International Applicants | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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International MSW Applicants

If you are not a United States national, and you will be entering, or have already entered, the United States with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you should apply as an international student. Students who already reside in the United States and hold other non-immigrant visas are also considered international students.

Permanent residents of the United States, naturalized U.S. citizens, and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending school outside the United States are not considered international students.

In addition to the MSW application requirements, international applicants must meet the following criteria:


International applicants must hold a degree considered equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

(Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in social work from an international institution must comply with specific requirements to be eligible for Advanced Standing status at the Brown School; additional information can be found here.)

If your educational documentation is not in English, you must also provide a certified word-for-word English translation.

We will also accept foreign credential evaluation reports from a NACES® member organization such as Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Foundation for International Services (FIS), or World Education Services (WES) (preferred).

Demonstration of English Proficiency

International students are required to provide proof of language proficiency. Preferred standard testing options are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS). Test scores are valid for two years. Applicants who are unable to access the TOEFL iBT or IELTS may utilize the Duolingo English Test as an alternative.

Minimum scores:

TOEFL iBT - Preferred: 100; Required: 90

IELTS - Preferred: 7.0; Required: 6.5

Duolingo English Test - Required: 115

Applicants meeting all other criteria for admission but scoring below the preferred English proficiency scores may be required to complete a language assessment interview.

Please self-report your test scores in the relevant section of the online application; official scores must be verified by the testing agency before your application can be considered complete.

Washington University’s TOEFL code is 6929.

Exemption from this requirement applies to the following:

  • International applicants whose native language is English. Native language is defined as the language one grew up speaking in one’s family, community and nation. We will grant a waiver to citizens of the following countries: Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
  • International applicants who have studied in full-time undergraduate status for three years or more in an English-medium academic program in any of the above countries, or in Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa or the United States.

Note: Students who have studied in English in other countries are not exempt from the English language proficiency requirement.

Proof of Financial Support

U.S. federal law requires institutions to obtain certification that international students have adequate financial resources to provide for their expenses while attending school. If admitted to the program, international students must provide a Declaration and Certification of Finances Form and supporting documents as evidence of support to cover educational and living expenses for the academic year. This documentation will be required to accept any offer of admission and initiate the appropriate visa process with Washington University.

Please visit the website for Washington University’s Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) for additional resources for international students.