Welcome incoming exchange students!
These pages contain information about studying abroad at the University of Missouri—St. Louis as an exchange student. If you are interested in studying abroad at UMSL, please contact your home university study abroad office for information on how to apply.
Exchange students do not pay UMSL tuition and fees and are not eligible to obtain a degree from UMSL. International students who want to earn a degree from UMSL should visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).
For more information about study abroad at UMSL, please contact:
University of Missouri—St. Louis
1 University Blvd, 366 SSB
St. Louis, MO 63121 USA
P: +1 314-516-7195
F: +1 314-516-6757
Please contact your home university study abroad office for more information on how to apply to study abroad at UMSL.
Please contact the International Exchange Coordinator before January 15 to determine how many placements are available for the following academic year. Then, nominate your student(s) to participate in the Exchange Student Program at the UMSL before the deadline below. All students participating in exchange, regardless of term, must be nominated before the deadline; however, Spring nominees will have until October to complete application materials. Exchange partner coordinators should inquire before nominating any graduate level student. Admission for Graduate Students is contingent on approval by Graduate School and Faculty Department. Additional materials are required. This process takes a while so encourage your students to apply early. Students must be currently enrolled at your institution and be in good standing.
- 15 February - for students for all terms the following year: Academic Year, Fall, and Spring
- 15 April - Fall semester or Academic Year
- 1 October - Spring semester
English Proficiency Requirements
UMSL requires that incoming exchange students demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency to participate in university-level academics. All applicants for whom English is a second language must present evidence of proficiency in the English Language. Evidence of English proficiency may be demonstrated with a TOEFL (paper based or internet based) or IELTS score. If a student comes from an English speaking university where courses are taught in English, this requirement can be waived.
TOEFL minimum iBT score: 61 (PBT: 500, CB: 173)
IELTS minimum score: 5.5
ITP score is acceptable for an undergraduate student
TOEFL minimum iBT score: 79 (PBT: 550)
IELTS minimum score: 6.0
ITP score is not acceptable for an graduate student
All exchange students who are not native speakers of English will be given a placement test upon arrival. Based on the student's score, it might be recommended that they take EAP courses during the semester. EAP classes count toward exchange program credit hour limit but are otherwise free of charge.
Apply to study abroad
Once your nomination has been approved, you must complete an online application. An application will not be considered complete until all originals are received. Materials sent directly from students will not be accepted. Materials must be in English or accompanied by an official English translation. There is no application fee. Application information includes:Welcome packets with your acceptance letters more information about studying at UMSL will be mailed following a successful review of completed applications.
- Application and questionnaires
- Official transcripts*
- Photocopy or scan of passport
- Proof of language proficiency/TOEFL results*
- Immigration documents (Financial Support Form and bank statements) You must provide an official document from your bank or your sponsor’s bank or your scholarship donor. The statement needs to be on bank letterhead and signed by a bank official. The document should certify that you or your sponsor hold an account and have the minimum dollar amount in that account ($6,000 US per semester). Financial documentation can be no older than six months.
Graduate applicants must also submit:
- Statement of purpose
- 2 letters of reference
- Undergraduate AND Graduate official transcripts
- Proof of bachelor's degree or equivalent (copy of diploma, etc.).
- Note: A writing sample may be requested to help support application. Admission for Graduate Students is contingent on approval by Graduate School and Faculty Department. This process takes a while so apply early!
It takes several weeks to process your application and to issue the immigration documents. Please be patient; we will mail your acceptance packet to you as soon as possible. Please also note that exchange students should not complete Step 9 in the acceptance packet: International Credit Process.
Fall semester students should expect their packet in May or June.
Spring semester students should expect their packet in late November.
*TOEFL results and Official Transcripts: We will accept digital copies of official transcripts for undergraduate applications if sent by your home university coordinator or registrar. We cannot accept digital copies of transcripts sent by students. Graduate applicants must submit a hard copy of their TOEFL and transcript sent by their home university coordinator or registrar.
Exchange students should budget a total of $6000 per semester or $12,000 per year. Proof of funding is required for admittance.
All J-1 students must purchase insurance coverage through UMSL. Exchange students may be eligible for a waiver of the mandatory insurance program if your insurance meets strict requirements. Please note, you must apply for and be granted a waiver before the deadline (usually 3 weeks after classes start). If you do not apply for a waiver before the deadline, you must purchase the UMSL insurance coverage. Completion of a waiver application does not guarantee that a waiver will be granted. Health Services on campus offers minor clinic service and referral.
Please direct questions about insurance requirements to Jennifer Amatya at ISSS.
Areas of study open to Exchange Students
accounting; area studies; anthropology; art & art history; astronomy; biochemistry; biology; biotechnology; black studies; business administration; languages; communication; education; economics; English; graphic design; history; interdisciplinary studies; international business; international relations; music; legal studies; philosophy; physics; political science; psychology; public administration; public law; social work; sociology; tropical ecology; urban studies; women's and gender studies; writing
Some graduate programs are open to graduate level exchange students while other departments may only have limited course selection available to exchange students. Exchange partner coordinators should inquire before nominating any graduate level student. Additional materials are required, and graduate applicants should apply as early as possible.
Areas not open to Exchange Students
Engineering, Optometry, Nursing
Credit hours covered by exchange
Exchange students are provided a scholarship that covers up to 15 credit hours of courses for undergraduates and 12 credit hours of courses for graduate students. Click the "Registration & Advising" tab for more information.
The Course Schedule lists all courses available each semester.
The schedule for the upcoming year will not be posted until late March/early April. Please refer to the schedule for previous semesters to get an idea of what courses will likely be offered next year. Further information is available in each department's 3-year course plan.
The University Bulletin contains complete list of all courses at UMSL. Not all courses listed in the Bulletin are offered each semester or year.
