Last Revision: October 26, 2023
Admission of International Students
An international student at APUS is defined as any student who does not hold U.S. citizenship. In addition to the admissions requirements set forth in its policies and procedures, APUS reserves the right to require additional documentation for admission as it deems appropriate or as may otherwise be required by law.
English Proficiency Requirement
English is the official language of the American Public University System. Other than foreign language courses, all classroom requirements are to be completed by the student in English without the use of any translation. To ensure that students have the opportunity to succeed in our courses, students who are not U.S. citizens may be asked to provide verification of English proficiency in order to enroll for academic credit in any of our courses.
APUS accepts a variety of English proficiency exams; test results are accepted from an approved vendor list that is managed by our admissions team and approved by the Vice President of Admissions. These examinations are reviewed yearly to ensure that these tests and the acceptable scores meet APUS criteria and the list may change occasionally based on approval by the Vice President of Admissions. International students will be blocked from registration, or dropped from any initial registration, if it is determined that English proficiency is required to complete the admissions record.
- U.S Military: Students who are active duty, reserve status, guard status, or retired U.S. military are exempt from this testing requirement.
- Previous U.S. Degrees:
- For undergraduate, masters & graduate certificate programs, students who have earned an associate or higher degree from an accredited U.S. institution or who have completed an English composition course with a grade of B- or higher at an accredited U.S. institution.
- For doctoral programs, students who have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree in residence at an institutional accredited institution in the U.S. or who have transcripts from at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) in residence at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
- Citizenship: Students who are citizens of certain countries, where English is the only official language, may be exempt from this testing requirement. Please contact your admissions representative or review our English Proficiency Requirements to verify if you would be covered by this exemption.
- Readmissions: Any international students who are currently disenrolled but requesting readmission to APUS will be required to fulfill this admission requirement unless they already successfully completed an APUS course in the past with a grade of C or higher.
- U.S. High School Graduates: Students who can supply an official transcript of graduation from a U.S. high school whose diploma is recognized by the State Board of Education or students who hold a U.S. GED certificate.
Submitting Test Results
To have an official TOEFL Score Report mailed directly to our university, the APUS code number 5315 must be supplied to ETS. Students may also send their own scanned copy of their TOEFL, IELTS, or other acceptable test results to [email protected] or fax to 304-724-3788. Examples of acceptable scores for common English proficiency tests are provided below. If you have questions about a particular test or score not listed, please contact [email protected].
Minimum Test Scores Accepted
|Undergraduate Minimum||Graduate Minimum|
(Must be less than 5 years old)
(Must be less than 5 years old)
WAEC (formerly the GCE)
|English C4 or higher||English B2 or higher|
TOEFL Paper Based Test
(Must be less than 2 years old)
520 with TWE of 4.0
550 with TWE of 4.5
TOEFL Internet Based Test
(Must be less than 2 years old)
IELTS Academic Test
(Must be less than 2 years old)
If you have transcripts from outside the U.S., you will need to have these evaluated by an accepted educational agency to determine their U.S. equivalency. Various international educational firms can interpret the educational backgrounds of people who have studied outside the United States and are in need of statements of U.S. equivalencies (See the list below under “Accepted Credential Evaluation Service Organizations.”). These evaluators issue two main types of reports:
- Degree-only verification: Verifies the type of credential earned and whether or not the non-U.S. institution is equivalent to an accredited U.S. institution. This step is required both for high school credentials if you are enrolling in an undergraduate level program, and for graduate-level programs to verify that you have the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor degree.
- Course-by-course evaluation: (Optional) Verifies whether or not the non-U.S. institution is equivalent to an accredited U.S. institution and includes a separate report that provides U.S. semester credit, grade equivalent, and level equivalent (graduate or undergraduate) for each course. The report is used for Transfer Credit Evaluations (TCE). This is only required if you wish to have your previous non-U.S. college work reviewed for potential transfer credit.
