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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, 2024
  • Early Action November 1, 2024
  • Early Decision II January 1, 2025
  • Regular Decision January 15, 2025

Requirements for Your 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 the 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 this 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 internet-based TOEFL will be accepted in the selection process. Admitted students who decide to attend Macalester will be required to submit official score reports.

    Scores for TOEFL Essentials and Duolingo English Test must be submitted directly from testing agencies. Testing Policy page.

  • Proof of Funding

    Students applying for need-based financial aid must submit a financial aid application (CSS Profile OR the International Student Application for Financial Assistance) AND complete and submit the Financial Declaration form, available in the applicant portal. Apply for Aid

  • 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 note: For students applying before sitting their final graduation exams, predicted/anticipated results should be included with their transcript materials.

    Please direct any questions about transcripts to [email protected].

  • Two Recommendation Letters

    Required: Two recommendation letters

    • One recommendation letter from a counselor or school official
    • One recommendation letter from a teacher – An evaluation from a teacher in one of your primary academic courses of study.

  • Senior Year Grades

    Early Decision and Early Action applicants must self-report in-progress senior grades using the In-Progress Grades form in your portal checklist. Grades must be submitted between the following dates:

    • ED I between November 1 and November 18 
    • EA between November 1 and December 1
    • ED II between January 1 and January 18

    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.).

    Regular Decision applicants must request that a school official (counselor or registrar) send us an updated transcript by February 14 if senior year first-term grades are not on the initial transcript. If an updated transcript is not available before February 14, please contact [email protected]

Optional Items

  • ACT or SAT

    Macalester has a permanent Test-Optional admissions policy. This includes ACT, SAT, SAT II, and AP.

    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).

  • Art Samples or Portfolio

    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.

  • Interviews

    Due to capacity limitations, Macalester cannot accommodate requests for online interviews from international applicants (i.e. students who would be studying on a non-immigrant type visa such as an F-1). As an alternative, you may choose to submit an interview through InitialView or Vericant. These third-party interviews can help us learn more about you, but the questions will not be specific to Macalester. We realize there is a cost for these services.


    Interviews are optional and not having an interview does not decrease a student’s chances for admission.


    In some instances, the Admissions Committee may decide more information about an applicant would be helpful in making a final decision. Macalester reserves the right to invite certain applicants to schedule an optional interview with a member of the international admissions team.

  • Additional Recommendation Letter

    Applicants are not required nor encouraged to submit more than the two required recommendations. However, if you wish to have an additional letter of support, we ask that you choose carefully to ensure that the additional recommendation provides a new perspective not already present in your application.