No preparatory language courses are available prior to the start of the semester, but you may enroll in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses during the semester. These classes are included under the exchange agreement.
Registration & Advising
Undergraduate exchange students are provided a scholarship that covers 12-15 credit hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than 15 undergraduate credit hours per semester will be required to pay any additional tuition and academic fees associated with the credit. Undergraduate students are eligible to pre-register up to 9 credit hours before arriving at UMSL (see acceptance packet for details).
Graduate exchange students are provided a scholarship that covers 9-12 credit hours. Students who wish to enroll in more than 12 graduate credit hours per semester will be required to pay any additional tuition and academic fees associated with the credit. Graduate exchange students are eligible to pre-register up to 6 credit hours before arriving at UMSL (see acceptance packet for details).
Students may take one online course with permission from the International Exchange Coordinator. In this case, students are responsible for additional fees associated with online courses (~$35/credit – 2016). The scholarship will only cover the costs of your tuition as part of our exchange agreement. This does not cover any personal expenses or housing or other fees. No funds will be issued to you for reimbursement for any expenses here at UMSL.
When you are accepted as an exchange student, you will be assigned an academic advisor at UMSL. They will help register you for classes and can offer general guidance, but please remember that UMSL advisors do not know what the degree requirements are at your home university. Please work with your advisors at your home university to make sure you are taking appropriate courses for your degree program.
Preliminary course registration happens through your UMSL academic advisor. To register for classes before you arrive, please email your advisor the following:
- Your Student ID/Student Number, an introduction of yourself as an exchange student, and the number of semesters you will be attending UMSL.
- Class Number & Title, Sections, and Times of the classes you would like to take.
- You should also include some alternate course in case your first choice courses are not available.
- Special Notes:
- All students are assigned a staff advisor according to their major. To identify your advisor, visit umsl.edu/international (“Admitted Students” section) and click on “Advising.” There you will find the contact information for your department. A list of graduate program directors can be accessed at http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/graduate/future/index.html.
- UMSL advisors do not know degree requirements are at your home university. Please work with your advisors at your home university to make sure you are taking the "right" courses for your home university.
- The registration period is a very busy time for academic advisors. It may take 2-4 weeks for an advisor to respond. Please be kind & patient in all correspondence.
- Advisors do their best to register you for the courses you want, but they may have to make some changes if classes are closed or if there is a time conflict between classes. They can make one change to your schedule after you have registered. You will have to make any other changes after you arrive on campus.
- After registering you, the advisor may email you a copy of the classes you have registered for or you can check in MyView for your course scheduleIf you are planning to register for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes, you will do this AFTER taking a placement exam during orientation. EAP classes are included and can be taken under the exchange agreement limit of credit hours.
- Graduate students may take undergraduate courses. Undergraduate students may not take graduate courses.
At the conclusion of the semester or year at UMSL, you must request that your official transcripts be sent to your home university. You may do this online, in person, or by fax through the Registrar's Office. There is a $5 or $10 processing fee for each transcript request, depending on format. Due to US privacy laws, only the student can request a transcript.
Information about on-campus housing can be found at the Campus Housing website.
On-Campus housing fills quickly, so make your reservations early. You may be required to sign a two-semester minimum contract. Students participating in exchange for one semester only should email the on-campus housing agency to inform them their program is limited to one semester. All housing questions should be sent to the housing agency directly. The most common housing option for international students is University Meadows because these apartments have their own kitchens. Students seeking a more traditional American dormitory option often seek housing in Oak Hall, which has shared kitchens and requires you to purchase a meal-plan.
You can find apartments off-campus, but you should be willing to take public transportation. Staff members are unable to assist in the search for off-campus accommodation. Temporary housing may be available if you plan to search for off-campus housing after your arrival.
Arrival in St. Louis
Please plan to arrive Thursday-Sunday, two weeks prior to the start of class. The mandatory orientation will begin Monday, one week prior to the start of class. Official arrival dates and further details will be sent to all accepted students in their acceptance packet.
We offer an airport pickup only on the dates noted in your acceptance packet—you must submit a request online and live on-campus. If you are unable to arrive during these days or do not submit the Airport Pick-Up Request form prior to the deadline you will be responsible for finding your own transportation to campus. As a courtesy to staff, please try to books flights with earlier daytime arrivals. We understand this is not always possible and will work to accommodate evening and night arrivals if made by the deadline. A taxi is the best way to arrive on campus if you do not requested an airport pickup. Some welcome activities and shopping trips will occur during the suggested arrival period before orientation.
A one-week mandatory orientation session is held before classes begin in the Fall and Spring semesters. All students must pay for and attend orientation ($100 US).
All exchange students may apply for a buddy through the UMSL MOSAIC Ambassador program. The Ambassador’s main role is that of a guide, providing you with firsthand knowledge of the university life, coursework, social networking, and student life in Missouri/USA. They will help them become more acclimated and involved on-campus. They also schedule a few events each semester. Application instructions will be sent with you acceptance materials. More information can be found on the UMSL MOSAIC Ambassador website. UMSL's buddy program is affiliated with the MOSAIC Project in St. Louis, whose goal is to welcome and support immigrants and other members of the St. Louis community from outside the US.
UMSL offers a variety of clubs and other student organizations that are all open to exchange students. More information is available on the Student Involvement website.
Recreation & Wellness Center
All students have free access to the Recreation & Wellness Center on campus. More information on facilities and programs can be found at the Campus Recreation website.
Internships and employment
It is possible for exchange students to participate in an internship, but it must be unpaid and done for academic credit. Exchange students can also work on campus up to 20 hours each week. On-campus jobs can be found at the student employment website. Exchange students are responsible for finding their own internships and on-campus jobs.