International Student Admission

This page focuses on admission requirements and deadlines. To learn more about services you can receive once you come to St. Mary’s, please see information on our international student services, which are offered through the Center for International Programs.

English Proficiency

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.

International Undergraduate Admission

Freshman applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents must demonstrate a level of scholastic achievement that would indicate ability to succeed in an academic program at St. Mary’s University. Applicants should submit the documents listed below to show that the quality and quantity of their education is at least equivalent to the minimum admission requirements for all U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents.

Undergraduate admission requirements

  • Completed undergraduate application
  • Official Transcripts. These are required from students who attend high school and/or college outside the United States. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
  • Official Standardized Test Scores
  • Essay
  • Written Recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTS Scores (School Code: 6637) (Minimum English Proficiency scores)
    • IELTS – 6.0
    • TOEFL (Internet Based) – 80
    • TOEFL (Paper Based) – 550


There is no admission deadline, but St. Mary’s gives priority to students who complete the application process in a timely manner.

Spring admission:

  • Dec. 1: International students applying for the spring semester must submit all required documentation, including financial statements and/or guarantees to the Office of Undergraduate Admission by Dec. 1. For questions and concerns, please contact Ryan Konkright.

Fall admission:

  • Jan. 15: Submit the application for admission and scholarship to be given priority consideration for the award of a St. Mary’s scholarship. If applying with a paper application, this is the last date to qualify for the $30 fee waiver.
  • July 1: International students must complete and submit the application and financial certification by July 1 in order to ensure I-20 issuance by July 15. Students who do not complete the process in time to enroll during the semester for which they are applying will be considered for the following semester.
  • Aug. 9: All first-time student visa holders and freshman international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation.

International Graduate Admission

Admission to Graduate Studies is granted to individuals with high promise for success in graduate study, as demonstrated through previous schooling and testing. All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university. Please refer to degree programs for specific requirements. In accordance with SEVIS I17 regulations, conditional admittance can no longer be offered to international students.

For specific information on Graduate Studies admission procedures, please contact an Admission Specialist at 210-436-3101 or

Graduate admission requirements

  • Apply Online (no fee)
  • Official transcript(s) from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English. If these documents are written in a language other than English, a certified translation in English must be provided together with the original language records. Any translated record should be a literal and not an interpretive translation. Acceptable English translations may be provided by sworn court-approved translators, qualified translators working within university foreign language departments, and from reputable translation agencies. We recommend the services of World Education Services and Educational Credential Evaluators for certified translations.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (For doctoral applicants, three Letters of Recommendation required)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE/GMAT/MAT Scores (School Code: 6637)
  • Essay (Public Administration and Theology programs ONLY. Please contact Office of Admission for additional details.)
  • Financial Guarantee
  • Copy of your passport
  • TOEFL/IELTS Scores* (School Code: 6637) (Minimum English Proficiency scores)
    • IELTS – 6.0*
    • TOEFL (Internet Based) – 80

**TOEFL/IELTS waivers are given to students who have earned bachelor’s degree from a U.S. accredited college or university.
**Greehey MBA program minimum IELTS (for International Applicants): 6.5

F-1 or J-1 Visa Students

  • Must submit Confirmation of Financial Resources (CFR) for any student expecting to enter on an F-1 or J-1 visa.
  • Confirmation of Financial Resources is not required for admission consideration. However, it is recommended that you become familiar with the requirements and be prepared to submit your financial documents upon acceptance to St. Mary’s University International Student and Scholar Services Office.

Priority deadlines for graduate students

All applications and supporting documents must be received by the following dates to ensure all materials can be reviewed and processed timely.

  • Fall: July 1 (term begins late August)
  • Spring: Nov. 15 (term begins early January)
  • Summer: April 1 (term begins late May to early June)

Traveling With Dependents

A dependent, for immigration purposes, is either a spouse or child (under 21). Other relatives must apply for another visa other than an F-2 or J-2 to visit the United States. The additional amounts needed for dependents are $5,000 for spouse and $3,000 per child. If your current financial funding source indicated on your I-20 or Ds-2019 does not meet this additional amount, you should submit a new bank statement with this form to cover this cost.

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.

Immunization Requirements

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.

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