International Students



The University of Maryland is dedicated to maintaining a vibrant international graduate student community. The office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) is a valuable resource of information and assistance for prospective and current international students.  International applicants are encouraged to explore the services they offer, and contact them with related questions.

The University of Maryland Graduate School offers admission to international students based on academic information; it is not a guarantee of attendance.  Admitted international students will then receive instructions about obtaining the appropriate visa to study at the University of Maryland which will require submission of additional documents.  Please see the Graduate Admissions Process for International applicants for more information. 

Proof of English Proficiency: You will be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores if you do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the English speaking countries (below).  If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with international credentials, you will still be required to submit English test scores if you do not hold a degree from one of the countries on this list.  The minimum scores for language exams can be found on the Graduate School website.  The BISI graduate program will not admit students that do not meet the minimum scores for full enrollment. If you have already taken the TOEFL and scored less than 100, it is in your best interest to do additional preparation and repeat the exam.

Financial Support:  The BISI program fully supports all applicants that are offered admission for five years through a combination of teaching/research assistantships and fellowships.  Support includes tuition remission for up to 10 credits, access to health benefits, and a competitive stipend. 

Note: Students who will be awarded a degree from the U.S., United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean prior to enrolling in the University of Maryland are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS. However, students from Puerto Rico, although U.S. citizens, are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.


Before you arrive:

You've been admitted, have accepted the offer and are wondering what you need to do next. This section is designed to help you prepare for your adventure as a graduate student in the U.S.

The International Education Services website has an excellent arrival guide that provides information on:

  • Academics
  • Campus activities
  • Child care and schools
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Banking
  • Restaurants
  • Religious activities
  • Public transportation



Your first few weeks: 

Once you arrive on campus, you will attend the following:

  • International Orientation
  • International TA Evaluation Testing
  • BISI orientation (usually held in early August)

Orientation is usually held in early August and attendance is mandatory.  In addition to the required sessions, be sure to attend the Payroll and Health Care sessions as they will help make your transition into the University easier!

If you have a Teaching Assistantship (TA), then you are required to attend the International Teaching Assistant evaluation through the Maryland English Institute.  The fees for this are waived for students appointed as TAs.

Prior to being evaluated, you must attend a special registration and orientation.  You will need to bring your appointment letter from the BISI office and a photo ID to the evaluation.