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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply and what are the requirements of admissions?

Applicants must hold a four-year degree with any major from an accredited university-level institution. You may apply during your senior year prior to the completion of your undergraduate degree, however you must have graduated prior to the beginning of the MAIS Program. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended as well as two semesters of a non-English language.

How do I apply and what are the required application items?

You can apply online or by submitting a hard copy of your application. The application requirements for admission are: MAIS application form, application fee, two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and official transcripts.

What are the required standardized tests?

TOEFL results (minimum of 90) except for those who have recently completed their Bachelor’s degree at a U.S. University or who have done up to intermediate studies in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom, or Norway.

Does the MAIS Program require the GRE or GMAT for admission?

The GRE or GMAT are optional and not required for admission. The Admissions Committee has found that an applicant's undergraduate academic record and an applicant's professional experience are better indicators of success for graduate studies. An applicant may want to submit either their GRE or GMAT test score if they believe it might strengthen their application.

How can I schedule a visit to campus?

Prospective students are encouraged to attend the Information Meetings held on campus. Individual visits can be scheduled by contacting the Master of Arts in International Studies office at 

What is the application deadline?

February 15 is the date for priority review. If you would like to submit an application after that date, please contact us at Applications are not accepted on a rolling basis. Completed applications are reviewed by April 1.

Does MAIS accept students on a rolling admission basis?

No, all applications are considered for admission after the February 15 deadline for Fall admission. There is no spring admission.

Where should I send supporting application documents?

All application items can be uploaded when applying online. Please DO NOT send any applications to the Master of Arts in International Studies program office.

How can I check the status of my application?

Log in to your online USF application account to check the status of your application. You can send your recommenders a reminder to submit your letter from there as well.

When does the program begin?

The International Studies graduate program begins each fall (August). The program does not start in spring.

Does the program start in the spring?

No, the MAIS program does not start in spring.

How many students do you accept each fall?

Approximately 20% of students who apply are accepted each year.

How does the internship part of the program work?

The internship experience is an important aspect of the MAIS curriculum. Students start an internship in the summer semester of the program.

What about for F-1 or J-1 students who are required to be enrolled as full-time students?

F-1 and J-1 students can petition the ISSS office for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization form once in their final semester, if only taking four units for the research project or thesis.

How much does the program cost?

The Master’s program requires 28 total units of coursework. The tuition fee is $1,245 per unit for the 2015-2016 academic year. Tuition cost for the first year (fall, spring, summer) is $29,880 based on 24 units of classes. Tuition cost for the second year (fall) is $4,980. There is also a $25 Graduate Student Assocation fee for each fall and spring semester, and each student must hold a valid health insurance policy.

Is a deposit required to reserve a space in the graduate program?

Yes, each admitted student must deposit $700 to hold their position in the cohort to which they have applied. This deposit is non-refundable and is applied to your tuition.

Is financial assistance available?

All U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents are eligible to file for federal loans. Please visit Financial Aid and Tuition for Graduate Programs.

Are scholarships available?

The International Studies graduate program offers a limited number of partial scholarships on a competitive basis. Please see scholarships for more information.

Are graduate assistantships or other types of student employment available on campus?

The University also offers a substantial number of student jobs on campus, including assistantships. Both U.S. and International applicants are eligible for student employment and can apply for these jobs once enrollment at the university has begun.

Graduate assistantships are only available on the main campus in San Francisco. The Office of Student Employment maintains a listing of currently offered on-campus jobs, which typically require an in-person interview after enrolling at the university.

Can I purchase USF Health Insurance?

The USF health insurance policy is required for graduate students, unless if a student is covered by equivalent insurance coverage. USF health insurance is charged for fall (August 1 - December 31) enrolled students and spring (January 1 - Jul 31) enrolled students. It is not charged or required for students who start their program in the summer until the fall enrollment period begins August 1. In June 2014 an explanation of the Opt-Out policy will be provided at this website.

As an international student, what do I need to apply to MAIS?

A completed and signed Certificate of Finance is required with your application, if in need of an F-1 Student Visa. If you plan to study in the U.S. under another visa that allows full-time studies, then you do not need to submit a Certificate of Finance.

Is there orientation for new students?

Yes, there is a required orientation for both US and international students. The MAIS orientation is held the week before the first class meeting and attendance is mandatory by all students accepted into the program. You will receive an orientation package with all the necessary details and information.

Where do I find information about housing?

USF offers limited housing to graduate students on the main campus in San Francisco, mostly in the apartment-style Loyola Village. International students are given first priority to on-campus graduate student housing, but all students are encouraged to apply for on-campus housing in a timely manner. Visit the Student Housing and Residential Education website for more information and for on-campus housing contracts (which detail the costs).