Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Financial & Immigration Questions

As an International Student, am I eligible to apply for NYS residency in order to pay the in-state tuition rate?

The tuition for F-1 international students is based on the out-of-state tuition rate.

International Students are not eligible to apply for NYS residency in order to pay the in-state- tuition rate. International students are financially responsible for the payment of their tuition and living expenses, with the exception of PhD students in the College of Graduate Studies who are receiving a graduate assistantship and tuition waiver.

For information on costs, which vary by program, see Tuition and Fees.

Do I need to apply for a visa at the same time along with my application to Upstate?

Obtaining a visa comes AFTER acceptance to SUNY Upstate. Applying to our university is a separate process from that of obtaining a visa. The first step is to apply for admission to a program of study. After you have been accepted for admission, the International Student Advisor will assist you with your I-20 form application. An I-20 form is a certificate of eligibility document issued by the International Student Advisor from the SEVIS web-based system, sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Justice, that shows that you are eligible and approved to apply for an F-1 student visa. Keep in mind that you must also submit the foreign student financial statement and supporting financial documentation that shows you are able to afford your tuition and living expenses in order to be issued an I-20, unless you will be receiving a graduate assistantship and tuition waiver. You will take the I-20 form with you when you apply for the F-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate in your home country.

I am a Canadian Student, will I need to apply for a visa?

A. Canadian students can attend school in the U.S. without a visa. If your primary language is English, it is not a requirement to take a Test of English as a Foreign Language exam (TOEFL) or submit TSE scores. Please note that SUNY Upstate does not recognize results from the 13th year as credit toward admission. Canadian students may apply for loans from Provincial Canadian federal sources to attend SUNY Upstate.

Are International Students eligible for Financial Aid?

Doctoral students (PhD) in the College of Graduate Studies are eligible for graduate assistantships and tuition waivers. International students are not eligible for the U.S. government aid programs (Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, PLUS Loan, and Federal Work-Study). International students in all SUNY Upstate’s colleges may apply for private loans through U.S. banks, providing a U.S. resident co-signs the loan. SUNY Upstate Medical University will not act as a co-signor of private loans.

For more information on financial aid: eduPASS External link.

Am I able to work in the U.S. if I am International Student?

International students are permitted to work on-campus. Graduate students who receive an assistantship are provided a stipend for their services. Other students may work on a part-time basis. For students without an assistantship the amount of time you may work is limited, so you should not rely on a part-time job to cover expenses or tuition. The typical on-campus non-assistantship job pays approximately $1,000 to $2,000 (U.S. dollars) during the school year, and a similar amount during the summer.

Life Questions

What types of insurance am I required to have as an International Student?

All international students enrolled at SUNY Upstate are required to purchase health insurance and medical evacuation/repatriation either through SUNY Upstate or through private sources. If you do not purchase this plan, you may be required to prove that your health insurance is comparable. Graduate students who receive assistantships are provided with benefits, including a low-cost health care package.

For information about International Student insurance: www.haylor.com External link.

Is there housing available on campus for International Students?

A. Housing is available on campus. The Office of Residence Life provides information about on-campus living.

For more information on campus housing:

What types of support services are available for International Students?

The International Student Advisor provides a wide range of support services for current and prospective F-1 students, such as advisement on the I-20/visa application process, maintaining F-1 status, F-1 employment options and benefits, status changes, SEVIS changes, obtaining a social security number, tax information, etc.

About Application

Where do I find basic information about how to apply for Admission to SUNY Upstate Medical University?

Basic admission requirements, application procedures, SUNY Upstate on-line application forms, and links to the most up-to-date information on our programs may be found at Application Procedures.

If my first language is not English, will I be required to take the TOEFL exam?

All International students whose first language is not English must submit the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report.

  • Our institution code number is 2547
  • For additional information: ETS TOEFL External link.

Will I be required take the TSE exam?

Applicants to the College of Graduate Studies must submit evidence of ability to speak English and communicate effectively, for example, by taking the Test of Spoken
English (TSE).

May I submit my foreign transcripts to SUNY Upstate with my application?

Applicants to the Colleges of Health Professions and Nursing, who have completed
all or part of their education abroad, are required to have a course-by-course educational credential evaluation completed by an approved agency prior to the application deadline. SUNY Upstate recommends using World Education Services External link.

What are the admission requirements for International Students in the College of Graduate Studies?

There is a $50 application fee

Applicant must also submit:

  • Three Letters of Reference
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended
  • Official copy of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. (The advanced subject test is helpful, but not required.) Our code number is 2547.
  • Official copy of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score.
  • Evidence of ability to speak English: • TSE (Test of Spoken English)
  • English proficiency required during telephone interview

What are the admission requirements for International Students in the College of Medicine

Minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate course work completed within the U.S. or Canada before applying.

