UKIC / Apply / Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What programs do you have?

The University of Kentucky offers over 200+ programs in 16 different academic colleges. For a full list of programs, visit

If you don’t know which program to choose, that’s ok! UK’s flexible undergraduate structure allows you to explore different areas that interest you without delaying your graduation date.

Please note that if you are a sponsored student, your sponsoring organization may place some limitations in what types of programs you can study.

Can I change my major?

Changing a major is common in most universities in the U.S. UK works with its students to ensure that they find the career path that is the best fit for them. Your academic advisor will work with you to help you through this process once you are registered. Be sure to speak with your advisor early to make sure you stay on track towards timely graduation.



Does UK have research opportunities?

A wide variety of research opportunities is available, both during the academic year (fall/spring semesters) and the summer.

You can find more details by exploring UK’s undergraduate research website here (

You can also search within the department you are interested in for department-specific research. Feel free to contact any of the professors if you see a research project that you are particularly interested in. You never know what opportunities may arise.

How can I transfer to UK?

UK accepts up to 67 hours of college-level credit from two-year institutions and an unlimited number of college-level credits from four-year institutions. You will need to set up a Transfer Advisor meeting with the Transfer Team, to do so visit: 

If you wish to see transfer admission requirements, visit:

How many international students do you have and where are they from?

We have over 600 undergraduate international students at UK as well as 1,000 graduate students representing over 90 countries!

If you want to talk to a current student from your country or your area of the world, check out our International Ambassador map and get connected with them today! You can also send your request by e-mail to and our staff will connect you with a current student ambassador.

Find your ambassador here:

How do I apply to UK?

Application details can be found on the website under the requirements tab:

Do I need to provide proof of funding to be admitted to the University?

If you meet the academic requirements for admission, you will be admitted to the university. However, according to US laws, in order to be issued an I-20 form required for your student visa interview, you will need to provide the financial documents. Students can use the admission letter to seek more funding such as loans in their home country.

What is the deadline to apply to UK?

The deadline to apply for admission for Fall 2021 is May 15, 2021. Keep in mind that scholarship deadlines are much earlier, from December 1, 2020 to February 15, 2021.

What is conditional admission?

Some students may receive an offer of conditional admission. This means that something is still pending and must be completed before the student can enroll (and before UK will issue an I-20, the document that you will need to take to the US embassy for your visa appointment).

Conditional Admission may be offered to students who meet the academic requirements of admission, but do not meet the language proficiency requirement or the departmental specific requirements (such as certain SAT/ACT math scores for Engineering).

Students who are offered conditional admission because of English may either resubmit a higher TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo score or enroll in UK's Center for English as a Second Language program. When they complete the full-time English proficiency program, they will seamlessly be integrated into a full-time degree at UK. This means no TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores will be required if students complete CESL.

Students who require a higher SAT/ACT math score for Engineering may submit a higher score or switch their intended major to a program that does not have specific requirements.

What test scores do international students need to submit to be admitted to UK?

International students must submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score. The current minimums for admission are 71 TOEFL, 6.0 IELTS, or 95 Duolingo.

Certain programs, such as Nursing and Engineering, have additional requirements, so it's important to research your specific program before you apply.

Although SAT/ACT scores are not required, there are some programs, such as engineering and nursing, that do require those scores.

For more details visit the College of Engineering’s website and click on the International Students section:

For more details visit the College of Nursing’s website and click on the International Students section:

How do I calculate my GPA?

For questions on how to calculate your GPA, please contact our office via email at


Finances & Scholarships

Am I eligible for Financial Aid/FAFSA?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for federal student aid from the U.S. Department of Education. However, we do provide a variety of scholarship opportunities to our international students.

For more information on first-year (freshmen) scholarships visit: For information on transfer student scholarships visit

Do you have scholarships for international students?

UK has a variety of scholarship programs. Incoming first-year (freshmen) international students may be eligible for the Bluegrass Spirit (academic scholarship), the William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship (diversity scholarship), departmental scholarships, and the International Ambassador Scholarship.

Students may apply for MORE THAN ONE scholarship. This means you could potentially be awarded several scholarships and add them all up!

It is important to know that students must apply to UK for admission and be accepted to UK BEFORE applying for scholarships.

The Bluegrass Spirit Award requires a high-grade point average from your high school (GPA) as well as high test scores. The higher your GPA/test scores, the more money available to you. Bluegrass Spirit currently requires students to have a 25 ACT or 1200 SAT score (math + critical reading), as well as a 3.0 out of 4.0 GPA or higher, click here for more details on GPA. This scholarship is automatically awarded for students who meet the above criteria on a first come first serve basis (no separate application necessary). Students with a higher GPA and test scores may be considered for a limited number of competitive scholarships. To apply for competitive scholarships, simply check the box in the UK application for admission where it asks if you’re interested in applying for scholarships and complete the essay prompt. The deadline to apply to UK to be considered for academic scholarships is December 1, 2019.

