NOTICE: Classes canceled today due to weather conditions. Check Blackboard for communication from your instructors.

International Students

students release lanterns into night sky in front of bell tower

SBU is glad to welcome international students!

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 Denise Emert, admissions counselor for international recruitment, by email at or by calling toll-free at (800) 526-5859.

International Student Admissions Process

Frequently Asked Questions

Request More Information

Resources for International Students

Find Your Academic Program

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.

International Student Recruiter

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 Denise Emert by email at or by calling toll-free at (800) 526-5859.

Travel Resources

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.

Admissions Process for International Students

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. 

1) Apply online

Get the ball rolling by creating an account and filling out our online application for undergraduate admission.

Apply Now

2) Send official documents

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:

  • 79 on the Internet-based test (TOEFL IBT)
  • 6.5 on the IELTS
  • 100 on the Duolingo English test

Additionally, all SBU students must submit scores from the ACT or SAT exam.

3) Review financial aid

Your admissions counselor will contact you with information about your academic scholarship eligibility and any other financial aid for which you might qualify.

4) Submit enrollment deposit

Ready to officially join the SBU family? Send in your enrollment deposit by logging into your SBU application to secure your spot in classes and housing!

Pay Your Deposit Online

5) Agree to Principles/Expectations

All faculty, staff, and students at SBU must sign and agree to the Principles and Expectations that we have on our campus. There will be an opportunity to return a signed copy of this document at Welcome Week. To review the Principles and Expecations, click the button below.

Principles and Expectations

6) Apply for your student visa

Once you have decided to attend SBU, we will work with you to receive the necessary documents to obtain your F-1 student visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

International students are eligible for the merit-based scholarships, athletic scholarships and performance scholarships (art, forensics, music, theatre). Your admissions counselor will advise you on which scholarships you are eligible to receive.
Most international SBU students are paying their own way or are receiving very substantial sponsorships from family members, organizations or churches.
No, it is not an additional fee. The enrollment deposit will go toward the cost of your first year at SBU. The deposit will be applied to your account at SBU. Paying the deposit reserves your spot in classes and housing.

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:

  • International Student Financial Information Form
  • Copy of the identifying page of your passport
  • $200 enrollment deposit

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

If you have questions:

  • First, check the I-901 FAQ page at
  • If the answer to your questions is not there, then contact the I-901 Help Desk at (US) 1-212-620-3418
  • Or, email the SEVIS Representatives at

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.

Request More Information

If you would like more information about Southwest Baptist University and the admissions process for an international student, please complete the form below.

I plan to enter SBU as...


ApplyVisitRequest Info