AdmissionsInternational Admissions

International Student Services

International Student Services (ISS) provides holistic support services to international students as they actualize their full potential while at Concordia University. ISS is focused on assisting international students successfully accomplish their goals.

What Programs are at Concordia?

View our academic program search page for information on all of our undergraduate and graduate programs.

How Do I Apply?

Undergraduate Application Process

One who has not attended an institution of higher education for at least one year must submit the following:

  1. Online or Paper Application
  2. $30 Application Fee
    Pay online or submit check payable to Concordia University
  3. Official High School Transcripts (for all institutions attended)
  4. Official Credit Evaluation of credits earned/degrees completed at any non-United States institution
    – Evaluations must be from approved members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  5. Proof of English Proficiency (if English is not your first language) or ACT/SAT Score
    i. Students from Global Language Institute (GLI) Completion of Mastering Level
    ii. Students from Atlanta English Institute (AEI) Completion of Level Seven
    iii. Students from Spring International Language Center (SILC) Completion of Level Six
    iv. Students from English Language School (ELS) Completion of Level 109 AND IELTS test score of 5.5 or TOEFL iBT 65 or completion of Level 112
    v. TOEFL iBT 65 or 513 PBT
    vi. IELTS overall band score of 5.5 or higher (International English Language Testing System)
  6. Certification of Finances indicating the financial source for the expense of attending Concordia University
Graduate Application Process

One who has received a bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a graduate degree must submit the following:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. $50 Application Fee- Pay online or submit check payable to Concordia University
  3. Official College Transcript from institution granting bachelor’s degree
  4. Official Credit Evaluation of degree(s) earned at any non-United States institution- Evaluations must be from approved members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  5. Proof of English Proficiency (if English is not your first language)
    1. Completion of Level 112 at an English Language School (ELS) or Accelerated Level at Global Language Institute (GLI)
    2. Completion of Level 6 at an approved English school
    3. TOEFL- iBT score of 78 or TOEFL PBT score of 547
    4. An equated score of 80 or better on the Michigan Test
    5. IELTS overall band score of 6 or higher (International English Language Testing System)
  6. Certification of Finances indicating the financial source for the expense of attending Concordia University. This form will be emailed with acknowledgement of application.
  7. Personal Statement of Goals
    Submit a typed personal statement that answers the questions listed below. Completed statements should be labeled with your name, academic program, and your contact information and submitted via mail, email or fax.Each question should be answered in a minimum of 300 words (1 page)

    1. Why are you choosing to pursue a graduate program at this time in your career, and what are you hoping to accomplish by doing so?
    2. What strengths do you feel make you a strong candidate for the program?
    3. Describe a past or present personal/professional experience that you believe positively influenced your potential to succeed in a graduate program.
Transfer Application Process

One who has attended an institution of higher learning for one year or more must submit the following:

  1. Online or Paper Application
  2. $30 Application Fee- Pay online or submit check payable to Concordia University
  3. Official College Transcripts (for all institutions attended)
  4. Official Credit Evaluation of credits earned/degrees completed at any non-United States institution- Evaluations must be from approved members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
  5. Proof of English Proficiency (if English is not your first language)
    1. Completion of Level 112 at an English Language School (ELS) or Mastery Level at Global Language Institute (GLI)
    2. Completion of Level 6 at an approved English school
    3. TOEFL iBT 65 or 513 PBT
    4. An equated score of 70 or better on the Michigan Test
    5. IELTS overall band score of 5.5 or higher (International English Language Testing System)
  6. Certification of Finances indicating the financial source for the expense of attending Concordia University

When are the admission deadlines?

Undergraduate Admission Deadlines

Fall Admission for New Freshmen and Transfer Students

  • December 1st: Priority Deadline
  • July 1st: Final Deadline*

Spring Admission for New Transfer Students Only

  • November 1st: Final Deadline*

Summer Admission

  • Summer admission is not available for new students.

**Applicants who are transferring an F-1 VISA from another U.S. academic institution may be considered for admission after the final deadline.

Graduate Admission Deadlines

Fall Admission for New Graduate Students

  • December 1st: Priority Deadline
  • July 1st: Final Deadline*

Spring Admission for New Graduate Students

  • November 1st: Final Deadline*

Summer Admission for New Graduate Students

  • Check with the Office of Admissions to see if there are on-campus summer start dates available.

**Applicants who are transferring an F-1 VISA from another U.S. academic institution may be considered for admission after the final deadline.

