Wilkes University

International Students

Wilkes University’s growing global perspective and commitment to education in an evolving and multicultural world is illustrated by the increasing number of students from abroad who enter Wilkes’ programs. On campus the International Graduate Admissions office is located in the lower level of Breiseth Hall or by phone at 1-800-WILKESU Extension 4235.

All Graduate international students are welcome to apply with the following materials:

  • A completed online application (www.wilkes.edu/applyonline)
  • An official university transcript evaluated by course by World Education Services (WES) or other companies (see below) for all undergraduate and graduate work completed outside of the U.S.
  • Official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if the language of instruction for the applicant's undergraduate degree was not English
  • Statement of financial verification (bank or government statement) indicating that the applicant's sponsor has on account a sum of money sufficient to pay tuition, room, board, and expenses for one academic year
  • A copy of the picture page of applicant's passport

Applicants are also required to submit necessary materials to satisfy individual program admission requirements, which can be found in their respective sections in the bulletin.

Electronic copies of application materials are not permitted. Applicants are required to submit all application materials to:

            Wilkes University
            Graduate Admissions
            84 W South Street 
            Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766

Official University Transcript Evaluation:

 Students who attended a college/university outside of the US are required to submit a course-by-course evaluation of their foreign transcripts to be considered for admission. Evaluations must be received from the evaluation company, not the student, in order to be considered official.  Wilkes University accepts course-by-course evaluations from the following companies: World Education Services, Educational Credential EvaluatorsEducational Perspective, Global Language Services, or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants. Students who attended a college/university within the US  must submit an official transcript to Wilkes University from the college/university. Please contact the institution’s registrar’s office to submit a transcript request.  Transcripts must be received from the college/university, not the student, in order to be considered official.

Official Results of English Acquisition:

All international student applicants whose native language is not English and who come from non-English speaking countries must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam and submit the results of this test with the application for admission or provide proof that their language of instruction was English.

Sufficient Scores for Graduate Work are as follows:

TOEFL Paper Based 550
TOEFL Computer Based 213
TOEFL Internet Based 79

Submit a statement of financial:

International Students are required to submit a statement of financial verification (bank or government statement) indicating that that the prospective student or student’s sponsor have on account a sum of money sufficient to pay tuition, room, board, and expenses for one academic year. It is generally required that each international student also submits an affidavit of support and bank statement indicating that the applicant has access to funds at least equal to one full year of tuition plus living and personal expenses in the United States.


International students for whom an F-1 visa is required, must submit all required application documents, in addition to all documents described in the Application section above, at least three months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they intend to begin graduate studies. Students should complete their application file by June 15 for admission in the fall semester and by November 15 for admission in the spring semester. Students who apply for programs that allow you to start in summer should complete their application by March 1

I-20 visa documents:

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Department requires a certificate of eligibility (Form I-20A) to be initiated by the University prior to applying for a student visa to study in this country. Any extension of stay or employment while in the United States must have the prior approval of the regional office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The Form I-20A will only be issued after the application process is complete and the student has been admitted to the institution.

International students in the graduate program must maintain full-time student status (at least 9 credit hours per semester).

Missing required UG courses:

International students may be required to take certain courses for undergraduate credit that are not applicable to the master's degree. In some cases these courses will be specified in the admissions letter, but the Department Chairperson and the student's advisor may add requirements if a student is found to be deficient in the English language or in background knowledge in the field.

International Student Services Requirements

All international students must attend the mandatory orientation with International Student Services of the Center for Global Education and Diversity before they begin their graduate studies. The ISS staff serve as advisors on non-academic matters to all international students.  Services include assistance with visa and other immigration issues; assistance and advice on personal issues; orientation to life in the United States and the American educational system.  ISS staff assist students in dealing with U.S. and foreign government agencies, other campus offices and departments, and the community.  These services are available to all international students.

International Student Academic Status

An international student holding an F-1 visa (or equivalent) must maintain full-time status during the regular semesters (fall and spring) by registering for the minimum number of credits (currently nine) as defined by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) or for the number of credits remaining in order to complete his or her graduation requirements, whichever is less.

If such student is unable to satisfy the above condition, he or she must petition the Graduate Studies Committee for an exemption. The Committee will accept only reasons recognized and specified by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

An international student fulfilling the Thesis option/requirement (currently six credits) will have two continuous semesters to complete his or her work and defend the thesis. However, only the last semester may have fewer than 9 credits total.  A request for an extension must be recommended by the student's Thesis Committee and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The decision to either grant or deny the extension must state the reasons AND the time extension granted.

An international student fulfilling the non-Thesis (Report/Project) option/requirement will have one semester to complete his or her report/project. A request for an extension must be recommended by the Program Director and approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The decision to either grant or deny the extension must state the reasons AND the time extension granted.

To meet the definition of CPT, the employment must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. The employment will yield crucial data which is absolutely necessary to complete the student's required thesis, i.e., it would not even be possible to complete the thesis without this employment.
  2. The employment is absolutely necessary for the student to complete a project for which he or she will receive academic credit that directly counts towards the student's formal degree requirements. It will be impossible for the student to complete the project without this particular employment, and the project will earn credits that will fulfill a specific degree requirement in the student's program.

An international student who elects to do an internship, including Curricular Practical Training (CPT), must be placed in such internship and have such internship monitored by the Office of Cooperative Education. There must be a clearly defined curricular need for such internship placement.