International Student FAQ

International Students walking through Washington, Pennsylvania.

You have questions? We have answers!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Washington & Jefferson College?

W&J is nestled amongst the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania in the city of Washington, a community of more than 15,000 people. Our campus is situated just 50 km/30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Few cities of any size match Pittsburgh's offerings in the performing and visual arts, world-class museums, and variety of restaurants. Students can easily travel to Pittsburgh on the Pipeline – a shuttle running directly from campus into downtown Pittsburgh. For more information, check out the City of Washington's website or the Visit Pittsburgh website.

I’d like to visit campus – how do I get there?

The college is located 50km from the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Pittsburgh is within a 90-minute flight of 70 percent of North America’s population. Information on transportation to the W&J campus, lodging, and more is available on the Visit Campus page.

How do I contact the admission staff responsible for my area?

Robert Adkins, dean of admission, welcomes emails from international students. He is also available to Skype with students, but you should contact him by email to schedule a time to Skype.

Are interviews available for international students who cannot visit campus?

Although an interview is not required, W&J encourages all students to have a conversation with an admission counselor. W&J is able to offer a limited number of Skype meetings to international students. These meetings give you the opportunity to tell us about yourself, your interests, accomplishments, and your interest in W&J. It is also an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know W&J on a more personal level. A meeting with an admission counselor is not required to apply to W&J and you will not be at a disadvantage if you choose not to schedule this meeting.

Is financial aid available for international students?

Do you offer athletic scholarships? Need-based aid? Merit Aid? W&J provides partial tuition merit scholarships to academically talented international students. W&J does not offer need-based aid to non-US citizens/permanent residents. As an NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division III institution, W&J does not award athletic scholarships. Please note that non-US citizens applying for admission must provide proof of funds available for their education – this documentation is necessary to acquire a U.S. visa and therefore is a part of the admissions process. Please complete this Certification Of Financial Suport (PDF) or submit other supporting documents. Students relying on a loan to cover any portion of their expenses must provide documentation of a loan pre-approval before an I-20 can be issued. It is recommended that the loan process be completed by July 1, 2014. Supporting documents may include (but are not limited to):

  • A bank statement signed by a bank official showing available funds
  • A letter from an employer verifying income
  • Letter of financial support from sponsor program or loan agency

Does W&J offer conditional admission?

Yes! W&J offers conditional admission to outstanding international applicants who meet all admissions criteria for W&J but do not meet the language requirement. Students conditionally admitted into W&J take part in coursework at the English Language Institute at W&J. They take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, and join our W&J community by living on campus, joining clubs and organization, and interacting with W&J professors and their future W&J classmates. Students with conditional admission do not need to resubmit a TOEFL score but instead need a letter of support from Dana Poole, Ph.D., the Director of the English Language Institute.

There are so many options for applying – how do I choose between Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision?

Students who are certain that W&J is the school they will attend if admitted should consider applying Early Decision. Students will receive notification a little over a month after the deadline, provided that they have submitted a complete application and all supporting credentials. Early Decision is a binding agreement, and so if a student applying Early Decision is accepted to W&J, he will withdraw all other applications and enroll at W&J. Early Action is a non-binding agreement and is recommended for students who are very interested in W&J and would like to receive an admission decision earlier in the year than they would if applying Regular Decision.

The deadlines and notification dates are:

Early Decision (binding) Application Deadline: January 4 
Early Decision Notification: January 15
Early Action (nonbinding) Application Deadline: January 15
Early Action Notification: February 20
Regular Decision (nonbinding) Application Deadline: March 1
Regular Decision Notification: April 1

Do I have to submit all my documents with my application, or may I send some later?

You do not have to send all your documents together. Please note, however, that we will not process an application until it is complete.

Do I have to submit a TOEFL score? What is your minimum accepted TOEFL score?

Students whose first language is not English must submit some form of testing to provide evidence of their English proficiency. TOEFL and IELTS are the preferred tests, though you may contact us about submitting another form of testing such as ELPT. These tests may be waived if you submit SAT scores with a critical reading score above 600. W&J does not have a minimum TOEFL score, but we typically look for a score of 580 or higher on the paper based test, 233 or higher on the computer based exam, or 85 on the iBT. For the IELTS we generally look for scores of 6.5 or higher out of 9. The ETS code for W&J is 2967.

W&J also offers conditional admission via the English Language Institute (ELI) at W&J, a bridge program for students who are preparing to study at Washington & Jefferson College or other universities in the United States at the undergraduate or graduate level.

How do I apply?

You may apply using the W&J Leadership Application or the Common Application. Please note that all official documents/credentials must be translated, preferably by an official agency if the originals are not in English.

Should I have someone prepare my application for me so that it looks more professional?

At W&J we understand that there are some cultures where it is common for someone to prepare all your application materials. However, that is not necessary – we just want to know about you, and the best way for us to get to know you is through an application you have prepared yourself. You know yourself best!

You ask for a Guidance Counselor Recommendation, but I do not have a guidance counselor. What should I do?

Depending on the educational system and norms in your country you might choose to submit a recommendation from a head teacher, a tutor, head master, or another teacher.

Can I send copies of my credentials instead of originals?

W&J would prefer to receive original documents but understands that this is not always possible. If you cannot send originals, please have your school counselor or headmaster verify their authenticity with their signature and school stamp/seal (if applicable). You may also take them to a Fulbright or EducationUSA office for verification. Find an EducationUSA advising center near you.

What are your testing policies?

Washington & Jefferson College no longer requires applicants to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) as a part of the admission process. Testing is only one of many measures of potential academic success and often not the strongest. View our full score-optional policy. Students who choose to apply Score Optional will be given full consideration, with no disadvantage for admission.

Should I submit a CV and copies of certificates of achievement or awards?

While we strive to create an active community of learners and doers, we understand that not all schools are able to offer extracurricular activities. If you have been active in a club, played a sport, held a job, served in the community, or wish to tell us more about your accomplishments, you may submit a CV detailing your involvement. However it is not a requirement. We do not encourage you to submit certificates of extracurricular achievements, i.e. certificates of participation in Model UN, Math Olympiads, etc.

Does W&J admit international transfer students?

Yes, W&J welcomes applications from international transfer students. If you have completed at least a semester of courses at university level, you should apply as a transfer student. The Registrar will decide which courses will receive credit for transfer. Please note that if you have already completed a university degree, you cannot apply for admission to W&J.

Can I receive credit for IB or A level courses?

Students who successfully complete an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma with 5, 6, or 7 on the higher level exams may receive consideration for credit. Read more about our IB Policy. Advanced (A-Level) courses of C or higher will receive consideration for credit on an individual evaluation. A minimum score of a four on an advance-placement (AP) exam is necessary for any consideration of credit or placement to be given.

Do you have a core curriculum? Required classes?

W&J does not have a core curriculum, but does have certain General Education Requirements. For more information view the W&J College Catalog.

Is housing guaranteed?

Yes, campus housing is guaranteed and required all four years. About 90 percent of students live on campus. Curious? Take a look at some our housing options!

How may I contact current students at W&J?

The best way to get in touch with W&J students is through our Facebook page. You may also email Robert Adkins, dean of admission, for names and email addresses of international students who are willing to answer your questions.

When will I be notified about my admission decision?

The notification dates are:

  • Early Decision Notification: January 15
  • Early Action Notification: February 20
  • Regular Decision Notification: April 1

We will do our best to notify you within 2 weeks of receiving your completed application, regardless of which application plan you choose.

More Resources:

Admission Requirements Main Page

Special/Returning Students

Transfer Students