Immigration Information

How to Maintain Your F-1 Visa

It is the responsibility of each F-1 student to maintain status while in the United States by complying with the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status (F-1) found on page two of the I-20. Failure to maintain status may lead to the termination of your record, and may be grounds for removal from the United States (deportation) under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.

Note: Please carefully review the content below, and complete all necessary paperwork by accessing the forms on CSPConnect. If you have questions you may schedule an appointment with an ISS advisor. Remember to submit completed paperwork; incomplete forms will delay processing.

Complete Your SEVIS Registration Appointment

You must be registered in SEVIS within 30 days of the program start date (for new students). This is done by attending your SEVIS registration appointment in the International Student Services Office during Orientation.

Please note: Per Concordia policy this must be done within the first week of your arrival.

Register Full Time Each Semester

You must pursue a full course of study each semester while enrolled. Full time is considered as follows at Concordia:

  • 12 credits for undergraduate students
  • 6 credits for graduate students

Note: Students on the SACM scholarship must register for a minimum of 9 credits as per SACM policy.

Students are allowed to take a reduced course load (RCL) if they have a qualifying reason and provided they obtain authorization BEFORE dropping below minimum credits. Please see the RCL form for further details and instructions.

Make Normal Progress Toward Completing Your Course of Study

Students should follow up frequently with their academic advisors to ensure they are completing coursework for both general requirements and for specific major and/or degree. In doing so, you will avoid taking unnecessary courses and make normal progress toward completing your course of study.

If you will complete your program before or after the date listed on your I-20, you must communicate this to the ISS office and complete the Program End Date Adjustment form so the date can be adjusted. This must be done BEFORE the expiration date on the I-20.

Keep Your Form I-20 and SEVIS Record Updated

You must communicate changes to our office so that we may update your record. Changes include:

  • Change in your major (undergrads)
  • Change in your program (grads)
  • Change of address
  • Change to visa status e.g. becoming a Permanent Resident, changing to F2
  • Change to your dependents’ status
  • Plan to change schools
Employment

To be eligible for any type of employment you must maintain continuous and lawful F-1 status and receive authorization BEFORE you begin employment. Students in F-1 status may begin working on campus once they have completed a document check with an advisor at ISS. This is generally done as part of international student orientation.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is authorization granted to F-1 students to obtain employment or an internship off campus. To be eligible students must be in F-1 status for one academic year prior and the job/internship must be “…an integral part of an established curriculum” and “directly related to the student’s major area of study.”

Students must also have a job offer letter at the time of application.

To apply for CPT and learn more details please complete the CPT form located on CSPConnect.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is work authorization granted to F-1 students upon completing their course of study which allows 12 months of employment in the U.S. To be eligible for OPT students must be in their final semester of study, and should apply no more than 90 days prior to their program end date and 60 days after.

To apply for OPT and learn more details please complete the CPT form located on CSPConnect.

On Campus Employment

F-1 students are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours during the semester, and full time during school breaks. To work, students must find a job by attending the on campus job fair, consulting the HR website with student employment listings and/or following up directly with departments. No paperwork is required through the ISS office as permission to work is granted during your SEVIS registration appointment. Students must follow up with the Human Resources department to finalize employment.

Travel Outside the United States

Departing

  • At least 2 weeks before traveling outside of the United States (US) have your documents checked and signed at the International Student Services Office.
  • Bring your most recent I-94 card. You may print it by visiting the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Returning

  • Be sure to have an updated visa (if your visa has expired please plan to renew BEFORE you return to the United States, and meet with an ISS advisor to discuss this process)
  • A passport with an expiration date that is valid at least 6 months beyond your return date to the United States
  • Financial documentation demonstrating your ability to cover your costs during tuition and living expenses.

Please note: If you will be traveling outside the United States for longer than 5 months you must meet with an ISS advisor to discuss.

Immigration Resources

U.S. Immigration Resources

U.S. Government Resources

Canadian Visa Information

Travel Resources

General Resources

Student Services & Resources

Academic Advising

Location: AD 121

Your academic advisor is here to provide you with support as you successfully complete your degree! Contact your academic advisor for questions with transfer credits, course selection for undergraduate students, faculty concerns, course withdrawal, readmissions and more. You will meet your academic advisor at your residency, leadership seminar, or the first night of class.

