For updates and information for international students during the Covid-19 pandemic, please refer to the international students section on our Covid-19 website.
Welcome! We are glad that you have found us and hope to have you join our growing international community at CIIS.
Our growing international student body makes up between eight and ten percent of the total student body-approximately 115 students from 30 countries. International students are a valued part of the CIIS community and make a significant contribution to the University Commitments.
CIIS is committed to international education and to providing quality support and services for international students. Associate Director, Student Affairs - International Student Recruitment and Services, Jody O'Connor is here to assist with the student visa process, and can help you prepare to study in the United States. Once you become a student, the Associate Director also serves as a resource for immigration regulations, ESL and academic writing workshops, and to help international students adjust to life in the U.S. An outline of the process, from applying to beginning your studies, is outlined in the International Student Addendum and on these pages of the CIIS website.
For program-specific or admission questions, please contact the admissions counselor for your program of interest.
For questions regarding your international student status, additional requirements for international students, the visa process and services offered to CIIS international students, please contact Jody O'Connor, Associate Director of Student Affairs, International Student Recruitment and Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-575-6157.
On this page:
- Who is an international student?
- International application deadlines
- Additional international application requirements
- International student financial Aid
- External Sources of Funding
- CIIS Scholarships
- International Student Loans
- CIIS Employment
- External Sources of Funding
At CIIS, international students are defined by their citizenship status. If an applicant does not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, they are classified as an international student. CIIS assists admitted degree-seeking students in eligible programs with the application for the F-1 student visa. Please contact the International Student Advisor with questions.
U.S. immigration regulations require that international students who apply for an F-1 visa provide proof of financial support for their first year of tuition and living expenses. In addition, international students must enroll in full-time coursework. As a result, international students must carefully plan their academic careers at CIIS.
International students in other visa statuses and all self-identified international students regardless of citizenship status are also welcome use services offered through International Student Services.
If you have any questions about your status, or will require changing your visa status in the U.S. to the F-1 visa, please contact the International Student Advisor.
Priority admissions deadlines for all students and all programs are posted on the Applying to CIIS section of the website. Applications may be accepted after these deadlines, pending availability of space. International students are encouraged to meet priority deadlines due to additional time required for obtaining the student visa.
If you have any questions about the timing, please be in touch with the Admissions Counselor for your program of interest.
Each degree program at CIIS has specific application requirements. The final pages of the admissions application outline the specific requirements for each program. If you need further clarification about the materials requested, please contact the admissions counselor for the specific program to which you are applying.
In addition to the general application requirements, international students are asked to submit the following:
English Language Proficiency Test Report
Applicants for whom English is not their native language are required to submit an English language proficiency score. Exceptions are made for students who have earned their Bachelor of Arts degree from English language universities. Admission to CIIS requires a minimum score for one of the following exams:
- TOEFL: 80 test score.
TOEFL is an Internet-based test. The CIIS TOEFL code is 4807. Visit the TOEFL website.
- IELTS 6.0 band score
Visit the IELTS website
Foreign Credential Evaluation
For students with an international academic history, please follow these steps for your foreign credential evaluation (i.e. WES – World Education Services):
- Please provide your complete and entire academic history on the application form.
- For required degrees earned outside of the United States or Canada, we will need a foreign credential evaluation. You, the applicant, need to initiate and request this, at your own expense, through a CIIS-approved foreign credential evaluation provider.
- CIIS favors foreign credential evaluations provided by WES – World Education Services, and specifically the course-by-course-report. CIIS accepts the WES 'Basic' report, but applicants may wish to complete the 'ICAP'.
- CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
- The foreign credential evaluation is used in lieu of sending original transcripts from abroad to CIIS. Original or notarized copies of the transcripts should only be sent to the foreign credential provider, per the foreign credential provider's instructions; there is no need to send these to CIIS!
- When requesting the foreign credential evaluation, choose the appropriate degrees to be evaluated for the degree that you are applying for. If applying for a PhD at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA and MA must be evaluated. If applying for an MA at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA must be evaluated.
If you have studied abroad as part of a degree received in the United States or Canada (i.e. transfer credits from abroad), no WES evaluation is needed - provided these units are showing on your US/Canadian degree transcript.
If you wish to receive transfer units for any courses earned outside of the United States that are not showing on a US degree transcript, we do need a foreign credential evaluation for these courses.
For many international students, finding the resources to fund an education in the United States is a fundamental concern. CIIS has a commitment to assisting international students through our scholarship and campus employment.
CIIS offers the Opportunity Scholarship to all international students. This is a need-based scholarship for which the average award ranges from approximately $1,500-$3,000/year for two years. International applicants must submit the scholarship application form by the program admissions deadlines. The Opportuntiy Scholarship application form for international students can be found on the CIIS Scholarships page.
All students will be notified of their award by email from the CIIS Financial Aid Office and the annual award amount can be considered on the Certificate of Funding form required for obtaining the SEVIS form I-20. Recipients must must meet the terms of the scholarship award and pay the balance of tuition and all living expenses throughout the duration of their studies at the University.
In many cases, international students must secure external sources of funding to support their tuition and living expenses. Please find information below and in the Forms section for a list of external scholarship opportunities.
There are limited opportunities for you to obtain a private alternative loan. Most U.S. lenders require you to have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid alien registration card as a co-signer.
CIIS offers work-study for both domestic students as well as international students. Campus jobs are not guaranteed, but in past years as much as 30 percent of all campus jobs were held by international students in a semester. Employment regulations are discussed on additional pages of the CIIS website and all incoming students will receive an orientation.
CIIS recognizes the limited scholarship award amounts available to our students. For additional information and other possible scholarship opportunities for international students, please see the short list below and the document Financial Aid Resources for International Students.
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