For International Students

ADMISSION OF INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

PSU is authorized under Federal Law to enroll non-immigrant alien students and to issue Certificates of Eligibility (Form I-20) enabling students to enter the U.S. with a student visa (F-1).  Every effort is made by the PSU faculty and staff to help students adjust to academic life in the U.S., particularly if English is the student's second language.

The application and financial statement required of international students must be submitted on forms available from the PSU Admissions Office or on the PSU website. The issuance of an I-20 requires proof of educational degrees. 

Special Steps for International Applicants:

  1. Proof of English Language Proficiency.
  2. Certificate of Financial Support with supporting documents. All financial documents must be originals in English and U.S. dollars (e.g. current bank statements).
  3. Administrative Processing Fee (non-refundable; only for overseas Applicants): US$100.

PSU will not issue a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) until the student has been admitted and has been financially certified by the University. The Admissions Office will issue letters of acceptance to successful applicants who have completed satisfactorily all requirements.  Form I-20 A-B will be sent to international students.

Students must report to school within seven (7) days after arriving in the U.S. or the I-20 will be void.  A student wishing to transfer at the end of a quarter must apply during that quarter to allow enough processing time with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Additional considerations for bringing dependents:

If you are an international applicant planning to bring your spouse or child with you to the US, please submit the following additional documents:

  • Processing fee for Dependent documents is US$50

If the dependent is the spouse of the applicant

  • Copy of spouse's passport
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate

If the dependent is the child of the applicant

  • Copy of child's passport
  • Certified copy of child's birth certificate
Evaluation of International Transcripts

An applicant must submit original diplomas and transcripts with certified translation into English to an independent transcript evaluation service that is a member of either the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) OR the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE).  A list of the agencies and instructions for submissions can be obtained from an admissions officer.  The two most commonly used by our applicants and students are IERF and ACEI.  All transcripts from countries outside of the USA must be verified and evaluated indicating that the coursework is comparable to United States educational standards, which includes a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

All applicants whose education credits were completed outside the U.S.A. cannot receive full acceptance until an evaluation of their transcripts has been completed. The foreign degree verification process must be completed before the end of a student’s first term at PSU. Failure to complete this process within the allotted time may result in delayed or canceled registration and late fees.  Clearance to advance in your PSU program of study may not be granted if there are outstanding admissions requirements.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

An applicant for an undergraduate degree program whose native language is other than English must have a score of 450 (paper-based), or 133 (computer-based), or 45 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 4.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and must send their official scores to PSU's Admissions Office.

An applicant for a master’s degree program whose native language is other than English must have a score of 500 (paper-based), or 173 (computer-based), or 61 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and must send their official scores to PSU's Admissions Office. 

A student who has the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score and begins or continues their degree program may be advised to enroll in EN005 to strengthen their language mastery. Any enrolled student who exhibits difficulties with the English language may be referred to the ESL Faculty for review and for suggestions to remedy any deficiencies. The course EN005 is designed especially for this purpose.

EXEMPTIONS

An undergraduate applicant may be exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS standards if s/he can present proof of one of the following:

  • Have graduated from a secondary educational institution (high school) where English is the principal language of instruction (U.S.A. or foreign). Prior education originates from countries in which the official primary language is English.
  • Have completed English composition with a grade of “C” or better and 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.A.
  • Have successfully completed level 6 of the ESL Intensive Academic Preparation Program from Columbia West College.

A graduate or postgraduate applicant may be exempted from the exam standards if s/he can present proof of one of the following:

  • Have completed prior education from a regionally accredited U.S.A. institution.
  • Have attended postsecondary educational institutions where English is the principal language of instruction. Prior education originates from countries in which the official primary language is English.
  • Have successfully completed level 6 of the ESL Intensive Academic Preparation Program from Columbia West College.

Additional documentation may be required to establish the basis for any such exemption on a case-by-case basis.

For Change of Status to F-1 Students

Students must meet with an Admissions Officer prior to proceeding with a Change of Status (COS). In order to change your status to F-1, you are required to submit your application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Change of Status (COS) applicants must have valid immigration status at the time of submitting their COS application.

This procedure requires non-immigrants to file a COS within the U.S. and the processing time is approximately 3-4 months. Applicant must provide all required admission documents in addition to the following documents:

  1. Copy of passport and U.S. current Visa stamp;
  2. Copy of I-94 Record. Retrieve from  here;
  3. Copy of US port of entry stamp date;
  4. Commitment fee of $2,000 (applicable to tuition).

The Admission Office will issue a “Change of Status” I-20 for this type of procedure. Once you receive the I-20, you must meet your immigration lawyer to review the required documents for USCIS application.

Note: Simply obtaining the I-20 does not change your status to F-1. You will need to submit your application packet to USCIS and receive COS approval in order to complete your COS to F-1.