INTERNATIONAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 


1. How do I apply?

Admission to a graduate program at SF State is a two-part process:

Step one:

• Submit an on-line admission application on Cal State Apply.

• Submit official transcripts, mark sheets and degree certificates, TOEFL/IELTS scores, and SEVIS documents (including bank statements) to the Division of Graduate Studies

Step two: Apply to Department or Program

• Submit official transcripts, mark sheets and degree certificates, statement of purpose, GRE/GMAT scores (if applicable) directly to the department

• For graduate program deadlines and departmental admission requirements, visit the Graduate Program Deadline page.

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2. Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam to be admitted to SF State?

All international applicants, resident aliens and U.S. citizens whose secondary education and undergraduate degrees were taught in any language other than English must submit a TOEFL or IELTS exam score that meets the Division of Graduate Studies minimum requirements.

You do not have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score if you earned a Bachelor's degree from any of the following countries: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Pacific Trust Territories, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States

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3. What is the minimum TOEFL / IELTS / PTE score accepted?

TOEFL score requirement:

  • Internet based test: 80
  • Paper based test: 550

IELTS score requirement:

  • Overall band of 7.0

PTE Academic Score Requirement:

  • Overall score of 65

*Please note that some departments may require higher TOEFL scores and some departments do not accept the IELTS exam*

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4. Where can I take the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic test?

To register and locate a testing center for the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE exam, you need to go refer to the following websites:

TOEFL: www.toefl.org
IELTS: www.ielts.org
PTE Academic: http://www.pearsonpte.com

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5. Can the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic requirement for admission be waived?

If you have earned a U.S. Bachelor's or Master's degree, you do not have to submit a TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score. Students who demonstrate exceptional English language ability may petition the Division of Graduate Studies to waive this requirement. To be considered, a petition must have support from your prospective department/major and must demonstrate English language proficiency. Supporting documentation of your English language ability must be submitted with the petition. Not all petitions are approved.

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6. Do you offer conditional admission for students that do not meet the Graduate Division's English language proficiency requirement?

No. The Division of Graduate Studies does not offer conditional admission for students who do not meet the minimum English language proficiency requirement. If you do not meet the English language proficiency requirement, we encourage you to enroll in English language courses at the SF State American Language Institute website prior to submission of a graduate admission application.

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7. My university only issued one degree certificate and transcript. Can I show my original degree certificate and transcript to the Division of Graduate Studies?

We do not consider "original" copies to be official copies. Please send photocopies of your original academic documents to your former university and ask that they stamp the documents with a university seal attesting to its authenticity. Ask that they seal the document in a university envelope and stamp the envelope. These attested documents must arrive in our office in a sealed (unopened) envelope.

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8. Will SF State accept photocopies of my original transcripts until I can submit official documents?

The Division of Graduate Studies can evaluate your graduate admission application using photocopies (unofficial) of your original transcripts and degree certificate, but you will be required to submit official transcripts by the fourth week of your first semester or you will not be allowed to register for future terms. To be considered official, your academic documents must be university issued or universities attested and arrive in our office in a signed and sealed envelope.

Refer to the University admission Criteria by Country page.

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9. Will SF State return my original transcript and degree certificate after I am admitted?

SF State will not return any documents submitted by a student. For this reason, do not submit your only copy of original academic documents. If you have only one copy of your academic documents please follow the steps listed in question eight.

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10. I have been admitted to a graduate program based on unofficial academic documents. When do I have to submit an official transcript and degree certificate?

You must submit official transcripts, degree certificates, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic score report by the fourth week of your first semester or you will not be allowed to register for future terms.

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11. How much does it cost to attend SF State?

For information on tuition and fee payment schedules please visit the Fiscal Affairs website.

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12. I do not intend to study at SF State with an F-1 student visa. Do I need to submit evidence of financial resources with my graduate admission application?

No. Only students who intend to study at SF State with an F1 visa need to submit evidence of financial resources and our SEVIS information form found in the Financial Affidavit.

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13. I am currently attending a U.S. institution, how do I transfer my SEVIS record to SF State?

Show your current F-1 student adviser a copy of your formal SF State admission letter and ask them to transfer your SEVIS record to SF State. Once your SEVIS record has been transferred to SF State, advisers in the Office of International Programs will prepare a transfer I-20 for you.

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14. Can I defer my graduate admission to a future term?

No. SF State does not allow newly admitted students to defer their admission to a future term. You must enroll for the term you were admitted or reapply for a future semester. The Division of Graduate Studies will keep all admission documents previously submitted for up to one year if you wish to reapply to a future semester.


15. Are scholarships available for international students?

Some departments may offer scholarships/fellowships. Please check with your prospective department to find out about these opportunities. Visit the Financial Assistance page to  identify possible scholarship opportunities.

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16. Do I need to make an appointment to speak to an international admissions advisor?

You do not need to make an appointment to speak to an International Admissions advisor. Our advising hours for Fall 2014 are Monday – Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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