Exchange Students and Visiting Scholars

Designated Exchange Students

In order to start the process of becoming an exchange student at Murray State University, you must first be designated by your university. We will need confirmation from your home university (email message is fine) stating that you have been officially selected as an exchange student from the appropriate office at your home university. The email needs to be addressed to Bill McKibben ( Once we have received the designation email, the Institute for International Studies will need you to provide the following documentation:

NOTE: Deadlines for applications and documentation are October 15th for spring admission and the first week of May for fall admission.

  1. Murray State application for admission
    The International Student Admission Application must be filled out and sent to Bill McKibben in the IIS Office ( Please keep in mind that exchange students are exempt from the $50 Murray State application fee

  2. Official university transcript

  3. Financial statement
    Students will need to show sufficient funds to cover their housing, meals, and incidental expenses. Their bank statements should show funds that total at least $14,500. This is the minimum amount that needs to be shown on the financial statement. Although students will probably not spend this much, it is important that they show this amount in order to receive their visas. This should be a certified bank statement.

  4. English Language Proficiency Minimum Requirements:

    • English Language Proficiency Minimum Requirements:

    • IELTS overall score of 6.0 (5.5 for full admission with condition)

    • TOEFL overall score of 71 (61 for full admission with condition)

    • SAT score of 960

    • GTEC overall score of 1190 (1100 for full admission with condition)

    • PTE overall score of 51 (45 for full admission with condition)

    • Duolingo English Test overall score of 100 or higher (90 for full admission with condition)

    • TOEIC overall score of 790 or higher with 160 or higher speaking ( 700 with 140 or higher speaking for full admission with condition)

    • Kaplan English Certificate Advanced Level (Higher Intermediate Level for full admission with condition)

    • Admission to or Completion of the ESL Program at Murray State University OR

    • British / Cambridge International Examinations: GCE, GCSE, IGCSE, AICE, HIGCSE certificate with five O-Level subject passes, or a level of B-2 or higher on the Cambridge English exam.

    • Completion of one  semester of full-time university level classes (minimum of 12 credit hours) with a 2.5 GPA or higher at an accredited US institution OR

    • Graduation from a high school in the United States OR
    • Students from the following countries are not required to submit English proficiency scores: Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, British Islands, Cameroon (University of Buea and University of Bamenda), Canada, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, and United Kingdom.

    • *Admitted with condition: undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the first semester and graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the first semester.

    For Regensburg degree-seeking students, please contact Misty Brown Lanham ( regarding specific graduate program requirements. 

  5. Apply for on-Campus Housing
    To apply for on-campus housing, please complete the housing application and pay the $150 housing deposit available through your student account. To access your student account (called myGate), please follow the myGate Registration instructions that were sent to you by your admissions officer. Once you have access to myGate, please follow the in order to complete the housing application.

  6. Transcript Release
    The Transcript Release Form will need to be filled out by the exchange students and sent to the Institute for International Studies. If you would like to send a faxed copy, that will be fine; however, we will eventually need the official copy of this form.

  7. DS-2019 Information Form
    The DS-2019 Information Form will need to be filled out by the exchange students and sent to the Institute for International Studies. If you would like to send a faxed copy, that will be fine; however, we will eventually need the official copy of this form.

  8. Proof of Health Insurance
    This can be shown upon arrival. Students may also purchase insurance from Murray State University upon their arrival. If you decide to purchase health insurance from Murray State University, it will cost approximately $863 for one year worth of coverage.

    If you decide to use insurance from your home country, the insurance must meet certain requirements. This information can be found in the Exchange Visitor Program brochure that will be included in the J-1 student package you will receive after submitting your student documents.

    Please do not purchase insurance from your home country until you receive the J-1 student information packet. One thing to note is if you bring insurance from your home country, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills here in the U.S. and will have to seek reimbursement once you return home.

Once we receive the forms mentioned above, we will start the visa application paperwork. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bill McKibben (

We also have a checklist to help make sure you have submitted the appropriate materials.

Visiting Scholars

Thank you for your interest in becoming an exchange scholar. In order to start the process, we will need the following information:

  1. An Updated CV/Resume

  2. A Letter of Intent - This should outline the purpose of your stay at Murray State University

  3. A Financial Statement
    This should be a letter from your university showing sufficient funds or a certified bank statement. You must show funds that total $1,000 a month for each month at Murray State University plus $200 per month for each dependent that will accompany you.

  4. Completed DS-2019 Information Form

Once we receive this information, we will contact the appropriate department to see if they are able to host you during your stay. Once a commitment is received, we will send you an information packet with the appropriate visa documents that you will take to your visa interview.

For your reference, please see the Scholar Handbook for frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bill McKibben ( or Misty Brown Lanham (

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