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Exchange Students

Students from partner universities with whom Drake maintains student exchange agreements may apply to spend a semester or year at Drake on exchange.

Click on the items below for more information about the application process.

Partner Universities

Agreements allow Drake's global partner universities to nominate students to attend Drake on exchange. Nominees who are approved by Drake may enroll for a semester or two without applying for full admission and without paying Drake tuition and fees. (Please note that some agreements are limited to students from specific disciplines.)

Partner Universities

Eligibility and Nomination

Students who are interested in coming to Drake on exchange must begin by contacting the International Office of their home universities. Each partner university sets its own criteria and process for selecting nominees. Drake will not consider applications from students who have not been nominated by their home university.

Nominations from institutions are due April 1 (for Fall arrival) or October 1 (Spring arrival). Nominated students from Tecnológico de Monterrey are eligible for deadline extensions: May 1 (Fall) and November 1 (Spring).

Nominees must be:

  • full time students in good standing at their home university
  • have academic interests that match the curricular offerings of Drake University
  • be flexible about course needs

The home university will select its nominees and send those students’ names to:

Jorona Johnson 

Nominees will then complete Drake’s application process and be notified if they are approved for exchange.

Exchange Application

In order to study at Drake University as an exchange student, you must be nominated by your home university. Once nominated, students must submit our online application beginning April 1 (for Fall arrival) and October 1 (for Spring arrival). Applications are due by May 1 (for Fall arrival) or November 1 (for Spring arrival). All application materials should be submitted online.

*Nominated students from Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) may be eligible for a deadline extension. Please contact Jorona Johnson to confirm the application deadline for your intended semester of exchange.

Learn More

Application Review & Approval


Drake’s Office of Admission will review applications and transcripts and determine whether or not a student will be approved for exchange. Click here for more information about English proficiency requirements.


Students who are approved for exchange will be notified by the International Student & Scholar Services Office. The International Office of the student’s home university will also be notified. Approved students will then complete the remainder of Drake's application process. Proof of Finances is not required to be approved for exchange, but must be received before a DS-2019 can be issued for a visa. Click here for a summary of the exchange application process.

Note: Approval for exchange allows enrollment for the period of exchange only; it does not imply admission to a degree program. International students who wish to seek a degree at Drake should apply for full admission.

Proof of Finances

In order to be issued a DS-2019 document (used to apply for a J-1 student visa), exchange students must prove they have sufficient funds to cover estimated costs of their time at Drake. Estimated costs for the academic year are outlined below. Students must complete the Proof of Finances for Exchange, showing they have funds to cover these costs, and upload it onto the Terra Dotta application.

Learn More

Visas and Other Requirements

When a student is approved for exchange and has completed the Proof of Finances, Drake will send more information including:

  • DS-2019 document and instructions on how to apply for a J-1 exchange student visa (this will be physically mailed to you)
  • Residence Hall Application Link: Exchange students (except law students) are required to live in the residence halls. The Residence Hall Contracts and deposit must be submitted. The deposit is refundable if circumstances later prevent you from coming. 
  • Health Form. Complete this at home or bring it with you to International Student Orientation
  • Letter with further instructions for your arrival.

Students approved for exchange should also:

  • Review the information posted under Information for Admitted Students
  • Return the Arrival Form as soon as you have an airline reservation. While we do not offer airport pick-ups, we need to know your travel plans in case of emergency.
  • Pay special attention to the information about Drake’s mandatory insurance. You must buy Drake’s insurance policy, even if you already have other insurance. Click here for more information about Drake's insurance.

English Proficiency


Minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores

Exchange students who have not proven their English language proficiency may enroll in Drake's Intensive English Program. Those who wish to enroll in courses outside of the Intensive English Program must have an iBT TOEFL score of 71, an IELTS score of 6, or a Duolingo English Test score of 105. (Graduate-level and Law exchange students must have an iBT TOEFL score of 79, or an IELTS of 6.5.)

Students who lack the necessary scores will be registered for courses based on the score they earn. For example, students who do well but score below the required score of 71 may be allowed to take a combination of other courses plus IEP.

TOEIC Scores

Exchange students with TOEIC scores should plan to take a secondary English proficiency exam. Internet comparisons of TOEIC and TOEFL scores may be useful for students who wish to estimate their likelihood of success on the TOEFL, but those who wish to avoid uncertainty should take the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test in their home country before arrival.

Students from University of KwaZulu-Natal

UKZN students are not required to take the TOEFL exam but may wish to do so if English is not their first language. 

Course Scheduling

Students who are approved for exchange and who meet Drake’s English proficiency requirements will be assisted by ISSS and the appropriate academic department to prepare a schedule of classes. 

Course scheduling will be based on the student’s transcript and the list of courses “in progress”. Special care will be taken to ensure that Drake pre-requisites have been satisfied and that courses previously completed are not duplicated.  

Law students will meet with a Law School adviser to plan their schedule. 

In order to help non-law students prepare the best possible schedule, the allows students to submit a “Course Request Form” of six to eight courses that interest them. However, by submitting this form, students are not reserving space in a specific course. It is advised that students discuss their flexibility in course options with their academic advisor before applying to be an exchange student at Drake University, as not all courses are offered every semester. It is imperative that the student understand that it may not be possible to enroll in courses required for his/her degree while at Drake due to scheduling constraints.

When preparing the Course Request Form, please refer to the Course Descriptions and the Schedule of Classes. The International Student Advisor will provide you links. Course Descriptions include the prerequisites for each course. The Schedule of Classes shows which courses are offered during the next semester.  Please note that many courses listed under Course Descriptions will not appear on the Schedule of Classes because they are not offered every semester. 

The Schedule of Classes is posted in March for Fall semester, and in October for Spring semester. Courses numbered 200 or above are reserved for students admitted to our graduate programs and are not generally open for exchange students. You can find the class schedule by going to this webpage and selecting the appropriate term. 

Preparing to come to Drake

Read more about preparing to come to Drake under our information for Admitted Students.

Arrival and Orientation

International Student Orientation (ISO) will be virtually and in-person for the Fall 2023 semester. ISO sessions will be held virtually on August 14-15, and there will be in-person ISO sessions on August 22-23. Our office will be sending out an email by June to all incoming students regarding our virtual Pre-Orientation via the Blackboard system and will help you plan for your arrivals.

Move-in dates for international students living in residence halls will be forthcoming. 

Law Orientation is usually several days earlier than ISO. If you are coming to Drake for a Law program, be on the lookout for communication from the Law School about Law Orientation.

Transcripts of your exchange

Upon completion of your exchange, Drake’s Office of the Registrar will send your home university a transcript of the courses you completed and grades you earned. A release allowing Drake to do this is part of your exchange application and there is no charge for this service.

Any additional transcripts may be requested online, under Quick Links on the Drake home page. There will be a $10 charge for any additional transcripts you request.

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