International Student Information

The School of Public Health offers MPH, MS, DrPH or PhD degree programs.

International students on F-1 or J-1 visas must be enrolled full-time, equivalent to 12 credits per semester, in a traditional on-campus program. A maximum of one online course is permitted as part of the 12 credits.

International students may pursue full-time study in one of the following areas.

  • Biomedical Sciences (MPH, MS, PhD)
  • Biostatistics (MPH, MS, PhD)
  • Environmental Health Sciences (MPH, MS, PhD, DrPH)
  • Epidemiology (MPH, MS, PhD, DrPH)
  • Health Policy and Management (MPH, DrPH)
  • Social Behavior and Community Health (MPH, DrPH)

1. Completion of a degree program equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling.

2. Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required for students whose native language is not English. The School of Public Health requires a minimum TOEFL score of 98 for the MPH and DrPH programs; and a minimum of 100 for the MS and PhD programs.

*TOEFL scores are not required for students who have previously been enrolled for a minimum of two full-time semesters in a US college or university, or who have completed an undergraduate degree in a country where English is the official language and language of instruction.

Countries with English as Official Language and Language of Instruction

3. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination).

4. Specific admission requirements for the degree and program of study to which you are applying. Please review the program specific admissions guidelines carefully prior to applying, to be sure you meet all requirements.

All official documents must be submitted directly to SOPHAS per the instructions in your SOPHAS application portal, It is not necessary to submit additional copies of materials to the School of Public Health.

  • All academic transcripts and credentials from international universities attended must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES) and submitted by WES directly to SOPHAS, the centralized application service used when applying to graduate programs at many schools of public health.

It may take up to 6 weeks for SOPHAS to receive the WES evaluation, so it is very important to plan for this extra time when submitting your credentials to WES to ensure that degree application deadlines are met.

Please note that SOPHAS and the University at Albany will only accept evaluations from the World Education Services (WES). SOPHAS applicants will receive a 10% reduction in the cost of the WES evaluation.

  • Personal statement describing background, goals and objectives in your proposed area of study
  • Resume
  • A minimum of three letters of reference, at least two must be from former teachers
  • Official TOEFL scores: use code 5688
  • Official GRE scores: use code 4216
  • Completion of all sections in the SOPHAS application

The specific SOPHAS UAlbany School of Public Health codes are to be used when requesting results to be sent directly from ETS to SOPHAS electronically.  Do not send copies of your score results directly to either SOPHAS or the School of Public Health, as they will not be considered official.  The scores must be sent directly from ETS to satisfy the application requirement of official scores.

Applicants whose academic training was not in the U.S., but who are in the U.S. at the time the application is submitted MUST adhere to all requirements as outlined for international students on SOPHAS.

A notification email from the School of Public Health Office of Admissions will be sent directly to the email you provided in your SOPHAS application.

  1. Accept your offer of admission:  All students must complete the School of Public Health Enrollment Decision form and a submit a $250 enrollment deposit.  The enrollment deposit will secure your place in the incoming class and will be applied to your student account.

    SOPHAS Applicants:  Submit the $250 enrollment deposit to UAlbany Marketplace.

    UAlbany Apply Now Applicants: Confirm your admission and submit the $250 enrollment deposit via the link provide in your admit letter posted in your online application portal.

  2. Submit the Financial Affidavit Form: Proof of funding must be presented before the University will issue the I-20 documents necessary to obtain a visa.  All international students must submit the Financial Affidavit Form, verifying possession of sufficient funds to cover the cost of tuition, fees, living expenses, books and supplies, approximately $31,000 for a minimum of one academic year.  Students planning to bring dependents to the US with them should plan for an additional $4,000 per dependent.

    Visit to obtain the Financial Affidavit Form and instructions on completing it. 

    Once the Financial Affidavit Form has been submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, the I-20 documents will be issued.  Students may request express shipping of immigration documents at

    Although proof of finances is only required for the first year of study, it is the responsibility of each student to ensure they have financial support sufficient to pay for all tuition, fees and living expenses for the entire duration of the academic program. Student should budget accordingly when planning for graduate study at the University at Albany.

    The Office of Graduate Admissions will not issue I-20 documents to international students who have not first paid the enrollment deposit.

  3. Obtain your I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa) form

    The I-20 form is a document issued by the university to certify to the U.S. government that you are eligible for a student visa. The initial I-20 form is mailed with your official acceptance letter (1) after you have been officially accepted to the program and (2) after you have provided proof of finances to cover the cost of tuition, fees and living expenses.

    The DS-2019 Form is issued by the university to certify to the U.S. government that you are eligible for the J-1 Trainee Visa. The J-1 visa is typically issued to individuals coming to the U.S. as students who are receiving funding to pursue a specific program of study, research, training or a cultural enrichment program.

    After receiving your I-20 form or your DS-2019 form it must be signed and brought to the U.S. Embassy in your country.

  1. Pay your SEVIS Fee

    The SEVIS fee must be paid in order for you to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa. You cannot apply for your visa until the fee is paid.

    Please note that while citizens of Canada and Bermuda are exempt from the requirement to possess a visa to enter the U.S., they are still required to pay the SEVIS fee.

    Please refer to the following Student and Exchange Visitor website for more information:

    All students who pay the SEVIS fee will receive a formal receipt that should be used as proof of fee payment. To pay the SEVIS fee online, go to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements website then select File the 1-901 Form online and follow the instructions.

