Sofia University is proud to have a diverse community that welcomes international applicants. Sofia University’s SEVIS code is SFR214F01051000.

Application and Application Fee

Sofia University provides a variety of on campus and online  programs to suit the needs of our students. In order to ensure that space is available, it is recommended that applications be submitted at least 12 weeks prior to the opening seminar date. Please note: you can submit your initial application before all of your materials are complete.


Final authority to grant entry into the United States rests with the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). If you visit the school and do not have your entry documents, be sure to indicate at the point of entry that you are a potential student. Failure to do so may result in your being admitted under a status that is not eligible for change at a later time. If you are admitted to the United States under a visa waiver, you will be required to return to your country of origin within 90 days. Unfortunately, no exception is possible. Sofia University does not discriminate. All interested individuals who meet the admissions criteria are encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements are Program Specific

Please see Graduate Application Requirements and Undergraduate Application Requirements for more information.

Application Fee

A non-refundable fee of $55 (US dollars) is required with your application. You may pay by check, money order, credit card, or online.

Transcript Evaluation

Earn a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or an average of “B” grades. If required, Sofia will convert your international GPA prior to application evaluation. Please note that some majors require higher GPAs than others.

International School Work and Degrees: All international applicants provide an evaluation from one of our approved transcript verification companies for any educational work. :

Mark sheets/transcripts/degree certificates must be sent directly to WES or one of the other approved companies for evaluation. Sofia University must receive the academic record and the evaluation directly from WES or one of our approved companies. A complete WES or another approved transcript evaluation is required.

English Proficiency

Students must have sufficient English language proficiency in both written and oral communication to complete studies in English. All applicants for whom English is a second language must complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum required score for admission depends upon the version of the test taken.

TOEFL requirements: Sofia University’s TOEFL school code is 9770.

  • A score of 525 or above is required on the paper base exam.
  • A score of 70 or above is required on the internet base exam.
  • The test score must be taken within 2 years.

IELT requirement: A score of 6 or above is required.

*Proof of English proficiency may be waived for a student who has previously earned a college degree taught entirely in English in an English Speaking Country.

Proof of Financial Support

      • Federal regulations require incoming students to provide proof of financial support for one academic year prior to issuance of the paperwork for entry into the United States. Proof of financial support must be a bank record or some other certified document showing access to funds. This documentation may represent personal funds or family funds with a statement from the holder of the funds that the student may use them for educational expenses, or funds from other sources (specify type and source).
      • Refer to the current request for I-20 form for amounts required for each program.
      • The registrar will send a properly executed document upon receipt of all required information and the non-refundable enrollment deposit.
      • Please note that the deposit is charged to all students entering Sofia University and serves as confirmation of acceptance. It is not for the issuance of the entry document.

I-901 Fee (Students directly pay SEVIS)

A separate fee must be paid directly to SEVIS in accordance with the published policy of the United States BCIS. See to pay the I-901 fee. Payment of this fee is generally required prior to the issuance of a visa stamp by a State Department office.

Your Name

It is best to use your name exactly as it appears on your passport when completing paperwork for any government agency or for any legal document, such as a lease or driver’s license. Because of the increasing cross-linking of databases, it is very important that you list your name consistently on all official documents. Check your passport to ensure it matches the name on your I-20. Family name is also known in the U.S. as “last name,” however, in many cultures, particularly in Asia, the family name is used first. For instance, in the U.S. an example of a common name is John Doe or Jane Doe (Doe is the Family name). In Japan, this pair might be known as Yamada Taro or Yamada Hanako (Yamada is the Family name). Of course, in informal settings such as classes, you may use whatever name you prefer.

Spouses and Dependents

A student’s spouse and dependent children are allowed to enter the United States under an F-2 visa while the student is enrolled as a full-time student in an on-campus program. Please notify us in writing if you will be bringing dependents into the United States with you. You must complete a supplemental A701 Request for I-20 so that each person entering the U.S. may be issued a document. F-2 status is not available to students enrolled in a distance or low-residency degree programs.


