International Applicants

For admission to graduate study, international students must hold a baccalaureate degree (or higher) or the equivalent from an accredited/government recognized college or university. Most such degrees will be four or more years in length. Buffalo State recognizes some three-year degrees, but not all. Generally, an international student is an individual studying in the United States on a non-immigrant, temporary visa that allows for academic study at the post-secondary level. Typically, international students will hold an F-type visa. International students must meet all admission requirements of the university.


All international applications requiring student visas must be completed by July 1 for fall admission, December 1 for spring admission, and April 1 for summer admission for all graduate programs (except Canadian applicants). Students should also be aware of the individual department application deadline when considering enrollment. In some cases, departments want applications submitted prior to the deadlines cited above. If there are questions, contact the Graduate Studies Office for further information on deadlines.

A completed international application packet includes:

  1. A completed Online Graduate Admission Application.
  2. A $65 nonrefundable application fee. Acceptable methods of payment: Visa or MasterCard.
  3. Official or certified true copies of transcripts along with a certified English translation of all transcripts from postsecondary schools outside the United States.
  4. A copy of the applicant's passport bio page. Passport must be current and not expired.
  5. Financial Statement (FSA-4) (.pdf)
  6. A degree evaluation. Applicants must submit official copies of postsecondary diploma(s)/transcripts to one of the following organizations for a course-by-course evaluation to determine equivalency to a United States bachelor's degree by using one of the following organizations:

Josef Silny and Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338

World Education Services Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
Phone: (800) 937-3895
Fax: (212) 739-6100

SpanTran, The Evaluation Company
450 7th Avenue
Suite 1107
New York, NY 10123
Phone: (646) 475-2570
The evaluation request form is available on the Graduate Studies website.

Students should contact the organization or visit its website for the most current requirements and to request or download an application. Completed applications listing the SUNY Buffalo State Graduate Studies Office as the recipient should be returned to the organization with the required fees and credentials. The organization will forward its evaluation report to Buffalo State. This evaluation can take up to four weeks to complete after all documents are received. Check with the organizations for specific fee structure(s).

Canadian Applicants: Students holding undergraduate degrees from Canadian colleges or universities should submit official transcripts to the Graduate Studies Office. If transcripts follow a system similar to that of the United States, they will be evaluated locally. If not, Canadian applicants will be required to comply with the above international student credential policy.

7.  Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit a score of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test as documentation of English language proficiency. Applicants with a minimum TOEFL score of 550 or higher on the paper exam or 79 on the Internet exam, an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher, or a Duolingo score of 100 or higher will be considered for admission. 

English as a Second Language Program

International students who do not meet the required English language requirement can be admitted to the Buffalo State's Intensive English Language Institute (IELI). Intensive English Language Institute students must complete required coursework in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program and take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test as documentation of English language proficiency.

The ESL program is a non-degree, non-credit bearing program designed to help students with varying levels of English proficiency through coursework, interaction with native speakers of English, and individualized language practice. The program consists of six levels of English language study. Each level consists of 20 hours of class time per week. Students may study up to one year in the ESL program.

Students who wish to pursue the ESL program must first submit a completed graduate admission application and have their application materials reviewed by an academic department. After careful review of the students’ academic qualifications and their ability to succeed academically, the student is granted conditional acceptance into Graduate Studies and admission into the IELI. Students must notify the Graduate Studies Office within 30 days of their acceptance whether they will pursue the ESL program option. Upon successful completion of these requirements, students may then enroll as full-time students in their programs of study.

For more information and to apply to the Intensive English Language Institute IELI, contact the Center for Global Engagement. For specific questions regarding homeland security rules and regulations, student visas, and I-20 information, contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office.

Other International Student Enrollment Information

Contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office for more information about services for international students.  The office is located in South Wing 410, (716) 878-5331.

Student Visas: International students must show proof of financial support for the duration of studies on the Confidential Statement of Finances form. By the time they arrive on campus, international students should have arranged for the funds to cover their university career. Payment of all institution-related expenses must be made prior to the beginning of each semester. The International Student and Scholar Services website provides information regarding the cost of attendance and visa requirements.

The Graduate Studies Office will send an electronic acceptance letter once the applicant has been officially accepted into a degree program. The International Student and Scholar Services Office will contact the applicant regarding the necessary I-20 paperwork to obtain a (student) visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.  

Mandatory Student Health Insurance: International students are required to purchase Health Insurance. Services at the Weigel Health Center are available to all registered students free of charge regardless of insurance coverage.  Please call (716) 878-6711 for more information.

Housing: International students may live on or off campus. On campus students may live in any residence hall. Break housing can be requested for an additional fee, and students may be relocated to the open buildings for breaks. Visit the Residence Life Office or call (716) 878-3000 for more information.