How Universities Abroad Evaluate International Students Profile?


Sristy Sharma
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 11:19 AM IST

While applying to universities abroad, international students need to take care of each criterion, from GPA to LOR. Refer here to know in detail, how universities abroad evaluate international students' profiles.

How Universities Abroad Evaluate International Students Profile?

They say choose the right country and apply to the right universities turns out, finding out how universities abroad evaluate international student profile is equally significant.

Apart from the fact that international students should start preparing at least a year in advance, studying abroad comes with its own set of challenges. And, one of the crucial one among all is finding out what universities abroad are actually looking for.

Yes, they look at your GPAs and test scores, but it is not lesser known that universities abroad also put significant importance to extracurricular activities and SOPs or LORs. Let us look further into how universities evaluate international student profile.

What is an International Student Profile?

International student profile can be understood as the information submitted by an international student in their admission application. All the information furnished in the application, including personal details, academic background, standardised test scores, language proficiency test scores, financial status, the motive of application, future goals, etc., are considered a part of an international student profile.

An international student profile is the driving factor in the decision of their admission to the university. All the details they have provided are verified, cross-checked, quantitatively and qualitatively examined, and only then a decision is made by the university selection committee while admitting them to their chosen course.

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How Universities Abroad Evaluate International Students' Profiles?

To evaluate an international students profile, universities can only refer to their applications. However, in these applications, there are certain requirements that they specifically ask for, such as GPA, standardised test scores, application essays, language proficiency test scores, etc. There are additional documents that also need to be submitted such as CV, SOP, work experience, extracurricular activities, etc.

A strong international students' profile can better the chances of admission to any foreign university. Let us now go through each factor used to evaluate an international students profile:


GPA or grade point average is often the most important part of an application evaluated by universities abroad.

GPA shows how an international student has performed in their academic journey until application. Moreover, there is no better indicator of their performance and capability than GPA.

Universities ask students to show their GPA on a certain measurement scale, such as 4.0, 5.0, 7.0, 9.0, 12.0, etc. Students have to use conversion scales to convert grades and overall percentages into GPA on the recommended scale.

The documents submitted as part of GPA evaluation for universities abroad are:


Qualification of an international student is the highest level of higher education that they have been grated with. A student is required to provide proof to universities that they have a relevant qualification to apply for the chosen course of study.

The documents showing quantitative performance are covered under GPA, while qualification verification requires certificates proving qualification. These certificates are degree certificates from a recognised authority, such as Bachelor's' Degree endorsed by a recognised University, or an AISSCE from CBSE.

Universities abroad check the following upon evaluating the qualification:

  • Qualification should match the requirement for the course of study, such as higher secondary for bachelors and bachelors for masters and masters for PhD.

  • The granting authority is a recognised and reliable authority for education.

  • The certification is fair and true.

Education System

Education System is the system or practices followed in a particular country, state, or territory, to regularise the education of their enrolled students. They are different throughout the world, and sometimes even throughout countries.

The evaluation of the education system is important for foreign universities to ensure that they are fair in evaluating the scores of applicants. For instance, in India, CBSE students can be expected to score 70-80% easily in their AISSCE, while scoring above 55% in university examinations is difficult. Hence, to ensure fairness, universities abroad evaluate the GPAs of international students according to their respective educational backgrounds.

Since there are various education systems in the world, universities refer to supplement documents or longer evaluation processes for comparatively unfamiliar education systems.

Academic Background

Academic background refers to the course and subjects studied by an international student as part of their education until applying to the university. Universities abroad evaluate the academic background of an international student based on the following:

  • Is the course applied for relevant to the academic background of the applicant.

  • Does the course applied for requirethe student to have an academic foundation in relevant fields of study.

  • Are the chosen subjects or fields part of the applicants past academic studies.

English Language Proficiency

English language skills are extremely important during the evaluation process of an international students profile. Their language skills will ensure that they can understand the course material taught and provided to them.

For the evaluation of language skills, the following points are considered by universities abroad:

  • Medium of instruction of the international student for their past academics.

  • Inclusion of language course as a compulsory subject in the course of study, such as compulsory English exam in bachelors courses.

  • Performance of student in the language subject.

  • The native language of the home country of the international student.

  • Nature of usage of the language in the country of origin, such as if English is a common language of usage.

Universities abroad generally expect that the above points shall help them evaluate the language skills of their students. However, to avoid any misunderstanding, they require students to provide Language proficiency test scores. For instance, for English language proficiency, test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or Duolingo are required.

Universities also have foundational language courses. International students can attend these fortnight-to-month-long courses before the start of their academic term at the university.

Additional Work Experience

Additional Work experience of students is highly welcomed by universities abroad, especially for courses like MBA. In the case of international students, applying for bachelors courses, part-time work experience is preferred, and in the case of masters courses, full-fledged work experience in a relevant field is welcomed.

Work experience certificate shows that students know how to balance different aspects of their life, and can handle responsibilities other than education. Moreover, it also shows their awareness of the market and industry. The practical experience helps students grasp the educational concepts relevant to the field easily.

There are certain masters courses for which universities require international students to have a specific number of years of work experience if they have work experience. However, it is not compulsory.

Standardised Test Scores

Standardised test scores are used by universities abroad in the same manner as the language proficiency test scores.

Although universities can use GPA, academic background, education system, and qualification to evaluate the aptitude of the student, standardised tests can be an easier and direct way of evaluation.

Most universities abroad require students to submit SAT scores or ACT scores when applying for bachelors courses, and GMAT or GRE scores for masters courses. However, if there is a separate standardised test for any field of studies, such as NEET for health and medicine, then scores of that test will be asked for.

