Office of International Programs and Services

International Students

International Students Apply


Become a part of the WCU Community

We are glad you are interested in joining us here at Western Carolina University.

Tucked away in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we're a close-knit community of faculty and students who are working together to build a global community.

All of us at the Office of International Programs and Services are here to help guide you through the application process, answer your questions, introduce you to our university and life here at Western.

If you have any questions please feel free to stop by Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm or contact us by phone at +1 828.227.7494 or by email at

Application Deadlines

April 1: Fall application deadline

September 1: Spring application deadline

February 1: Summer application deadline

*Send application materials and inquiries to 

English Language Requirements

All international students must demonstrate a proficiency in English in order to be admitted to Western Carolina University. Students may be exempt from demonstrating English proficiency in certain situations. Some of these situations may include:

  • Students from countries where English is the primary native language (listed below).
  • Students who have completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) high school.
  • Students who have completed high school or higher education in an English-medium institution.
  • Students who have successfully completed 24 credit hours or more at a US college or university. 
  • Students who achieve proficiency and conditional admission from WCU's Intensive English Program

All others must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or achieve Conditional Admission through our Intensive English Program. English requirements must be met whether entering as a degree-seeking undergraduate/ graduate, transfer-in, or through an exchange program.

For Undergraduate Admissions, the minimum TOEFL score is 68 (Internet Based-iBT) or 520 (Paper Based-PBT). A minimum band score of 6 is required on IELTS. If undergraduate students have a TOEFL score 68 through 78 on iBT or 520 through 549 on PBT, or IELTS scores between 6 and 6.5, they will be registered in one English bridge credit-bearing course during their first semester.

For Graduate Admissions, the minimum TOEFL score is 79 (Internet Based-iBT) or 550 (Paper Based-PBT). A minimum overall score of 6.5 is required on IELTS, with a minimum score of 6 on each of the four bands.

If undergraduate or graduate students do not yet have the required level of English proficiency, WCU’s Intensive English Program welcomes students until they can achieve it.

Countries with English as Primary Native Language (Exempt): Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Greenland, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tobago, Tonga, Trinidad, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Applications & Required Forms 

Please note that once all documents are received it may take up to four months for your application to be processed. If you are seeking a graduate assistantship, the process could take longer.

All freshman students must live on campus. For all International Students who choose to live on campus please keep in mind that Western Carolina University closes for four weeks during Winter Break. During this time Robertson Hall will be the only residence hall available for students who need to stay on campus. If you do not choose Robertson Hall but still need Winter Break housing, it will be your responsibility to make arrangements and on-campus housing will not be an option.

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