International Applicants

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.

Admission Eligibility

If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you should 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 for first-year applicants. To learn more about international undergraduate admission requirements, please review the following:

International First-Year Applicants / International Transfer Applicants / Merit Scholarships / English Proficiency / Student Visa / On-Campus Housing Requirement / Application Checklist

International First-Year Applicants

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. When submitting official test scores, please use the following USD School Codes:

  • SAT: 4849
  • ACT: 0394

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

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 Applicants

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 our Transfer Information Form 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 of San Diego County, please visit our Transferring Credits web page.

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 Scholarships

We offer merit scholarships to our international first-year applicants, as 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 in the following areas: grades, class selection and test scores. Merit scholarships range from $10,000 to $25,000 and are renewable for four years by meeting minimum grade point average requirements. Merit scholarships are offered 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 Torero Athletics website.

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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 challenge. If your native language is not English, you will be required to provide an official TOEFL or IELTS score. USD’s minimum score requirements are 80 on the TOEFL iBT and 6.5 on the IELTS. We only accept official scores, so you must request that your scores be sent directly from ETS or IELTS. In order for scores to be valid they should not be any older than two years. USD’s school code is 4849.

We can waive the English proficiency requirement if you can satisfy one of the following:

  • SAT Critical Reading score of 520 or higher
  • Enrolled in AP English or International Baccalaureate (IB) English
  • Currently attending high school in the US and have been enrolled in mainstream English all four years
  • Received a grade “C” or better in 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 – This form must also accompany an official bank letter or statement, in English, providing documentation of financial support. 
  • School Transfer Verification – This form is required if you are currently studying in the US on an F-1 student visa. Along with the form, you will need to submit copies of your immigration documents (current I-20, passport page, visa page and both sides of your I-94 card).

Once we have received all required forms and supporting documents, please allow seven business days for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions 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 submit only 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 Office of Undergraduate Admissions immediately to discuss the process.

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On-Campus Housing Requirement

Residential life plays a vital role in the USD experience, so we require that students live on campus for their first and second years. On-campus living will heighten your educational experience by providing more transitional support, access to professional staff in your residential area and assistance with campus resource connectedness. Please visit the Residential Life website for more information on who is required to live on campus at USD.

Application Checklist

  • Completed Common Application, including USD Member Questions
  • Application fee of $55
  • Official high school transcript
    • We require that official transcripts be 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.
    • So that we may better understand the educational system in your country and your own educational experience, please complete the Educational Experience Summary Form. You may attach the completed form with your application.
  • One academic letter of recommendation
  • Essay (see Common Application for topics and details)
  • Official TOEFL iBT score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.5
    • Please review the English Proficiency section to see if you are eligible to have this requirement waived.
  • 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)
  • Official course by course evaluation of any foreign college/post-secondary transcripts. We accept World Education Services (WES)Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or International Education Research Foundation (IERF).
  • If you are applying as a transfer student, your application will be considered incomplete if your transcripts are not translated. The evaluation agency must be a member of NACES. 
  • If you have attended an English Language Program, you must submit one 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.

Contact Information

Please address all necessary documents to:

University of San Diego
Office of Undergraduate Admission
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

For questions regarding international admission requirements, please email

Contact Information

Undergraduate Admissions
Serra Hall 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (800) 248-4873 or (619) 260-4506
Fax: (619) 260-6836

Office Hours

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