Incoming Exchange

If you are an international undergraduate or graduate student who has been selected by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) partner institution to study at UNL for one or two semesters, then you are considered an Incoming Exchange Student. International students interested in pursuing a degree program at UNL should contact Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions.

This page will provide links to information for prospective and newly admitted exchange students. This information is specifically geared towards international exchange students from educational institutions that have an active exchange agreement with UNL.

Exchange Student Registration Requirements
  • Enrollment in at least 12 credit hours each semester
  • Original or certified (attested) copies of post-secondary diplomas earned and course work completed
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • Proposed Plan of Study
  • Immigration Documents

Important Dates

Academic Calendar

  • SM1 Classes start August 21, 2017
  • SM1 Classes end December 9 , 2017
  • SM1 Exams December 11-15, 2017
  • SM2 Classes start January 8, 2018
  • SM2 Classes end April 28, 2018
  • SM2 Exams April 30 -May 4, 2018

Orientation is mandatory

  • SM1 Orientation tentatively August 15, 2017
  • SM2 Orientation tentatively January 4, 2018


  • May 1 for fall semester (August-December)
  • October 1 for spring semester (January-May)

Earlier applications are strongly encouraged. It may be easier for early applicants to get into their first choice courses.

Application Download

Download the Incoming Exchange Student Application

For more information contact Allison Hinseley, Education Abroad Coordinator,

Incoming Exchange Student Application

Compete the Incoming Exchange Student Application. A completed application requires your signature AND the signature of your Home Institution's program coordinator. The coordinator's recommendation will determine your placement at the graduate or undergraduate level.
Submit the following documents with your application.

Academic Documents

You must submit original or certified (attested) copies of post-secondary diplomas earned and course work completed before course enrollment.

Proof of Financial Support

Applicants must indicate the ability to be supported for the entire period of intended study at UNL without recourse to employment. Complete the Financial Support Documentation form, within the Incoming Exchange Student Application, for International Exchange Students and submit it with your application. The bank certification (Section A) and/or the statement of government, institution, or organizational support (Section B) must be officially signed and submitted before the necessary visa document can be issued.

Each applicant should estimate expenses according to the terms of the particular exchange arrangement and for the appropriate period of time (one or two semesters). Please consult with your home institution exchange program coordinator for the benefits covered by your exchange program. You must show the ability to provide the additional costs not covered by the exchange program.

Since you will have documented your financial ability to study and live at UNL, only part-time employment on-campus may be permitted with special permission.

Proof of English Proficiency

English language proficiency is satisfied by an official score on the Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) or the Michigan English Language Ability Battery (MELAB). A minimum TOEFL of 523 (paper) or 70 (Internet with 20 writing subscore) is required for undergraduate exchange students.

Graduate Exchange Students: A 550 (paper) or 79 (internet) is the minimum TOEFL score required, with some departments requiring higher scores. University of Nebraska-Lincoln TOEFL code = 6877.

Alternate proof of English proficiency will be accepted. This includes an

  • IELTS 6.0 composite (5.5 writing subscore)
  • ACT English subscore 20,
  • SAT Critical Reading subscore 470; or
  • Graduation from a US high school.

Applicants who are native speakers of English in a country in which English is the exclusive official language are exempt from this requirement.

All scores are valid for two years. If your scores are more than two years old, you'll need to provide updated scores.

Proposed Plan of Study for Exchange Students

Study the online course descriptions in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bulletin (Undergraduate or Graduate) to choose courses that you need. Exchange students are expected to maintain full-time status, which is a minimum of 12 credit hours at the undergraduate level or 9 credit hours at the graduate level per semester. The exchange program will provide up to 15 hours of undergraduate level courses or 12 hours of graduate level. Costs for additional hours will be billed to the student.

In general, courses numbered 100-199 are freshman level, 200-299 are sophomore level, 300-399 are junior level, and 400-499 are senior level. Courses numbered 500-599, 600-699, and 700-799 are reserved for Architecture, Law, Dentistry, Medicine, and other professional school offerings. Courses numbered 800-899 and 900-999 are graduate level.