Recently, many universities have started going test-blind, removing the requirement of standardised testing.

SOPs and LORs

SOPs and LORs act as the most supportive instruments for universities abroad when evaluating international students profile.

Statement of Purpose(SOPs), application essays, and personal statements act as the voice of the student themselves. Universities abroad can understand the mentality, direction of opinions, motivation behind the application, future goals, etc. of the student with the help of these documents. Moreover, the language fluency of the student can also be assessed from these essays.

Apart from these, Letters of Recommendation (LORs) help universities abroad understand more about the character, connection, and social demeanor of the student. As they are endorsed by reliable authorities, they can be relied upon by the university as a guarantee of students behaviour and actions.

Extra Curricular Participation

Universities abroad also welcome extracurricular participation of international students. In fact, if any individual extracurricular project of the student has managed to create a significant impact, they are provided 100% scholarships for their study at the university.

Hence, extracurricular participation can significantly help international students get admitted to top universities.

GPA and Other Profile Requirements at Top Universities

Here are some of the best universities in the world and their respective GPA requirements in international student profile for admission to their courses:

Name of University


GPA Requirements (on 4.0 scale)

Harvard University


Bachelors: 3.49

Masters: 3.56

University of Oxford


Bachelors: 3.5

Masters: 3.6

University of Cambridge


Bachelors: 3.5

Masters: 3.7

Western University


Bachelors: 2.7

Masters: 3.0

Northwestern University


Bachelors: 3.2

Masters: 3.5

Brown University


Bachelors: 3.4

Masters: 3.6

University of Adelaide


Bachelors: 2.5

Masters: 3.2

Durham University


Bachelors: 3.2

Masters: 3.5

University of Melbourne


Bachelors: 1.7

Masters: 2.5

University of Toronto


Bachelors: 3.6

Masters: 3.7

University of Alberta


Bachelors: 2.5

Masters: 3.0

University of Sydney


Bachelors: 3.0

Masters: 3.3

International students can use the information provided in this guide to compile a focused and organised admission application. Moreover, they can also purposefully direct the attention of universities abroad to their achievements which can ensure admission.

If you require help in applying to the best foreign universities, get in touch with our study abroad experts at

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How can I study abroad with low GPA?

You can study abroad even with a low GPA by making sure that other aspects of your admission application are strong. You can prepare well and score high in standardised tests and language proficiency tests. Moreover, participating in extracurricular activities and accumulating respectable work experience can also help in presenting a strong international student profile.

What is the minimum GPA to study MBA abroad?

The minimum GPA to study MBA abroad varies according to the eligibility criteria set by different universities. International students are advised to focus on high GMAT scores, considerable work experience (2-5 years), and high proficiency test scores, to get accepted at the best study abroad B-schools. MBA SOPs and LORs are also important when applying for MBA courses at universities abroad.

What is the GPA requirement for STEM courses?

The GPA requirement for STEM courses at universities abroad varies according to the university. Generally, students are required to show a GPA (on a 4.0 scale) of at least 2.5-3.0 to get admitted into STEM courses. Additionally, GRE scores (for masters and doctoral students), SAT/ACT scores (for bachelor’s students), and language proficiency scores are required. 

I have a GPA of 2.0 and a GMAT score of 730. Can I apply to MBA colleges in UK?

Yes, with a GPA of 2.0 and a GMAT score of 730, you can easily apply to MBA colleges in UK. A GMAT score of 730 is excellent to pursue MBA, however, as GPA is comparatively low, it is recommended that students use MBA SOP, application essays, LORs, Academic CV, and English proficiency test scores (equivalent to IELTS’ 7.0 bands) to get accepted in MBA colleges in UK. 

What type of additional experiences can help to study abroad with a low GPA?

There are various types of additional experiences that can help to study abroad even with a low GPA. These include work experience, extracurricular activities, social welfare projects, environmental conservation projects, and self-established brainchild projects. Self-established brainchild projects can help in gaining scholarships as well. International students are advised to submit an outline of their additional experiences, along with milestones, in their admission applications.

Which universities can be applied to with GPA of 1.0 to study in Canada?

There are many universities that can be applied to with a GPA of 1.0 to study in Canada. While the minimum GPA requirement of various universities, such as Concordia University, Humber College, University of Victoria, Canadian Mennonite University, and University of Regina, are quite low, you can also apply to the best universities in Canada with a strong international student profile. 

What are the average GPA requirements to study in Australia?

The average GPA (on a 4.0 scale) requirements to study in Australia vary for universities and qualification levels. For bachelor's courses, the average GPA requirement is 1.0-1.5, and 1.3-2.0 for master's and doctoral courses. To study in Australia, international students require high standardised test scores, English proficiency test scores, and impactful SOPs and LORs.

How much GRE score is required to study abroad with a low GPA?

International students require a combined GRE score of 300 or above to study abroad with a low GPA. It is possible to study master's and doctoral degrees abroad with low GPAs if students manage to get a high combined GRE score. Universities expect higher GRE quant scores, preferably 158-165, than GRE verbal scores, preferred in the range of 152-160. A GRE score of 315 (or above) can ensure admission to the best foreign universities.

I have a GPA of 3.5 in my bachelors, but a gap in my education. Can I apply to top universities abroad?

If you have a GPA (on a 4.0 scale) of 3.5 in your bachelor's, then you can apply to top universities abroad, even with a gap in education. If you can show work experience during this gap with high GMAT scores (700+), or GRE scores (315+), then you can apply to universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Cambridge, Australian National University, and University of Toronto.

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