USF Students

First-Year Application Process

Application Types & Deadlines

Spring Semester 2020

Regular Action – November 15, 2019

To be considered for Spring 2020 admission, you must apply by November 15, 2019, and all of your supporting materials must be received no later than December 1, 2019.

Fall Semester 2020

Early decision – November 1, 2019

Your Early Decision Application tells us that USF is your first-choice college. Your Common Application Early Decision Agreement is a binding agreement to attend USF. If you are accepted, you will be required to withdraw your applications to all other colleges or universities, and to enroll at USF. This means that you should apply for Early Decision Admission only if you are willing to commit to attending USF.

Early Decision candidates who submit complete applications by the November 1, 2019 deadline normally will receive notification of our admission decision no later than January 15, 2020. You will then have until February 1, 2020 to accept our offer of admission.

Most Early Decision candidates who are not offered early admission will be considered again under Regular Action. Early Decision candidates who are deferred to Regular Action will be released from their binding Early Decision Agreements.

Early Action – November 1, 2019

Your Early Action Application indicates that you are seriously considering USF as one of your top-choice colleges. An Early Action application is not binding, so you may apply to other colleges or universities, and you are not required to enroll at USF, if accepted. 

Early Action candidates who submit complete applications by the November 1, 2019 deadline normally will receive notification of our admission decision no later than February 1, 2020. You will then have until May 1, 2020 to accept or decline our offer of admission.

Regular Action – January 15, 2020

Your Regular Action Application is the standard way for First-Year Applicants to be considered for admission. Regular Action applicants should submit all required documents by January 15, 2020.

Please Note: If you are currently enrolled in secondary school, required documents include your Fall 2019 (first-term or mid-year) grades, when available. 

We will make a decision on your application three to four weeks after all required materials have been received. You will then have until May 1, 2019 to accept or decline our offer of admission.

Applications completed after January 15, 2020 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Application Form & Fee

You may apply online through the Common Application. Your Common Application requires submission of the Supplementary Materials listed below.

 It is extremely important that you fill in your Application Form as accurately and completely as possible, so that your application is not delayed because of unclear or missing information.

Application Fee

You must also submit a non-refundable application fee of $70. When applying through the Common Application, you will be prompted to submit payment electronically.

A check or money order in U.S. dollars made payable to the University of San Francisco may be mailed to:

University of San Francisco
Office of International Admission Records
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1088

Be sure to include your name and date of birth in your mailing to ensure that your payment is properly associated with your application.

Supplementary Materials


In order for us to assess your intellectual ability and achievements, we will need to review your secondary school transcripts, secondary school leaving examination or external examination results (if any), and standardized test scores.


You must submit an official transcript from each secondary school you have attended. Authenticated (notarized or certified) translations should accompany any records issued in a language other than English.

When applying through the Common Application, your School Counselor or other School Official may upload your transcript along with your School Report.

Your School Counselor or other School Official may also e-mail your transcript along with your School Report to The transcript must be sent directly from the sender's school e-mail address in order to be considered official.

A paper copy of your transcript must be sent directly from each school’s Records or Registrar’s Office in a sealed envelope to:

University of San Francisco
Office of International Admission Records
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1088

Failure to submit all transcripts may result in a change of your admission status or incomplete awarding of transfer course credits.


If you have already taken, or intend to sit for, any School Leaving Examinations (such as the Huikao) or External Examinations (such as O–Levels, A–Levels, IB, HKCEE, SPM) you should submit official copies of your predicted or actual examination results, when available.


Your Personal Essay gives you the opportunity to tell us more about you, your interests and achievements, and how you will contribute to the academic community at USF.

Completion of the Common Application includes submission of your Personal Essay.


The Mid-Year Report Form enables First-Year Applicants applying for Fall 2020 admission under Regular Action to submit Fall 2019 (first-term or mid-year) grades, or Predicted International Baccalaureate or A–Level results, before an official transcript becomes available. You should give the Common Application Mid-Year Report Form to your School Counselor, Registrar, or other School Official who sends out transcripts no later than the end of your Fall 2019 term.

Please Note: If you have completed your secondary education, you do not need to submit the Mid-Year Report Form. You should provide a copy of your final secondary school transcript and any school leaving or exit examination results, instead.


If you are applying to enroll as a First-Year Student in Fall 2020 (August 2020), and will have completed your secondary education one or more years before then, please provide an explanation describing your education, employment, or other significant activities during this “Gap” between your high school graduation and college entry. This information will help us not only to learn more about you, but also to determine what type of USF I-20 should be issued to you, if any.

You may supply this information either by describing your “Education Interruption” in your Common Application, or by submitting a separate “Gap Statement” to 

Please Note: If you have taken any college- or university-level courses since completing your secondary education, you will begin your USF studies as a Transfer Student, not a First-Year Student, in Fall 2020. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are considered to be college preparatory courses, not college-level courses. Your participation in a University Preparation or University Foundation Program will be taken into account when determining your First-Year or Transfer Student status, as well as your eligibility for the awarding of transfer course credits.


Please arrange for the relevant testing service to send your official test scores directly to USF. Although photocopies of your score reports may be submitted initially to assist us in assessing your application, they must be followed by official test score results.


If English is not your native language, or if the majority of your education has not been taught in English, you are required to submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) as evidence of your English language competency.

Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements, including how to waive these requirements.


Beginning with students who apply for fall 2020 admission, USF will no longer require students to submit standardized test scores when applying for undergraduate admission. Learn more about our Test Optional policy.

You must still demonstrate your English language proficiency by submitting an official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score, or by meeting one of the waiver requirements on our English Language Proficiency page.

If you do choose to submit your scores, you may have them sent directly from the testing agency, or you may send unofficial (self-reported) scores. You can send a screenshot of your test scores (name, test date, scores, and subscores must be visible), or have your counselor email us your score reports or an updated transcript with your scores to If unofficial/self-reported scores are used for admission purposes, you are expected to provide official scores if you decide to enroll at USF so that we can help place you in appropriate first-year classes.

The USF College Board (SAT) Code is 4850, and the ACT Code is 0466.

Please Note: International First-Year Applicants are automatically considered to receive Academic Merit Scholarship Awards. Awards range up to $25,000 per year of undergraduate study, and are based on a combination of academic achievement (GPA), SAT or ACT scores, and English proficiency test results. Students who apply through our test-optional admission option will be considered for academic merit scholarships via their high school grade record.


The Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or professor, school counselor or academic adviser, or other school official who knows you well will assist us in our appraisal of your personal character and contributions to your community, academic ability and accomplishments, and your potential to succeed in college.

Your Recommender may choose to submit the Common Application School ReportCommon Application Teacher Evaluation, or Common Application Counselor Recommendation.


All international applicants intending to study on an F–1 Student Visa must submit a Certification of Finances (Spring 2020 or Fall 2020) showing that sufficient funds are available to pay for tuition and fees, housing and meals, health insurance, books, and personal expenses during their studies at USF.

You, your parent or sponsor, and relevant bank official must complete and sign the Certification of Finances Form. In addition, a bank letter or bank statement must be submitted to verify that the required amount of funding is available.

The Certification of Finances Form and supporting documents must be submitted in order for your application for admission to be considered, and before your Certificate of Visa Eligibility (Form I-20) can be issued.


Your name must appear in your USF student record and on your Form I-20 exactly as it appears on your passport. You must submit a copy of your Passport Data Page (face or photo page) to be considered for admission, and before your immigration documents can be issued.

Please submit a copy of your Passport Data Page, along with the Certification of Finances, to aid in the issuance of your immigration documents. Both the Certification of Finances and Passport Data Page can be uploaded through the USF application portal.

Advanced Credit

You may earn credit towards your Bachelor's degree by passing external examinations with satisfactory grades, or by taking college-level courses for transferable credit at another recognized university or college.

If you are taking examinations other than those listen below, please contact your International Admission Counselor to enquire about the possibility of earning advanced credit.


We will award 10 semester units for each higher-level examination result of 4, 5, 6, or 7. Please Note that we do not award credit for IB-HL English B. 

Applicants are not required to complete the IB Diploma Programme to be eligible to be awarded advanced credit.


We will award 10 semester units for each A–Level examination result of A, B, C, or D, and will award 5 semester units for each AS–Level examination result of A, B, C, or D. 

If an applicant has taken AS– and A–Level examinations in the same subject, we will award a maximum of 10 semester units for that subject.


Secondary school students may earn advanced credit by taking one or more College Board Advanced Placement Examinations. Advanced Placement exams should be taken before graduating from secondary school.

We will award Advanced Credit For AP Examination Scores of 3, 4, or 5. The number of credits awarded differs by examination subject, and is most often either 4 or 8 units. Please Note that scores of 4 or 5 are required to earn credit for the Calculus (4–8 units), English (4–8 units), and History (4 units) exams.


If you have completed college courses while in secondary school, you may be eligible to receive advanced credit if you earned a grade of at least “C-” (or equivalent) in the course(s); the courses were taken at a regionally accredited college or university; and the credit is reflected on an official transcript issued by the relevant college or university.

Check Your Application Status

The USF Applicant Web Portal provides access to your Personal Applicant Status Page. Your Personal Applicant Status Page displays your Application Checklist, which shows whether and when we have received your Required Supplementary Application Materials. Reminders of upcoming deadlines and other important messages also will be posted to your Personal Applicant Status Page.

Your International Admission Counselor will send you an e-mail message acknowledging receipt of your Common Application for admission. This e-mail will provide you with unique and personalized log-in credentials with which to access the USF Applicant Web Portal. The message also will give you instructions on how to create your Personal Applicant Status Page and to view your Application Checklist.

We recommend that you check your application status regularly to ensure that all required application materials have been received. Please Note that documents can take a few extra days to be processed around the November 1 (Early Decision/Early Action) and January 15 (Regular Action) application deadlines.

The academic merit of your application will be reviewed once we have received the relevant application materials: Application Form, Academic Records, and Test Scores. An offer of admission will not be made until the Certification of Finances, if required, has been received.

An admission decision will be issued approximately three to four weeks after your application becomes complete. An official decision letter will be mailed soon after to the current mailing address you have provided on the Common Application Form.


All paper documents should be mailed to:

University of San Francisco
Office of International Admission Records
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1088

We strongly encourage you to use a mailing service that will allow you to track the progress and receipt of your shipment to USF.


In most cases, all documents — except official English Proficiency results — may be sent in PDF form via electronic mail to International Admission Records at, to International Admission at, or to your International Admission Counselor.