International Student Admissions Process
International students undergo a 2 to 3-stage admissions process in order to enroll at Penn State:
- Prospective international students apply in the same way as domestic students, however they have an additional requirement of providing proof of English language proficiency (i.e. an acceptable TOEFL score). Undergraduate applicants only go through Undergraduate Admissions regarding admission to Penn State. Graduate applicants, however go through a 2-part offer of admission process (program and Graduate Enrollment Services) and require clearance from DISA/Pre-Arrival Advising before they can register for classes.
- After an offer of admission is made, DISA/Pre-Arrival Advising contacts the students to encourage them to accept their offers of admission. Undergraduate students do this by paying their acceptance fees and Graduate students do this by contacting their individual departments.
- After the student has accepted their offer of admission and is in either a Paid-Accept Status (PDACC) or a Graduate Foreign Offer Accept Status (GRFOA), DISA contacts the student via email with a set of instructions and a link so that they can access DISA’s secure on-line system (iStart). The system will prompt the student to complete a variety of electronic forms (eForms) as part of the International Student Visa Documentation process.
- All newly admitted international students will need to complete this process.
- International students who are not requesting an I-20/DS-2019 do not need to provide any financial information.
- The process to request an I-20 for F1 visa or a DS-2019 for J1 visa is the same.
- Prospective students cannot access iStart until our office receives notification that they have been offered admission and placed in an offer status (GRFOF).