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FAQs

As an international student, you will find that enrolling at St. John's University is an easy process. To help you further, we have provided answers to many Frequently Asked Questions from international students.

FAQs for International Students

Who is considered an international student?

St. John’s University defines an international student as one who will hold a non-immigrant visa while enrolled at the University. The following are considered international students: non-U.S. citizens holding a visa (F-1, J-1, A, G, H-4 or any others). We also consider undocumented and DACA students as international students for application purposes. Students who are pending permanent residency should also submit an international application. The following are not considered international students: U.S. citizens living abroad, U.S. permanent residents (green-card holders), documented refugees or asylees.

How many international students attend St. John’s University?

1,210 international students from 127 countries attend St. John’s University.

As an international student what are the requirements to apply?

  • Please complete the fee waived online application located here.
  • Provide official academic records and or official certificates/results from the Ministry of Education or secondary school in original language with official English translation.
  • Provide official examination results - if taken - from examining board (i.e., Baccalaureate; General Certificate of Education; Caribbean Examinations Council; West African Examinations Council).
  • TOEFL or IELTS exam to demonstrate English language proficiency.  Please read below for more detail about these tests. Our TOEFL School Code is 2799.
  • SAT or ACT can be waived.  Please read below for more information about these tests.
  • A statement of activity if you have a gap in your education of more than three months between your graduation date and date of application submission.
  • Please visit St. John’s University’s Application Requirements pagefor additional information. 

Are there additional requirements if I am applying as an international transfer student?

In addition to your application, you can also provide a personal essay about your educational and professional goals.

Also please be sure to send the following:

  • Your official college/university transcripts, with English translations, from each institution you previously attended.
  • If you have not yet received an associate’s degree you must submit your final, official high school transcript (including date of graduation).
  • A statement of activity if you have a gap in your education of more than three months between your graduation date and date of application submission 
  • Not needed for admissions, unless deem necessary by committee, international Transfer Admitted students must provide course-by-course evaluation no later than July 15, if planning to enroll.    
    • ​Official course-by-course evaluation from a NACES (www.naces.org) accredited evaluation service.
    • The Peter J. Tobin College of Business and College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences require evaluations to be completed by World Education Services (www.wes.org)
      *International Transfer Admitted students must provide course-by-course evaluation no later than July 15, if planning to enroll.

Are the SAT or ACT scores required for international admissions?

SAT or ACT scores are required for international admissions when:

  • Applying to the Actuarial Science, Bio-Optometry, Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, or three-year programs
  • Wishing to be considered for an academic scholarship
  • The applicant’s entire high school education is completed in the U.S.
  • The applicant’s native language is English
  • Wishing to compete at the NCAA level

Am I required to provide TOEFL/IELTS scores for admissions?

You are required to submit a test score that proves your English language proficiency: SAT, ACT, TOEFL or IELTS. If you don’t provide one of these test scores, you can only be considered for conditional admission. Please visit St. John’s University’s Application Requirements page for additional information.

What is the minimum score required for TOEFL or IELTS?

The minimum TOEFL iBT score for admission consideration is 61 (IELTS 6.0). Accepted students who score between 61iBT and 79 iBT will be considered for the English Language Immersion Toward Excellence (ELITE) Admission Program and will be required to take our English as a Second Language (ESL) placement exam prior to the start of their first academic semester. Students in the ELITE program taking the ESL placement test might be required to enroll in ESL for-credit classes together with other university classes. These classes fulfill the undergraduate language requirement for our general education.

Accepted students who score 80 iBT or higher (IELTS 6.5 or higher) are considered English proficient and do not need to take the ESL placement test.

Freshman and transfer applicants who are academically admissible with scores lower than our minimum TOEFL iBT requirement will be considered for conditional admission through the Language Connection (TLC).  Upon successful completion of the full-time non-credit intensive English program, students will continue at the University and begin taking credit-bearing classes leading to a degree program.

What is the difference between TLC and the ELITE program  at St. John’s University?

The Language Connection (TLC) is the English Language Institute of St. John's University. TLC is a full-time, intensive English language program for international students who are preparing to apply to the University, but have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS or have been conditionally admitted to the University. Conditionally admitted students have lower TOEFL, IELTS, SAT Critical Reading or ACT Verbal scores than the University requires for ESL admission. Academically qualified students who have been conditionally admitted to the University and successfully complete the full-time non-credit intensive English program, will continue at the University and begin taking credit classes leading to a degree program.

The English Language Immersion Toward Excellence (ELITE) Admission Program provides students the opportunity to enroll full-time in their degree program, taking a combination of credit-bearing English as a second language and regular courses.  Students can use these credit-bearing English as a second language courses to fulfill an elective toward the completion of the academic degree program or foreign-language requirement. ELITE is offered to academically qualified students who have submitted TOEFL, IELTS, SAT Critical Reading or ACT Verbal scores, but scored below our requirements for direct admission but above conditional admission. The main purpose of the ESL program is to provide non-native English speakers with the academic abilities and language skills essential to succeed at St. John’s University. Undergraduate students who are required to take ESL classes are given 3 credit hours per class.  These classes also fulfill the undergraduate language requirement for our general education classes.

