International ​Requirements

Join our global community! You're considered an international student if you are not a U.S. citizen or dual citizen with the U.S., or if you are not a permanent resident of the U.S. The following are the application requirements for international students applying to Syracuse.

Begin your application

Standardized Tests

The SAT/ACT is not required* of any student studying outside the U.S. and currently enrolled in a school that does not follow the American system of education (including U.S. citizens living abroad). SAT Subject Tests are not required.

*Note: Prospective Division I student athletes must take the SAT or ACT in order to meet NCAA eligibility requirements.

If your native language is not English you must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). If you are a U.S. citizen and your native language is not English, you are strongly encouraged to take either the TOEFL or IELTS to demonstrate your proficiency. More specific information on English proficiency requirements is provided below. In addition, Syracuse University will consider results of the PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic for English proficiency.

English Proficiency

All international students whose native language is not English are required to have an official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic score report sent directly to the University from the testing service.

Use ID code 2823 when requesting your official TOEFL scores from ETS.

Preferred TOEFL and IELTS scores vary by college (see chart below). In addition, Syracuse University will consider results of the PTE Academic for English proficiency if the score is 68 or higher.

Preferred TOEFL and IELTS Scores

CollegePreferred TOEFLPreferred IELTS
College of Arts and Sciences, College of Visual and Performing Arts (Communication and RhetoricalStudies program)
Preferred TOEFL
Preferred IELTS
Whitman School of Management, School of Architecture
Preferred TOEFL
Preferred IELTS
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Preferred TOEFL
Preferred IELTS
7.0 (7.5 preferred)
School of Education, College of Engineering and Computer Science, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, School of Information Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts (Departments of Art, Design, Drama, and Transmedia, Setnor School of Music)
Preferred TOEFL
Preferred IELTS
All colleges
Preferred TOEFL
No TOEFL subscore under 20
Preferred IELTS
No IELTS band under 6.0

Minimum TOEFL Sub Scores

  • Writing: 21
  • Speaking, Reading, and Listening: 20

Minimum IELTS Bands

  • Writing and Speaking: 6.5
  • Reading and Listening: 6.0

The TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived in certain situations. The decision to waive the requirement will be based on the strength of your academic performance. Some examples of these include: 

  • If you are attending a school in the U.S., or one outside the U.S. where the language of instruction during your entire secondary schooling has been English and you are demonstrating strong academic performance.
  • If you have strong SAT or ACT reading scores (600 on the SAT critical reading section or 27 on the ACT English section).
  • If you are a transfer applicant and have studied or are currently studying at a college or university in the United States for at least one full academic year and have a strong record of academic performance.

The decision to waive the standard requirement is at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, so it is recommended that you take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic as part of the application process if your native language is not English.

Financial Requirements

If you are an international applicant who requires an F-1 Student Visa to come to Syracuse, you must submit documentation that demonstrates the ability to fund your education for one full academic year. You may fax documents to +1.315.443.3423 or scan and e-mail to Please note that you will also be responsible for all costs associated with your additional years required for completion of your degree.

The amount for applicants to either the spring 2018 semester or the fall 2018 semester must total $74,177 U.S. dollars. If you are a privately or personally sponsored applicant, acceptable proof may be a signed letter of support from a bank that includes the $74,177. The certified bank statement need not show the total amount of funds in the account. Rather, it must state that the account has funds to meet your first-year expenses at Syracuse University. It is not necessary for the bank statement to show the amount in US dollars; however, the currency does need to be clearly indicated. A statement of income or earnings does not constitute proof of sufficient funds. Although the statement addresses only the first year of funding, you will be responsible for all costs associated with attaining your degree. If you are a government-sponsored applicant, you must submit a certified copy of the award letter that includes the U.S. dollar amount of the award per year, the duration of the award, and a list of expenses covered by the award. Please refer to the cost of attendance for international students.

All international students must complete the Financial Support Information Form [PDF, 687KB]. Photocopies of financial documentation are acceptable.