After your start your program you will have access to the Advising tab in CSP Connect that allows you to find information relating to academic advising. The Advising tab has information on your academic advisor, student policies and code of conduct, commencement, campus services, academic probation, CLEP tests, life experience essays and more.

The Academic Advising office coordinates resources between you and your advisor.  Stop in the office (AD 121) for help contacting your advisor or with pressing questions that you may need answered right away!

Resources for Child Care

There are several options for child care around the Twin Cities. Options include private in-home care or public child care centers. Here in Minnesota child care providers attain a license issued by the state government. It may be important to inquire about a child care centers qualifications before registering your child for that center. The following is a list of child care centers:

Hand in Hand Child Care Center at Concordia University
It is the philosophy of Hand in Hand Child Care Center that young children learn most effectively when they have the opportunity to explore their environment and experience a variety of materials and situations while they play. We also believe in a responsive, developmental approach to early childhood learning which emphasizes that each child develops at their own rate and that progress is measured individually rather than in comparison to other children in the group. Contact Kris Spiess at (651) 641-8491 or spiess@csp.edu to learn more about Hand in Hand Child Care Center.

KinderCare Learning Centers
KinderCare is a licensed child care provider with a variety of locations throughout the Twin Cities. KinderCare serves kids and parents in communities around the nation. This kind of scale and depth of experience helps us evaluate best practices and quickly put new findings, curriculum and programs in place, for the maximum benefit of every child. To learn more visit www.kindercare.com.

The Goddard Schools
These schools offer year round programs for preschool children. The Goddard School uses the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. To learn more visit www.goddardschool.com.

Banking

Why Open a US Bank Account?

A US bank account will make managing your finances a lot easier, and you should set one up as soon as you arrive. You can deposit your financial aid awards, loans and stipends, all of which are typically paid to you by check, as well as money from home. You can pay all of your bills by check, and with most bank accounts, you can even manage and make all of your bill payments online. In addition, most banks now issue debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa emblem, which means you can use the card to make purchases against your account anywhere that accepts credit cards, including online and in stores. Paying cash or purchasing money orders for payments is inefficient, carrying cash can also be dangerous and paying in cash doesn’t leave much evidence behind to prove your payment in case of a dispute. Certainly a bank account will make budgeting a lot easier.

How Do I Open a Bank Account?

Even though lots of banks now advertise that they allow new customers to open accounts online or by phone, as an international student, plan to open your account in person at a local branch. You do not fit neatly into a category for US banks, and if you need additional services it’s always good to have established a face to face relationship. When you go, make sure you bring your passport and the funds you want to deposit. In addition, you should bring as many of the following documents or ids as you have – although every bank has slightly different requirements, in addition to your passport you will likely need at least one of the following: your school id, your state driver’s license or id, your visa, your I-20, and your I-94. You do not need to have a social security number to open an account. If a bank asks for it, offer up your passport and any of the other id documents mentioned above.

How Do I Choose a Bank and an Account?

Banks offer many different financial services. You may wish to compare the services and costs of several banks before choosing one at which to open an account. If your school has a relationship with a particular bank for all of its international students, you should certainly consider that bank first. You will need a checking account for proper money management (for writing checks, online bill payment, debit cards, etc.), and if you have large amounts of money just sitting in your account, it may make sense to open a savings account as well. Investigate the accounts the bank has available, with an eye towards how much it could cost you to keep the account. Find out whether the bank offers interest on checking accounts, what the interest rate is on savings accounts and whether the account offers overdraft protection. Hopefully you never write a check, accidentally, for more than you have in your account – but if you do, does the bank pay the check and just fine you, or do they refuse payment to the company you wrote the check to (“bounce” the check)? If so, both the company AND the bank will fine you and that adds up quickly!

Ask how long it will take to “clear” a check – that is, how long from the time a check is deposited in your account until the time you are allowed to withdraw the funds. Typically wired funds are available immediately, but the “hold” on checks (local, out-of-state and foreign) varies by state and by bank, and can be several days to a week or even longer.

Most major US banks offer “student checking”, accounts and services designed specifically for students – here are two U.S. banks that are located close to Concordia University:

  • TCF Bank University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55104‎ (612) 823-2265
  • Wells Fargo Bank 1827 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 (651) 205-5480
Twin Cities Shopping Resources

Target: Recommended Shopping and Pharmacy

  • Most stores have photo processing centers and pharmacies. SuperTarget stores include in-store bakery, deli, meat, and produce sections. There are stores across the United States. Their headquarters is in Minnesota. All Target store locations are popular for Concordia University students.
  • Store Hours:
    • Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Address: 1300 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55104. This store has a Pharmacy, Optical, Photo Center, Target Clinic, Grocery and Starbucks.
  • To get there: Target is located within walking distance of Concordia heading north on Hamline Ave.

