Applicants to the University are considered international if they are not U.S. Citizens, dual citizens, or permanent residents. In addition to the policies and procedures stated for the different categories of admission, the following information pertains to international applicants.
The International Student Office provides immigration assistance to all international students, scholars, and employees at the University of West Florida. Among the services offered are:
The Office of Diversity and International Education and Programs is located in Building 71. Please see additional information for international students and available services at uwf.edu/internationaloffice.
International applicants must submit original documents or signed, officially certified photocopies of original documents, as well as certified translations of all documents that are not in English. International applicants must also have their foreign credentials evaluated by one of the four evaluation services listed below. The evaluation should contain a course-by-course description and a grade point average from each institution attended. Applicants have the responsibility to contact the evaluation agency directly and have the evaluation agency send the official evaluation report to UWF. The official evaluation report must be received by the application deadline for the semester the applicant plans to attend. The acceptable evaluation services are the following:
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Ph: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338
Translation Fax: (305) 273-1984
World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087
Ph: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 739-6120
If the international applicant's native language is not English or the applicant is from a country in which the primary language is not English, he or she must take one of the following tests before consideration of admission. English proficiency test scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Graduate School from the testing agency. Not all exams are available outside the U.S. and most are offered on a fixed schedule. Contact the testing agencies directly for scheduling information.
Minimum scores required by the University are listed below. However, individual departments may require higher scores.
Paper-based TOEFL: 550
Listening/Comprehension Sub Score: 53
Internet-based TOEFL: 79/80
Listening Sub Score: 19
Listening/Comprehension Sub Score: 7
International students expecting to receive appointments as teaching assistants also are required to pass a test of spoken English.
International non-degree seeking applicants, including applicants attending UWF under an international exchange agreement, must meet the English proficiency requirement.
Certification of finances must be completed and returned to the International Student Office before the student visa, "Certificate of Eligibility" (Form I-20 or DS 2019), is issued. The University is required by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration authorities to check the financial resources of each student prior to issuing Form I-20 or DS 2019. Therefore, it is important for the applicant to know the costs of attending the University and have the necessary funds for the entire period of enrollment. Funds for one year of study and living expenses must be documented and approved by the University before an I-20 or DS 2019 is issued.
The "Confidential Financial Statement" form must be completed, signed by the student, and verified by the student's or sponsor's bank or financial institution with a statement of deposit. Before completing the "Confidential Financial Statement," the applicant should review the estimate of institutional costs and living expenses. The total amount of funds available to the student must be listed for each year of planned attendance and must equal or exceed the total estimate of institutional costs and living expenses. The "Confidential Financial Statement" form can be found at uwf.edu/internationaloffice/forms.cfm. This form must be accurate and documented to avoid unnecessary delay in processing. The "Confidential Financial Statement" and supporting documents from the student's or sponsor's bank or financial institution should be submitted to the International Student Office, Building 71, 11000 University Parkway, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, 32514, United States.
Applicants must submit a "Physician's Evaluation Form" and a "Medical History Form" completed in its entirety by a physician and the applicant respectively. Documentation of measles (rubella and rubeola) immunization must be submitted. Any document submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation. Florida law also requires that students provide proof of immunization for meningitis and hepatitis B, or sign a waiver indicating their informed decision not to be vaccinated.
International students are required to show proof of adequate medical insurance coverage for illness or accidental injury for an entire academic year before they will be permitted to register or to continue enrollment. An adequate medical insurance policy must meet a number of requirements as listed on the "Health Insurance Compliance Form", including that the insurance proceeds are payable in U.S. currency. Insurance may be obtained at the University before registration.
If a student's application for admission to UWF is approved, an official notice of admission will be sent by the Graduate School. Admission is for a specific semester only. If the student is unable to enroll for the semester indicated on the notice of admission, the Graduate School should be informed immediately. Under no circumstances should an applicant make departure plans for Pensacola until official approval has been given by the Graduate School and the student has received the Form I-20 from the International Student Advisor (see section on passports and visas). Students who come to the campus without first receiving an official notice of acceptance do so at their own risk. The student's presence on the campus will not influence the decision on an application for admission.
Students meeting all admission requirements of the University will be mailed a "Certificate of Eligibility" by the International Student Advisor. Students possessing a valid Form I-20 or DS 2019 will be considered for a student visa (F-1 or J-1) by presenting it and the following documents to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
The student visa is stamped on a page in the passport.
Prospective students should familiarize themselves with the current regulations of their own governments, as many restrict the purchase of U.S. dollars. Students should arrive with ample funds in U.S. dollars or traveler's checks. Local banks provide exchange services, but this procedure can be lengthy and expensive.
The International Student Advisor is available to assist students with problems ranging from immigration to cultural and personal matters. Students should feel free to ask questions and seek assistance from this office at any time. The International Student Advisor may be reached at 850-474-2386.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security establishes guidelines and restrictions for international student employment. Permission for off-campus employment may not be granted during the first year of study. Permission for on-campus employment, if granted, is restricted to 20 working hours per week when school is in session (including graduate assistantships). Full-time on-campus employment is permissible during authorized breaks. Permission to accept employment after completion of a degree for the purpose of Optional Practical Training (OPT) is not a right associated with a student visa, but a privilege. Any application for OPT must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This employment is for training purposes only, for a temporary period not to exceed one year.