INTERNATIONAL STUDENT APPLICATION PROCESS
International applicants seeking admission to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore should not plan to leave their country before receiving an official offer of admission from the Graduate School. The Graduate School undertakes a preliminary review and evaluation of the international applicant’s materials (academic credentials and application completeness) prior to their submission to the graduate program.
For foreign nationals, the completed application and fee, letters of evaluation and statement of purpose should be received by the UMES Graduate School by the appropriate deadline date. Official academic credentials must be authenticated by a credentialing agency in the United States. World Educational Services (WES) currently evaluates and authenticates credentials for submission to the Graduate School at UMES. As of January 20, 2010 WES has been officially recognized as the recipient of verified Chinese degrees for the U.S. and Canada. Foreign nationals should complete an application for transcript review at www.wes.org and request that the registrar of the institution from which they obtained their degree send the original copy of the transcript to WES for evaluation. WES will submit the evaluation along with a certified copy of the transcript to UMES. Transcripts that do not indicate the degree earned will not be accepted by the Graduate School.
English Proficiency Testing
When applicants are ready to begin their studies, they will be expected to read, speak and write fluently in English, in order to understand lectures, take examinations and participate in seminars and presentations. Applicants should be aware that UMES does not offer any program of English for non-native speakers of English to improve their proficiency. Native speakers of English are defined as those who have received all of their education in the United States, United Kingdom, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Commonwealth Caribbean. International applicants who are non-native speakers of English (not their first language or the language of instruction at all levels of schooling) must demonstrate a proficiency in the English language by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and scoring 79/80 (internet based test), 213 or better (computer based test), or by providing evidence of an equivalent official testing in the English language with an acceptable score. Graduate programs may request TOEFL scores of non-immigrant visa status holders and permanent resident applicants. Possible exceptions change may be nonnative speakers who have successfully pursued full time academic work leading to a postsecondary degree or diploma in an English speaking country (see above), where English was the language of instruction. The TOEFL requirement is waived for an international student awarded a baccalaureate degree from UMES or a graduating senior at UMES who will have completed at least four years of undergraduate study at a U.S. college or university. Because TOEFL is given at selective times a year throughout various parts of the world, as soon as applicants contemplate study at UMES, they should make arrangements to take the test. For TOEFL test information, contact ets.org/toefl. Standardized test scores are considered valid within a 24-month period of the examination. When requesting official TOEFL score reports to be sent to the Graduate School, please refer to the UMES institutional code: 5400. A copy of an applicant’s “examinee’s score record” may be sent with the application for evaluation purposes only (note that the data on this record will be verified with ETS). The official score from ETS must be received for the applicant’s permanent file. Applicants found to be deficient in English and required to improve their English proficiency do so at their expense. Any course(s) or exams taken for this purpose will not count for degree credit.
To meet immigration requirements, each international applicant must furnish a completed Certification of Finances form to the Graduate School with the application, signed by him/her and the sponsor. Approximately $ 25,000 annually is an average for educational and living expenses. Evidence of funding (in U.S. dollars) for the first year must be provided with an indication of how financial support will be provided for subsequent years (normally up to two years for a master’s program and up to three to four years for the doctorate). International students are ineligible for need-based federal and state financial aid programs. International applicants may not refer to assistantships and campus employment as a source of financial support since a student must be admitted to the Graduate School before being eligible for these scarce financial resources. Applicants unable to demonstrate that they possess adequate financial self-support for their graduate study, including health insurance, will not be admitted. The Certification of Finances form is to be updated and resubmitted if there is a request for deferment of the original admission since financial institution statements will be outdated.
International applicants admitted to graduate study will be issued the Form I-20 from the UMES Office of Undergraduate Admissions for obtaining the most frequently granted student visa (F-1) for entry into the United States for the purpose of pursuing full time study. International applicants should not plan to leave their home country before obtaining an official offer of admission. International students already studying in the U.S., and who wish to transfer to UMES, must provide copies of the I-20, I-94 and passport visa stamp to the office of Undergraduate Admissions. The Department of Homeland Security is then requested to grant permission for the transfer. UMES handles only the F-1 student visa.
Documents should not be sent to the departments. All application materials should be sent directly to the Graduate School at the following address:
School of Graduate Studies
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Child Development Center—Suite 1137
Princess Anne, MD 21853