The William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship aims to increase diversity on campus. To apply, students must have a 2.5 out of 4 GPA or higher. The SAT or ACT is also required, although there is no published minimum score. To apply, check the box on the UK admission application that asks if you are interested in applying for the William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship and complete the essay when prompted. The deadline to apply for the William C. Parker scholarship is February 15, 2020. However, early application is encouraged.

The International Ambassador Scholarship is available to students who have demonstrated exceptional merit during their high school career and are willing and able to help the international recruitment team reach more international students. There are test requirements for this scholarship. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.5 (out of 4.0). Recipients of this award may receive between $3,000 and $16,000, depending on merit. To apply, students must submit a one-page essay detailing why they would be a good international ambassador for UK as well as one recommendation letter from a teacher/counselor/mentor/coach, etc. The documents must be submitted by February 15, 2020 to

For more information on scholarships visit:

In addition to the above, some UK colleges and departments have additional scholarships. To learn more visit:

Can I get a scholarship if I start in the Spring semester?

All scholarships are awarded only to students who start in the Fall semester.

Am I eligible for scholarships as a transfer student?

Yes, international transfer students may be eligible for various scholarships:  William C. Parker Diversity, International Ambassador, Transfer Achievement and Housing scholarship.

For details on transfer scholarships, visit:

What is the International Student Ambassador Scholarship selection process? Do certain countries get more scholarships?

The International Ambassador Scholarship is available to students who have demonstrated exceptional merit during their high school career and are willing and able to help the international recruitment team reach more international students. There are no country-specific requirements or test requirements for this scholarship. The minimum GPA requirement is 2.5 (out of 4.0). Recipients of this award may receive between $3,000 and $16,000.

To apply, students must submit a one-page essay detailing why they would be a good international ambassador for UK as well as one recommendation letter from a teacher/counselor/mentor/coach, etc. The documents must be submitted by February 15, 2019 to

Applicants who reach the semi-finals (based on the essay and letter of recommendation) will be invited to submit a two-minute video answering a few questions. After the review of videos, the finalists will be invited to a Skype interview with current student ambassadors.

We strive to have a broad geographic representation in our Ambassador program. This means that not all outstanding candidates from the same country will receive scholarship awards.

Can I get a full-ride scholarship?

Unfortunately, there are no full ride scholarships available to international students at UK. A student can, however, combine different scholarships that could potentially add up to near or all of tuition. Regardless, students still need to cover their living expenses, ie. on or off-campus housing, food, books, health insurance, etc.

How much does it cost to study at UK?

The total cost of attendance at UK includes a number of items

  • Non-resident tuition (or out-of-state tuition which is the amount international students pay) for the 2019-2020 academic year is $30,700.
  • Room and board can fluctuate, depending on if you live on or off campus. Current on-campus housing with a full meal plan (three meals a day) is approximately $12,000.
  • Books and supplies along with health insurance is approximately $3,800 for the full year. Health insurance is mandatory for all international students.

Keeping these factors in mind, if no scholarships were awarded, the annual cost of attendance to UK would be estimated at $46,500.

Are there any other fees or costs?

Each college with the University of Kentucky has different fees and costs associated with each major. For instance, Gatton College of Business & Economics has a specific fee to help fund its high-tech building, while the Honors College has an annual fee to ensure each student has the best resources available to them.

In order to find out about specific departmental fees and costs, it is best to reach out to the college you will be entering and asking them directly.

Employment & Health Insurance

What opportunities are there for on-campus employment?

There are many opportunities for international students to work on-campus at UK. Be sure to check out the ISSS website for more information about working as an international student:

UK offers a large number of student employment opportunities on campus, often with our dining partner Aramark, and these can provide students with a small source of income while studying. There are plenty of on-campus employment options which you can find at by searching under “Student” and “On Campus” jobs. Once you become a student, you will also be able to access Handshake, another source of internships and campus employment opportunities.

Am I required health insurance? How do I apply?

UK requires all international students (on an F-1, J-1, or J-2 visa) to have qualifying health coverage.  International students are automatically enrolled in the UK Student Health Plan (SHP) when they register for classes. You do not need to fill out any forms to enroll in SHP. The cost of SHP will be added to your student bill.

If you are wanting to buy coverage for your spouse and/or children, you can do so by visiting

Campus Life

What opportunities do you offer to engage with the international community on campus?

UKIC helps students build a dynamic UK experience through several social, cultural and educational opportunities.

The International Student Leadership Team works with ISSS and other departments to develop events and programs for international and domestic students. Attending an ISLT event is a great and easy way for you to get involved with the international community on campus!

Another way for you to stay connected with the latest UKIC news is by joining our Listserv. We send out a weekly listserv obtaining international-related news and event information. To sign up to receive our weekly email, contact Andrea Gils via email at

What kind of support services are offered to international students at UK?

