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International First-Year Applicants

We are glad you are taking this important next step! To help you complete your application to Macalester, use the checklist below, log into your application portal regularly, and reach out when you have questions. We are here to help.

Application Deadlines

Application to Macalester is completed through the Common App. Below are all the key dates associated with the application process.

  • Early Decision I November 1, 2020
  • Early Action November 1, 2020
  • Early Decision II January 1, 2021
  • Regular Decision January 15, 2021

Requirements for Your Common App Application to Macalester

  • Common App Account & Application

    At you can create an account. There are many resources to help you in your application process – including an Application Guide for First-Year Students.

    Macalester does not have an application fee.

    If you anticipate needing need-based financial aid at any point during your four years at Macalester, you must indicate your interest when you apply via the Common Application. Students who do not apply for financial aid during the application process will not be considered for aid after learning of an offer of admission. Financial Aid

  • Proof of English Proficiency

    Macalester’s classes are instructed in English and only students who have a strong command of English language (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) will be offered admission.

    If your first language is English and/or you attend a secondary school where the primary language of instruction is English:
    Applicants may request that the TOEFL requirement be waived by completing the ENGLISH PROFICIENCY Testing Waiver Request Form in their Applicant Portal.

    If English is not the first language or the primary language of instruction:
    Applicants are required to submit one of the following exams in order to demonstrate proficiency in English. Self-reported test scores for IELTS and TOEFL will be accepted in the selection process. Admitted students who decide to attend Macalester will be required to submit official score reports. Testing Policy page.

    COVID-19 Response: Macalester will accept the IELTS Indicator scores from students without access to an IELTS testing site. Likewise, the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition will be accepted for the 2020-2021 application cycle. The Duolingo English Test is a cost effective option for students who do not have access to IELTS or TOEFL.

    For students in China: “TOEFL ITP (Level 1) Plus for China” will be accepted until TOEFL iBT resumes testing in China. Students choosing to use the TOEFL ITP Plus for China are required to include the unscored Vericant speaking interview.

  • Certification of Finances

    We require the Certification of Finances form (COF) and a bank statement from all international applicants, even if they are not applying for financial aid. A completed Certification of Finances form and bank statement can be uploaded to the applicant portal. International Forms

  • Early Decision Agreement

    If you are applying Early Decision, the Early Decision Agreement certifies that Macalester is your first-choice college and agreement that, if admitted, you will enroll at Macalester and withdraw all other college applications. More about Early Decision

  • High School Transcript

    Request that your secondary school(s) send Macalester official transcript(s).

    Since there are multiple educational systems around the world with unique grading structures, we consider the transcript requirement on a case-by-case basis. The standard requirement for transcripts is to include grades (marks) for years 9 through 12/13 and available external exam scores. Please direct any questions about transcripts to

  • School Report

    Request that your school counselor complete the School Report and Counselor Recommendation. If your school does not have a university counselor, any school official (homeroom teacher, assistant principal, etc.) may serve this role.

  • Two Teacher Recommendations

    Invite two teachers of core academic subjects (English, social studies, foreign language, mathematics, or science) to submit recommendations.

  • Mid-Year Report and First-Term Senior Grades

    Early Decision and Early Action applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) send us their first-term senior grades (e.g., first quarter or first trimester).

    For international students in a non-US style curriculum, this requirement could be filled by available mock exams for the most recent term, an unofficial progress report, or (if applicable) predicted results for final graduation exams (IB, A-Levels, etc.) submitted by your counselor/school official/head teacher. 

    Regular Decision applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) complete the Mid-Year Report and send us an updated transcript if senior year first-term grades are not on the initial transcript.

Optional Items

  • ACT or SAT (optional)

    Macalester recently adopted a permanent Test-Optional admissions policy, starting with the Fall 2021 first-year class. This includes ACT, SAT, SAT II, AP, and IB.

    There will be no penalty for students who choose not to submit test scores in the selection process or distribution of merit scholarship. You can learn more about our Testing Policy here.

    If you believe your standardized test scores will add another positive layer to your application file, then please feel free to submit scores to our office or self-report them in the Common Application. Macalester’s testing codes are 2122 (ACT) and 6390 (SAT).

  • Submit art samples or portfolio (optional)

    If you have made a substantial commitment to the arts in the areas of fine arts, music, theater or dance, you are welcome to submit samples in your application portal.

  • Online interview (optional)

    Although not required, interviews can be a great way to personalize your application. There are several options:

    • Online Interviews: Online interviews with admissions counselors are available for students as early as the January prior to their final year of school. Applicants who wish to interview must do so before February 1st. Each student may only interview once. Learn more or schedule your interview here. Questions can be sent to
    • Third Party Interviews: If you are not able to have a virtual interview, you may choose to submit an IntialView interview or a Vericant interview to be included with your application. These third-party interviews can help us learn more about you, but the questions will not be specific to Macalester.