Undergraduate Admissions


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Information for International Applicants


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The University of San Diego welcomes applications from students all over the world. We have over 600 international students from 73 countries currently enrolled in our undergraduate and graduate programs. Students who are not US citizens or permanent residents will apply for admission as an international student. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident who studies abroad, you are considered a domestic applicant and will follow the requirements listed under first-year applicant requirements. To learn more about the international undergraduate admission requirements, please visit the links below.
International First-year Applicant / International Transfer Applicant / Merit Awards / English Proficiency / Student Visa / Contact Information / Application Checklist

International First-Year Applicant
As we continue to achieve national and international recognition, the profile of our entering students continues to grow. We are looking for students who are academically strong, have challenged themselves in school, and have worked hard to make a difference in their schools and communities.

We do not require the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT for international first-year applicants; however, if you would like to be considered for a Merit Scholarship, SAT and/or ACT scores must be submitted with your first-year application. Official SAT Reasoning Test and/or ACT with Writing scores must be submitted directly from College Board or ACT. Please note the following USD School Codes:

    • SAT: 4849
    • ACT: 0394

USD offers college credits for International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores. In order for your IB and/or AP scores to be evaluated for college credit, please have them directly sent to the Office of Admissions from the IB Organization or College Board. For a listing of approved exam credits, please visit AP/IB Credits.

Please submit an application before your documents are scheduled to arrive. Without an application on file, we will be unable to process your academic records or confirm that they have been received.

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International Transfer Applicant
USD welcomes applications for transfer admission from students who have completed at least 24 semester (36 quarter) units from an accredited community college or university. If you have completed college work from a foreign university, the institution must be recognized by the country’s Ministry of Higher Education in order for the college credits to transfer to USD. Transfer applicants who adhere to USD’s admission guidelines will have greater opportunity for favorable consideration. Please refer to the Transfer Information Form (pdf file) for details. If you are an international transfer applicant studying in the US or want to view our Articulation Agreements with all San Diego community colleges and a few colleges outside the San Diego County, please visit our Transfer Admission Web site.

An official final high school transcript (translated into English) must be submitted with your transfer application. All transfer applicants are required to be in good standing at their current or most recent institution.

Please submit an application before your documents are scheduled to arrive. Without an application on file, we will be unable to process your academic records or confirm that they have been received.

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Merit Awards
We offer merit scholarships to our international first-year applicants and it is awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In order to be considered, you must submit SAT and/or ACT scores with your first-year application. Scholarships are awarded based upon superior academic performance including grades, course selection, and test scores. The merit awards range from $10,000-$25,000 and are renewable for four years by meeting minimum grade point average requirements. We offer merit scholarships to first-year applicants only.

International students are also eligible for athletic scholarships. Please contact the Recruiting Coach directly if you are interested in finding out how to qualify. For more information, please visit USD Athletics’ Web site.

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English Proficiency
English proficiency is required for all international applicants. USD offers a values-based education with rigorous curriculum and we want to ensure that all international students are well prepared for the academic challenges. For applicants whose native language is not English, they are required to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score. USD’s minimum scores are 80 on the TOEFL iBT and 6.5 on the IELTS. We only accept official scores therefore; you must request the scores to be sent directly from ETS or IELTS. In order for scores to be valid they should not be any older than 2 years. USD’s school code is 4849.

We can waive the English proficiency requirement if the applicant satisfies one of the following:
• SAT Critical Reading score of 520 or higher
• Enrolled in International Baccalaureate (IB) English or AP English
• Currently attending high school in the US and has been enrolled in mainstream English all four years
• Received a grade “C” or better in a college level English Composition II (or its equivalent) at an accredited US college or university
• A score of “C” or better on the UK system A-levels English Exam

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Student Visa
Once you have been offered admission to USD, you can begin the process of obtaining the Form I-20 from USD. The Form I-20 is required in order to apply for your F-1 student visa. Below is a list of forms that you must complete and submit to us in order to receive your I-20 from USD.

Certificate of Finances (pdf) – This form must also accompany an official bank letter or statement in English providing documentation of financial support.
School Transfer Verification (pdf) – This form is required if you are currently studying in the US on an F-1 student visa. You will also need to submit with the form copies of your immigration documents (current I-20, passport page, visa page and both sides of your I-94 card).

Once we have received the required forms and supporting documents, please allow 7 business days for the Admissions Office to issue your Form I-20.

If you are currently in the US on a different visa such as E-2 or H-4 and do not plan on changing your visa status prior to commencing your studies at USD, you are required to only submit a copy of your passport page, visa page and both sides of your I-94 card. Should you change your visa status and apply for an F-1 student visa, please contact the Admissions Office immediately to discuss the process.

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For an international application to be complete, we must have the following:

  • USD application submitted through the Common Application
  • Application fee of $55.00
  • Essay
  • Official high school transcript, translated if necessary
    • We require official transcripts of all high schools attended and translated into English, if necessary. This includes annual grades of each high school year. You will also need to submit any national exam results such as GCSE, A-levels or Abitur.
    • For us to better understand the educational system in your country and your own educational experience, please complete the Educational Experience Summary Form (pdf file). You may attach the completed form with your application.
  • Official TOEFL iBT score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.5
    • International first-year applicants are waived from this requirement if their native language is English, received SAT Critical Reading score of 520 or higher, enrolled in International Baccalaureate (IB) English, or AP English. For other options in waiving the TOEFL/IELTS requirement, please click here.
    • International transfer applicants are waived from this requirement if they pass a college English Composition and Literature class prior to transferring. For other options in waiving the TOEFL/IELTS requirement, please click here.
  • Official SAT Reasoning Test (which includes the writing test) or ACT (with the writing test) scores sent directly from the testing service (only applies to first-year applicants who wish to be considered for a merit scholarship)
  • One academic letter of recommendation (form included in application) from the student's counselor or teacher who has taught the student in an academic class
  • If you have attended an English Language Program, you must submit one (1) letter of recommendation from the program instructor along with your transcript/grade progress report from the program.
  • If you have had a gap in education, please provide a statement explaining what you have been doing since you were last enrolled in school.

Please address all correspondence to: 
University of San Diego
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492


Contact Information
For questions regarding international admission requirements, please e-mail intluga@sandiego.edu.

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