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Step 1: Apply for International Admissions

Your first step to studying at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is to apply and get officially admitted.  Follow the checklist below to complete this step.

International Admissions Application Checklist

Please carefully review this Step-by-Step Online Application Instructions on how to submit your online application.  There are detailed photos and red arrows to show you where to click and what steps you must follow.  After you review the instructions, click on the button below to create your StarID and to apply.  


Once you have created your StarID and submitted your Online Application, you will receive an email from within 24-48 hours to create your Mustang Admission Portal (MAP).  Follow those instructions in the email to create your MAP and upload all your required application documents onto your MAP.

AGENTS:  Click here for detailed instructions about the Mustang Admission Portal (MAP).    



A $100 Non-Refundable International Application Processing Fee is required to begin your admission process review.

  • You can pay by visiting our webpage at Click on the Menu button on the top left corner then click on the E-Services link. Log into E-Services using your StarID and Password.  Click on the Bills and Payment link on the left side and then select Make a Prepayment option to pay for the Intl Student Application Processing Fee.  
  • Click HERE for step-by-step details on how to make this payment.


If you were admitted to SMSU but decide to defer your admission to come for a future term, please NOTE that you must re-pay the $100 Fee to begin the processing of your admission to a future term.  You MUST email to request that your application be deferred to a different term.  


If you are transferring from another U.S. institution (high school, college, or university), you must pay a Non-Refundable $50 International Application Transfer Processing Fee. You can pay this fee by visiting our webpage at Click on the Menu button on the top left corner then click on the E-Services link. Log into E-Services using your StarID and Password.  Click on the Bills and Payment link on the left side and then select Make a Prepayment option to pay for the International Student Transfer Fee.  

All applicants must provide proof of high school or secondary education to be considered for admissions into SMSU. Please submit a certified copy of your secondary or high school transcripts in your application. Also include any national exit exam results. At SMSU, in order to qualify for admission, you must possess a minimum of a 2.5 secondary school G.P.A. on a 4.0 United States scale. If you submit transcripts on a 4.5,  5.0, or 10 point scale conversion will occur to align with the US system.   

Please submit an official English transcript credential evaluation of all your foreign high school and post-secondary transcripts.  We accept evaluations from SpanTran, WES, or ECE.

You must provide proof of your English Language Proficiency to ensure you will be successful at SMSU.  Many applicants come from countries where English is one of the official languages.  If your home country is on this English Waiver List, then you DO NOT need to provide proof of English Language Proficiency.  Please note that Ethiopians must submit proof of English Language Proficiency.  We do not accept TOEFL Essentials.      

We accept the following English Language Proficiency verification:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    • Applicants must earn a score of 61 or higher for internet-based tests (iBT)
    • Applicants must earn a score of 500 or higher for paper-based tests (PBT)
    • Applicants must earn a score of 173 or higher for computer-based tests (CBT)
    • SMSU school code for TOEFL is 6703
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System):  Score of 5.5 or higher
  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication):  Score of 600 or higher (green range - high)  
  • CSAT English:  Score of level 3 or lower (lower means higher proficiency)
  • Cambridge Assessment English:  B2 or better
  • DuoLingo (DET): 95 or higher
  • Michigan Test of English Proficiency (MET):  Score of 64 or higher
  • Pearson (PTE):  Score of 47 or higher
  • ACT:  Score of 21 or higher
  • SAT:  Evidence Based Reading & Writing section - Score of 540 or higher
  • Successful completion of Level 109 at an English Language School
  • Completion of coursework at an approved level from an English Language Program accredited by the Commission of English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) at any U.S. and/or overseas institution listed through the CEA website. SMSU must approve course levels for a given CEA-approved institution unless already listed below:
    • Open Hearts Language Academy – Advanced Level 2 or above
  • For international transfer applicants already studying at other U.S. high schools, colleges, or universities must submit the following:
    • Successful completion of one semester of Freshmen English Composition with an earned grade of a "C" or better

A personal statement letter is recommended. This cover letter explains why you want to study at SMSU, what your goals are, and why you should be selected to study at SMSU.

Additional testing such as SAT or ACT is optional. However, if you have taken any of these standardized tests, please include a certified copy of your official results in your application. If you scored a 540 or higher on your SAT's Evidence Based Reading & Writing section, you may be waived from taking English language placement tests upon arrival.

This category is specifically for individuals who are currently studying at a U.S. university on an F-1 visa. To be considered for admissions, applicants must have a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher.

Step 1 takes the longest because you must gather all the required documents and submit them before you can receive an admission decision.  You must submit all the required documents through your online Mustang Admission Portal (MAP).  Once your application is complete, your application can be reviewed and an official Admission decision can be made quickly.

NOTE:  Click on the following to learn about your Mustang Student ID and your StarID.

NOTE:  All documents submitted with the application become the property of Southwest Minnesota State University and will not be returned under any circumstances.  

While you are waiting on your admission decision, please continue to Step 2 to get your I-20.

Become a Mustang by following these simple steps

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Step 1

Apply Online For Admission

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Step 2

Get Your I-20

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Step 3

Apply for the International Student Visa

(Skip this step, if you already have one!)

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Step 4

Make Your Travel Arrangements to SMSU

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Step 5

Attend the Mandatory International Student Orientation

Last Modified: 3/26/24 3:31 PM | Website Feedback