The Application Process

Applying to UNI takes less than 15 minutes. Plus, no SAT, no essays, no interviews are required either. Read the steps below carefully to learn how you can successfully submit your application to study at UNI as an international student. 

I. The International Application Process

State specifically the type of admission for which you wish to be considered:

Undergraduate Study (Bachelor/First Degree)

Indicate if you wish to be considered for admission as a Bachelor, second Bachelor or non-degree Undergraduate student. Students attending UNI on exchange or a short-term program should mark as "Undergrad Non-Degree".

Graduate Study (Master/Specialist/Doctoral)

  1. Degree status: Degree status should be selected by students who wish to be considered for admission to a graduate program which can culminate in a degree.

  2. Non-Degree Status has been established for the post-baccalaureate student who:

  • Wishes to take courses for self-enlightenment unrelated to any graduate degree program.

  • Plans to demonstrate competence in graduate studies in support of consideration for admission to a degree program at a later time. NOTE: Academic departments are not obliged to count toward their degree programs any credit for course work undertaken in a non-degree status. If a department decides to accept such credit no more than 15 semester hours may be counted towards a degree program.

II. Completing the Application

Complete all the information requested on the application so there will be no misunderstanding. See that all questions are answered to avoid unnecessary correspondence and delay in considering your request for admission.

Your legal name as it appears on your passport should always be used. If any of your records appear under another name, give this name also.

III. Required Credentials

It is your responsibility to arrange to have the necessary credentials submitted. Follow the appropriate checklist undergraduate or graduate to ensure all required steps in the admission process are completed so that a missing item will not cause delay in considering your application. Please examine our Country Specific Undergraduate Admission Requirement List to learn more about the required credentials and minimum academic standards needed for admission to UNI.

Unofficial documents can be submitted at the time of application. However, official Academic/School Records (transcripts) must be provided before enrollment and mailed. To be official, each document must be mailed and have an original signature and seal or stamp of the issuing institution, if possible.

Documents must be mailed by the institution to the University of Northern Iowa.

  • Students applying for Master or Doctoral programs must submit transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

    • 3-year Bachelor's degrees will be considered for admission to UNI's masters programs.  

  • Academic/School Records must show years of attendance, courses, grades, month and year of graduation and degree awarded.

  • All transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English translation.

  • Usually only students applying for a first university degree (Bachelor) must submit Secondary (High School) transcripts.

  • Transfer credit can be awarded only on the basis of course descriptions (syllabi) in English.

Please submit a copy of the personal data page of your passport.  

IV. English Proficiency

All applicants who are not native speakers of English must submit an official TOEFL score report. The recommended score for undergraduates is 79 on the iBT. Please note alternatives to the TOEFL for undergraduates. Graduate students may be considered with a minimum TOEFL score of 79 on the iBT for most programs. IELTS results will also be considered. Some academic departments require higher scores.


The University of Northern Iowa offers a full-time Culture & Intensive English Program (CIEP) for applicants who do not meet the language proficiency requirement.

Conditional admission may be considered for undergraduate students who are academically qualified but who have low or no proof of English proficiency. These students will be tested upon arrival on campus and will be required to enroll in intensive English courses as necessary.

V. Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $50.00 for undergraduate applicants or $75.00 for graduate applicants by credit card, bank draft, money order, or Flywire is required in addition to the completed application form.

VI. Application Guidelines

For undergraduate international students there is no deadline as admission decisions are made on a rolling basis.

For graduate students, files should be completed by:

  • Fall Semester (beginning in late August): April 1

  • Spring Semester (beginning in early January): October 1

  • Summer Semester (beginning in early June): February 1

*Some departments have earlier or alter deadlines, please check for individual deadlines.

International graduate students applying for graduate assistantships should complete their files by:

  • Summer or Fall Semester: February 1

  • Spring Semester: October 1