International Students

The information below is for students who have earned a bachelor's degree outside of the United States, or are not a citizen of the United States, and are applying for a master's degree offered at or online through Buffalo State.  Applicants interested in the International Graduate Programs for Educators, a program through Buffalo State held at American/International Schools, should visit:

Degree requirements

For admission to graduate study, international students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution that is accredited by an approved U.S. regional accrediting agency or a degree that is equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree in the United States.


All international applications requiring student visas must be completed by June 15 for fall admission; November 15 for spring admission; and March 15 for summer admission for all graduate programs (except Canadian applicants). Students should also be aware of the individual department application deadline when considering enrollment. In some cases, departments want applications submitted prior to the Graduate School deadlines cited here. If there are questions, contact the Graduate School for further information on deadlines.

A completed international application packet includes:

  1. A completed online Graduate Admission Application.
  2. A $65 non-refundable application fee. Login to your previously submitted Banner application to make the online payment by Visa or MasterCard. If you are unable to submit your payment online, please contact the Graduate School at (716) 878-5601 or
  3. Official or certified true copies of transcripts along with a certified English translation of all transcripts from postsecondary schools outside the United States. 
  4. A copy of the applicant's passport bio page.  Passport must be current and not expired. 
  5. Financial Statement (FSA-4) (.pdf) 
  6. A degree evaluation is required for all students who have completed a bachelor's degree outside the United States.  Applicants must submit official copies of postsecondary diploma(s)/transcripts to one of the following organizations for a course-by-course evaluation to determine equivalency to a United States bachelor's degree:

    Josef Silny and Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants, 7101 SW 102 Avenue, Miami, FL 33173, Phone: (305) 273-1616, Fax: (305) 273-1338

    World Education Services Inc., P.O. Box 745, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113-0745, Phone: (800) 937-3895, Fax: (212) 739-6100

    Students should contact the organization or visit its website for the most current requirements and to request or download an application. Completed applications listing the SUNY Buffalo State Graduate  School as the recipient should be returned to the organization with the required fees and credentials. The organization will forward its evaluation report to  Buffalo State. This evaluation can take up to four weeks to complete after all documents are received. Check with the organizations for specific fee structure(s).

    Canadian Applicants: Students holding undergraduate degrees from a Canadian college or university should submit official transcripts to the Graduate School. If transcripts follow a system similar to that of the United States, they will be evaluated locally. If not, Canadian applicants will be required to comply with the above international student credential policy.

  7. Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit a score of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as documentation of English language proficiency. Applicants with a minimum TOEFL score of 550 or higher on the paper exam or 79 on the Internet exam, or with an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher, may be considered for admission. Information on the TOEFL can be found at  Information on the IELTS can be found at

    Applicants with a TOEFL score of less than 550 on the paper exam or below 79 on the Internet exam, or with an IELTS score less than 6.0, may be eligible for consideration after completing the ESL program and resubmission of the TOEFL with a score of 550 or higher on the paper exam or 79 on the Internet exam, or with an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher.

English as a Second Language Program

International students who do not meet the required English language requirement can be admitted to the Buffalo State’s English as a Second Language Program (ESLP). Students who wish to pursue this course of action first have their application materials reviewed by the program of their choice. If their academic qualifications are reviewed favorably, the student is granted conditional acceptance into the Graduate School and admission into the ESL program.

The ESLP at Buffalo State is a non-degree, non-credit bearing program designed to help students with varying levels of English proficiency through coursework, interaction with native speakers of English, and individualized language practice. The program consists of six levels of English language study. Each level consists of 20 hours of class time per week (15 weeks spring and fall semesters; 8 weeks summer), plus an additional 3 hours of small conversation group practice.

Students seeking this option must first submit a completed graduate admission application. After careful review of the students’ academic qualifications and their ability to succeed academically, the Graduate School notifies students of their acceptance into the ESLP. Students must notify the Graduate School within 30 days of their acceptance whether they will pursue the ESLP option.

For program and general information about the ESLP, contact the International Student Affairs Office (716) 878-5331.

Other International Student Enrollment Information

Contact the International Student Affairs Office (ISAO), (716) 878-5331, for more information about services for international students and for specific questions regarding homeland security rules and regulations, student visas, I-20, contact the International Student Affairs Office.

Student Visas

International students must show proof of financial support for the duration of studies on the FSA-4 form. About $38,878 (USD) a year should be budgeted to cover expenses. By the time they arrive on campus, international students should have arranged for the funds to cover their college career. Payment of all college-related expenses must be made prior to the beginning of each semester.

Once an applicant has been officially accepted to a degree program, the Graduate School will send an acceptance letter.  The ISAO will send an I-20 form to the student to obtain an F-1 (student) visa from the United States embassy or consulate in their home country.

Mandatory Student Health Insurance

International students are required to purchase SUNY International Health Insurance or have comparable coverage. The cost for the 2015-2016 academic year is $1,301 (USD). If a student possesses comparable health insurance, he or she is still required to purchase the medical evacuation coverage for $94.15. Services at the Weigel Health Center are available to all registered students free of charge regardless of insurance coverage.


International students may live on or off campus. On campus, they may live in the international residence hall, which remains open during United States holidays, or in any other residence hall, provided they move out of the hall during the holidays.  If you intend to live on campus, you must have all your application materials and your application for housing in by June 1st.  Visit the Residence Life Office, (716) 878-6808, for more information.

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Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Cleveland Hall 204
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5601 •  Fax: (716) 878-5630
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