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International Students

Less than 40 miles from the U.S.-Canada border, SUNY Potsdam is a truly international community that welcomes students from all backgrounds. Apply now.

With the smallest student-to-faculty ratio (11:1) in the SUNY system, Potsdam makes sure every student, no matter how far you’ve come to join us, will get the attention you deserve on your journey of self-discovery.

Reach out, and we’ll prove it! Admissions representatives are glad to help with any questions you have about applying, attending, or living at SUNY Potsdam.

Ready to apply?

 

International Undergraduate Application Procedures and Requirements

International applicants must complete a few steps in addition to those outlined elsewhere. All documentation* should be sent:

Via postal mail to:
ATTN: Karen Ahlfeld
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
SUNY Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam NY 13676 USA

Or emailed to Karen Ahlfeld at ahlfelka@potsdam.edu.

*For documentation to be considered original, the records must be sent directly from the school, testing agency, financial institution, etc…

Review the following application procedures and requirements that pertain to your application.

International Undergraduate Applicants

STEP 1: Complete an Online Application

Potsdam accepts the SUNY Application or the Common Application. You only need to complete one. The application fee for each is $50.00 US Dollars.

If filing the SUNY Application, do not close the website after you hitting “submit.” You will also need to complete the SUNY Potsdam Supplemental Application, with an essay requirement.

STEP 2: Prepare Your Academic Records

After submitting your online application, arrange to have ALL official academic records sent to SUNY Potsdam. This includes official transcripts, examination scores, mark sheets from secondary school, as well as transcripts from colleges and/or universities previously attended.

Academic Records (transcripts, examination scores, mark sheets, etc.) must be submitted in both English and the original language. Transcripts can be translated by World Education Services (WES).

STEP 3: Write and Submit Your Personal Essay

The essay should express your educational goals, objectives and explain why you would like to attend SUNY Potsdam.

STEP 4: Provide Proof of English Proficiency

If English is not your native language, you will need to provide proof of English Proficiency. You must complete one of the following options:

  • TOEFL (internet-based, computer-based, or paper-based)
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 79, 213, or 550, respectively
  • IELTS
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 6.0
  • ITEP
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 3.5
  • EIKEN
    Minimum Acceptable Score: Grade 1
  • SAT
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 1000 (with 400+ on Critical Thinking)
  • ACT
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 21 (Composite score)
  • ELS
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 112 (Completion level)
  • Duolingo
    Minimum Acceptable Score: 100

Students who have strong academic performance in their school work but have no proficiency test score (or score below our minimum) may receive a conditional admission offer, but must attend an Intensive English Language Program (IELP) with one of our partners to achieve the minimal proficiency in English before starting full-time studies at SUNY Potsdam.

Conditional Admission programs include:

STEP 5: Send a Copy of Your Passport

Email or mail a copy of the biography (picture) page of your passport. This is the page that includes complete legal name, country of citizenship and photograph.

STEP 6: Prepare Financial Guarantee Documentation

To prepare your I20 (student immigration document), the US Federal Government requires students to provide a financial guarantee document that demonstrates a student can pay for one year of study at SUNY Potsdam. The document must be dated within nine months of the start of the semester you will arrive at SUNY Potsdam. Financial guarantee documents must state the student can cover the costs listed under the Estimated Cost form.

Examples of a financial guarantee document:

  • Official letter from a bank on bank letterhead that is signed and dated by a bank official
  • Bank statement on bank letterhead that has been signed and dated by a bank official
  • Certificate of deposit on bank letterhead with a bank official signature and date

STEP 7: Complete an International Student Financial Statement

STEP 8: Fill Out the Address Verification Form

Submit a completed Address Verification Form.

STEP 9: Send a Letter of Recommendation

If you are applying as a freshmen, submit at least one letter of recommendation written by someone who knows your academic capabilities.

STEP 10: If Applicable, Audition for Crane School of Music Programs

For admission to a music degree, students must also audition with the Crane School of Music, either in person or by video.

View the Crane Admissions page for information on auditioning locations and dates, as well as video auditions.

All auditioning students, regardless of how they audition, must register for an audition through the link on this web page.

Questions can be sent to auditions@potsdam.edu.

STEP 11: Review Financial Aid Options

Our scholarship program creatively reduces residence hall costs, tuition and some provide funding for applied learning opportunities to experience more, without having the extra financial burden.

Review the following options for international students:

  • Freshmen: Apply online today if you have earned at least an 85 (3.0) GPA or scored an 1100 or higher on the first two parts of the SAT or a 24 or higher on the ACT.
  • Transfers: Apply online for the Transfer Scholars Program if you’ve been accepted to SUNY Potsdam with a minimum prior college cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

STEP 12: If Accepted, Apply for F Student Visa

Congratulations on your acceptance to SUNY Potsdam!

Please follow the steps below to complete your enrollment.

