Stony Brook University
School of Professional Development

Information For International Students

Students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States typically enter the U.S. in non-immigrant F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor status. Certificates of Eligibility (Form I-20 for F-1 status or Form DS2019 for J-1 status) will be required when applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

Certificates of Eligibility (Form I-20 /Form DS2019)

Certificates of Eligibility are issued to students who have:

  • been admitted to a full-time program of study at Stony Brook University
  • provided proof of financial support for their proposed program of study
  • provided proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL scores -- see below)
    [Students who are not yet proficient in English may wish to apply to the Intensive English Center. For additional information, visit that website at www.stonybrook.edu/iec.]

Prospective students should submit a Certificate of Eligibility form (PDF) for review.


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Application Process for International Students

Prospective students must follow the steps outlined below in order:

  1. Prospective student submits an application to the intended SPD program.

  2. a. Applicant will receive an email from Stony Brook University Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) containing a link to the AccessVisa system in order to request initial Form I-20 / DS2019.
    b. Applicant then uploads required documentation for Form I-20 / DS2019. (Note: Form I-20 / DS2019 requests are only reviewed after the applicant has been formally admitted to a matriculated program.

  3. Decisions regarding admission to the applicant's intended program will be emailed to the applicant approximately three – four weeks after SPD has received all required application materials.

  4. Applicant's request for Form I-20 / DS2019 will then be reviewed by an international student advisor if, and only after the applicant has been matriculated (admitted and processed) into an SPD academic program (either master's degree and/or advanced graduate certificate).

  5. If the request for Form I-20 / DS2019 is approved, the Form I-20 / DS2019 will be processed and mailed via UPS Express to the applicant.

Admissions Deadlines

Fall Admission: June 1 (March 1 for the MA in Higher Education Administration)
Spring Admission: October 1


Minimum TOEFL Examination Scores

Minimum TOEFL exam scores required for admission to Stony Brook University:

Paper-based test:  550
Computer-based test:  213
Internet-based test:  90*

IELTS: overall score of 6.5

*In addition to the minimum overall score of 90 on the internet-based exam, each subsection score must be at least a 22.

Students who have scored lower than a 22 on any one subsection can not be admitted to Stony Brook.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to have my transcript translated if it is not in English? What if the school I attended did not offer the equivalent of a 4-year (U.S.) bachelor's degree?

  • Academic records/transcripts from international universities must be equivalent to a U.S. undergraduate bachelor's degree.
  • If the transcript cannot be compared to United States higher education institutions (colleges/universities) four-point grading system, the SPD Admissions Review Committee will notify the applicant via email stating that the transcript must be evaluated by a U.S. credentials evaluation service before an admissions decision is rendered or finalized.
  • Academic records/transcripts must be translated and/or evaluated by an authoritative party. The transcript evaluation service/authoritative party accepted by Stony Brook University, and offering electronic access to translated/evaluated transcripts by our Admissions Office (which is the most expedient method of access) is World Education Services (WES), which may be accessed at www.wes.org. SPD will also accept translations/evaluations from any of the accredited agencies that that are members of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) and are listed at naces.org.

Do I need to take and submit TOEFL scores?
Yes. Any applicant who is not a native or primary speaker of English must take and submit official TOEFL score reports to Stony Brook University using institution code 2548.

What is meant by "native and primary language"?
Native or primary speakers of English have been raised or educated in an English-speaking environment. Native or primary speakers may speak a language other than English at home, but speak English exclusively outside the home in social and/or educational contexts.

What if I have my official Examinee (Personal) score report for my TOEFL/IELTS/TSE exam? Can I just make a copy of it?
No, the School of Professional Development (SPD) requires that students contact Educational Testing Services (ETS) and have them send official score reports directly to Stony Brook University. Our institution code is 2548.

When should I take the TOEFL?
Please schedule to take the exam in time for the School of Professional Development (SPD) application deadline for the semester to which you are applying. Be aware, as well, that it takes time for ETS to send these test scores to SPD. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that he/she has taken the test and ordered that the scores to be sent to SPD in time for admissions evaluation by the Admissions Committee. Any delay in the receipt of the TOEFL score will impede application evaluation and processing.

What if I took the TOEFL exam years ago?
SPD will not accept any test scores that are more than one year older than the application date to the academic program.

What if my TOEFL scores do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to SPD?
Applicants may apply to Stony Brook University's Intensive English Center (IEC) which offers a program of courses and activities designed to meet the special needs and interests of international students who wish to study at universities in the United States or improve their English to meet personal and professional goals. This non-credit bearing program is offered on a year-round basis; a spring semester starting in late January, a fall semester starting in early September, and one six-week summer session. Small class sizes make it possible for each student to receive personal attention from our esteemed instructors who all hold advanced degrees in the field. For additional information, visit the Intensive English Center.

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International Services

Visa and Immigration Services provides advice and assistance on U.S. government immigration regulations and cross-cultural issues relating to study, teaching, research, and living in the United States.

Visa and Immigration Services
Office: Melville Library, Room E5310
Phone: 631-632-4685
Fax:     631-632-7243
Web:    http://www.stonybrook.edu/visa

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SPD Contact Information

For information about applying to School of Professional Development (SPD) degree or certificate programs, contact:

Lori Lyons
SPD International Student Coordinator
Email: lori.lyons@stonybrook.edu
Tel. 631.632.7033

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Last modified on 05/29/2014.
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