International students at CUA must have successfully completed a university preparatory course of study at a secondary school (a minimum of 12 years of primary and secondary school training comprising the equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma).

Upon receipt of your completed application and required admission materials, your credentials are reviewed by members of the admissions staff and for graduate students by the Deans and faculty representatives.

The Catholic University of America is committed to the belief that "with respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language or religion, is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God's intent." Accordingly, it is the policy of the university to comply fully with provisions of federal and local laws and regulations, where applicable, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of criteria specified in those laws and regulations in educational programs and activities, including admission.

The information below provides more details about the process that will help you with the application requirements. For complete detailed information about your application process, we recommend you read the International Student Guide (PDF file).

International Application for Admission

Every International applicant needs to return a completed international application with the $60 nonrefundable application fee. Payment must be in the form of a check or money order payable in U.S. currency to The Catholic University of America.

International Student Confirmation of Financial Support

In order to be issued visa documentation, which is needed to apply for a student visa at a U.S. consulate and to maintain student status once in the United States, applicants must provide written proof that they have adequate funds to meet the expenses incurred while studying in the United States. Confirmation of Financial Support should be provided in one of the following ways:

  • A duly notarized statement of support from the student's sponsor and evidence of the student or sponsor's financial resources dated no more than 90 days prior to submission of application for admissions. The three most recent consecutive bank statements documenting the availability of the required funds must also be submitted.
  • If student is providing their own documentation, they must also include a letter from the bank that includes the name of the account holder, date account was opened, total deposits in the 90 days preceding submissions of application for admission, 90 day average balance, current balance, bank letterhead and original signature of bank official.
  • An official letter or award from the student's government or other sponsoring organization indicating the terms of the support and the amount of funding they are providing.

Secondary School Report

International candidates are asked to have their secondary school or high school guidance counselor complete the Secondary School Report. If your school does not have a guidance counselor another school official who knows you and your academic work well, may complete the form. This form allows the guidance counselor/school official to evaluate your involvement, motivation and potential as a student. This information adds an important dimension to your credentials. Additional recommendations may be included in your application in an open letter format. Download a Secondary School Report.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)/American College Test (ACT) (Optional)

The submission of standardized tests is optional for students applying for undergraduate admission. First-year and transfer applicants will receive full consideration for admission and merit-based scholarships regardless of whether they submit the results from the SAT or the ACT. More information about these tests and locations can be located at:

SAT I Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6200
Princeton, NJ 08541 USA
(201) 822-5900
www.ets.orgSAT Code Number - 5104

P.O. Box 414
Iowa City, IA
(319) 337-127
ACT Code - 0654See below for TOEFL/IELTS requirements.

English Proficiency

All students from countries and areas where English is not the common, spoken language (even if the student already is a resident of the United States) must have a practical understanding of spoken and written English to benefit from instruction, study and examinations in that language. Course work at The Catholic University of America requires university-level English language proficiency and skills. The Catholic University of America, therefore, requires all applicants whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language or an International English Language Testing System exam before they can be considered for final admission.

Minimally accepted TOEFL scores, when applying for graduate programs, are 550-paper; 213-computer; and 80 Internet. Students taking the TOEFL should have at least 20 out of 30 in each of the TOEFL subcategories. The minimally accepted graduate IELTS score is 6.5. Individual IELTS test module scores are also reviewed in addition to the overall IELTS score.

Students should have test results sent directly to The Catholic University of America. The test code is 5104 for the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The TOEFL/IELTS requirement can be waived on a case-by-case basis should the applicant have appropriate documentation of successful completion of one of the following:

  1. CUA's Intensive English Program
  2. Level 112 in the intensive English program offered by an ELS Language Center
  3. A complete Intensive English program at an accredited institution of higher education
  4. A college-level English Composition class determined to be the equivalent of or more advanced than CUA's English Composition 101 course, with a grade of B or above. (for applicants to undergraduate programs)
  5. A graduate degree, a Bachelor's Degree (B.A. or B.S.), or an Associates Degree (A. A.) from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or a high school diploma. (Graduates from a U.S. high school are required however to submit SAT/ACT scores.)

Official/Attested Copy of Transcripts

Arrange to have your secondary school, high school or college send the required educational documents directly to The Catholic University of America. The University requires official records of educational study leading to the earned degree(s) or certificate(s). Transcripts of previous academic training should show courses taken, grades obtained, and proof of graduation. All official/attested transcripts must have an original seal or stamp from the issuing institution. All transcripts must be translated into English and evaluated before they will be reviewed. One of several services that does this is World Education Services (


Photocopied or faxed documents that are not certified will not be accepted. If the institution you attended is unable to reissue an official transcript, you may submit a copy of the original transcript in your possession. However, the copy must be certified by a notary to be an accurate copy of the original. Catholic University requires transcripts be written in the official language of the school. If this language is not English, the documents must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Visa Requirements

A visa is a permit placed in your passport by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate official that gives you permission to travel to the United States. There are many different categories of visas. The visa given to you is determined by the purpose of your trip to the U.S. Each visa category has a set of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations that govern the activities you may engage in while in the United States. The length of time required to obtain a visa and the method of applying vary at each U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Check with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for information on the process currently in effect. If you pursue a degree at CUA, it is likely that you will need a Student Visa F-1.

This requires that you:

  1. Declare a program of study and make progress toward completion of that program each semester.
  2. Attempt and complete at least 12 credits each semester in your program and complete two semesters each year.
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  4. Keep the University advised of your U.S. address.

Contact the CUA Admissions Office

Phone: 202-319-5305
Toll-Free: 1-800-673-2772
Fax: 202-319-6533