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Higher Education in Oklahoma

Oklahoma extends a special invitation to international students to pursue higher education in our state. Oklahomans are friendly and always ready to welcome people from all over the world.

Wherever you call home, you'll most certainly find Oklahomans with similar backgrounds and connections. From thriving and prosperous communities of Asian origin throughout Oklahoma, to the descendants of immigrants from eastern and western Europe, Africa, and Latin America, there are many cultures found in every area of Oklahoma.

Why Study in Oklahoma?

  • There are many good reasons to choose a school in Oklahoma for your college, university or language study.

  • Oklahoma has 39 accredited public and independent colleges and universities. Find out more about Oklahoma's colleges and universities at www.okhighered.org/state-system/colleges-universities.

  • Oklahoma has 10 approved intensive English programs (IEP).

  • Higher education in Oklahoma is affordable. Comparing tuition costs with similar institutions in other regions of the United States, Oklahoma higher education is a great educational value. Students from moderate-income families are particularly pleased with Oklahoma institutions' tuition and fee schedules.

  • The cost-of-living index in Oklahoma is extremely favorable. Your money goes further because food prices, housing/rental costs, gas/petrol prices, etc. are among the lowest in the nation. Oklahoma provides safe campuses and communities, with crime rates generally lower than other regions.

  • Oklahoma is the center, the heartland, of our country – offering a genuine American experience to international students – and is perfectly located for travel, both arriving in the United States and visiting the rest of our country. Oklahoma is culturally diverse with representatives from all major ethnic groups among our citizens. Oklahoma also has a large Native American population and wide access to Native American culture, art, pow-wows and festivals. For more information on Oklahoma, visit www.travelok.com/about_us.

Admission Requirements

For information on admission standards to Oklahoma public and independent institutions, refer to the individual institutions' websites, which can be found at www.okhighered.org/state-system/colleges-universities.

English Language Requirements

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education require a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to a State System (public) institution. Those not meeting these standards must have a minimum score on TOEFL or IELTS and must successfully complete a minimum of 12 weeks of study at an approved intensive English program (IEP). The requirements are as follows:

  1. Undergraduate (minimum scores): 500 or higher on paper-based TOEFL or 61 on Internet- based TOEFL or 6.0 or higher on IELTS OR 460 or higher on paper-based TOEFL or 48 Internet-based TOEFL or 5.0 or higher on IELTS AND completion of 12 weeks of intensive English study.

  2. Graduate (minimum scores): 550 or higher on paper-based TOEFL or 79 on Internet-based TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS OR 500 or higher on paper-based TOEFL or 61 on Internet-based TOEFL or 5.5 or higher on IELTS AND completion of 12 weeks of intensive English study.

These are minimum standards for public institutions. Some institutions have higher standards. Contact institutions directly for complete information.


The accreditation of educational institutions and programs in the United States is not centralized and varies by the category of school type and program. In Oklahoma, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits all public colleges and universities. Independent universities may be accredited by various associations, including the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Some programs within colleges or universities may carry programmatic accreditation from a specialized accrediting association. Intensive English programs are approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. All schools and programs listed in this guide are appropriately accredited. Prospective students are encouraged to ask school officials for additional information about accreditation and affiliation with professional associations.

Housing Information

Many Oklahoma institutions provide on-campus housing facilities at reasonable costs to students. Contact the institutions directly or visit their websites for specific information.

International Student Services

Most institutions have dedicated staff to work with international students, as well as active international student organizations. Contact institutions for more detailed information.


Information on the estimated costs of attending Oklahoma public colleges and universities is located at secure.okcollegestart.org/Financial_Aid/College_Cost /Estimated_Costs.aspx. For detailed information, contact the institution(s) you are interested in attending.

Oklahoma Weather

Oklahoma is well-known for having the variety provided by all four seasons. Its long and beautiful fall and spring seasons provide wonderful interludes between warm summers and occasionally snowy winters. At 1,200 feet (366 meters) above sea level, Oklahoma has an ideal relative humidity. It is one of America's sunniest states, with an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine annually. The average temperature is 61°F (16°C), the average annual rainfall is 32 inches (81 centimeters), and the average annual snowfall is 9 inches (23 centimeters).


Oklahoma is located near the geographical center of the United States. Major interstate highways cross Oklahoma, connecting the east and west coasts and the north and south borders of the nation. International visitors find easy access to Oklahoma through Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City or Tulsa International Airport. Several commercial carriers provide service in and out of the state daily.

Oklahoma History

Oklahoma has a unique history, unlike any other state in the United States. Once known as Indian Territory, Oklahoma is still closely associated with Native American culture, sharing this legacy through festivals, museums and the daily lives of Oklahomans.

Additionally, due to migration in the early 1800s, Oklahoma became home to a mix of different cultures and heritages. Near the end of the century, railroads and territorial land runs brought peoples with a wide variety of cultures and customs to Oklahoma Territory. Cities developed in the agrarian environment, and in 1907, Oklahoma joined the United States as the 46th state. For more information, visit www.oklahomahistorycenter.org.

Oklahoma Culture

Oklahoma celebrates its modern culture, historical Western culture and Native American culture through museums, cultural events and historic sites. International students in Oklahoma enjoy visiting the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum, the Gilcrease Institute of American History, the Philbrook Art Center, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Woolaroc Museum and the Will Rogers Memorial. Indian City USA in Anadarko displays authentic Indian dwellings of various plains tribes. Noted historic sites include restored Fort Gibson, the Cherokee Village Complex, Spiro Mounds and the Washita Battlefield. Oklahoma's numerous parks and wildlife refuges include the Ouachita National Forest, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Wichita Mountains and Wildlife Refuge.

Oklahoma provides regular world-class performing arts events including theatre productions and musical arts series featuring orchestra, voice, popular music and dance performances. Oklahoma's lakes, golf courses, parks and recreation areas are ideal for outdoor activity. Sports in Oklahoma abound. Baseball, basketball, American football, soccer, ice hockey, gymnastics and wrestling provide weekly excitement throughout the state, especially on university campuses, where sports are a source of pride and entertainment for all students. For more information, visit www.travelok.com.

Learn More About Oklahoma Higher Education

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