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Guide for International Graduate Students

Table of Contents


Welcome from the Dean of Graduate Studies

International students add to the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of our campus community and we are delighted to learn of your interest in graduate studies at Rhode Island College.

We invite you to experience quality graduate education and to advance your professional interests. Rhode Island College has over 30 nationally recognized graduate programs taught by extraordinary faculty who bring the excitement of their research and their professional experiences to the classroom. Small graduate classes, the average size is 12, allows students the opportunity to work closely with faculty. In addition, students learn with other committed students, many professionals, who share their enthusiasm and dedication.

Since it is not possible for you to visit and talk to our graduate students you might want to "Meet the Graduates" on our web page. Here students who have finished a graduate program at the College talk about their experiences in their program, in classes, meeting and studying with their peers, and working and conducting research with faculty. You will find this a helpful resource as you consider the best college and program for you. You can read about the experiences of other international graduate students. It may also be helpful to know that we offer a small number of graduate assistantships that provide a small stipend and a tuition waiver.

To learn more about the college you can access a virtual tour. A link on the Admissions page provides a great introduction to the exciting city of Providence which the BBC recently named one of its Top 21 under-the-radar destinations in the world.

Please let us know if we can answer your questions about the college, our graduate programs and the application process. We look forward to hearing from you and to welcoming you to RIC as a graduate student!

Leslie Schuster, PhD.
Dean of Graduate Studies

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Welcome from the International Student Office (ISO)

The International Student Office (ISO) is a resource for international students who are attending or applying to Rhode Island College. The ISO and its advisor, Karina Mascorro ( help students with specific questions about U.S. government forms, the process of entering and leaving the country, employment requests, Practical Training, financial needs, taxes, health, housing, as well as academic and personal issues. The office hosts social and cultural activities throughout the year, including coffee hours, parties, and picnics and publishes a monthly newsletter by and for international students.

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International Students

For purposes of admission, an international student is defined as a student who is studying or wishes to study in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa. This definition does not include permanent residents (who can supply a copy of both sides of the resident alien card) or applicants with temporary protected or refugee status. International applicants who are transferring from another U.S. college or university must notify the registrar of the “sending” institution of their plans to transfer to Rhode Island College.

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Graduate Programs Admission Requirements

  1. Completed online application. A downloadable hard copy can also be obtained.
  2. $50 nonrefundable application fee
  3. TOEFL minimum score of 81 web-based (213 computer-based or 550 written) or IELTS minimum score of 6.5. See appendix for English language proficiency testing services.
  4. Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) academic records with a certified course-by-course evaluation and English translation from an approved agency (NACES or AICE). See appendix for a partial list of approved agencies.
  5. At least three professional reference letters and a personal resume.
  6. Some programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test. Check the individual graduate program for specific requirement.
  7. Upon acceptance and before an I-20 can be issued, students must submit an original Declaration & Certification of Finances Form, verifying the ability to pay education and living expenses for the first academic year of study. This document must be original (no copies), current (within the past 6 months) and certified by bank seal or notary. If you are currently in the United States on an F-1 visa (transferring from another U.S. college or university), notify your previous institution. Complete a new certification of finances and obtain a new I-20 from Rhode Island College. See appendix for the Declaration & Certification of Finances Form.
  8. Graduate programs begin review of all completed applications just after the admission deadline. Once the program has made its decisions, applicants are notified by the Dean of the School.

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Arranging for Life in Rhode Island

Acquiring your Visa and preparing for travel

* Once you receive an offer of admission, complete and submit your Declaration of Finances Form to Dr. Leslie Schuster, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. The Records Office will send you an I-20 or DS-2019 form. Bring this form with you when you come to the United States.

* When you receive your I-20 (for F-1 status students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 status students) form check them for accuracy and make an appointment for a visa interview at the United States Consulate nearest you.

* Pay the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee prior to your visa interview ($200 for F-1 students, $180 for J-1 students). This fee and the visa application fee are required. For information on paying the SEVIS fee via mail, go to Outside Link To pay the SEVIS fee online, go to Outside Link Make sure to bring a copy of the SEVIS Fee Receipt to your visa interview.

* Prepare your documents to show to the customs agent at your port of entry. You should have the RIC issued I-20 or DS-2019 form, RIC acceptance letter, passport visa, I-94 Card (this will be given to you on the plane), and your SEVIS Fee Receipt.


On campus housing is not available for graduate students but the International Student Office can offer assistance in locating housing at reasonable rates which is close to campus and shopping.

Preparing for travel and for the semester

*Get in touch with your advisor about registering for the appropriate courses. Check the Rhode Island Collegeacademic calendar so that you know when classes begin and end.

* Arrange your travel plans and notify the International Student Office at Rhode Island College. You may email or call the office at 1-401-456-8649. The office will try to have someone to greet you upon your arrival.

