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Admission Requirements for International Students

Classroom Programs

International students who want to take a UWPCE classroom offering require a visa that permits study in the United States. Most of our certificate programs are part time and do not issue I-20 forms. An I-20 enables students to apply for an F-1 student visa.

The following full-time programs are the only certificate programs that issue 1-20s:

Applying for an F-1 Visa

Before you can apply for an F-1 visa, you must apply to and be accepted by the certificate program you wish to attend. We recommend that you apply at least three months before the program begins to allow enough time to get your student visa. Be sure you've completed all admission requirements — including any prerequisite coursework — by the time of application. 

Once you’re accepted, we’ll send you the I-20, also known as a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. After you’ve received the I-20, follow these steps to apply for an F-1 visa:

  1. Make a visa appointment.

Make a visa appointment with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You can find out about the wait times for obtaining an interview appointment and for visa processing by visiting the Visa Wait Times page on the U.S. Department of State website.

2. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

You will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee ($200) before your visa interview. For payment instructions, visit the SEVIS I-901 page of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.

3. Attend your visa interview.

Take your I-20 and any supporting documents with you to the interview.

If you have any questions, email  

You can find more information about studying in the United States as an international student on the Study in the States page of the Department of Homeland Security website.

Information for Visa Holders

If you are in the U.S. on a visa type other than F-1, you may be eligible to study in a certificate program. Please see the U.S. Department of State website for more information about study eligibility and restrictions for your visa type.

If you are an F-1 student who is enrolled full-time in another program, you may take any certificate program, specialization or course in addition to your other full-time studies. Please consult the student adviser at the school that issued your I-20 to confirm your eligibility.

Online Programs

Because programs that are held entirely online do not have visa requirements, international students who meet application requirements (including English language proficiency requirements) are welcome to apply to any of our 100% online programs. See the course or program page for application details.

Some programs require that students participate in real-time during class sessions, often held one or two evenings a week (Pacific Time). Before applying, make sure the class schedule works for you. For details, see the course or program page.

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