The University of Kentucky provides a wide variety of services and programming to ensure all our students are supported personally, academically and professionally. The International Student & Scholar Services Office (ISSS) operates on the second floor of Bradley Hall.

Our highly trained ISSS staff works closely with our students to ensure they are in compliance with their visa requirements. In addition to the UK staff, there is a team of students – the International Student Leadership Team – that is available to provide support to our incoming freshmen. Not only is our International Student Leadership Team constantly providing great programs to connect international students together, they are also there to help you integrate to the U.S. culture and learn about the resources available to you to help you succeed inside and outside of the classroom.

Academically, the University provides free tutoring on a wide range of subjects and services like the Writing Center and the Hub give students professional advice on their in-class material. Not only does the Stuckert Career Center help provide students with career and job advice, but also most colleges have their own individual career center where you can find well-trained staff, ready to help you prepare for your professional career!

What student clubs are available?

At the University of Kentucky there are over 600 different student organizations and clubs. From Greek Life organizations to philanthropic clubs to sporting clubs, you are bound to find a number of interesting and engaging opportunities at the university that will fill your undergraduate career with fun and excitement!

There are also plenty of cultural and international organizations you can join.

Look up the many clubs and organizations here:

What housing is available?

We have some of the best on campus housing in the country! The University of Kentucky recently became the first public institution to partner with a private company to build new housing, and have spent over $500 million to develop 18 state-of-the-art residence halls that have become a leading flagship in residential housing. With different living options available, such as the highly popular two-bedroom suite option, living on campus is a great option to stay close to your friends and the resources you will use to succeed in the classroom.  For more details, visit the UK Housing website  

Off campus options are also unparalleled in undergraduate living. With great off campus housing communities, students are bound to find the perfect living option for them in a great price range too! The Off Campus Student Advising website can help you think about the questions and other aspects of off-campus life you may want to consider when making the decision to live off campus. There’s also a website that is not affiliated to UK but many of our international students use to find roommates and housing options. To see what’s out there, visit

Getting To & Around Lexington

How do I get to Lexington?

Lexington has an airport – Blue Grass Airport (LEX) - with connections to most major U.S. hubs such as Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, etc. You can also fly into Louisville (SDF) about one hour and 15 minutes away or Cincinnati (CVG) about one hour and a half away but keep in mind the International Center offers free pick up to the Blue Grass Airport (LEX) only. You would have to arrange your own transportation if you land in Louisville (SDF) or Cincinnati (CVG) airports.

Can someone pick me up from the airport?

If you send us all your details in advance and you are flying into Lexington's Blue Grass airport (LEX), someone can meet you to pick you up. When you are planning your travel, please ensure you fill out the AIRPORT PICKUP REQUEST FORM and communicate with the ISSS office. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer airport pickup to students flying into Louisville (SDF) or Cincinnati (CVG).

How do students get around Lexington?

UK's campus is centrally located in Lexington, and students can walk to downtown in about 20 minutes. Using the Lexington city buses, Lextran, is free with your UK Student ID! For more details on routes and schedules, visit

Some students do have vehicles on campus, but parking is usually in K lot, near the football stadium. For more details on campus parking and costs, visit:

How do students get around UK's campus?

There are several free campus shuttles but most students walk on campus - estimated time from one end of campus to the other is 15-20 minutes, unless you are walking to the football stadium or arboretum (park), which could be a little longer.

UK is a bike-friendly campus and you can find several bike stations where you can safely park and lock your bike. UK also has a bike shop where you can fix your bike and offers free bicycle rentals. In addition, Lexington has a city-wide bike share program so bicycling across campus is easy and it’s a great opportunity to save money, improve your health and keep the environment carbon-free. More information can be found here:

University of Kentucky students, scholars, faculty and staff may ride any Lextran buses free of charge simply by showing their Wildcard Student ID, as part of the BluPass program. For more information on Lextran routes visit:

Safety & Support

What is safety like at UK?

The University of Kentucky has been consistently ranked as one of the safest campuses in the United States. We have an incredible Police Department at UK, also known as UKPD, with highly-trained and capable police officers who are ready to deal with a variety of incidents that could arise. Additionally, we employ a number of safety measures, such as our Safety Cats ride program that drives students back to their residence halls late at night. Also, our ‘Live Safe’ app provides students amazing ways to stay safe, like allowing a friend to track you via GPS and anonymously reporting a crime.

All U.S. universities annually publish their campus crime statistics due to a regulation called the Clery Act. UK's safety statistics can be found here:  

What kind of academic advising is available for international students at UK?

Upon beginning your academic career at UK, you will be assigned both an international advisor and an academic advisor. Your international advisor is there to guide you in matters that relate to your status as an international student and to help keep you on track regarding your immigration and visa requirements. Your academic advisor is assigned to you within your college of choice and is there to help set up your class schedule, prepare your four-year plan for your undergraduate career and advise you on any questions you have regarding your academic life.