International Students

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) requires that an applicant take and pass satisfactorily the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 100 on the Internet based version (including Speaking).

International Applicants must provide official* copies of college and/or university transcripts in the native language of instruction and in English translation. Transcripts are also known as academic records or mark sheets. If academic transcripts do not include proof of graduation, i.e.: diploma and/or degree certification, official copies of these documents must be provided as well.

* Official: Documents bear the original seals and/or stamps of the institution and/or signatures of institution officials (registrar).

All academic credentials are reviewed and verified by the Graduate School. Transcripts of official academic records must be submitted in the native language and in English translation. (Back to Application Process)

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If you have any questions regarding your academic or non-immigrant status while here, please feel free to consult the International Student Advisor in the Graduate School office. Other topics on this website will address the common non-immigrant issues.


Extension of Stay

There is an expected date of completion of studies on each international student's I-20 form. If you find that your studies will extend beyond your expected date of completion, please see the graduate school office at least 30 days prior to the completion date on your I-20 to complete the proper forms for extension of your studies. To schedule an appointment email the graduate school.


I-20 Forms

Most international students are in F-1 (student) non-immigrant status while attending graduate school and possess the I-20 form which is their "certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant status for academic and language students". Please keep this form in a safe place as you will need it throughout your stay in the United States. If your I-20 form is lost or damaged beyond repair, you may receive a "replacement I-20" from the Graduate School International Student Advisor. For a replacement I-20, email the Graduate School.


Practical Training

After completion of studies in the graduate school, many international students will remain in the United States for an additional year to complete further academic training (e.g. post-doctoral training). You must apply for practical training approximately 90 day prior to the completion of your degree program, i.e. graduation. Please see the International Student Advisor to determine if you are eligible for practical training under Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) regulations and to obtain the forms and instructions for applying to practical training.



Some international students may not be subject to certain United States taxes on their stipends/ fellowships. Please consult the Payroll Manager, Mary Gizewski (955-8239) or send an email, for information on tax treaties (if any) for your particular country of origin.


Travel Outside the United States

International (F-1) students must have authorization to travel outside the United States while attending graduate school. There is a space on the back of your I-20 forms for authorization to travel. You must bring the I-20 form to the graduate school for authorization prior to your travel outside the United States. If you have questions regarding this process send the graduate school an email.


Visa Status

The visa that is in a passport usually has an expiration date that is different than the expiration of non-immigrant status (F-1) as indicated on an I-20. In other words, visa status and non-immigrant (F-1) status are NOT the same. A visa can expire but a person will still be in lawful status as long as his non-immigrant (F-1) status has not expired. In most instances, a new visa can be obtained by returning to the home country for a visit and applying for a new visa while there.


If you applied to the Graduate School last year and were not admitted, you can request that your initial application be reconsidered (re-activated) for the next admission cycle year. An admission cycle year is defined as the academic year for which an applicant indicates preference for initial enrollment.