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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, 2021
  • Early Action November 1, 2021
  • Early Decision II January 1, 2022
  • Regular Decision January 15, 2022

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 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 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

    All international students must provide some financial information to complete their application for admission.

    Students NOT applying for need-based financial aid will be required to complete and submit the International Student Financial Obligation Agreement form confirming their understanding of the financial commitment of not applying for need-based financial aid. This form will be available in the applicant portal.

    Students applying for need-based financial aid must submit a financial aid application (CSS Profile OR the Macalester International Student Financial Aid Application) 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

  • 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.

  • First Marking Period/In Progress Grades

    Early Decision and Early Action Applicants are required to submit official or self-reported first quarter, first marking period, first trimester, interim, or in-progress senior grades as soon as they are available. 

    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.).

    First term marking period grades may be submitted by:

    • Completing First Marking Period/In Progress Grades Form available in the Application Portal
    • Sending directly from a high school official counselor/school official/head teacher.  

    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

Optional Items

  • ACT or SAT (optional)

    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).

  • 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 July prior to or during 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.

  • 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.