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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

2016-2017 Graduate Catalog

International Students

New Mexico State University offers two admission categories to international students.

Full Admission:

  • TOEFL 79 IBT; 550 PBT
  • 6.5 IELTS

Conditional admission: 

International students who are in this category are required to sit for the English Placement Exam prior to beginning academic coursework (The International Student and Scholar Services Office arranges this test upon arrival.) If the results of the English Placement Exam do not meet the requirements for academic coursework the student may be required to take additional academic English classes (SPCD 110 and/or SPCD 470).

  • TOEFL 68 to 78 IBT, 520 to 549 PBT
  • 6.0 IELTS

English Proficiency

International students that wish to become teaching assistants must demonstrate that they are proficient in the English language. This is done by participating in an International Teaching Assistant Screenings (ITAS).  The purpose of the ITAS exercise is to determine whether candidates will be required to take COMM 485 International Teaching Assistant Development before being allowed to be assigned a teaching assistant position.

The ITAS requires that a teaching assistant candidate deliver a short, ten minute teaching demonstration of a typical introductory undergraduate level course in a specific area relevant to the his or her area of studies.  The demonstration is observed by CELP faculty and an actual undergraduate student.

Based on the results of this exercise, a full report by the CELP observers will be presented to the head of the department in which the graduate student wishes to be a teaching assistant.

COMM 485 not required
COMM 485 recommended, but not required
COMM 485 required

Ultimate authority to enforce the recommendation lies with the Department Head.

Preferably during Summer Session II, or before the start of the first semester of enrollment, all international students that wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must take the ITAS, which is administered by the CELP. The ITAS can be waived for international students who hold a degree from an accredited university in the United States, or a country where English is the official language of instruction.  Departments also have the discretion to allow waivers for special circumstances.


All international graduate students on F-1 or J-1 visas are required to comply with Department of Homeland Security regulations governing maintenance of status related to full-time enrollment and making normal progress toward completing a degree. Therefore, all international graduate students are required to enroll in 9 or more credits (exclusive of audited work) during fall and spring semesters.