Graduate International Student Instructions

International graduate students who have been admitted to Philadelphia University are eligible to receive a SEVIS I-20 for application for an F-1 visa. Please review the following pages, as the information is intended to help you understand the steps you need to take from now until you arrive on campus.

Please note that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires F-1 and J-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $100 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Information System (SEVIS). The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to applying for your visa or applying for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry for those exempt from the visa requirement. The fee must be paid prior to submission of a change of status petition or reinstatement application. The fee can be paid to the DHS by mail or online and must be accompanied by a Form I-901. It can be paid by you or by a third party, inside or outside the U.S. If you are denied a visa, the SEVIS fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of the denial, you will not have to pay the fee again.

To pay by mail

1. Obtain a Form I-901 “Fee Remittance for Certain F, J and M Non-immigrants.”

a. Download the form from OR
b. Request the form by phone at 1.800.870.3676  (inside the US)

2. Complete the Form I-901. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Prepare a check, international money order or foreign draft (drawn on U.S. banks only) in the amount of $100 USD, made payable to “The Department of Homeland Security.”
4. Mail the completed Form I-901 and payment to the address listed on Form I-901.
5. A Form I-797 receipt notice should be mailed within three days of processing the fee. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

To pay online:

1. Find the Form I-901 at
2. Complete the form online and supply the necessary Visa, MasterCard or American Express information. Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your I-20 form.
3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
4. Be sure to make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents.

In order for the University to issue your SEVIS I-20, you must submit the following:

  • A completed and signed International Student Agreement Form
  • A completed, notarized Statement of Support Form. Students supporting themselves do not submit this form.
  • Official bank statements no more than three months old.
  • A Transfer Recommendation Form for students currently studying in the United States. Photocopies of the student’s last I-20 and most recent student visa are also required.

Registration and Orientation

Students must be on campus for International Orientation and registration at least one week prior to the start of classes. You will receive a mailing about orientation from the international student advisor approximately six weeks before classes begin.


Graduate tuition for the 2014-2015 academic year is $1,010 per credit-hour. For full-time students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies Program, the annual tuition is $39,510 . Graduate students who take undergraduate day or evening classes will pay the respective day or evening rate for these classes. An international student fee of $100 per semester will be charged to all graduate students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Estimated Expenses

  • Tuition: $18,180
  • Room and Board: $13,012
  • Books, Insurance, etc.: $3,500

English Language Requirement

All international graduate students are required to proficiency in English at the time an application is considered. Required levels of English proficiency are any one of the following:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language exam (TOEFL) – minimum of 79 (Internet-based) or equivalent
  • International English Language Testing System exam (IELTS) – minimum of 6.5
  • Proof of successful completion within the last year from an accredited English language program approved by Philadelphia University. For a current listing, visit the International Admissions website. Applicants who meet all admissions requirements but lack the minimum English Language proficiency may be granted conditional admission. Conditionally admitted students begin their studies in the University’s Intensive English Language program (IEP). IEP students must complete a minimum of Level 5 in order to begin their degree program.

Full-time Student Status

Requirements to maintain student status as mandated by the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Have a valid passport and an F-1 student visa.
  • Be a full-time student (for graduate students this means registering for at least nine credits per semester).
  • First-year students may not work off campus, but may apply for permission to work after the first year if they can prove financial difficulty. (Permission is rarely granted, so students should not expect to work while in the U.S.)