Admissions

Penn State Global is not involved in the academic portion of the admissions process.  Here is some information regarding admission:

Students may be admitted to Penn State as undergraduates, graduate students, or professional students.  After an admission offer has been accepted, International Student and Scholar Advising (ISSA) contacts the student to gather materials required for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 or J-1 visa, (Forms I-20 or DS-2019).  Requested materials may include biographical information, financial guarantee, or documentation of current visa status.

For complete Admissions information, visit Penn State Admissions.

Non-Degree Study

Penn State will not issue an I-20 or DS-2019 to a casual non-degree student.  Approval for study as a full time non-degree student in F-1 or J-1 status is rare. If approved, an I-20 or DS-2019 would be issued for one semester, except in extenuating circumstances.

Sometimes Penn State academic departments will invite students from overseas institutions to study at Penn State as non-degree students. An academic department must indicate the reason it is supporting the request.

F-2 dependents may study part time without violating their status.

Further Information

  • Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status are prohibited from studying in the United States. If you currently hold B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant status and would like to enroll in classes, you may apply for a change of status to F-1.
  • Non-degree students who are issued a Penn State I-20 or DS-2019 must be enrolled full time and maintain health insurance.
  • If an I-20 or DS-2019 is not requested from our office, the financial guarantee documentation is not required.
  • You may be asked to provide documentation of your current immigration status if currently in the United States.

Undergraduate Non-Degree Enrollment

Please submit the following to ISSA-Adviser@psu.edu:

  1. A letter from the Penn State academic department that states:
    • Reason the department is making the request
    • Plan of how the department will provide guidance and guarantee courses for full-time enrollment
  2. A letter from the non-degree applicant that states:
    • Purpose of non-degree study
    • Understanding that full-time registration is required
    • Understanding that health insurance coverage is mandatory
    • Understanding that non-degree study is limited to one semester
    • Understanding that non-degree study does not guarantee degree admission
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency
  4. Financial guarantee for the duration of non-degree study (typically one semester only)
  5. Completed Penn State non-degree application (Refer to University Registrar enrollment form).
  6. Evidence of current immigration status if you are in the U.S.

Graduate Non-Degree Enrollment

Please submit the following to ISSA-Adviser@psu.edu:

  1. A letter from the Penn State academic department stating
    • Reason the department is making the request
    • Plan of how the department will provide guidance and guarantee courses for full-time enrollment
  2. A letter from the prospective non-degree student indicating
    • Purpose of the non-degree study
    • Understanding that full-time registration is required
    • Understanding that health insurance coverage is mandatory
    • Understanding that non-degree study is limited to one semester
    • Understanding that non-degree study does not guarantee degree admission
  3. Evidence of English proficiency
  4. Financial guarantee for the duration of non-degree study (typically one semester only)
  5. Evidence of current immigration status if you are in the U.S.

If an I-20 or DS-2019 can be processed, you will be asked to apply to The Graduate School for non-degree enrollment. Please follow these directions. Please forward any questions regarding the on-line application to gswww@psu.edu.

Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) Admissions

The Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) helps students learn English as a foreign language in an intensive program. 

Steps to Arrive for IECP Classes:

1.  Apply to the IECP and gain admission.  

Students first must be accepted by the program prior to requesting I-20/DS-2019 documents. Please complete the Application Process with the IECP, including paying the application fee.  

2.  Prepare financial guarantee information.  

IECP students must show proof of funding for the duration of the projected enrollment period. Please refer to the chart below for an explanation of financial guarantee requirements. Bank documents should be accompanied by a Letter of Support or I-134, Affidavit of Support (if sponsored by a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident).  


Estimated Annual Expenses for IECP Financial Guarantee Requirements:
Semester and Dates Expense Type Estimated Amount in USD
Spring 1 - 2024 Tuition $3,800
January 08 - February 28, 2024 Estimated Living Expenses, Books and Supplies $4,200
  Mandatory Health Insurance $1,900
  Total for Financial Guarantee: $9,900
     
Spring 2 - 2024 Tuition $3,800
March 12 - May 5, 2024 Estimated Living Expenses, Books and Supplies $4,200
  Mandatory Health Insurance $1,900
  Total for Financial Guarantee: $9,900
     
Summer 2024 Tuition $3,800
May 20 - July 9, 2024 Estimated Living Expenses, Books and Supplies $5,200
  Mandatory Health Insurance $1,000
  Total for Financial Guarantee $10,000
     
Fall 1 - 2024 Tuition $4,000
August 26 - October 20, 2024 Estimated Living Expenses, Books and Supplies $4,200
  Mandatory Health Insurance (covers August to December) $1,400
  Total for Financial Guarantee $9,600
     
Fall 2 - 2024 Tuition $4,000
October  - December 13, 2024 Estimated Living Expenses, Books and Supplies $4,200
  Mandatory Health Insurance (covers August to December) $1,400
  Total for Financial Guarantee $9,600

Bringing a Spouse or Child:

Please note:  If you will be accompanied by dependents (spouse and/or children), you are fully responsible for their support and additional funds are required to show support for both living expenses and mandatory health insurance. Health insurance covereage is mandatory for all accompanying dependents for the duration of their F-2 or J-2 status. Inquire with uhs-insurance@psu.edu for more information about medical insurance.

Annual financial support:

Additional annual support for spouse:  $10,200 (Includes $4,200 for mandatory health insurance)

Additional annual support for first child:  $7,800 (Includes $4,200 for mandatory medical insurance)

Additional annual support for second child:  $7,800 (Includes $4,200 for mandatory medical insurance)

Additional annual living support for additional children:  $3,600 (Mandatory medical insurance covered for more than 2 children)

3.  Request I-20/DS-2019 through iStart

After you are admitted to the IECP, Pre-Arrival Advising will email you with iStart log-in information for requesting an I-20 or DS-2019.  Pre-Arrival Advising is a unit within International Student and Scholar Advising (ISSA).

Once all required documents are submitted, Pre-Arrival Advising will review your case. It may take 3 weeks to review each case during peak periods. You will be informed by email when your case is approved and your I-20/DS-2019 is issued. 

4. Monitor your email for I-20/DS-2019.

  • Students must receive the visa document directly. We cannot ship your documents to a third party.
  • I-20 and DS-2019 documents will be sent electronically by email. The document must be printed and signed by the student for visa processes and travel.

5. Apply for a U.S. Visa.

We recommend Study in the States as a resource for learning more about the visa process.  

Your visa interview will be very short. You should be prepared to tell the Consular officer:

  • Why you want to study English in the United States
  • Why you want to study with the IECP at Penn State
  • Your plans after you finish studies with the IECP
  • Ties with your home country - for example, family members who will remain in your home country, career plans in your home country, property in your home country, family members who have returned to your home country
  • Honest answers-you should answer each question truthfully
  • If you do not understand the question--it is OK to ask the consular officer to repeat a question

6. Make travel plans and prepare for arrival.

The following links have information to help you prepare to transition to your new home in State College, PA:

Education Abroad International Exchange Students

Education Abroad International Exchange Students

International students who are interested in applying to the exchange program with Penn State must be nominated by their home university. Please contact the international office at your home institution to see whether an exchange at Penn State is available.

Please refer to the Incoming Exchange Students page for full details on the application process, accommodation, and academics at Penn State.