International Applicants

The Smeal Master of Accounting (MAcc) program at Penn State Smeal values the diverse perspectives and cross-cultural insights that international students bring to our community. We understand the unique needs of international applicants and offer special programming and workshops to help facilitate a smooth transition into the Smeal MAcc community and prepare for future careers. International applicants must meet additional requirements, including official English language proficiency exam scores and visa application procedures. Official transcripts, along with their translations, must be submitted to ensure academic eligibility for admission. The program recognizes various English proficiency exams, such as TOEFL and IELTS, with specific minimum score requirements. Exemptions from the English proficiency exams are available for certain circumstances. International students can also seek guidance on visa materials and requirements from International Student and Scholar Advising. At the Penn State Smeal College of Business, we embrace the diversity and contributions of our international students, and we are committed to providing the necessary resources and support for their academic success and career advancement.

The Smeal Master of Accounting (MAcc) program values the diversity of our student population. We recognize that the cross-cultural insights and unique perspectives of our international students strengthen our community and enhance the learning environment. With special programming and workshops designed for the unique needs of our international candidates, we are committed to helping you transition to the Smeal MAcc community and prepare for your future career.

Admission Requirements for International Students

For international applicants to the Penn State Smeal MAcc Program, the application process includes additional requirements:

  • Official English Language Proficiency Exam Scores: Official test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. To expedite your application review, you may also include an unofficial copy of scores with your supplemental documents (official scores are still required). The submission of a TOEFL or IELTS is optional for current Penn State students.
  • Visa Application: The Penn State Global Pre-Arrival Advisers will help with your immigration questions and needs. You can request your form I-20 (Certification of Eligibility for F-1 visa) after you are admitted to the program and have paid your enrollment deposit.
  • Application Deadline: International applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the third round deadline, Feb. 1, 2024, in order to account for the visa process. 

United States GPA Conversion Tables

If your school does not follow the 4.0 grading scale, provide an estimate in the GPA section of the application. You can then enter your unconverted GPA in the section titled "Optional Clarification Statement, Additional Information, GPA and Test Score Clarification."


Only the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution can be considered for admission into Penn State. Official transcripts must be submitted from each educational institution attended. Transcripts are reviewed for course content, academic performance, and trends in academic progress. Transcripts may be digitally duplicated and submitted online for the purposes of initial application review, but originals must follow.

International applicants whose transcripts are not in English should submit both the originals as well as translated transcripts along with an official copy of the bachelor's degree and graduation certificate. Contact the Penn State Graduate School to determine if your degree is equivalent to a U.S. four-year baccalaureate degree before submitting an application.

Applicants from India who have completed a four-year bachelor's degree or the master's degree examinations following a three-year bachelor's degree are eligible to apply. Those completing the Chartered Accountancy final examination and awarded an Associate Membership (following a three-year bachelor's degree) are also eligible. Three-year bachelor's degrees followed by a post-graduate diploma may be acceptable if the diploma program is one year full-time in length and offered by an Indian University that is recognized by the Association of Indian Universities. Professional programs offered by external organizations are not eligible.

The Graduate School at Penn State will not review academic credentials of a prospective student until an application is officially submitted. If you feel strongly about having your credentials verified before completing and submitting your application, you may have your credentials reviewed by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Approval from ECE will assure you are academically eligible for not only our program, but most other U.S. Institutions as well. Please note the Penn State Graduate School does not accept credential reviews from World Education Services (WES)--only reviews done by ECE.

English Proficiency Exams


The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants from all countries whose official language is not English.

The Penn State Smeal MAcc TOEFL code: 2660.

Minimum required scores:

  • Internet-Based: 80
  • Speaking Section: 19
  • Paper-Based (taken prior to July 2017): 550
  • Paper-Based (taken July 2017 or later): a combined total of the 3 sections evaluated must be 60 or greater

International candidates may be exempt from the TOEFL if any of the following apply:

  • You are a current Penn State Student.
  • The candidate has received a degree from a U.S. college or university. (This does not include individuals whose international university instruction was taught in English.)
  • The candidate has received a baccalaureate or a masters degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
  • The candidate is a U.S. Permanent Resident.

For more information or to find testing locations, visit, call 1-607-771-7100, or write:

TOEFL/TSE Services-Princeton
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151


The Penn State Smeal MAcc program will accept the IELTS as a test of English proficiency.

Minimum required score: 6.5

IELTS offers the choice of up to 48 fixed test dates each year. You must apply to a test center to take an IELTS test prior to the test date. Applications are made on an IELTS application form, which you can send or take into a test center along with the test fee and two passport-sized photographs. You will also need to include your passport number, or in some circumstances a national identity card number, on the application form; check with your test center. Once you have applied, the test center will confirm your IELTS test date and time. If you are a current Penn State student, the IELTS is optional.

Visa Materials

To enter the U.S. in F-1 status, a student must be issued a form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) by International Student and Scholar Advising of Penn State Global. ISSA is required to determine if a student has financial resources to attend school and pay for living expenses without resorting to illegal employment or relying on public funds. For current estimated expenses and financial guarantee requirements, visit the financial section of Penn State Global. You can also call or email:

Penn State Global
International Student and Scholar Advising
410 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: US 814-865-6348

Additional Resources