graduate admissions

International Graduate Requirements

Listed below are the steps involved when applying to Pfeiffer, qualifying for an I-20, applying for a visa, and finally, arriving in the United States:

1)  Submit a graduate school application for admission to Pfeiffer University. (Click here for Online Application)

2)  Submit transcripts from ALL schools attended showing you are qualified academically

3)  Submit graduate test scores (GRE, GMAT, MAT, etc.)

4)  Submit three letters of recommendation (MBA Program only)

5)  Submit evidence of English proficiency.   A basic requirement for successful study in the United States is the ability to communicate in English.   International students applying to the university must use one of the following methods to show that they have an appropriate level of English proficiency:

Pfeiffer accepts ANY of the following as proof of English proficiency.

a)  TOEFL score of at least 550 PBT/213 CBT/79-80 IBT, taken at an official ETS testing center and NOT in-house; i.e., at a university
b)  IELTS score of at least 6.0
c)  Completion of a bachelor's degree at a US university
d)  Completion of an appropriate level in an ESL program which, according to the ESL school, is sufficient for the graduate level of university study.
e)  English as a first language, reinforced with a graduate admissions test 
f)   CEFR score of at least C1

NOTE:  The TOEFL is given in most countries around the world on computer (the paper based version is being phased out).  The test is offered on many days during the month, but only at a limited number of computer centers.  You may have to travel some distance to reach the nearest test center.  Pre-registration is required.  The TOEFL uses a multiple choice and essay format to measure each examinee's ability to understand North American English.  The test is divided into four sections:  listening, structure, reading, and writing.  The writing section requires the test taker to write an essay.  The total number of questions you answer correctly and your score on the essay form the raw scores for each section.

6)  Submit proof of financial support sufficient to cover your first year's expenses including living expenses. CHECK WITH THE ADMISSIONS 0FFICE FOR THE TOTAL AMOUNT YOU NEED TO DOCUMENT.  ALL CURRENCY LISTED SHOULD BE IN US 
. You will be sent a Statement of Financial Support Form.  You can download this form by going to and clicking on “Forms.”    We will also need bank statements showing the availability of funds.  Make a  copy of this documentation before you send it to Pfeiffer, because you will need it when you apply for your visa and also when you arrive in the United States at the port of entry.

7)  Submit a copy of your passport ID page (the page with your name and expiration date)

After you have been formally accepted and submitted all the necessary documents, Pfeiffer will send you an I-20.  Please read this document carefully; if you find an error, let us know immediately since an error could have a negative impact on your application for an F-1 visa.  Also, read page 2 which outlines your responsibilities as an F-1 student.

SEVIS FEE: BEFORE applying for an F-1 visa at a United States consulate or embassy, the Department of Homeland Security requires payment of a $200 SEVIS fee.  There are two ways to pay this fee: 

1)  The fee may be paid by mail by submitting Form I-901, “Fee Remittance for Certain F, M, and J Nonimmigrants,” together with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in US currency; or
2)  The fee may be paid on-line by going to  On this website, you can complete Form I-901 and pay the fee using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, whether issued in the US or overseas.   This is the quickest method.

The SEVIS fee should be paid at least THREE business days before applying for your visa.

After paying the SEVIS fee, you will then take the fee receipt, the I-20 Pfeiffer sent you, your passport, and all proof of financial ability to the United States consulate or embassy that has jurisdiction over your place of residence abroad.  During your interview (required) with the consular/embassy official, you will need to demonstrate that:

1)  You are a bona fide student.  The officer will look at your educational background and plans in order to assess how likely you are to enroll and remain in college until graduation.  Be prepared to discuss the reasons you chose a particular college, your anticipated major, and your career plans.  Bring school transcripts, national examination results, and SAT or TOEFL scores.

2)  You have sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States.  The U.S. government needs assurance that you won't drop out of school or take a job illegally.  Provide solid evidence of your sponsor's finances especially sources and amounts of income.  This assures the consular officer that adequate funds will be available throughout your four-year college program.

3)  You have a residence in your home country to which you intend to return.  Are your ties to home so strong that you will not want to remain permanently in the United States?  Consular officers are required by the U.S. State Department to consider all applicants for visas as having the intention to remain in the United States  after completing their studies unless and  until applicants convince the consular officer that they do not.  Overall, you must be able to show that your reasons for returning home are stronger than those for remaining in the United States.  You must demonstrate sufficient economic, family and social ties to your place of residence to ensure that your stay in the United States will be temporary.  Economic ties include your family's economic position, property you may own or stand to inherit, and your own economic potential when you come home after completing your education.  The consular officer may be impressed to see evidence of your career planning.  

If the consular officer approves your application, he will stamp an F-1 visa on a page inside your passport.

Next, you must apply at a port of entry for admission to the United States by:

a)  presenting a passport (valid for at least more six months)
b)  presenting a an F-1 visa which has Pfeiffer listed in the annotation (new students); Note that Canadians do NOT need a visa
c)  producing the I-20 issued by Pfeiffer and signed by you
d)  showing evidence of financial support and supporting documentation
e)  convincing the immigration inspector that you are qualified in all ways to be admitted as an F-1 student

If the immigration inspector approves your entry into the United States, you will be issued an I-94 Form which indicates:

a)  the date and place of entry
b)  your status (should be F-1)
c)  an unique 11 digit identification number
d)  D/S or “duration of status” (means you are admitted to the United States for
the length of time required to complete a specific program; this completion date is indicated on the I-20.  If your I-94 does not have D/S, contact someone in the International Center immediately.

The immigration inspector will stamp the top page of your I-20.  NOTE: this is a very important document. You will need your I-20 anytime you travel outside the United States.  Page 3 of this form must be signed by a DSO in the International Center at least every 12 months, preferably every 6 months, especially if you will be traveling outside the US.

Once you arrive on campus, it is very important that you bring your passport, I-94, I-20, and SEVIS fee receipt to the International Center so that we can make copies for your student file.


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