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MSW Program International Applicants

International applicants are those persons who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Institutions are required by U.S. federal immigration laws to obtain certification that international applicants have adequate financial resources to provide for their expenses while attending school.

International students may apply for School of Social Work merit scholarship aid, which can be utilized toward certifying that adequate funds are available. Most merit scholarships cover only partial tuition amounts. To apply for scholarship aid, please complete the School of Social Work Financial Aid Application for incoming students. NOTE: This application is available through the online MSW application or can be submitted in hard copy.

International students may also apply to our special programs. Special program applications are available through the online MSW application.

All international applicants must submit an Affidavit of Financial Support with the application materials, certifying the availability of a minimum of $136,400 (in U.S. dollars) for their expenses for four full-time terms of study, exclusive of travel to and from the United States and exclusive of dependent expenses. Proof of adequate funding may include funds from a variety of sources, including sponsoring organizations or governments, continuance of salary, the applicant's family, or the applicant's personal funds. Official financial documentation can be in the form of original certified bank statements or an original letter of financial support from an organization, foundation, or government sponsor verifying the amount and duration of funds that are available to you. This documentation is required for visa documents to be issued to enter the United States.

It is mandatory that all international students and their accompanying dependents at the University of Michigan have health insurance coverage that meets the University's standards. Enrolled students must purchase an approved insurance plan through the University unless, in the judgment of the University, comparable coverage is provided from another source. If applicants wish to waive participation in the University of Michigan plan, they must submit proof of coverage to the International Center for approval (603 East Madison, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, international-insurance@umich.edu).

English Proficiency

Because of the importance we place on students' ability to communicate effectively in both the classroom and field instruction setting, applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are required to provide an official score report from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB). Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.

Applicants who have earned a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English regardless of country are exempt from submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score. Other applicants with at least two years of non-degree study from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English are exempt from submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB score. The TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB should be taken no later, preferably earlier, than January of the year in which the applicant wishes to be admitted. Test scores are valid for two years. TOEFL scores are sent via tape directly to the University of Michigan (institution code: 1839). Official IELTS and MELAB scores must be sent directly to the School of Social Work.

English Proficiency Test Scores

The recommended minimum score for each test is as follows:

Test Score
TOEFL 600 (PBT); 250 (CBT); 100 (iBT)
IELTS 7.0
MELAB 85

Applicants meeting the minimum criteria for admission but scoring below the recommended English proficiency scores listed above will be required to complete an interview via telephone or in person. Students admitted with a test score of less than our recommended minimum are required to attend the Summer English for Academic Purposes Program (see below) language program prior to enrollment.

Admitted applicants with the following test scores will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with an English Language Institute (ELI) advisor when they arrive on campus prior to enrollment:

Test Score
TOEFL < 620 (PBT) or any part score < 62
< 260 (CBT) or any part score < 26
< 106 (iBT) or Listening < 26 or Speaking < 27 or Reading < 26 or Writing < 27
IELTS < 7 or any part score < 7
MELAB < 85 or any part score < 85

Additional instruction in English and/or a reduced course load may be recommended based on the ELI assessment.

Information and applications for English proficiency tests may be obtained by contacting the following:

Summer English for Academic Purposes Program

The English Language Institute at the University of Michigan offers a summer English for Academic Purposes program. The program is designed for non-native speakers of English who are proficient in English and have been accepted to an English-speaking university for the following fall term. It is a six and one-half week, non-credit program aimed at helping students make their transition into a U.S. university community. All non-native, English-speaking international students are encouraged to consider enrolling in the EAP Program in the summer prior to enrollment. Involvement in an intensive English language study program can help admitted social work students develop the language skills they need to be successful in the social work classroom and their MSW field instruction placement.

Please note that enrollment in the summer EAP Program will increase the dollar amount required to show adequate financial resources.

Health Screening

Certain entering international students must be screened for tuberculosis. Screening will be offered free on campus. Please visit the UHS website for more information.

On-Campus University Housing

International graduate and professional students are eligible to live in the Northwood Community Apartments, as well as the Munger Graduate Residences. Students from over 70 countries live in on-campus University housing. Newly admitted and matriculated (that is, those that have paid their enrollment deposit) students will receive an email from the University Housing Office with on-campus University housing information. Other University housing accommodations typically are not available for graduate or professional students. Visit the Housing Office website or U-M International Center Housing webpage for more information.

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