International Student Admission

Georgia Southern subscribes to the principles of international education and to the concept that education and diversity can promote respect, appreciation, understanding, and tolerance of other cultures.

International students, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens graduating from U.S. high schools must meet requirements and conditions set forth under the heading of “Beginning Freshmen” in the Admissions section of this catalog. This includes completion of college preparatory subjects, submission of satisfactory scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT), and satisfactory grade point average. Students transferring from U.S. colleges or universities must meet the same requirements set forth in the “Transfer Admission” section of this catalog.

Applicants graduating or transferring from schools outside the United States will be considered for admission upon compliance with the following requirements:

  1. Transfer students may be required to submit an evaluation of international transcripts completed by a professional evaluation agency.
  2. Submission of original or official secondary school and higher educational records including exam results, certificates, degrees, diplomas, and/or transcripts in the native language. The grade point average must be above average in academic work.
  3. Submission of all educational documents translated into English; must be official translations.
  4. Non-native English speakers must submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). International students whose native language is not English, but whose secondary instruction was exclusively in English, must submit Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT scores) or American College Test (ACT) scores. Native speakers of English will be required to submit satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT.
  5. Applicants who require an F-1 student visa must submit a SEVIS Data Form and official documentation from a financial institution showing a minimum of one year’s educational and living expenses. The University assumes no financial responsibility for the student. Without this financial evidence, the University cannot issue the required I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status. Continuation of enrollment into a new program of study, such as a master’s degree, requires additional financial documentation.
  6. If the student is in the United States or has a U.S. visa, they must submit a copy of the visa, I-94, and passport information.

International students, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens, regardless of TOEFL or SAT/ACT scores, may be required to take an English placement exam upon arrival at Georgia Southern University. Georgia Southern University maintains the philosophy that all students who gain admission should be given the best chance possible to succeed. Since students enter at many levels of ability and preparation, the University seeks to give assistance to each student where needed. Georgia Southern University offers a full range of English Language Program courses designed specifically to assist students whose native language is not English in developing English skills.

Students in F-1 visa status are responsible for making sure they comply with all laws regulating their visa status. To assist students with maintaining their visa status, a summary of the visa laws are sent with the I-20 and are provided at the International Orientation session after arrival on campus. In addition, handouts are available in the Office of International Programs & Services. Students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Programs & Services for information and assistance at (912) 478-7435 or on the web at http://

Two basic aspects of maintaining status involve employment and full-time enrollment. F1-visa law allows students to work on campus for a maximum of 20 hours a week. During summer semesters (if not enrolled) and official breaks, students are permitted to work on campus full-time. Off- campus work is NOT permitted without specific authorization from Georgia Southern’s Immigration Specialist or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. F-1 visa law requires students to carry a FULL course of study during fall and spring semesters. Summer semesters are recognized as vacation terms and enrollment is not required. For international students in F-1 status, no more than one online class per semester may be counted toward the full course of study requirement.

Full time enrollment is as follows:

12 credit hours per semester = Undergraduate

Georgia Southern will only admit students who are academically qualified.

The University System of Georgia requires all international students to have adequate health insurance. An insurance plan is available through the University and is administered by the Office of International Programs & Services. The current cost is approximately $2,600 per year for undergraduate students and is paid in two installments. The August premium (payment) covers fall semester and the January premium covers spring and summer semesters. Students who have health insurance that provides coverage in the U.S. may submit an International Student/Scholar Insurance Waiver Form, available through the Office of International Programs & Services, to their insurance company. If the waiver is received directly from the insurance company and indicates the student has insurance comparable to the policy available through Georgia Southern, the insurance premium will be removed from the student’s fees. Insurance is also available for dependents. Additional information on the international health insurance plan can be obtained from the Office of International Programs & Services.