A group of students talk near St. Ignatius Church.

International Students

International students find the city of San Francisco a cosmopolitan and welcoming place to live and study. International students are an essential and valuable part of the richly diverse community at USF. Of the 10,200 students at the university, approximately 1,500 students are international students.

How to Apply

For application instructions unique to your graduate program, please read the "How to Apply" section on your individual program's website.

As an international applicant you need to submit the same items as a U.S. applicant, and these additional item

  • Certification of Finances
    In your application account, please upload "proof of funds" documents in the "Certification of Finances" section. "Proof of funds" documents can include bank statements, sponsors' statement of support, bank letter, scholarship letter, and cash in investment accounts. U.S.-based pay stubs are accepted to cover living and other expenses (described on this page). The "proof of funds" Documents cannot be older than 12 months from the program's start date.

    Proof of funding is required for an application to be reviewed for admission and shows that an international student has sufficient funds for the first year of studies as required by the U.S. government. If admitted, then USF is able to issue an I-20 form for the student, which the student then uses for the F-1 student visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Bank statement(s) that indicate funds for the total costs (or more) of your graduate program for the first year as detailed on the Certification of Finances. The Certification of Finances or Letter of Support, and bank statement(s), must be uploaded before your application will be reviewed by your graduate program. Bank statement(s) must show money held in checking, savings, certificates of deposit, or money market accounts. Stock/investment accounts and lines of credit cannot be used. Scholarships provided by your government or other agencies can be used for the Certification of Finances (include scholarship document or letter provided by your government or other agency). Learn more about financial requirements for international students.
  • Copy of the following pages of your passport: Photo Page, Information Page
  • International Transcripts: For admission review purposes, please upload a copy of your transcript(s) to your online application account. Your transcripts need to be in the original language of your university, AND in English translation. Also, please upload a copy of a diploma or diploma certificate (with proof of graduation) that indicates a bachelor's degree was completed, unless the conferral date for your bachelor's degree is posted on your transcript/university record. Three-year bachelor's degrees are accepted for admission review.  English translation can be obtained through the following evaluation agencies: 1. World Evaluation Service: www.wes.org 2. Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.: www.ece.org 3. Educational Records Evaluation Service: www.eres.com 4. International Education Research Foundation, Inc. Credentials Evaluation Services: www.ierf.org
  • International Address: Your permanent address on the application needs to be an international address.

Test Scores

English Language Exam: Official TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or PTE English language exam scores that are less than two years old at the time of admission review. Additionally, upload a copy of your score report to your online application. This will help us match your official score. Please see more details on score requirements and exceptions below.

The TOEFL/GRE school code for USF is 4850. The GRE is not a requirement for all courses. Please check individual programs to confirm the requirement.

Please refer to the English Language Proficiency page for the minimum required English Language test scores.

All international applicants must request that their testing agency send an official test score to USF's Office of Graduate Programs in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

English Test Score Exception Policy

  • Applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or two years or more of studies in a degree program in English at a higher education institution in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand are exempt from providing English language test scores.
  • Applicants from countries where the government requires 11 years of mandatory English instruction may be exempt from providing English language test scores at the discretion of an individual graduate program. This includes Norway, and may also include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands.
  • Additional exceptions are outlined on USF's main English Language Proficiency page. The full list of exceptions includes applicants from countries where English is an official language and applicants from English-speaking countries, commonwealths, and territories.

Please note: The University reserves the right to request additional English proficiency exams from any applicant based on the entirety of the application review; or, if the applicant’s proficiency in English should prove inadequate after admission to a program.

Where to Send Application Documents

Upload all of the requested documents in the appropriate sections of the online application. You must upload a copy of each of the documents listed above. DO NOT mail or email any documents to us at the time of application unless you receive an email requesting specific documents.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Most international students are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid. However, the U.S. Department of Education has identified special circumstances in which non-U.S. citizens may qualify for student aid. Visit the One Stop Financial Aid website for more information. Additionally, all international students are considered for scholarships, fellowships or teaching assistantships offered by the individual graduate programs.

International Student Services at USF

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is an excellent resource for international students. ISSS provides valuable information and advice to international students who are admitted to the university, and to international students currently enrolled at USF. This information includes the visa application process, immigration documents, immunization requirements, pre-departure information and orientation for international students each spring and fall.

Health Insurance for Students

International students who enroll at the university for classes will also be enrolled in a university-sponsored health insurance program. For details about student health insurance, visit the Student Health Insurance website. Student Health Insurance can be contacted by email at studentinsurance@usfca.edu or by phone at (415) 422-6809.

F-1 Visa Information

Students who require an F-1 student visa must demonstrate that they (and/or other sponsors in their home country) can fund all or a significant amount of their educational and living expenses in the United States. To verify this requirement, the Certification of Finances form and supplemental bank statements must be completed and uploaded with the online application to the program. Even when a graduate program awards financial assistance, students still must verify the remaining funds of their own in order to qualify for an F-1 student visa.

Arrival at USF for F-1 Visa Students

International students should note that the earliest arrival in the United States that an F-1 visa allows is 30 days before the start date on the I-20 form issued to you.