  1. Pay Your SEVIS fee (Find out how to pay SEVIS fee)
  2. Apply for a Visa (this does not apply to Canadians) View the Obtaining a Visa webpage.
    To apply for a U.S. visa, you would need the following documents:
     
    1. Valid passport (for at least six months)
    2. Original letter of acceptance/admission issued by SUNY Potsdam
    3. Original SEVIS I-20 form issued by SUNY Potsdam SEVIS fee receipt (form I-797)
    4. Copies of all of your high/secondary school or college transcripts
    5. Copies of the TOEFL or IELTS score
    6. Proof of ties to your home country

STEP 13: Secure Health Insurance

The insurance cost is waived if a student can provide proof of comparable coverage from his or her home country. Health insurance is charged in full during the fall semester of every year and covers the student during the academic and summer months.

Canadians are charged $86 USD for 12 months of MEDEX coverage.

Students from abroad are charged $1,415 USD for 12 months of full insurance coverage.

International Graduate Applicants

STEP 1: Meet Requirements for Graduate Admissions

Review all requirements outlined on the Graduate Admissions page.

STEP 2: Calculate Equivalency to a U.S. Bachelor's

Applicants who studied at colleges and universities outside the U.S. should have a degree or diploma that is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher.

International credentials are assessed in terms of the educational pattern of the country, the type of institution attended, and the level of study completed before the expected date of enrollment at Potsdam. In general, the degree should represent a minimum of four years of college-level study, which follows at least 12 years of schooling at the elementary and secondary level.

You may also submit a credential evaluation report to verify that your degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree (Credential evaluations are accepted by any organization that is recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Additional information may be found at www.naces.org).

The following are general guidelines for equivalents to a U.S. bachelor's degree:

  1. Canada: A three or four year bachelor's degree from Quebec or Ontario or a four-year bachelor's degree from the other provinces.
  2. Latin America: A university degree requiring four years of study.
  3. United Kingdom and countries following the British pattern: A bachelor's degree with honors.
  4. France and countries following the French pattern: A licence, if earned under the terms of the Bologna Declaration, otherwise a degree or diploma requiring four years of study after the baccalaureate, usually the Maitrise.
  5. Germany: A Bakkalaureus degree, if earned under the terms of the Bologna Declaration, otherwise completion of the diploma.
  6. Other European countries: A university degree requiring a minimum of three years of study, if earned under the terms of the Bologna Declaration, otherwise a university degree requiring a minimum of four years of study.
  7. Australia: A bachelor's degree with designation of Ordinary or Pass
  8. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal: A bachelor's degree of engineering (BE), a bachelor's degree of technology (BT) or a master's degree in any other field. Indian three-year bachelor's degrees earned in Division or Class I and II at universities accredited by the NAAC with a grade of A will also be evaluated as equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree (based on WES's recommended evaluation criteria).
  9. Other Asian countries: A university degree requiring four years of study.

STEP 3: Provide Proof of English Proficiency

SUNY Potsdam graduate programs require students to engage in group discussions, class participation, and oral presentations, requiring a high proficiency in written and oral English.

Non-native English speaking graduate applicants are therefore required to submit test scores as demonstration of their English language proficiency. SUNY Potsdam's institutional code for score reports is 2545.

We accept the following test scores:

 

Language Exam Exceptions

Please note the following exceptions to the submission of a TOEFL, IELTS, or Cambridge exam:

  • English Speaking Countries: Citizens of the following English-speaking countries are not required to submit test scores: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom. Countries whereby English is one of but is not exclusively an official language will be considered, but is not an automatic waiver. These cases will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • Existing U.S. Study: Applicants, who have studied at an institution in the U.S., or an English-speaking institution in Canada for a minimum period of two years may, in some cases be granted a waiver of the English exam requirement. If you have studied in the U.S. for less than two years, you will be required to submit official test scores. This waiver is not guaranteed, and decisions will be made on an individual basis.

Students who have strong academic performance in their school work but have no proficiency test score (or score below our minimum) may receive a conditional admission offer, but must attend an Intensive English Language Program (IELP) with one of our partners to achieve the minimal proficiency in English before starting full-time studies at SUNY Potsdam.

Conditional Admission programs include:

STEP 4: Review Financial Aid Options

Visit the Scholarships page to find options available for International Graduate Students.

STEP 5: If Accepted, Apply for F Student Visa

Congratulations on your acceptance to SUNY Potsdam!

Please follow the steps below to complete your enrollment.

  1. Pay Your SEVIS fee (Find out how to pay SEVIS fee)
  2. Apply for a Visa (this does not apply to Canadians) View the Obtaining a Visa webpage.
    To apply for a U.S. visa, you would need the following documents:
     
    1. Valid passport (for at least six months)
    2. Original letter of acceptance/admission issued by SUNY Potsdam
    3. Original SEVIS I-20 form issued by SUNY Potsdam SEVIS fee receipt (form I-797)
    4. Copies of all of your high/secondary school or college transcripts
    5. Copies of the TOEFL or IELTS score
    6. Proof of ties to your home country

STEP 6: Secure Health Insurance

The insurance cost is waived if a student can provide proof of comparable coverage from his or her home country. Health insurance is charged in full during the fall semester of every year and covers the student during the academic and summer months.

Canadians are charged $86 USD for 12 months of MEDEX coverage.

Students from abroad are charged $1,415 USD for 12 months of full insurance coverage.