International First-Year 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:
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
When we review your application, UMass Amherst's International Admissions Office will evaluate your academic records, which include your high school transcripts or secondary school external examinations.
- Copies of official high school transcripts must be submitted by your school counselor or teacher. We will not accept any transcripts sent by you, your family or an independent college consultant.
- All transcripts should include final marks that are equivalent to the U.S. marks from grades 9, 10, and 11.
- If you have graduated from high school, the final high school transcript with the date of graduation is required.
Secondary School External Exams
We use “Secondary School External Examinations” as a broad term to describe an external examination that is required in your curriculum or country for promotion. The official results issued by the exanimation board in addition to the school internal grades are required. Examples include GCSE/ IGCSE/ O-Level exam results, Indian Class X board exam results, MYP exam results, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exam results, or Malaysian SPM exam results.
Final Transcript or External Examination Requirements
Before enrolling at UMass Amherst, an official final high school transcript, certificate, or diploma which will progress you to a university in your home country is required. Examples are as the follows.
- Final high school transcript with the date of graduation
- Final high school transcript with high school diploma
- Final French Baccalauréat
- Cambridge Pre-U exams
- Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE)
- General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Levels (A-Levels)
- German Abitur
- Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) exams
- Indian Class XII state board exams
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
- Malaysian SPM exams
- West African Senior School Certificate Exams (WASSCE)
To see examples of acceptable documents please click here.
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)
At UMass Amherst, standardized tests are optional for first-year entering applicants. UMass Amherst will review applications with or without standardized test scores. Students who have taken the SAT/ACT exams are welcome to send their scores.
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.
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.