Does St. John’s University accept university credits from an international institution?

Courses completed at other international universities can be transferable when accompanied by an evaluation from a NACES (www.naces.org/members.html) accredited evaluation service. St. John’s University will accept up to 90 transfer credits depending on the major. Applicants with less than 60 transferable credits requires translated secondary school transcript. St. John’s University will only accept/grant transfer credits with final scores of C+ or higher or their equivalency on international transcripts. 

Please note, programs offered by The Peter J. Tobin College of Business and College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences require evaluations be completed by World Education Services (www.wes.org).

Am I required to live on campus?

You are not required to live on campus. Nonetheless, keep in mind the advantages of living in University housing. Our ultramodern residence facilities are cable-ready with Wi-Fi Internet access and plenty of space, our residence halls offer you everything you expect of a total college experience—varied activities, and the convenience of being close to class, the library, University support services, and campus recreational facilities.

Learn more about living on campus here.

How far is the campus from the closest International airport?

St. John’s University is easily accessible from all New York City area airports.

Kennedy International Airport (JFK):
By car - 15 to 20 minutes without traffic.
By public transportation - 50 to 60 minutes  

La Guardia Airport (LGA):
By car - 20 to 25 minutes without traffic.
By public transportation - 50 to 60 minutes 

Newark International Airport (EWR):
By car - 60 to 80 minutes without traffic.
By public transportation - 100 to 110 minutes 

Can International Students apply for terms other than fall?

Yes, St. John’s University accepts international students starting in our fall or spring semester.

Do you have international student advisors?

Yes, the International Student Services and Scholar Office (ISSSO) provides assistance to our international students in many ways including immigration matters. ISSSO also educates students about their rights and responsibilities while in F-1 student status. The ISSSO acts as an advocate for all students in non-immigrant status (i.e., F-1, A-1, G-1, E-2, L-2, ...etc.) Please visit St. John’s University’s ISSSO page for additional information

What is the purpose of the I-20 application?

This application, when completed by you and your financial sponsor, will serve as the first document needed to acquire an I-20 from St. John’s University. The information on this document will be used to prepare your I-20 Form. We must verify that you will be able to complete the academic year and fulfill all your financial obligations (tuition, room, board, insurance, books, travel, and personal expenses) before we can issue the Form I-20.

Download forms here. 

What scholarships are available for international students?

St. John’s University has a long history of rewarding students of high academic achievement regardless of their financial need. SAT scores in addition to transcripts are required to evaluate for merit awards, and no additional application is needed for consideration. Merit awards range from $10,000 to full tuition.

Starting Fall 2018, St. John’s will evaluate applicants for a $10,000 TOEFL scholarship. To qualify for the TOEFL scholarship, the applicant needs to have TOEFL iBT score of 61 or higher or IELTS of 6.0 or higher. Accepted international students qualify for a merit award or a TOEFL scholarship; scholarships cannot be combined.  If you provide SAT and TOEFL scores, the University will qualify you for the highest scholarship.

Other scholarships available for international students include:

  • Ozanam Scholars Program: Separate application required. 
  • Catholic Scholars Program: Separate application required.
  • Catholic School Scholarship
  • Fine Arts Scholarships: Portfolio and separate application required. Images can be uploaded to https://sju.slideroom.com.
  • Athletic Scholarships: At the discretion of the coach.
  • Transfer Student Scholarships: Based on credit evaluation count and GPA.

Please visit St. John’s University’s Scholarships page for additional information.

Can I apply for financial aid as an international student?

We do not have financial aid available for international students. Nonetheless, our scholarships for international students are very competitive ranging from $10,000 to full tuition.

Does St. John’s University require health insurance for (F-1) International Students?

St. John’s University requires that F-1 international students be covered by a health insurance policy. We automatically enroll F-1 students in a mandatory plan that is billed directly to you. Please click here for additional information.

Can I work during the time I am attending University on an F-1 Visa?

During your first two years as an undergraduate, F-1 students may find employment on campus only. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week (up to 39 during vacation periods). After your first two years or completing 60 credits you will be able to look for a credit-bearing internship in your field of study (major) which can be paid. Please click here for additional information.

Do you have international student orientation?

Yes. An international student’s orientation is held prior to the University-wide freshman orientation and the start of the fall/spring semester. Please visit this link for additional information.

 

What are the basic procedures and requirements for applying to St. John's?

For graduate admission, international students need to do the following:

  • Provide secondary school records, including diplomas and any external examinations taken.
  • Provide official college and university records (if attended), including diplomas/degrees awarded.
  • Send payment for our $70 USD application fee (non-refundable).
  • Submit most recent TOEFL score (if language of instruction is not English).
  • Provide official English translation of all academic records that are not in English.

What are the basic procedures and requirements for applying to St. John's?
For graduate admission, international students need to do the following:

  • Provide secondary school records, including diplomas and any external examinations taken.
  • Provide official college and university records (if attended), including diplomas/degrees awarded.
  • Send payment for our $70 USD application fee (non-refundable).
  • Submit most recent TOEFL score (if language of instruction is not English).
  • Provide official English translation of all academic records that are not in English.