  2. Follow the instructions specific to the US embassy of your country of application and schedule an appointment.

    To obtain a student (F-1) or an exchange visitor (J-1) visa you must:

    1. Bring verification of official acceptance into the program
    2. Have formally confirmed that you plan to attend the University at Albany School of Public Health
    3. Provide a copy of your Student Financial Affidavit or evidence of financial support (bank statements, letters of sponsorship etc.) to prove that you can support the costs of living and studying in the U.S. for the entire duration of your program of study
    4. Bring a passport from your home country that will be valid for the duration of your program and at least 6 months after its end
    5. Provide any evidence that you might have to demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country and that you plan to return to your home country at the conclusion of your study and any period of authorized employment.

    Once the visa has been approved your passport will be stamped with the name of the school.

I-94 form

The I-94 form will be issued to you once you cross the border into the United States. It must be completed by foreign citizens being admitted into the country on a non-immigrant status. Once completed, the form is evaluated by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer who will approve your admission into the country for an authorized time period. This time period is typically based on the length of time it will take you to obtain your degree. After approval, the stamped form will usually be stapled into your passport. It is important that you DO NOT LOSE this form because it is proof that you have entered the country legally. This form must also be presented to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) once you have arrived on campus. If lost, a replacement is costly so please hold on to this form. Once your period of authorization has expired or you choose to leave the U.S. for an unspecified period of time, this form will be collected from you by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

  1. Register for classes. Students must be registered for classes within 30 days after the visa has been issued. You must contact your department directly to obtain advisement and begin the registration process.

  2. Start looking for housing. Both on and off-campus housing options exist for graduate students. Empire Commons, an apartment style living complex, is available at the Uptown Campus. For more information please visit click on Housing.

    Off-campus housing can be obtained through a variety of resources. The first thing students should consider is whether or not they will have access to a vehicle. If students are relying upon public transportation, they are encouraged to look at and around bus routes, especially the University at Albany shuttle bus to the East Campus, to find a suitable location to live. Students with access to automobiles may want to look through local newspaper listings, such as or at the Office of Residential Life through their website at This website is accessible to all University at Albany students.

The Office for International Student & Scholar Services provides current rates on tuition, fees and living expenses for international students at the University at Albany. Click on New Students and Cost Information for detailed information. International students should consider an additional $4,000 annually for each dependent who accompanies them to Albany.

Many students find an assistantship or part-time job once enrolled in the graduate program.  On campus positions frequently become available during the year and School of Public Health students are notified of these opportunities on a weekly basis via an electronic newsletter from the School of Public Health Internships and Career Services Office.

Students should not assume that they will receive an assistantship or part-time job after enrolling in the graduate program.  All students are eligible to apply for these positions, which are awarded on a competitive basis after completion of an interview and determination of qualification for the particular position. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure they have financial support sufficient to pay for all tuition, fees and living expenses for the entire duration of their academic program.

International students on an F-1 visa are permitted to work on campus, as long as they are in good academic standing and taking a full-course of study.  For more detailed information about on campus employment for international students, click on Current Students at

International students may work off campus only if the off campus job is related to their course of study and is considered Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Off campus employment (CPT) requires the approval of the International Students Service and Scholars office.

  1. Go directly to the International Student and Scholar Services Office

    You have to go there to check in so they know you have arrived in the country and to present the I-94 form, as well as have any questions or concerns answered. In addition, please make sure you attend the New International Student Orientation program that occurs before the start of each semester. This orientation is mandatory and provides important information for international students. You should also plan to check in with your department and attend all School of Public Orientation activities that are held the week before classes start each fall.

    The International Student and the School of Public Health orientations are required, so be sure to verify the dates of these orientations before making travel arrangements to Albany, NY.

    The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is the resource and advisement center for UAlbany's international student population. Services provided include U.S. Immigration counseling, cultural and academic orientation, coordination of social events, a Language Partners Program, and personal and University procedural concerns.

    Science Library G-40
    University at Albany
    1400 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.
    Phone: 518.591.8189
    Fax: 518.591.8171

  2. Go to the School of Public Health

    The School of Public Health is located on the East Campus of the University at Albany in Rensselaer, NY.  You can take the University at Albany East Campus shuttle from the Uptown Campus.  The schedule can be found at Please note that the East Campus Shuttle is available on weekdays only.

    You can take a taxi from the Albany Greyhound/Trailways Bus Terminal, Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak Station, or the Albany International Airport.

    Driving directions to the School of Public Health: 1 University Place, Rensselaer, NY 12144

    IMPORTANT: when entering the address in your GPS, the "city" field should be Rensselaer NOT Albany. If you search for the University at Albany in your GPS, it will bring you to the Uptown Campus in Albany instead of the East Campus in Rensselaer, NY.   To obtain directions to the East Campus from your current location, please use UAlbany's Interactive Google Map.When choosing your destination, please select:

    Campus: East Campus
    Area: Academic
    Specific Area: George Education Center

    Please note that the administrative office and many of the laboratories for the Department of Environmental Health Sciences are located near the downtown campus in Wadsworth Center facilities at the Empire State Plaza; the administrative office and many of the laboratories for the Department of Biomedical Sciences are located at the David Axelrod Institute and the Center for Medical Sciences on New Scotland Avenue in Albany.  Please contact your department for directions and advance notice when you first arrive, as these are secure facilities which require advance registration.

    To find a specific location on the University at Albany Campus please go to the following link:

    For more information on travel, directions, and lodging options, click on the links below:

    Maps and Directions

    Lodging around Albany

    Lodging around the East Campus

    Hotel Accommodations near the East Campus

For the answers to many common questions from international applicants, please see International Applicant Questions.

For more information on what to expect as an international student, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services welcome page for new international students.