International First-Year Applicants

The American college application process stands out for its holistic approach. We want to know more about you than just your test scores and grades (though those are important, too). Tell us who you are, your life outside of school, and your dreams for the future.

You have a personal USF admission counselor to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to your admission counselor if you have any questions. We're here to support you, and we're always happy to help.
 

Options to Apply

USF offers three admission options: Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision.

  • Applying Early Decision shows us that USF is your first choice and you feel confident where your academic record stands at the start of your senior year. Early Decision is binding, which means that if you are admitted to USF, you agree to enroll and to withdraw all other college applications.
  • Consider Early Action if you're enthusiastic about USF and you feel confident about where your academic record stands at the start of senior year, but you'd like more time to weigh other admission offers before you decide.
  • If you apply Regular Decision, you can include your grades from your first semester senior year, so you have more time to prepare a stronger application.

Learn more
 

Common Application

Submit a completed Common Application along with the non-refundable application fee by the application deadline. The Common Application opens every year on August 1.

You will be asked to submit a personal statement (sent to all schools you apply to through the Common App) as well as a specific short answer question for USF.
 

Supplemental Materials

Please have your high school or testing agency send these items directly to USF by the application deadline.

  • Official transcripts: You'll need a transcript from each school that you've attended, plus a certified translation if the transcript is not in English. Your school counselor may also directly email your transcript(s) and your school report to international@usfca.edu.
  • Predicted or final exam results: If you've taken external exams like O-Levels, A-Levels, or IB exams, please include either your predicted or final results.
  • English language proficiency: If English is not your native language, you are required to submit official results of the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo English test. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements, including how to waive these requirements.
  • Certification of Finances: This document is required to issue your I-20 and shows that sufficient funds are available to pay for your education. If you are starting in the spring 2021 term, please complete the certification of finances for 2020-2021. If you are starting in the fall 2021 term, please complete the certification of finances for 2021-2022.
  • Passport: You must upload a scan of your passport face/photo page.
  • (Optional) Gap Year explanation: If you completed your secondary education one (or more than one) year ago, please send a short statement explaining your activities during this time to international@usfca.edu. If you've taken any college or university-level courses (except ESL courses), you must apply to USF as a transfer student.
  • (Optional) Letter of recommendation: For students applying for the spring 2021 and fall 2021 term, we will not require a letter of recommendation. You may still submit one if you'd like, but we will consider all applications on equal grounds, regardless of whether you've submitted a letter or not.
  • (Optional) SAT or ACT scores: USF does not require students to submit standardized test scores when applying for undergraduate admission. Learn more about our Test Optional policy. International students must still demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting an official TOEFL or IELTS score, or by meeting one of the waiver requirements listed on the 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 appservices@usfca.edu.