International Student Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

What steps do I need to take to get a Student Visa?

  1. Submit the required admission documents and take the necessary actions to apply to Southwestern Oklahoma State University by the appropriate deadlines (Fall Semester:  June 1; Spring Semester: October 1; Summer Semester: March 1).
  2. If you submit the required documents and take the appropriate actions by the appropriate deadlines, you will receive an acceptance letter and an I-20 in the mail.
  3. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Form Fee.  You can access this form online: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/students/formSelection.htm
  4. Apply for the Student Visa at the American Embassy or Consulate in your country.  When you apply for the visa, you will need to bring a passport, I-20, and a financial statement showing that you will have the necessary funding that is required to pay for tuition, fees, living costs, and medical insurance. You may also have to bring additional documents, so please check what is specifically needed for your country when you schedule your appointment.

If I am a Canadian Citizen, do I have to get a Student Visa?

No. If you are a Canadian Citizen, you will need to do the following:

  1. Submit the required admission documents and take the necessary actions to apply to Southwestern Oklahoma State University by the appropriate deadlines (Fall Semester:  June 1; Spring Semester: October 1; Summer Semester: March 1).
  2. If you submit the required documents and take the necessary actions by the appropriate deadlines, you will receive an acceptance letter and an I-20 in the mail.
  3. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Form Fee.  You can access this form online: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/students/formSelection.htm
  4. Travel to the United States and bring the following:
    • Proof of identity and citizenship 
    • The original I-20 Document
    • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt 
    • Proof that you have the funds to pay for the costs that are indicated on the I-20
    • Proof of your ties to Canada

Does Southwestern Oklahoma State University have an international student admissions deadline?

Yes.  In order to gain admission to the university, you must submit all of the required documents and take the appropriate actions by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester:  June 1
  • Spring Semester:  October 1
  • Summer Semester:  March 1

When does each semester start and when should I arrive?

The fall semester begins in the middle of August, the spring semester begins in early January, and the summer semester begins in early June.  If you are entering the United States as a first time international student or a returning student that was not enrolled during the most recent fall or spring semester, you will not be able to enter the country until the 30 day timeframe before your program start date. For instance, if you are starting in the Fall Semester, you could not enter the country until the middle of July because the semester begins in the middle of August. It is highly recommended that you arrive before the semester begins so you have an opportunity to finalize living arrangements and enroll in classes.

Does Southwestern Oklahoma State University have student housing?

Yes, there are student housing options that are within walking-distance of everything on campus. Please visit www.swosu.edu/reslife/ for more information about housing options on campus.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?

No.  There is no need based aid or federal loans available for international students. Only citizens and permanent residents are eligible for financial aid.

Are international students eligible for scholarships?

International students are eligible to apply for a couple of non-resident tuition scholarship opportunities. Please visit http://www.swosu.edu/sfs/scholarships/nonresident.asp or contact Student Financial Services at sfs@swosu.edu for further details.

How many credit hours do I have to take to remain in good immigration standing?

Undergraduate and graduate students must complete a full-time course load each fall and spring semester to remain in good immigration standing. Undergraduate students must complete 12 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters and graduate students must complete nine credit hours each fall and spring semester. Summer enrollment is optional, unless it is your first semester in the United States.  If the summer semester is your first semester in the United States, you must be complete at least six credit hours to stay in good immigration standing.

Are international students eligible for admission to the College of Pharmacy at Southwestern Oklahoma State University?

Based on how the admission system is set up in the College of Pharmacy, international students are not admissible to the program. Only US Citizens and US Permanent Residents are admissible to the program. Please contact the college of pharmacy if you have further questions about admission to the program.

How much will it cost each year for tuition/fees, living expenses, and medical insurance?

Undergraduate
Estimated Tuition Costs $8520
Estimated Living Costs $8060
Medical Insurance Costs $634
Total $17,214 Per Year
Graduate
Estimated Tuition Costs $10,176
Estimated Living Costs $8060
Medical Insurance Costs $634
Total $18,870 Per Year

Please note that the estimated tuition, estimated living costs, and medical insurance costs are subject to change.

If I took college coursework in a country outside of the United States will the credits transfer to Southwestern Oklahoma State University?

The courses might transfer.  If a student completes coursework in another country, it must be evaluated by an international credential evaluation service to determine if the courses are equivalent to the curriculum that is taught at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Please contact Daniel Archer at daniel.archer@swosu.edu to obtain further information about the companies that provide this service.

Am I required to have medical insurance?

Yes.  Southwestern Oklahoma State University has an international student insurance policy set up with Academic HealthPlans, Inc. that is automatically billed to your student account.  This was a $634 fee for the Fall 2010/Spring 2011 Academic year.


Nearly all of our international students participate in this program; however, students can opt out of this coverage if they have valid proof that they purchased an alternative medical insurance policy. For more information about the insurance policy please visit www.ahpcare.com/swosu.

As an international student, am I eligible to get a job in the United States?

International students are legally eligible to work part-time jobs that are on campus.  As an international student, you can only work up to 20 hours a week.  Students that desire to work off campus must receive permission from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  One common instance where students work off-campus is when they participate in OPT after he/she graduates (see next question and answer for further details).  

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT) and what do I need to apply for OPT?

Post Completion Optional Practical Training gives international students an opportunity to work in a field that is related to their degree. International students can only work under OPT Status for one year immediately following their graduation date.

If you are interested in applying for OPT, you must turn in the following documents to the Registrar’s Office no earlier than three months before your graduation date and no later than four weeks after your graduation date:

  1. Fill out Form I-765 http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-765.pdf
    This needs to be mailed back to SWOSU, so don’t put your home address on the I-765 Form. Put your name on the Applicant information but on the address list:

    100 Campus Drive C/O Daniel Archer
    Weatherford, OK 73096


    Put (c)(3)(B) in item 16 of the I-765 Form.
  2. Check payable to the order of U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $380.00.
  3. Two passport photos (full-face showing).

    Suggested photographer:
    Walgreen’s
    1019 E. Main here in Weatherford
    Phone 580-772-2613
    Approximate cost: $8.00

  4. Copy of both sides of I-94.
  5. Copy of all ID pages from your passport.
  6. Fill out Form G-1145 http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-1145.pdf
    This will allow you to get a receipt that will note that the Department of Homeland Security received your application. You will receive a text message and/or email from them when they receive it.

    After you turn in the above documents we will do the following:
  7. The Registrar’s Office will prepare a SEVIS I-20 showing OPT recommendation. We will ask for your preferred start date.
  8. You will then need to sign the new I-20.
  9. We will mail all the above documents, including the new SEVIS I-20, to the Texas Service Center for you.

    USCIS
    PO Box 660867
    Dallas, TX 75266

  10. After we receive the card in the mail, we will copy it and give you the option of either picking up the card or having us mail it to you.