A home away from home
If you’re thinking about earning a degree in the United States, SFA is a great place to explore, learn and grow while you pursue your goals.
Not only will you find engaging classes and outstanding faculty here, you’ll have opportunities to explore other cultures, make lifelong friends and take part in the fun of university life. And while you’re at it, you’ll be a valued part of our warm, friendly community.
More than 125 international students from 40 countries currently make SFA their home away from home. We invite you to discover the Lumberjack experience for yourself.
We’re here to help
SFA is devoted to helping all of our students succeed. Not only can you select from a broad range of academic majors here, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources and support throughout your time with us.
Here are just a few of the amenities we offer international students:
- Intensive instruction in academic English at our English Language Institute
- Support programs that include tutoring, study sessions and supplemental education
- Assistance and advice for immigration, registration and general advising
- Opportunities for cultural celebrations, activities and learning experiences
- Student organizations that help promote cultural awareness
International students excel at SFA
Applying to SFA: The requirements
An international student is someone who is not a U.S. citizen or someone who is not a permanent U.S. resident (i.e., those who are visa holders). Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals are not considered international students.
English Proficiency Requirements
All international applicants must be able to demonstrate English proficiency. This is usually done through one of three official exams: The Test of English as a Foreign Language, International English Language Testing System, or Pearson Test of English. You must score at least a 79 on the TOEFL, 6.5 on the IELTS, or 53 on the PTE. Scores must be sent directly from the testing company.
If you have attended school in the U.S., including select language schools, additional options are available to meet the English requirement. Please email the Office of International Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Citizens from the following countries are exempt from the English language proficiency requirement: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, Palau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom. Citizens of all other countries are required to meet the English proficiency requirements. No exceptions will be made.
This option is only available to students who have been accepted to their academic program pending the submission of a passing English score report.
If given conditional admission, a you must submit, upon arrival at SFA and prior to enrolling in academic courses, a passing TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score report, or enroll in and successfully complete the SFA English Language Institute.
Students who have not demonstrated English proficiency and opt to take the English proficiency exam at SFA will be required to pay $50 upon arrival for the exam (available only to students who are currently in the U.S. and able to take the exam at least two weeks prior to the beginning of academic session).
Important: Please note that all applicants must submit an English test score as part of a complete application. No scores below 51 on TOEFL or 5.0 on IELTS will be considered for conditional admission.
Additional requirements for admissions can be found below:
First-time freshmen applicants must have:
- At least a 2.5 high school grade point average
- Test scores demonstrating English proficiency
Undergraduate transfer applicants must have:
- At least a 2.5 high school grade point average (if you have less than 15 hours of transferrable course credit hours to SFA) OR at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (if you have 15 or more transferrable course credit hours to SFA)
- Test scores demonstrating English proficiency
If you are transferring from another institution in the United States, you will also need a Transfer Eligibility Form completed by you and your international student advisor.
In addition to meeting the English Proficiency requirements, international graduate applicants must meet the same criteria as all graduate applicants. Generally, the minimum undergraduate GPA required is a 2.5 (2.8 for last 60 hours), but there are opportunities for provisional acceptance. Graduate applications will be reviewed holistically by their chosen graduate department.
Note that the Graduate Mathematical Sciences program and Performing Artist Certificate program have different English proficiency requirements (TOEFL = 70 and IELTS = 6.0).
Applying to SFA: The process
Applying to SFA is easy with the ApplyTexas online admissions application. This application can be completed from anywhere in the world. You can preview the application to get a sense of the questions.
Here’s a checklist of what you will need to complete your application for admission to SFA:
- A completed application (done through ApplyTexas.org) and the $50 application fee that is paid online at the end of the application
- A credential evaluation of your official secondary school transcripts and official transcript evaluations for all non-U.S. secondary schools attended, including all courses taken and all grades received
- Your TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency test scores, or another method of meeting this requirement (as noted above)
- Your official SAT/ACT scores, if taken
- A copy of your passport biographical page
All documents (except the initial application) should be sent director to the Office if International Programs. See below for address(es)
Tip: If you have trouble entering your high school code, try using 8 asterisks (*) instead.
Additional criteria for transfer students
- Have a credential evaluation of your official transcripts from any post-secondary schools sent to SFA.
Additional criteria for graduate students
- Have your official GRE/GMAT scores sent to SFA (Once you have applied, you will be notified of the requirement for your chosen program)
- Have a credential evaluation of your official transcripts from any post-secondary schools sent to SFA
When will I hear back?
Decisions are typically made within 3-4 weeks, once all application materials are received.
Accepted international students
If you’re accepted to SFA, you’ll also need to provide financial certification information (estimated amount of funds required for two academic semesters of study and living at SFA). This information will be used to complete your I-20 form, which will allow you to apply for your student visa. Any scholarships or support awarded by SFA will be deducted from the amount you must show. Financial materials you will need to provide include:
- An original bank statement verifying funds of at least $28,902 for undergraduates; or
- An original bank statement verifying funds of at least $24,972 for graduate students; and
- An original certification of finances form and accomanying original financial documents completed by you and your sponsors.
After you apply, don’t forget:
You will receive your mySFA login information with your acceptance packet. Log on and set up your mySFA account right away. Housing assignments and class registration are all done through mySFA.
State law requires that new students have a bacterial meningitis vaccine (ACWY vaccine, not B vaccine) at least 10 days prior to enrollment. You must also submit your shot record to the Office of International Programs. The vaccination cannot have been administered more than five years prior to enrollment. Submission of shot record is also required in order to receive your housing assignment.