Visas are documents issued by the U.S. Department of State that grant permission to the bearer to enter the United States. Canadian and Mexican citizens may enter the United States without a visa. Students from other countries should contact the nearest United States Consulate or Embassy to determine if a visa will be required.

Initial Entry

International students should have the following documentation with them at the time of initial entry into the United States:

      • Valid Passport
      • Visa (if required)
      • Form I-20
      • Acceptance Letter
      • Proof of English Proficiency (copy of TOEFL score)
      • Evidence of Financial Support


Students admitted to the United States with F-class status are required to maintain enrollment as a full-time student. This means that even if the program you are enrolled in permits part-time enrollment, you may not maintain your immigration status and drop to part-time enrollment. In the case of a medical or other emergency, the student may be authorized to carry a reduced load for a single quarter, but this must be documented and approved by the international student office.


Enrolled students who travel outside the U.S. must have a current signature on page 2 of their I-20 to reenter the U.S. DSO can sign the I-20.
Initial students may enter the United States not more than 30 days prior to the start of the school session. Please note: There is $355 handling fee for the I-20. This fee is in addition to the government fee for the I-20. Please pay for the fee online.

Extension of Stay

Students are admitted to the United States for a specific period known as the duration of status or D/S. If a student changes programs or encounters research difficulties which prevent timely completion, contact the Registrar’s Office prior to the expiration of the current D/S and request an extension of stay.

Maintenance of Status

You are solely responsible for maintaining your immigration status while present in the United States. Failure to abide by the requirements of maintaining the F class student status may result in deportation and permanent exclusion from the United States. Contact the DSO with any questions concerning your status. Always check in with the Registrar before exiting the United States or changing enrollment status.

Employment in the United States

International students should be aware that opportunities for employment of any kind while in the country on in F-1 status are severely limited under United States law. While advanced on-campus students may be eligible to participate in curricular practical training for which they may be compensated in some way or in part-time on-campus employment. Work authorization is not possible under any circumstances for family members present in F-2 status.


Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks to adjust status to a permanent resident while in the United States, is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases:

      • Mumps
      • Measles
      • Rubella
      • Polio
      • Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
      • Pertussis
      • Haemophilus influenza type B
      • Hepatitis B
      • Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices

Please check the website below for more information.

On-Campus Employment

Available up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week when school is not in session.. Apply to

Off-Campus Employment

Yes: Can be authorized for unforeseen financial hardship, Curricular Practical Training, or Pre- and Post-completion Optional Practical Training

Practical/Academic Training Types

1) Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

2) Optional pre- or post-completion Practical Training (OPT).

Time Limits for Practical/Academic Training

Curricular: None, although if you use more than 12 months of full-time CPT, you lose your eligibility for any OPT.

Optional (Pre- and Post-completion, combined): 12 months maximum for each higher degree earned.

Possible “Cap Gap” extension.

Requirement of Job Offer for Practical/Academic Training

Curricular: Yes

Pre-completion Optional: Recommended

Optional: No

Authorization from USCIS for Practical/Academic Training

Curricular: Not required. Authorization is obtained from SOFIA Academic and DSO advisors.

Pre- and Post-completion Optional: Required before student may begin work. Authorization takes 3-4 months.

Apply Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Please refer to the CPT Policy. Please provide CPT Offer Letter (refer to sample) & submit CPT Application Form at Sofia Portal.

Insurance Requirement per Visa Status

None per visa category. Although the University requires all students to carry insurance, this is not a federal requirement, nor does it apply to spouses.

Permission to Stay in U.S. after Completion of Studies

60 days granted automatically.

Questions? Contact an admissions counselor by email at or by calling 1-888-98-SOFIA (1-888-987-6342). For any I-20 related questions, please contact if you cannot find answers from the Q&A.