Frequently Asked Questions


The IEP office can only issue an I-20 Form after we receive your complete application form with all required supporting documents and make an official admission decision. Based on a new policy by the U.S. government, we are able to send your acceptance materials electronically to the email address in your application.

F-2 and J-2 visa holders may be able to take some IEP courses under certain circumstances, but there are specific rules about how many classes F-2 or J-2 visa holders can take. Please check with the IEP office for more information.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a national database used to maintain information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. SEVIS allows only one institution to access an individual's immigration record at any given time.

You can contact the International Advisor, who is also a Designated School Official (DSO), with specific questions regarding your F-1 visa.

There are limited on-campus work opportunities for IEP students. IEP students should not plan to work their first quarter in IEP due to the high academic expectations for students. If you would like more information about working on-campus while studying in IEP, please email the IEP office.

The DSO will create your new I-20 as soon as the IEP office receives your completed transfer paperwork and we complete your English evaluation. Please complete your transfer paperwork with your current DSO or Student Advisor. If you are not planning on leaving the United States before attending the IEP, the DSO will give you your I-20 on the first day of orientation.

If you are planning on leaving the United States before attending the IEP, or would prefer to receive your I-20 sooner, please email the DSO.

A financial guarantee is from your bank, your family's bank or from your sponsor and confirms that you have enough funds for your tuition, fees, and living expenses, available to you for EACH QUARTER you will study with us.

If you want to travel internationally over the break, to your home country, Canada, or somewhere else outside of the U.S., you must request authorization from the DSO. Please make this request at least 2 weeks before you travel in order to ensure your immigration documents are current and to ensure you can re-enter the U.S.

Academic English Program

If the deadline has passed, it is too late to apply for that term. We will accept your application for the next term. It is important to have enough time to get a student visa and make travel arrangements.

See the current costs on the Tuition and Scholarships page

After registering, your advisor will let you know when you can pay for tuition and fees online or in the Student Business Office in Old Main (OM) 110. We generally recommend that students open checking accounts from an American bank after they arrive at Western.

Must be paid after IEP registration:

IEP Payment Methods and Associated Fees
IEP Payment Methods Cash Debit (Visa or MasterCard) Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover)
Tuition and Fees Pay in OM 110 with no additional fees. Pay in OM 110 with no additional fees. Pay online or in SBO kiosk, but pay an additional 2.75% transaction fee (approx. $70)


Yes! Our classes are open to community members in Bellingham and also to fully enrolled Western students who want to improve their English skills alongside their WWU classes. Email to request more information and learn about special tuition rates.

During the admissions process we will give placement evaluations for all new students.. We examine your reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking. After we have found which level will best help you improve your skills, we will notify you of your placement. If you have any questions, we are happy to meet with you before you register. During the second week of classes, if you or your teachers feel you were placed incorrectly, you have the option to challenge your level.

Yes. There are apartments and houses near the university and downtown. Information about apartments and living off-campus can be found at WWU Off Campus Living..

However, we strongly recommend most new students to begin in on-campus housing since it helps to make connections with other students and the campus community. It is also much easier to find a place to rent off-campus once you are already in Bellingham.

Western Washington University

Yes. Tests are available in Bellingham and the surrounding area. Please visit the TOEFL website.

International FAQ's

Minimum TOEFL and IELTS score requirements
Undergraduate: Graduate:

No, federal financial aid is not available. However, international students can apply for some scholarships.

There are generous scholarships available for international students who finish the IEP and study full-time at Western. Contact the Scholarship Center at (360) 650-3471 for further information. Students in the IEP can lower costs by participating in the Bring a Friend Program.

No, not automatically. To apply for admission to Western, you must submit a separate Western application. IEP students will select “conditional admission” on this application.

To be fully admitted and eligible to enroll in academic classes at Western, students must submit proof of English language proficiency. Students in the IEP can meet Western’s language proficiency requirement by completing the final level of IEP with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or submitting the required TOEFL, IELTS score. The IEP Student Academic Advisor will work with students on their transition to Western Washington University.

Western Washington University offers over 175 different majors. For a list of departments or programs and the requirements, please visit Western majors.

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? Contact the AEP and we will answer your questions.