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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]

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 for MA Iin Liberal Studies and MS* applicants; March 1 for the MA in Higher Education Administration
Spring Admission:   October 1

*Please note that the MS in Human Resource Management program only admits international students in the Fall.

TOEFL Examination Scores

If your native or primary language is not English, English proficiency must be established based on the results of your TOEFL or IELTS examinations.

Minimum exam scores  required for admission to Stony Brook University:

IELTS: Overall score of 6.5, with no subsection recommended to be below 6
TOEF iBT: 85*

*In addition to the minimum overall score of 85 on the Internet-based exam, students must score at least 22 on the speak subsection.

The above tests must have been taken within two years of the application deadline date. For example, TOEFL exams taken prior to June 2013 will not be accepted for Fall 2015 applications due on June 1, 2015.


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?
Do I need to take and submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?
What is meant by "native and primary language"?
What if I have my official Examinee (Personal) score report for my TOEFL/IELTS/TSE exam? Can I just make a copy of it?
When should I take the TOEFL?
What if I took the TOEFL exam years ago?
What if my TOEFL scores do not meet the minimum requirements for admission to SPD?


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:     631-632-7064


SPD Contact Information

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

Lori Lyons
SPD International Student Coordinator  
Tel. 631-632-7033