International Student Admission Frequently Asked Questions
How do we define an international student?
An international student is any student who is not a United States citizen or a permanent resident in the U.S. An F1 or J1 visa is normally required to study in the U.S. Learn more about these visas.
Am I required to study as a full time student?
Yes. U.S. immigration law requires that all international students on F1 student visas maintain full-time enrollment. To be considered full time, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 quarter credits each term. Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 quarter credits each term to be considered full time.
Is the TOEFL required for those students who have earned a bachelor's or higher degree from a U.S. college or university?
No. Graduating from a U.S. college or university is considered sufficient demonstration of English proficiency.
How long is a TOEFL score valid?
Two years. TOEFL scores must be sent directly from the testing agency. Our school code is 4702.
Do you have an intensive English program?
Yes. Students whose English does not meet exam requirements may enroll in SOU's Intensive English Program (IEP). Students who successfully complete the IEP program may begin their degree course work.
Are international students required to take the SAT or ACT?
Not normally. Contact the Office of Admissions if you have questions about U.S. college entrance exams.
What are the major degree programs at SOU?
Go here for information about academic programs and majors.
When should I start the application process?
At least 60 days before the start of your desired term. Fall quarter begins in September, Winter quarter beings in January, Spring quarter begins in March, and Summer quarter begins in June.
How long does application processing take?
Undergraduate application processing takes at least two (2) weeks from the time all documents are received. Graduate application process takes at least four (4) weeks from the time all documents are received.
Can international students apply for a second undergraduate degree?
Yes. Students who have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree can apply as postbaccalaureate non-graduate students.
I have sent my application to SOU. What happens next?
Once we receive your application, we will send you a letter or email to confirm the receipt of your application. If admitted, a Letter of Acceptance and a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 Form) will be mailed to you.
Are international students required to pay tuition in advance?
No. Tuition and fees are due during the first week of each term.
Can international students apply for financial aid and scholarships?
International students cannot apply for federal financial aid. Some scholarship assistance is available through the Office of International Programs. Once at SOU, international students can apply for general university scholarships through the Office of Financial Aid.
Can international students work on campus?
Yes. On-campus employment is the only legal employment for international students. To find out more, click here.
What should I do to get a student visa?
After you are admitted to SOU you will receive a Notification of Admission and a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 Form). In order to obtain a student visa, present the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 Form) to a United States embassy or consulate. http://usembassy.state.gov/ Information about how to obtain a student visa is available on the following website http://educationusa.state.gov/usvisa.htm
If you are attending a college or university in the United States, you must obtain a new Form I-20 from Southern Oregon University. Be sure to complete the International Student Advisor Report form. Your SEVIS record must be released from your former school to Southern Oregon University. If you have specific questions about student visas, you can contact Susan Koralek, the International Student Advisor at the Office of International Programs.
Do I need health insurance?
Yes. All international students are required to have health insurance, which must be purchased through SOU once you arrive on campus.
Do I need to submit an immunization record?
Yes. Information about required immunizations will be sent to you by the Office of International Programs after you have been accepted for admission to the university.
Can I defer my offer of admission?
Yes. SOU admits students for a specific term. You must submit a new application with updated transcripts to reapply for a different term. Your $50 application fee is good for five quarters. Applications and supporting documents are kept for one calendar year. Graduate students should check with their program department for permission to defer attendance.
Do I have to attend the International Student Orientation?
All newly admitted international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation at the beginning of each academic term. After you are accepted for admission you will receive information about Orientation from the Office of International Programs.