Applying as an International Student

Who should use this application?

Western welcomes all types of international students, whether you are a first year university student or transferring from another college or university.

You should apply as an international student if you require a student visa to study in the United States and are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, political asylee or refugee. If you hold dual citizenship with the U.S. and another country, you should indicate this on the application; you will need to fulfill first-year, transfer, or post-baccalaureate student application requirements and English language and financial requirements will be waived.


Admission to Western is selective. Cumulative academic achievement is the most important factor in the application review process. Our Admissions Committee believes that potential is measured by more than grades and test scores.

When filling out the application for admission, applicants are encouraged to help the Admissions Committee get to know them better by responding to the relevant essay questions and including an activities list or resume, if requested.

First-Year Students

First-year students are those who have not enrolled in any college course work after completing their high school or secondary schooling.


Transfer students are those who enroll in college courses after completing their high school or secondary schooling graduation.

University or college transfer students from outside the United States must have studied at a Ministry of Education recognized or accredited post-secondary institution. All transfer applicants applying with fewer than 40 transferable quarter (27 semester) college credits must also submit their official secondary school credentials with certified English translations when necessary.

A complete application file consists of:


Submit an app by the deadlines and pay application fee

First Year App Deadlines

Western Washington University application deadlines for undergraduate students by quarter.

Fall Quarter
(Early Action)
November 1
Fall Quarter
(Regular Decision)
January 31
Winter Quarter
September 15
Spring Quarter
January 1

Transfer App Deadlines

Summer Quarter
March 1
Fall Quarter
March 1
Winter Quarter
September 15
Spring Quarter
January 1

Submit Official Transcripts

Applicants are responsible for requesting official credentials/transcripts from the appropriate institutions as defined below. A transcript is considered official if is sent directly from the institution of origin or the Ministry of Education to the Office of Admissions. Please do not mail your own transcripts. They cannot be accepted, even in a sealed envelope.

First-Year applicants must submit:

  • Official secondary school credentials with certified English translations when necessary

Transfer and Post-baccalaureate applicants must submit:

  • Official credentials from all postsecondary institutions attended, even if you do not expect to transfer credit. Only transcripts issued within the last year will be accepted.
  • Transfer applicants with fewer than 45 transferable quarter (30 semester) credits must also submit official secondary school credentials with certified English translations when necessary
Important for transfer and post-baccalaureate students

If you've attended a college/university outside of the United States, it will be necessary to provide an official course-by-course evaluation of your transcript(s). Evaluations must be based on official documents and be conducted by a NACES member organization. See additional information below.

International students who attended schools outside of the United States must submit a NACES approved evaluation of academic records, and this evaluation must be based on official transcripts. Western currently recommends evaluations from the following agencies:

Please request a course-by-course evaluation including a grade point average (GPA). Official copies of the evaluation should be sent directly to Western’s Office of Admission. Your transcripts must be translated into English before an evaluation can be processed. The educational documentation you will need to submit to these agencies may vary based on the country of study, as well as the highest level of education you have completed outside of the United States. We recommend that you visit the website of your preferred agency to obtain information about what types of documentation are required for submission in order to obtain an evaluation report.

IB, CI, and AP credits

Students with International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International (CI) or Advanced Placement (AP) credits can be awarded a maximum of 45 credits. Students must request official documents be sent directly to or mailed to:

Western Washington University
Office of Admissions
Old Main 200, MS 9009
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-9009

IB, CI, AP credit guidelines 

English Language Proficiency

With the exception of students whose primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (English Provinces), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.S., international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency.

There are a few ways students can meet this requirement with the following admissions paths:

Direct Admissions

For students who have a good grasp of the English language and meet one of the following requirements:

Direct Admissions with Foundation Program

For students who have a good grasp of the English language and meet one of the following requirements:

Students admitted to this degree path will be enrolled in English study as part of their first-year experience.

International Year Pathway

For students who do not meet Western’s English Language Proficiency requirement but want to jumpstart their studies by taking a mix of English Language courses and academic courses.

How to Submit English Test Scores

Scores must be sent directly from the testing service you choose and must be sent by the priority application deadline. Photocopies of score reports cannot be accepted.

Be sure to add Western's Institutional Code for the following:

  • TOEFL: 4947
  • IELTS: 4947
  • SAT: 4947

By exception, the English language proficiency requirement can be waived for applicants educated in other countries if the applicant's primary and secondary education language of instruction was in English. Such exceptions require an official letter from the school of instruction.

Declaration of Financial Responsibility

Proof of sufficient funds is required for the visa application process to gain entrance into the U.S. This proof is met by:

  • Completing the Declaration of Financial Responsibility on the application for admission; and
  • Submitting financial documents from a bank, sponsor, or foundation, agency, government, etc.

For detailed information about acceptable evidence of financial resources and the estimated expenses for International Students, please review our International Tuition & Expenses page. For additional information about the visa process, visit International Student and Scholars Services. International students may be eligible for Western's International Achievement Award.

Students coming from abroad who are admitted for study in the United States need a Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a student visa. This certificate, which is issued by International Student & Scholar Services, can be either the Form I-20 or the Form DS-2019. In general, students will be given the Form I-20 (which is used in applying for the F1 Visa); the Form DS-2019 (which is used in applying for the J-1 Visa) is rarely issued to regularly enrolled students.

To qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility, a student must be formally admitted to the University for full-time study and provide proof of sufficient financial resources. This document is not issued to part-time students.