Each year, St. Mary’s University welcomes students from around the world – from Honduras to Saudi Arabia. Our quality education prepares students for a meaningful career, and our supportive environment helps students to meet their personal and professional goals.
Situated in one of the largest, most diverse cities in the U.S., San Antonio offers access to exceptional internship and research opportunities. The city’s diverse economy includes business services, and biotechnology, energy and manufacturing sectors.
Our tuition and fees are less than those you’ll see at other top-rated regional universities, and most international students at St. Mary’s receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships.
We are here to help you with the application and enrollment process. Contact Gerardo Salgado at email@example.com with questions.
All international student applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English by submitting the results of TOEFL or IELTS with the indicated minimum scores. The scores must be within six months of the application date. Official scores must be sent directly to St. Mary’s from the testing agency.
English language proficiency exams are not required for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a non-U.S. university in a country where the primary language of instruction is English, or from those who have earned a high school, college or university degree in the United States.
- Cameroon – Anglophone
- Canada (Except Quebec)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
TOEFL/IELTS Exempt Countries
The basic process includes:
- Apply for admission
- Submit supporting documents – transcripts, TOEFL scores, etc.
- Next, St. Mary’s will forward your application to the program director for final review. You will receive an admission decision within three to four weeks after submitting all of your application materials.
- Confirm your enrollment – When you receive your acceptance, you will be asked to confirm your enrollment. This will include paying your enrollment deposit and letting us know about your housing plans. If you will live on campus, you will pay your housing deposit and choose your meal plan at this time.
- Complete I-20/DS-2019 Request Form – our office will send the appropriate forms. Before the University can issue an I-20 or DS-2019, the ISSS office must have the Foreign Student Certification of Finances form, certified by a sponsor and an official of a bank or other financial institution, which demonstrates that the student can afford to pay the total educational expenses for the first year. This form, and any supporting financial documentation, must be dated within six months of the student’s planned enrollment date.
- Obtain your student visa – After you complete and return the forms in the packet, the ISSS office will process your I-20 or DS-2019 and send it to you. Then you can make your appointment with your local embassy to process your student visa. After you receive your student visa, you can begin to make your arrangements to attend St. Mary’s University.
Note: It is against U.S. Federal regulations to release an I-20/DS-2019 to an individual other than the student or to email a copy of an I-20/DS-2019.
Health Insurance and Immunization Requirements
In the United States every person is responsible for paying his or her own health care. One visit to a doctor can easily cost U.S. $160-$250. Medicine is also expensive unless you have insurance that helps you pay for it. Insurance companies usually pay part or all of the cost of doctors, so they make health care less expensive for you if you get sick. This is why health insurance is so important in the U.S.
Health Insurance for Dependents
Medical insurance coverage is mandatory for the accompanying spouse and children of J-1 visa holders, under regulations of the Department of State. If you hold a J-1 visa, you must maintain health insurance with the required minimum coverage for all accompanying or subsequently arriving J-2 dependents. Failure to do so will result in the termination of your program.
For information on immunization requirements for international students, please visit the Student Health Center.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for at most one year on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies. F-1 students are usually permitted a total of 12 months of practical training.
Visa Requirements for International Students
If you are admitted to St. Mary’s and are not already in the U.S. with a visa that allows study, St. Mary’s can sponsor you as an F-1 visa student or a J-1 exchange visitor.
You will be asked to provide additional documentation as required by U.S. law to produce the appropriate forms (I-20 or DS-2019), which you will use to apply for a visa. Required documentation includes your basic biographical information, proof of financial ability (to cover your expenses and expenses for your spouse or children (if they are accompanying you) and proof of English ability.
F-1 Student Status
Most students come to the United States to enroll in a full-time degree program on an F-1 student status. A Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 student visa) is issued to students by St. Mary’s University for entry into the U.S. Dependents (spouse or children) of an F-1 visa holder can accompany the student on F-2 dependent visas. F-2s are not permitted to be employed in the United States, study full-time, or take classes toward a degree.
J-1 Student Status
Some students enter the U.S. in J-1 student status. The J-1 visa is administered by the Department of State and is used for a variety of educational purposes. The Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for a J-1 visa) may be issued to a student with a scholarship, either from a sponsoring organization or from St. Mary’s University. Dependents of a J-1 visa holder can accompany the student on a J-2 dependent visa. J-2s may study and may apply for permission to work in the U.S.
U.S. Immigration Law requires students in F-1 and J-1 status to be enrolled full time for the duration of their program of study. Additionally, students beginning their program during the summer session must be enrolled full-time.
- Undergraduate Students: Must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours per semester. Up to three credit hours may be from distance education courses from accredited institutions.
- Graduate Students: Must be enrolled for at least eight credits per semester. Up to three credit hours may be from distance education courses from accredited institutions.
- Law Students: Must be enrolled for at least 10 credits per semester. Up to three credit hours may be from distance education courses from accredited institutions.
- Summer sessions: Students beginning their program during the summer session must be enrolled full-time during that summer session. (Undergraduates: 12 credit hours; Graduate and Law Students: three credit hours.)
Transferring to St. Mary’s University
If you plan to remain in the United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations permit a transfer of your immigration status to St. Mary’s University provided that you are in a valid F-1 status at the school you are currently attending. You must inform your current school of your intent to transfer to St. Mary’s University as soon as possible but no later than the last day of your final semester at your current school (For example, if spring is your last semester at your current school, then no later than the last day of the spring semester).
Your Form I-20 from St. Mary’s University cannot be issued until your current school has been notified and released your SEVIS record. Please talk to the international student advisor at your current school about the transfer process as soon as you decide you will transfer. For more information about the transfer process, please speak with an admissions representative.
Failure to complete the transfer process within 15 days of the program start date at St. Mary’s University results in a violation of immigration regulations. Furthermore, you may not work on campus until the transfer of your immigration record is processed. If you are out of status, discuss your options with your current international student advisor or with the Center for International Programs at St. Mary’s University.