Groceries

Rainbow

  • Wisconsin based grocery store; offers organic produce and some specialty foods.
  • Store Hours: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm 
  • Address: 1566 University Ave Saint Paul, MN 55104
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com.
  • Visit: www.rainbowfoods.com

 Lunds

  • Minnesota owned and operated organic and specialty food specialty store. The St. Paul location has a pharmacy.
  •  Store Hours: 6:00 am – midnight 
  • Address: 2128 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.lundsandbyerlys.com

 Kowalski’s

  • Minnesota owned and operated organic and local food specialty store.
  • Store Hours: 6:00 am – midnight 
  • Address: 1261 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.kowalskis.com

 Cub Foods

  • Currently operates 73 stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, with 58 of those stores located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area; offers organic produce and some specialty foods.
  • Store Hours: Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. 
  • Address: 1440 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55104
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com 
  • Visit: www.Cubfoods.com

Shopping

Mall of America

 Rosedale Center

  • Variety of stores and restaurants.
  • Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Address:  10 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.myrosedale.com

New Furniture

Ikea

  • Sweden started furniture store with stores in many countries; wide variety of furniture.
  • Store Hours: Vary by season (check website)  
  • Address: 8000 IKEA Way, Bloomington, MN 55425
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.ikea.com/us/en/store/twin_cities

Sponsored International Student Program

Concordia University is proud to provide specialized support services to international sponsored students and their sponsors. A sponsored international student has typically been selected by a government, organization, or company to pursue academic study while receiving a financial scholarship.

Services unique to sponsored international students include:

  • Academic advising and support
  • Immigration advising and support
  • Document processing
  • Fostering relationships between the student, sponsor, and the university

SACM Students

Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) Policies

Meet CSP International Students

More than 100 international students are proud to call Concordia University, St. Paul their college home. Here, a number of students share their backgrounds and Concordia experiences.

Hussain Al Abu Abdullah - Quatif, Saudi Arabia

Al-Abu-Abdullah-fam

Hussain Al Abu Abdullah
Quatif, Saudi Arabia
Communication Studies

“In Qatif where I grew up, the people are very nice. The neighborhood had a lot of farms that people could buy and sell vegetables. It is a very hot place. There are  many cultural differences there compared to the U.S., but I am finding it easy to learn about and adapt to the American culture.

Coming to the U.S. to study and get a good education is a big dream. I cannot get a good job in my country without high education. In addition, I have to have English language to get a good salary.

My wife and I are both studying at Concordia and we have a 1-year-old daughter. Everyone knows that it is hard to have children and study at the same time, but I have never given up my studying, it is my future and my dream. I get a lot of support from my parents. Also, Concordia professors advise and encourage me to keep up my work. I love Concordia so much, it is the best.”

Quatif, Saudi Arabia
Communication Studies

Reham Alghamdi - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Reham-Alghamdi

Reham Alghamdi
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
M.A. Education Leadership

“I was so excited when I received the scholarship letter from my government. In the same time, I was scared because I did not know how to speak English. This was also my first time traveling outside my country without my mother. In Minnesota, my husband and daughter and I go to parks, malls and especially museums. What I miss most are my parents and our traditional food.

I chose Concordia because the size of the university – in my class, there are no more than 10 people. Concordia teachers have real life work experiences that they provide to students, and that creates a quality academic experience for us.

My biggest challenge has been adapting to the American teaching style. It was difficult to change what I used to do in my home country to what my teachers want me to do here, but I attended tutoring classes every week to overcome this challenge. I’m having a wonderful time and I am proud that I am a Concordia student.”

SooJin Bae - Incheon, South Korea

SooJin-Bae

SooJin Bae
Incheon, South Korea
Literature major (Chinese minor)

“I grew up in the city next to Seoul with my parents, twin sister and dog. I always wanted to visit America to see how it is different from Korea, but I was unsure about coming to live. Other students who already went encouraged me that it is a good experience for traveling and learning English, so I came.

I have had two challenges adapting to studying at Concordia: the class style and long papers. Professors here always ask students’ opinions and often have discussions compared to Korean style of classes led by instructor. I have made friends from school events and group work in classes. We hang out almost every day and I would be lonely if I didn’t meet them. They help me understand the US culture and my English speaking.

