International Applicant FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions from international applicants to the Kelley Direct Online program

The following are some common questions that we get from international applicants. If you have more specific queries not found on this list, please email them to



Who is considered an international applicant?

Any student who is not a US citizen or permanent resident is considered international (with the exceptions given below). This means that you will mark yourself as international on the Kelley Direct Program Application and the Indiana University Graduate Application. Exceptions: For those with different circumstances such as DACA or asylum seekers, there is an opportunity on the IU Graduate Application to select “other” for citizenship status.


Are English language exams required for admission?

Yes, either the Duolingo English Test, the TOEFL, or the IELTS is required for admission, although there are instances where a student may be exempt from the requirement. Please see our How to Apply page for more information about English language exam requirements.


Am I eligible for scholarships as an international applicant?

Yes. All students, domestic and international, can apply for scholarships. To learn more about opportunities and the decision process, please visit the Scholarships page.

I have a three-year degree. Will that count?

You must have the equivalent of a four-year US bachelor’s degree, which will be determined by the Office of International Services (OIS) in a bachelor’s degree equivalency review prior to the application being reviewed by the Kelley Direct admissions committee. Please visit the OIS equivalent degrees page for more information.


I have non–US transcripts. Do I need an evaluation from a third-party credential evaluator such as WES in order to apply?

No. For international applicants, external credential evaluations will NOT be accepted as all documentation must be evaluated by the Indiana University Office of International Services (OIS). OIS will evaluate foreign transcripts for international students as part of the application process.


I’m worried that my official documents will take a long time to get from my country to the US. Do I have to wait to apply?

No. The Kelley Direct program office will accept scanned copies of your international documents so that we can make a conditional admissions decision more quickly. However, we will require official documentation should you be admitted and accept our offer of admission.


Are the Kelley Direct programs STEM-designated?

No, the Kelley Direct Programs are not currently STEM–designated, although we are looking to move in that direction. However, please be aware that online students are not eligible for US student work visas. The Kelley Full-Time MBA program is STEM–designated, so it could be a good alternative option.


Can I complete a Kelley Direct MBA or MS degree while on Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

No, you should wait until you've either returned to your home country or are on a work visa before applying to a Kelley Direct MBA or MS degree program. If you start our program while on Optional Practical Training (OPT), you will lose your F-1 visa from your previous program, and therefore lose your ability to work in the US on OPT. Your better option is to wait until your OPT is complete and you have either returned to your home country or gotten an H1B visa.

International students living abroad

I’m an international applicant living outside of the US. Why am I being asked to do a Zoom call for my interview?

We ask international students living outside of the US to do Zoom calls rather than phone calls for their interviews because we have found that the connection is stronger and we want to hear what you have to say!


I’m an international student living outside of the US. Do I qualify for a student visa?

Since the Kelley Direct programs are online programs, students attending our programs do not qualify to move to the US on an F-1 visa. However, students who are living abroad will be able to get an I-20 to enter the US for their MBA Kelley On Campus and Kelley On Location experiences.


I’m an international applicant living abroad. Am I required to attend the live class sessions?

Yes. Classes are typically held twice a week starting sometime between 6 and 9 p.m. ET and going for 60 to 90 minutes. The classes are recorded, so it is possible to make them up if necessary (although additional work may be required); however, as a general rule students should expect to attend the live classes regardless of the time zone they live in. Live sessions offer a great opportunity to have class discussions, ask the professor questions, and get to know faculty and fellow classmates.


Admitted students

What does conditional admission mean?

International students can be conditionally admitted based on scanned copies of their official academic records, which allows the school to make an initial admissions decision so students can find out if they are accepted into the program. However, students who start the program are required to submit official records of all previous academic work to OIS by the fourth week of their first term of coursework. Otherwise a hold will be placed on their account and they will not be able to register for any additional terms. This is because all incoming IU students are required to submit official documentation before they can be fully admitted into the school.


What official documents will I be required to submit?

OIS will list your required documents in Atlas so you will have an exact record of what needs to be submitted. However, as a general rule, students will need to submit records from every institution previously attended, which can include transcripts or mark sheets, degree certificates, etc. Original language documents and a line-by-line English language translation will be required if your documents aren’t in English. Incoming students with questions about the document list should email to speak with OIS.


How do I access Atlas?

You will gain access to OIS’s Atlas system typically a few days after you submit your IU Graduate School Application. OIS will send you an email prompting you to log in, but you can also access Atlas by signing into You should sign into Atlas before your first term starts as there is a checklist you will need to review and complete.


How will I know when IU has received all of the documents required for full admission?

OIS will complete their evaluation of submitted documents within a few weeks of submission to the school. If documents are still missing upon review of those submitted documents, OIS will email the student to confirm what additional documents are required. Any questions about additional documentation should be sent to


I only have one copy of my official documents. Can I get them returned?

Yes, OIS will return international documents to the Kelley Direct office after the documents have been evaluated. The Kelley Direct office can then work with you to return your documents via certified mail (please be aware that this evaluation and return process may take a little time).


I only have one copy of my official documents. I’m uncomfortable mailing them. Do I have other options?

Students can also choose to submit attested copies of their irreplaceable original documents. If you wish to do this, you will need to make photocopies of your original academic records and send them to your home university.

Ask your home university to:

  • Verify that the photocopies are consistent with their records
  • Attest that the copies are true photocopies and stamp them with an official university stamp
  • Put the attested, stamped photocopies in sealed envelopes endorsed by the registrar
  • Mail the sealed, endorsed envelopes directly to the Office of International Services

Attested copies are not considered original documents and will not be returned to students.


What are the visa requirements for attending Kelley On Campus and Kelley On Location?

International Kelley Direct students who are not presently in the United States for work or study must communicate with Kelley Direct to submit the necessary documents required for I-20 issuance. I-20s will be issued by Indiana University’s Office of International Services. International Kelley Direct students will then apply for F-1 student visas from U.S. consulates/embassies outside of the US. Obtaining an appointment with the consulate/embassy can take up to 30 days (and is currently taking longer in many places),  so contact us regarding the I-20 well in advance of your in-residence.

If you already have B-1/B-2 (business/tourist) visa stamps OR are a citizen of a country which is part of the Visa Waiver Program, you are advised to follow the F-1 procedures as well, as you will be receiving college credit for the course.

 Do not mail materials to the Office of International Services.