. 
If an applicant’s high school curriculum requires an external examination (typically schools outside the United States) 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: 

  • IGCSE
  • GCSE
  • O Level 
  • AS and/or A Level 
  • CBSE or ICSE Class X marks statement
  • CBSE or ICSE Class XII marks statement (if an applicant has completed the higher (or senior) secondary school)
  • CXC
  • CAPE
  • WASSCE ( the scratch card is required for an online verification)
  • Click here to see examples of acceptable documents

Please see this page for the specific requirements from your country or international school curriculum. 

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.

Official SAT or ACT Score Report (Optional)

Through the fall 2023 entering class, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is making standardized tests optional for its first-year entering applicants.

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. 

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.

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.)

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.

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.