Applicant must also submit:

  • AMCAS Application and fee www.aamc.org/students
  • SUNY Upstate Supplemental Application, $100 fee
  • MCAT scores
  • Pre-Health Committee Letter of Recommendation or 2 Letters of Recommendation from faculty in 2 different disciplines
  • Prerequisite lab courses:
    • General Biology 1 & 2
    • General Chemistry 1 & 2
    • Organic Chemistry 1 & 2
    • General Physics 1 & 2

What are the admission requirements for International Students in the College of Health Professions?

Those educated abroad must have a course-by-course evaluation from an approved agency prior to application. SUNY Upstate Medical University recommends using World Education Services External link.

In addition:

Undergraduate Applicants:

  • SUNY Application, $50 fee
  • Upstate Supplemental Application
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL (if English is not your first language)
  • Observation Form (if required)

Graduate Applicants: Entry Level Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program:

  • Upstate Application with $50 application fee
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (1 must be from a Physical Therapist)
  • TOEFL (if English is not your first language)
    Note: All students must complete specific requirements for each program. See College of Health Professions Programs.

Q.What are the admission requirements for International Students in the College of Nursing?

Those educated abroad must have a course-by-course evaluation from an approved agency prior to application. SUNY Upstate Medical University recommends using World Education Services External link.

In addition:

Undergraduate Applicants:

  • SUNY Application, $50 fee
  • Upstate Supplemental Application
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL (if English is not your first language)
  • Observation Form (if required)
  • New York State Registered Nurse License

Graduate Applicants:

  • Application, $50 fee
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL (if English is not your first language)
  • New York State Registered Nurse License
    Note: For further admissions requirements click the Academic Program link at www.upstate.edu/con

Does SUNY Upstate Medical University accept International Students, and what degrees are offered?

SUNY Upstate is located in Syracuse, New York. It is one of 125 academic medical centers in the United States. At SUNY Upstate, we conduct research, educate health professionals, and provide the most advanced healthcare in the region at our hospital and clinics. Although most of our students are from New York State, SUNY Upstate enrolls international students each year. SUNY Upstate is a transfer university and students enter having completed college coursework or degrees.

Degrees Offered by College:
College of Medicine: MD, MPH—Most students enter with a Bachelor’s degree or higher
College of Graduate Studies: PhD, MS—Students enter with a Bachelor’s degree or Higher
College of Health Professions: BS, BPS, MS, DPT—Students enter with a minimum of 60 college credit hours. Doctor of Physical Therapy students enter with a BS
College of Nursing: BS, MS—Students are already registered nurses and enter with a minimum of an associate’s degree.

I have just been accepted as an International Student to SUNY Upstate Medical University. What do I do next?

Next Steps for Newly Accepted International students: International Student.

  • Complete the I-20 application and submit it to the International Student Advisor along with copies of the following documents:
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • I-94 card
    • Current and prior I-20 forms
    • Social Security card (if you have one)
    • Complete the Foreign Student Financial statement and submit it to the International Student Advisor, along with supporting financial documentation, such as a bank Statement, which provides evidence of your income or finances. (If you are in a PhD program, and will be receiving a graduate assistantship, it is not necessary to complete this form.)
    • Be aware that you are required to have health insurance and medical/security evacuation and repatriation insurance as an international student by the time of orientation.
      Information about International Student Insurance can be found at Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. External link or by contacting the International Student Advisor or the Bursar’s Office.
    • If you already have a student visa, and are currently studying in the United States, please complete the SEVIS Transfer form (found on the International Student Website), and also contact the International Student Advisor at your prior school to arrange for your SEVIS record to be transferred to SUNY Upstate. The SEVIS record will be electronically transferred by your prior school and will be available to SUNY Upstate effective on the date that it is released from the prior institution.
  • Once the International Student Advisor has determined that you have sufficient finances to pay for your tuition and living expenses, you will be issued an I-20 form, which is a certificate of eligibility document, that you will carry with you at the U.S. consulate in your home country to show that you are eligible and approved to apply for an F-1 visa.
  • You will be expected to attend the International Student orientation meeting in the fall to learn how to maintain your legal F-1 student status.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my International Student Admissions or F-1 student status?

If you have questions on our colleges, programs of study or admissions, please contact:

The Office of Student Admissions
SUNY Upstate Medical University
750 East Adams Street
Syracuse, NY 13210 USA
315 464-4570
admiss@upstate.edu

For the College of Graduate Studies please contact:

To obtain admissions information
To obtain international student information

For other questions, please contact:
Sandra Tillotson
Graduate Recruitment Coordinator
Phone: 315 464-7655
Toll Free: 866 951-5718
Email: biosci@upstate.edu

If you have questions about your visa, or your F-1 student status, you may contact:

Jennifer Abbott, Assistant Registrar/International Student Advisor
Room 203 Campus Activities Building
SUNY Upstate Medical University
155 Elizabeth Blackwell Street, Syracuse, NY 13210 USA
Phone: 315 464-4604
Fax: 315 464-8822
Email: intlstud@upstate.edu

Resource Links

Other sites to help you prepare for study in the United States:

QUICK LINKS