Course prerequisites are established by departments to indicate the level of student preparation necessary for successful completion of course requirements. Equivalent preparation is frequently considered sufficient. The faculty member in charge of the class or the department chair, depending on college policy, may make this determination. Official course prerequisites are listed in the Bulletin (Undergraduate or Graduate). It is the student's responsibility to be aware of and meet all course prerequisites.

Once you have decided on the courses you would like to enroll in, complete the Proposed Plan of Study, found in the Incoming Exchange Student Application, by entering the courses in order of priority €”at least 4 or 5 courses per semester. Provide several alternative courses. The current Schedule of Classes will be available to you after you've been officially admitted to UNL via your MyRed account.

Visa & Immigration

Immigration Documents

If you are accepted as an exchange student, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) will issue Form DS-2019, a Certificate of Eligibility for the Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1). As a J-1 visa holder you are obligated to pursue a full-time academic program at UNL. A minimum full-time academic program, which students must maintain for immigration regulations, is considered to be 12-15 undergraduate hours or 9-12 graduate hours.


To ensure proper processing of immigration documents, we request all applicants to submit a copy of their passport information page.

Housing Information


The estimates listed are based on double-occupancy in Selleck, Neihardt, Harper/Schramm/Smith residence halls and include meals 7 days per week. If you choose another residence hall, please note that the costs may be different than those listed here. Single rooms are assigned on a space-available basis. The additional cost of a single room (approximately $600 per year) is not covered by exchange benefits. Selleck, Pound, suite-style halls (Knoll, Eastside, University Suites), Village/Courtyards and Fedde (East campus) Halls are open during UNL Breaks (closedown) periods, but no food is served. Interim university housing during the orientation period is approximately $32 per night/double room, not including food. (Interim housing during orientation and UNL Break periods is covered in the exchange benefits in exchange programs in which room and board are included.)

Tuition & Fees

As an exchange student, tuition paid to your home institution will cover up to 15 undergraduate or 12 graduate hours per semester and most fees (with the exception of a few special circumstances). Additional credit beyond the allotted 15 undergraduate/12 graduate credit hours must be paid for by the exchange student.

In addition, you may be responsible for special fees associated with your particular field of study. For example, all students enrolled in the Law College must pay the Law Library fee, all students enrolled in engineering courses pay an engineering fee, and architecture students pay an architecture fee. Other special fees not covered by exchange benefits are listed in the "Schedule of Classes" which are followed by the notation "Special Fee" and the dollar amount.

Health Insurance

Health-related costs in the United States are very high. These expenses may be lessened if optional medical, dental, and optical work is completed before leaving home. The U.S. government requires that exchange students have adequate health and accident insurance. Exchange students will automatically be enrolled in and billed for the insurance plan provided by the UNL Health Center. UNL requires ALL international students to have health insurance that is comparable to the UNL student insurance. For more information about these requirements see the UNL Health Center. If you are covered by a private insurance company, an insurance waiver must be signed within the first two weeks of each semester of attendance.

All UNL students are required to document measles (Rubela) immunization. A tuberculosis test is required upon arrival at UNL. Upon acceptance, further information will be provided.

Once You are Admitted

Course Offerings
To research course offerings, view the Schedule of Classes, which lists the courses that are offered each semester. The classes that will be available when you are here will be posted during the semester prior to your arrival (mid-October for the spring semester and mid-March for the fall semester). If the courses for the semester you will be at UNL are not yet listed, look at the comparable semester one year earlier. The listings do not change appreciably from one year to the next.

The schedule of classes will allow you to view a description of each course. If you need more detailed information, please contact your international office.

Course Registration
Once you have been officially admitted to UNL, you are allowed to enroll in classes.

Arrival and Orientation

From admission to arrival, UNL is here to assist you every step of the way. To make your arrival seem less daunting, we have put together a checklist for you to follow as soon as you have arrived on campus. Remember to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

  1. Check in with the International Student and Scholar Services Office .
  2. Get an NCard.
  3. Check in with Housing to access your dormitory room.
  4. Complete the English Language Test (if required).
  5. Attend the International Student Orientation
  6. Submit your immunization records. The forms are included with the acceptance letter.