Accepted Credential Evaluation Service Organizations
APUS will accept official evaluation reports from the foreign education evaluation agencies listed below. You will be responsible for contacting the agency directly for procedure and fee information:
- Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) – APUS accepts only the academic report which includes the earned credential equivalency and a course-by-course report.
- A current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).*
- A current member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE).*
* Because membership may change throughout the year, applicants with non-U.S. transcripts requiring evaluation should visit the NACES or AICE web sites to see the most current information.
THE EVALUATING AGENCY SHOULD MAIL THE OFFICIAL REPORT TO THIS ADDRESS
American Public University System
Attn: Document Services
111 West Congress Street
Charles Town, WV 25414
Undergraduate Admissions with No Previous College
You must have earned a standard high school diploma or its international equivalent in order to enroll in an undergraduate program at APUS. If you are enrolling in an undergraduate level program and have a high school credential from a non-U.S. high school, you will need to have these evaluated by an accepted educational agency to determine their U.S. equivalency. You must request the educational agency interpreting your high school credential send an official degree-only report directly to APUS. The report must verify that your high school credential is at least the equivalent of a U.S. high school.
Members of the United States Armed Forces and veterans are exempt from this policy.
Undergraduate Admissions with Previous College Credit
If you have previously completed college level courses, and are enrolling in an Associate or Bachelor degree, you are required to submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) Application as part of your admission process, unless the only previous college coursework you completed was at a non-U.S. university.
If you have not earned the equivalent of a Bachelor degree yet, and you wish to have your previous college credit reviewed for potential transfer credit, you must request the educational agency interpreting your non-U.S. college-level transcript to send a course-by-course evaluation report directly to the university. If you do not wish to have your non-U.S. transcript evaluated for by an outside agency, you will only need to have an official transcript of your studies sent to us from your previous school for your student admission file.
Exception for Canadian Institutions
If you have applied for a transfer credit evaluation and are requesting transfer credit for coursework taken at a Canadian Institution, you are not required to get an International course-by-course evaluation of the Canadian transcript if it meets the following criteria, although you will still need to have an official transcript sent to us:
- Transcript is in English.
- Transcript is from a school that is a member of the Association of Canadian Colleges and Universities, OR if accreditation is shown on the transcript from the Ministry of Education of the province, OR if the school has been given degree-granting rights by an act of the Canadian legislature OR if listed as a school already recognized in CHEA database.
If you are enrolling at APUS in a master’s or graduate certificate program and your bachelor’s or higher degree is from a non-U.S. institution, you must request the educational agency interpreting your non-U.S. college-level transcript to send an official degree-only verification report directly to us. The report must verify that you earned the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from an institutional accredited institution in the United States.
If you are enrolling at APUS in a doctoral program and your master’s or higher degree is from a non-U.S. institution, you must request the educational agency interpreting your non-U.S. college-level transcript to send an official degree-only verification report directly to us. The report must verify that you earned the equivalent of a master's degree from an institutional accredited institution in the United States. For your unofficial transcript of a bachelor’s degree, a degree verification is not required.
If you have also completed graduate-level course work at a non-U.S. institution and wish to have this credit reviewed for potential transfer credit, you will also need to submit a Transfer Credit Application at APUS and have the educational agency complete a course-by-course evaluation with the report sent directly to us. This is not required and is only if you want to try to transfer credit to APUS.
You do not need to have your transcript evaluated by an educational agency for degree only verification for admission into one of our graduate programs if your degree was from a Canadian institution that meets one of these conditions:
- If the school is a member of the Association of Canadian Colleges and Universities.
- If accreditation is shown on the transcript from the Ministry of Education of the province.
- If the school has been given degree-granting rights by an act of the Canadian legislature.
Swedish Defense College
Our university accepts official documentation for students completing programs from the Swedish Defense College as the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree without requiring an educational agency evaluation.
If you have more questions about international document requirements, please e-mail us at [email protected].