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International Student Requirements and Information


There are more than 1,000 international graduate students registered at UC Davis. If you are one of them, we extend a warm welcome to you and hope your experience here will be positive and productive. There are some special rules and regulations that apply to you with regard to enrollment, finances, visas, employment, travel, and other academic and personal matters.

The first place you should go upon arriving at UC Davis is Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS). There you can find answers to almost any question you might have regarding your status as a member of the international community on campus and in the city of Davis. The staff is very knowledgeable and can put you in touch with other students and scholars from your home country. They are available to help you as you adjust to graduate life at UC Davis. Go to the SISS website or call them at (530) 752-0864.  

Enrollment Requirements for New International Students

If you are a new international student, you will have an immigration hold that must be released by SISS before you can complete registration. Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of 12 units but not more than 16 units each quarter, as required by the Office of the President and Academic Senate regulations (UC Regulations, Ch. 3.1.72). Exceptions are made for part-time students, international students with prior approval from SISS, and students with special circumstances.

English Language Courses

New international students with a TOEFL (ibt) score below 105, scores below 24 in Writing and/or 23 in Speaking, or an IELTS score below 7.5 are strongly encouraged to enroll in LIN 25 or LIN 26 within their first academic year.

If any of the cases below apply, new international students do not need to take LIN 25 or LIN 26: 

  • English is the student's first or primary language
  • Student has a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university OR a foreign college or university which provides instruction only in English
  • Student has a TOEFL (iBT) score of 105 or higher
  • Student has a Writing score of 24 or higher and a Speaking score of 23 or higher on the TOEFL (iBT)
  • Student has an IELTS score of 7.5 of higher