International Undergraduate Admissions Criteria

English Proficiency

International students who have graduated with a G.E.D. in the United States or a degree (High School, Bachelor’s, or Master’s Degree) from an accredited school in the United States or another English-speaking country must meet the same admission requirements as U.S. students. Other English-speaking countries include Anguilla, Antigua/Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Guyana, Cameroon (West/English-speaking), Canada (except Quebec), Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica/other West Indies, Liberia, Montserrat, New Zealand, South Africa (English schools), St. Helena, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad-Tobago, Turks & Caico Isle, United Kingdom, and the Virgin Islands.

For other international students, the English language requirement of SAU will be met when the applicant has submitted proof of ONE of the following:

  • A score of 500 or higher on the written TOEFL
  • A score of 173 or higher on the computerized TOEFL
  • A score of 61 or higher on the internet-based TOEFL
  • A score of Band 5.5 (overall) on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
  • Completion of Level 109 at an ELS Language Center or its equivalent
  • Completion of EF Level 4
  • *A score of 410 on the SAT Verbal or *a score of 19 on the ACT English
  • Completion of Level 4 of SAU ELS program

SAT/ACT Requirement

New international undergraduate students (*except those who have scores of 410 on the SAT verbal or 19 on the ACT English) must take the residual ACT prior to registration for classes to assess their English skills for placement purposes. An additional placement exam may also be offered (depending on the ACT score) to ensure proper advisement into appropriate English courses.

We highly recommend that a student take the ACT or SAT prior to admission. The test results are used for class placement and scholarship eligibility. In the event that the student is unable to take either test before arrival, a residual ACT test will be given at a designated date when the student arrives at SAU. If the student arrives too late to take the residual ACT then the student will be placed in the lowest class levels which may add an additional semester to the student’s education at SAU.

Application Fee

Application Fee of $50 must be submitted before your application is complete. This fee should be in the form of a bank draft made payable to Southern Arkansas University and mailed to:

SAU International Office
P.O. Box 9224
Magnolia, Arkansas 71754-9224

If you are paying by a credit card, you may contact our business office at 870-235-4018.

Foreign Transcripts

Official transcripts listing courses, examinations, grades, and marks sent directly to Southern Arkansas University from your high school or college/university. Photocopies may be temporarily accepted if they are certified by an official at the American Embassy or a known world organization.

Web links to English Proficiency Testing Companies and Language Center:

Advanced Standing or Transfer Credit:

  • Advanced standing can be be achieved by the successful completion of the CLEP (College Level Examination Program) examinations in specific courses. These CLEP exams can be taken on the SAU campus after a student arrives or at any U.S. college or university and at some foreign locations.
  • Transfer credit for courses completed at foreign colleges or universities which are approved by the Ministry of Education in that country will be considered for transfer credit if the student has a transfer evaluation done by one of the following companies: WES ( or other private credential evaluation agencies approved by the Arkansas Department of Education. The evaluation needs to include a “course by course” analysis. For the best results, the evaluation needs to be completed prior to registration for classes at Southern Arkansas University. After arrival on campus, the student will meet with the appropriate Dean/s to discuss the transfer credits and degree plan. It is also helpful to obtain a copy of a syllabus for each course or a course description of each course prior to meeting with Dean/s.
  • Transfer credit for courses completed at foreign branches or satellite campuses of accredited U.S. colleges or universities (and reported in the standard U.S. format) will be considered for transfer credit without requiring validation.