I really enjoyed Halloween here and I love that I can dye my hair to pink or purple and wear sleeveless shirts in the summertime. Also, Minnesota has flat land compared to Korea. We have hills everywhere so I have seen few horizons in my life, but now I can see the sun go down over the horizon any day.”

Sandra Eguida - Lome, Togo

Sandra-Eguida

Sandra Eguida
Lome, Togo
Accounting

“I was born in Togo, a little country in the west of Africa. In Togo, I learned French but also the two languages of my country. When I was seven, we all moved to Central Africa for three years. So we were exposed to new values and to new languages, but we were all going to school in French. We also lived in Rwanda, a country with beautiful landscapes and a lot of infrastructure, and Tunisia and Senegal.

I chose to study in the United States because I have family all around the US and I really wanted to study in English. I really wanted an urban area because I wanted to discover a new landscape. I felt welcomed and supported before coming to Concordia thanks to the great work of the international student office. I also like that students here are close to the professors.

When I came here it was hard to make friends with normal students because it was hard for them to understand my accent. So I decided to talk to more people and to be involved in many activities. I attend a lot of the events on campus like homecoming, 908 and the women’s Bible study.”

Jihee (Jina) Kim - Seoul, South Korea

Jihee-Kim

Jihee (Jina) Kim
Seoul, South Korea
Early Childhood Education

“I do not see huge differences between Korea and the US, honestly. Except that Korean students are so stressed about getting a job. They do not have fun in school life and focus on piling up their qualifications in their resume. At Concordia, I’ve learned to take responsibility for everything you do. Also, if you are busy and enjoy your time at CSP, I bet you will not miss your home country!

Studying in the United States, there are more opportunities that I can experience deeply, meaningfully. I did not plan to study in the US. When I came as an ESL exchange student in high school, I missed my life in Korea. But when I spent more time here, I wanted to study more deeply.

I am still feeling very welcomed from all people at Concordia. The curriculum is very organized to follow and earn your degree, and I have many opportunities here to get real work experience. For example, I am working with young children as a practicum student. This obviously helps my academic performance – I got on the Dean’s list! “

ZhangLong (Tony) Li - Shanghai, China

Zhanglong-Li

ZhangLong (Tony) Li
Shanghai, China
Sociology major

“I lived in a big city in China where there are many people and noise. Minnesota is a quiet state, over here is a good environment. I have made lots of friends here. Many students and teachers love to ask about my home town, they love to know about my country.

I was an exchange student who studied in Minnesota in 2013. I had a very good host father, he helped me feel that the US is a good country for college. Concordia has a good program for foreign students, nice student services.”

Chelsie Lindsay - Winnipeg, Canada

Chelsie-Lindsay

Chelsie Lindsay
Winnipeg, Canada
Exercise Science major

“I chose to study in the US due to athletics – the level of soccer is better in the States than in Canada. The factors that influenced my decision with attending Concordia would be the campus how everything is in walking distance. The facilities were selling factors, and to this day are still my favourite part of this school. Also, the exercise science program here is very good.

Concordia has small class sizes so I can ask the professors questions and clarify anything I need help with. Also, the classes aren’t all just lecture style, there is a lot of application in the classroom which has helped me to excel in school. I’ve had a great experience here, I always tell family and friends at home how much I love attending school here.

I grew up in Winnipeg, which we like to call “Winterpeg” because it’s always freezing cold there. It’s a little bit warmer here for me, which is a treat. I grew up in a multicultural place so the diversity at Concordia isn’t anything new for me. At home, most of my friends have parents who emigrated from other countries, but my friends here are third, fourth, etc. generation Americans. I’m a first generation Canadian, my dad is from Jamaica and my mom is from Grenada.”

Contact the Office of International Student Services

 

  • Phone: 651-641-8883
  • Email: iss@csp.edu
  • In Person: Luther Hall tunnel – Room 116
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • Walk-in Advising Hours: 1:00-2:30 p.m., Monday – Friday

Schedule an Appointment

Newsletters

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Faculty/Staff Resources

Forms

Accepted International Students

If you have been accepted to Concordia University, St. Paul, visit the Accepted International Students webpage for important information and next steps.

Visit Accepted International Students Page

English Language Lab

English Language Lab (ELL) provides free English language support services for non-native English speakers.

Visit ELL Page