FAQ

Starting your application

What do you consider an international student?

An international student is any student who will be studying in the United States with a visa. If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you will be considered an international student.  

If you are a United States citizen who completed schooling abroad, or if your are undocumented, you will submit your application through UNM's Domestic Admissions office.  

I have university credits and want to get my bachelors degree at UNM. What application do I fill out?

If you're interested in one of our bachelor programs, you will fill out our Undergraduate Application. This application is for all undergraduate students no matter how many university credits they have already earned.

When can I apply as a Freshman or Transfer student?

We accept students on a rolling basis, but ideally you should start your application about 10-12 months before the term your plan to start. This allows adequate time to: have your application processed, work with your high school or secondary institution to send your records, to be considered for a scholarship, and it will allow ample time for scheduling your visa appointment.

When can I apply as a Masters or PhD Student?

Students applying for a masters or PhD program should follow the deadlines set by their selected graduate program.

I’ve submitted my application, now what?

Once you submit your application, our admissions team will review your application and reach out within one week to inform you of next steps. Usually, we will ask for your high school or university transcripts, any graduation certificates you have earned, and the results of your English Proficiency test (if applicable). If you  prepare those materials ahead of time, the process will move more quickly.

Masters or PhD students are not required to submit official transcripts until after they have been accepted to their program. More information will be made available via email after you have submitted your application.

Do you need any other documents besides my transcripts and English proficiency scores?

Once you have received an admission offer, you will need additional documents in order to issue your immigration paperwork. You should plan to provide a copy of: your Passport’s Biographical page, a copy of a recent bank statement showing support for your first year of studies, as well as a completed form, which you'll obtain from our office, listing additional financial support that will supplement your studies at UNM.

How do I get resident-rate tuition?

Unfortunately, only US citizens or Permanent Residents (green-card holders) are eligible for in-state resident tuition. Exceptions include students who have graduated from a New Mexico high school, or who have received their GED in New Mexico. Certain scholarships, including the Amigo Scholarship, will also grant awardees the equivalent of in-state tuition. More information about residency is available on the Registerar’s Office website. 

Can you waive my application fee?

Unfortunately, no. While we do sincerely wish we were able to waive the application fees for applicantsthe fees received from applications fund important functions in our office. The application fee is also a reflection of a prospective student's capacity to economically sustain themselves during their course of study, which is required documentation in order to be granted a F1 student visa. 

We suggest that you inquire with your home country's government for any available funding for students who wish to study abroad. Additionally, EducationUSA Centers offer a great number of resources regarding financial aid. Finally, you may wish to contact your local banking institutions regarding the availability of educational loans.

Application Review

What English proficiency tests do you accept? What is your score requirements?

Our tests and score minimums are located on our application timeline and steps page. 

Do I have to take an English Proficiency exam?

In most cases, yes. Eexemptions for the English Proficiency test include if you are a citizen of a country where English is an official language, or you have studied in a country where the primary language is English. A list of exceptions to our requirement can be found on our application timeline and steps page. When you complete your application, we’ll review you for any applicable exemptions. If you meet one of the exemption requirements you will not need to complete a petition. 

I would like to defer my application to a future semester. What do I need to do?

Please fill out our deferral form. You may defer up to three semesters from the start date listed in your original application.   

Submitting official documents

What is considered an official document?

All academic transcripts and secondary school completion certificates submitted to UNM must be original, official documents, or copies certified by the school or official issuing institution/agency (in the case of boards or examinations offices). 

Official transcripts must have the original stamps, seals, and signatures of the issuing institution's designated official(s). 

Photocopies of academic credentials that have been certified by a recognized international educational organization–- such as EducationUSA offices, U.S. Educational Foundation, AMIDEAST or the Institute for International Education will also be accepted.

What is not an official document?

Photocopies of an original document that has not been stamped by the degree-granting institution. 

Documents stamped by a notary public.   

Original language documents certified by a translator. 

Scanned and emailed documents uploaded by the student.

Can I transfer courses from the post-secondary institutions I have previously attended?

Courses can be transferred from post-secondary institutions which are recognized by the Ministry of Education as degree-granting institutions. Please note that not all transfer credits will apply toward the UNM degree requirements. If admitted, it is strongly encouraged that you bring course syllabi and course descriptions with English translations, if necessary. This will aid in determining whether or not the transfer credit can be applied to a UNM degree.  Please see this page on the Registrar's Office site for more specific information concerning faculty review of international course work. Please be aware that certain courses will not transfer to UNM. These courses include: college remedial, vocational, and personal development courses; courses completed with a grade of "D" or "F" equivalent; and English courses completed in non-English speaking countries.

Immigration and Visa questions

What do I need from UNM to set up my appointment?

After you have been accepted to the university and provided your required financial documents, and your official transcripts, UNM will send you an I-20 with your unique SEVIS ID and admission letter, which you will need to schedule your visa appointment.

When will I receive my I-20?

You will receive your I-20 once you have been offered admission and shown proof of financial support for your first year. Our office will be in contact with you once your document is ready.

How far in advance should I schedule my visa appointment?

Once you have your I-20, you can schedule your visa appointment no sooner than 120 days before the start of your program. If you're planning on starting in the fall semester, you are able to schedule your appointment as early as May before your fall semester.

I was not granted a visa. Now what?

We're sorry to hear that. If you would like to try again next semester, you can defer your application up to three semesters from the start date on your initial application.

International Freshmen and Transfer Student

When can I register for classes?

First-year freshmen must complete new student or transfer/non-traditional student orientation and international student orientation after being admitted. Academic advisement is also required prior to registration. Most freshmen will meet with their advisor the week before classes to create their schedule.

Are you SAT/ACT optional?

While we don’t require the SAT or ACT during the application process, we encourage you to submit your test scores if you’ve already taken the test or plan on taking it. These tests can help with scholarship selection if your GPA is between 3.0 and 3.5, testing out of having to take a separate English Proficiency course, and can also assist with course placement during course registration.

International Masters or PhD

I need to make a change to my application. What do I do?

You can always add documents in the addendum section on the application. IELTS scores should be emailed directly to goglobal@unm.edu and TOEFL scores should be sent via ETS.  If you need to change a recommender, please email goglobal@unm.edu.

How long will it take for my application to be reviewed?

The Office of International Admissions will do an initial review of your application within 5-7 business days. Your application will also be reviewed by the graduate department you are applying to. Graduate departments timelines for decision vary in length. Please consult with your desired program for more information.

I have specific questions about a graduate program – can you help me?

We’re happy to answer questions about the status of your application, but since the requirements vary from department to department, we suggest you first look at the program requirements to help answer your initial questions. If general admission information and/or department guidelines don't answer your question, feel free to reach out to goglobal@unm.edu.