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SBU is home to many international students from all over the world. As an international student, we recognize that your situation is different, so you’ll receive the level of individual attention needed to make your transition to SBU as smooth as possible.
The checklist below will help you navigate the international student admission process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Reece Tabor, admissions counselor for international recruitment, by email at rtabor@SBUniv.edu or by calling toll-free at (800) 526-5859.
International Student Admissions Process
With more than 100 areas of academic study at the undergraduate and graduate levels, SBU can help you pursue your personal and academic goals to set you up for a lifetime of success. Explore our programs and find the one that fits your gifts and interests.
To help you understand the process for coming to SBU as an international student, we have an admissions counselor for international recruitment dedicated to helping you! Contact Reece Tabor by email at rtabor@SBUniv.edu or by calling toll-free at (800) 526-5859.
SBU is committed to promoting travel safety and security. We maintain a travel registry and emergency procedures. Our Travel Resources page provides additional information and helpful links.
It's easy to apply to SBU! As an incoming international student, use the checklist below to learn what steps you need to take for admission and enrollment at SBU.
Get the ball rolling by filling out our online application for undergraduate admission. And the best part — it's FREE! Create a MyBearcat account to get started.
Online Application Instructions (PDF)
To be considered for admission to SBU, you must submit official academic documentation and standardized test scores. As an international student, you need to have your official secondary school records submitted to the SBU Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These documents must include an English translation if the original document is not in English.
Applicants from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test (IELTS) or the Duolingo English Test. If you have studied in the United States or an English speaking country within the last three years, you are exempt from this requirement if you have achieved good academic standing at the school(s) you have attended. You must score one of the following:
Additionally, all SBU students must submit scores from the ACT or SAT exam.
Your admissions counselor will contact you with information about your academic scholarship eligibility and any other financial aid for which you might qualify.
Ready to officially join the SBU family? Send in your enrollment deposit to secure your spot in classes and housing!
Online Deposit Instructions (PDF)
Once you have decided to attend SBU, we will work with you to receive the necessary documents to obtain your F-1 student visa.
Employment is defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as "any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit."
As an international student, you can engage in employment outside of campus only when specifically authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
With your F-1 visa in status, you may engage in on-campus employment through SBU. On-campus employment is limited to a maximum of 10 hours per week. You do not need to apply to the USCIS to get an Employment Authorization Document.
Due to government regulations, students with an F-1 student visa status may only enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start date of school.
The I-20 is a legal document that SBU will send you. You will bring this with you when you go to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy. This documents lets the U.S. consulate know that you meet our acceptance requirements and have proven that you can afford to come to SBU. The I-20 does not guarantee you a visa.
Once you have completed the application process and are accepted to SBU, we require the following documents:
Once the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has received the above items, SBU will issue the necessary documents (Form I-20) for you to apply for a student visa. It is your responsibility to present all documents to the U.S. Embassy or consulate nearest you to obtain a student visa.
If you have Canadian citizenship, you do not need a student visa, but do need to have an I-20 and pay the SEVIS fee to be registered in the immigration database.
An F-1 student is someone who has residency in a foreign country to which he or she plans to return, and has come to the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of attending college, university, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution.
The SEVIS I-901 fee is required for all F and M students as well as J exchange visitors. Paying your SEVIS I-901 is very important. Without this fee, you will not be eligible to apply for a visa. Once you receive your I-20, you will need to pay the $350 SEVIS fee and complete the Form I-901.
You are required to present the hard copy of the Payment Receipt for this fee at the time of your interview with the Consulate at the American Embassy.
When you are ready to pay your SEVIS fee, you can do so online at www.fmjfee.com.
If you have questions:
You are subject to immigration laws imposed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). You must keep your basic documents valid. If you entered the United States as a student, you must maintain that status by enrolling in a minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduate students. Failure to maintain status will result in a loss of all F-1 benefits and may provide the INS grounds to begin deportation proceedings.
Your passport allows you to leave and enter the country. All passports must be renewed six months before their expiration date as long as you are a student with an F-1 status. You should contact your home country's embassy for specific instructions. In the case your visa has expired and you plan to travel outside the U.S., you may need to return to your home country to apply for a new student visa. If your visa has expired and you have no plans to travel outside of the U.S., then it will not be necessary to obtain a new visa provided that you are maintaining your status as an international student.
If you would like more information about Southwest Baptist University and the admissions process for an international student, please complete the form below.