*International students are required to have health insurance while enrolled at the college. For the 2013-2014 year, the cost for college health insurance is $832/semester. If you have proof of other health insurance coverage, the college health insurance plan may be waived. Complete your medical forms for RIC Health Services.

Notice of Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination
Pursuant to the philosophy of the Board of Governors for Higher Education and Rhode Island College and its administration, the College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, disabled veteran, veteran of the Vietnam era, or citizenship status. This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of the College’s educational programs and activities, including admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic, and all other programs. It also encompasses the employment of College personnel and contracting by the College for goods and services. Rhode Island College is committed to taking affirmative action to ensure that this nondiscrimination policy is effectively observed in all the College’s endeavors.

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English Language Proficiency Testing

For students whose native language is not English, scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required. SAT scores may be required for students whose native language is English. Please contact the testing services directly to obtain information about testing sites and dates:

Educational Testing Service (TOEFL)
P.O. Box 6155
Princeton, NJ 08541-6155
Phone: 609-921-9000
Fax: 609-520-1093
Web: Outside Link
IELTS International
825 Colorado Boulevard, Suite 112
Los Angeles, CA 90041 USA
Phone: 1-323-255-2771
Fax 1-323-255-1261
Web: Outside Link

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Credential Evaluations

Rhode Island College requires all students to have any coursework completed outside the U.S translated and evaluated by NACES or AICE member agency. This is an important step in the application process and often takes at least 3-4 weeks. Approved agencies include the following (those with asterisks are most frequently used by RIC applicants):

If you have an undergraduate
degree in Social Work contact

Council on Social Work Education; International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service Outside

SpanTran: The Evaluation Company
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1004
New York, NY 10123
Phone: (646) 475-2570
Website: Outside

If you have an undergraduate degree in Nursing contact Commission on Graduation on Foreign Students (CGFN) Outside Link 1 215 222 8454

Academic Credentials Evaluation
Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 6908, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 275-3530
Fax: (310) 275-3528
Website: Outside

American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
One DuPont Circle, NW, Suite 520
Washington, DC 20036-1135
Telephone: (202) 296-1135
Fax: (202) 822-3940
Website: Outside
Evaluation Service, Inc.
333 W. North Avenue, #284
Chicago, Il 60610
Phone (847) 477-8569
Fax (312) 587-3068
Website: Outside
10924 Mukilteo Speedway, #290
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Phone: (425) 349-5199
Fax: (425) 349-3420
Website: Outside Link
International Education Research
Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
Phone (310) 258-9451, Ext. 131
Fax (310) 342-7086
Website: Outside
*Center for Educational
Documentation, Inc.
P.O. Box 199
Boston MA 02117
(617) 338-7171
Fax 617-338-7101
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
(414) 289-3400
Fax 414-289-3411
Outside Link
Educational Perspectives, nfp.
P.O. Box 618056
Chicago, IL 60661-8056
Phone: (312) 421-9300)
Fax: (312) 421-9353
Outside Link
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
(305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338
*World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
(212) 966-6311
FAX 212-966-6395
Toll Free 800-937-3895
Outside Link
Global Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 9203
College Station, TX 77842-9203
Phone: (512) 528-0908
Fax: (512) 528-9293
Website: Outside Link

For a full listing of NACES or AICE member agencies, visit Outside or Outside

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Proof of Funding Requirements for Student Visas

United States Citizenship & Immigration Services require international applicants to provide proof of available funds before an I-20 form can be issued.

Upon acceptance, you must submit an original Declaration & Certification of Finances Form, verifying the ability to pay education and living expenses for the first academic year of study. This document must be original (no copies), current (within the past 6 months) and certified by bank seal or notary. If you are currently in the United States on an F-1 visa (transferring from another U.S. college or university), notify your previous institution and complete a new certification of finances and obtain a new I-20 from Rhode Island College.

Expenses will vary depending on whether you are paying for off-campus housing or are living in a sponsor's/ relative's home. Generally certified bank statements from any number of sources (self/relative/sponsor) can be used to verify funding for tuition, fees, room, board and other expenses. A relative/sponsor can verify that your room and will be provided free of charge (please complete attached Affidavit of Sponsor Providing Free Room & Board). In addition, if you are offered employment on campus, you may deduct $4,000 from the total costs. Students are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week but positions are limited in number. All sources of support must have official documentation and equal at least $16,966 (if you have a relative or sponsor providing free room and board) or $29,266 (if you must pay for your room and board).

Additional acceptable forms of documentation are indicated on the Declaration and Certification of Finances Form.

Holders of student visas are required to be full-time students (minimum of 9 credit hours for graduate students each semester).

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Page last updated: April 05, 2018