You may fax documents to +1.315.443.3423 or scan and e-mail to Please include a copy of your passport with the financial documents you send us. Be sure to write your name, date of birth, and name of the program to which you are applying on all documents you send. In addition to the above expenses, you should plan on expenses for the winter break and summer months. If you are returning to your home country or are traveling to another location, you should anticipate those additional expenses.

International applicants will be considered for merit scholarships.

Personal Interviews (Optional)

Interviews are not a requirement for admission to Syracuse University. Students who would like the opportunity to add an interview to their application portfolio can do so in one of the following ways:

  1. Visit campus. It's a great way to explore Syracuse University and interviews are offered Monday-Friday during the summer and fall.
  2. Meet with an admissions representative if they are visiting your area.
  3. Students in Asia may arrange for an interview with Vericant. Syracuse University, in partnership with Vericant, provides in-person interview opportunities for international applicants interested in showcasing English skills and professionalism to the admissions team.

Approved Scholarship Programs

Syracuse University is pleased to welcome applications from students who are eligible for special scholarships in their home countries. The University is included on lists of approved institutions for a variety of scholarship programs. They include:

  • Brazil: Scientific Mobility Scholarship Program
  • Kazakhstan: Bolashak Presidential Scholarships
  • Kuwait: Government scholarships (Ministry of Higher Education)
  • Norway: Norwegian State Educational Fund (Lånekassen)
  • Qatar: Government scholarships (Supreme Education Council/Higher Education Institute)
  • Saudi Arabia: KASP (King Abdullah Scholarship Program) and SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation)
  • UAE: Government scholarships (Ministry of Education)

Conditional Admission

You may be granted conditional admission to Syracuse University if the academic requirements for admission have been met, but there is insufficient English proficiency and/or insufficient financial support to be fully admitted to your program. Only those students who have submitted an official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic score may be considered for conditional admission. The minimum TOEFL score for conditional admission consideration ranges from 75 to 80. The minimum IELTS score for conditional admission consideration ranges from 6.0 to 6.5.

Conditionally admitted students are not considered fully admitted to the University and will not be issued the SEVIS I-20 form (the form that is needed to obtain the F-1 Student Visa) until the University receives the necessary official English proficiency credentials and/or the necessary proof of sufficient funding. It is not guaranteed that space will still be available at the time a student meets the condition.


If you have completed academic work outside the U.S. you must also provide official academic credentials as well as English translations of the documents. If only one document is available, we will accept notarized or certified copies of the original document. If translations are needed, it is your responsibility to have the credentials translated by a reputable translation and evaluation service. Syracuse University will not provide translations for you. A key to the marking system or grading scale should also be included if it is not indicated on the transcript.

View international credentials required for freshman admission [PDF, 448KB].

This list is not comprehensive. Please contact the Office of Admissions at about your academic documents.

Student Visas and Immigration

Upon admission:

If you are at another institution in the United States in F-1 immigration status:

  • Your school will need to transfer your SEVIS record to Syracuse University by ‘Releasing Your Record.’ This would happen on a date that you and the international student advisor at your current school agree upon.
  • Most importantly, to maintain your legal status, you must be released from your current school and Syracuse University must issue a ‘Transfer Pending I-20’ no later than 60 days after your program end date (likely the last day of final exams or the graduation date at your previous school).
  • You and your current international student advisor can notify Syracuse University of your intent to transfer by accessing the “Transfer-In Form” which has to be completed by you and your advisor at your current school.
  • It is also important to remember that if you are going back to your home country between the time you finish at your current school and the date you are coming to Syracuse University, you need to enter the United States with the I-20 of Syracuse University. If you are going home and your current F-1 visa is valid, you do not need to apply for a new visa. However, if your F-1 visa is expired and you are leaving the U.S. and re-entering, you do need to apply for a new F-1 Student Visa. See the directions below for applying for a Non-immigrant Visa.

If you have been studying outside the United States prior to coming to Syracuse University:

You will need an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status) in order to apply for your student visa at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. When you receive the I-20 from the Slutzker Center for International Services, directions will be provided on exactly how you apply for the visa and what documents you need. For further information you can visit the Slutzker Center.