Additional Important Information for International Students

Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)

All international students must report to OISS. The documents you are required to bring with you to check-in are:

  • Passport with valid F-1 visa (if applicable)
  • Form I-20 (F-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors)
  • I-94 arrival/departure card* (only applies to students crossing a U.S. border by land)
  • Proof of comparable health insurance coverage if you are choosing to waive the USD health insurance requirement. Please visit this link for more information about the USD health insurance requirement.
  • USD email address and student ID number
  • Local address in San Diego
  • Emergency contact (foreign and local)

Please see the calendar and contact OISS directly via telephone at (619) 260-4598 or email at to schedule a check-in time.

Visitor B Visa

If you enter the United States with a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa, you may need to return to your country and apply for an F-1 student visa.


You will need to indicate if you plan to bring dependents (a spouse and/or children) with you to the United States. Please include information on dependents accompanying you to the United States on the attached USD Certification of Finances form. Indicate if they will travel with you or if they plan to travel separate from you. Each of your family members will need their own Form I-20. Please provide their legal names, dates of birth, country of citizenship, country of birth and relationship to the F-1 visa holder in order to complete their Form I-20. 

Full-Time Status

It is a requirement of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services that all students studying on F-1 visas MUST register each semester for a MINIMUM OF 9 SEMESTER HOURS in a graduate program. The exception to this is if it is your last semester and you need less than 9 semester hours to complete your degree.

Student/Non-Degree Seeking Status

The University of San Diego limits graduate special students to 6 semester hours of coursework without being enrolled in a graduate program. Since the immigration requirement is a minimum of 9 semester hours, the university does not admit international students as special students.

Health Insurance

All F-1 students and visiting scholars must demonstrate health insurance coverage for their time at USD. Please refer to the OISS Health Insurance website for more details about this requirement.

Inability to Attend

If you cannot enroll for the semester for which you have been admitted, please write to us immediately explaining your reasons. Also, let us know if you wish to transfer to the following semester so that we may take the appropriate action.

Contact Information

Graduate Admissions
Manchester Hall 205
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-4524
Fax: (619) 260-4158

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.