CUNY takes special pride in its international student body and offers many resources to aid students in their transition to the U.S. The staff in the Offices of International Students and Scholars at each individual campus is available to advise you on college orientation, course registration procedures, employment options, and how to maintain your visa and immigration status. Please take advantage of this valuable resource. You may contact an International Student Advisor for further information.

Form I-20 & DS-2019 are forms that must be completed before attending CUNY institutions. After the college has determined that you have provided the required information and sufficient funds to support your education and living expenses, the International Student Advisor will mail the Form I-20 if you are a prospective F-1 student; the Form DS-2019 if you are a prospective J-1student. These forms are integral in maintaining your immigration status within the U.S.

Find out more about the obtaining your visa and immigrations status.

If English is not your first language, you will have to take one of the following exams. Check with your desired campus to confirm which exam is accepted.

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  3. Pearson Test of English (PTE)

*See the minimum score requirements in the table below*

Please note that all colleges accept TOEFL. TOEFL Scores are valid for 2 years but check with your desired college to see if your scores are still valid.

These institutions can help you get the training needed to meet the requirements for the English Language Proficiency exams:

Please note if you are an international student that completed a bachelor’s degree program in the U.S. or an English Speaking country like the U.K or Australia (India, Bangladesh and Pakistani students are still required to take the TOEFL exam) then you are exempted from the TOEFL exam.

SchoolEnglish Proficiency Test Requirements
Baruch College: School of Public AffairsTOEFL code: 2027 No minimum requirements
Brooklyn CollegeTOEFL code: 2046 No minimum requirements Please note: We will also accept exam scores from IELTS
City CollegeTOEFL: 2083
College of Staten IslandTOEFL code: 2778 Minimum requirements for all programs: 550 (Paper), 213 (Computer), or 79-80 (Internet). Minimum requirements for Master’s in Accounting, Business Management and Mental Health Counseling Program: 600 (Paper), 250 (Computer), or 100 (Internet) Please Note that IELTS academic exam scores are also accepted. Minimum required Score for all programs: 6.5. Minimum for the Master’s in Accounting, Business Management and Mental Health Counseling: 7
CUNY Graduate School of JournalismTOEFL code: Minimum requirement: 260 (Computer) and 105 (Internet)
CUNY School of LawTOEFL code: 8483 Please note: TOEFL is not required but may be asked for at the time of review
CUNY School of Professional StudiesTOEFL code: 4829 Minimum requirements: 577 (paper), 233 (Computer), 90 (internet)
Hunter CollegeTOEFL code: Minimum Requirements: 550(Paper), 233 (Computer), 60 (Internet) Please note: *Program requirements may be higher than the college’s minimum requirement.* Applicants to the School of Education who are required to take the TOEFL also need to present scores on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and Test of Written English (TWE), score requirements are dependent on the program
John Jay School for Criminal JusticeTOEFL code: Minimum Requirements: 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 79-80 (Internet) Please Note that we also accept IELTS scores. A score of 7.0 is required on the IELTS
Lehman CollegeTOEFL code: 2312 Minimum requirements vary by program: 500 (Paper) or 61 (Internet) Please note The TOEFL should not be more than 2 years old. The IELTS Academic will be accepted, if available. Required scores vary by program (minimum being a 6)
Queens CollegeTOEFL code: 2750 No minimum requirements
Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter CollegeTOEFL code is 2308. Minimum requirements: 550 (Paper), 213(Computer), 80 (Internet)
The Graduate CenterTOEFL code: 2113
York CollegeTOEFL code: No minimum requirement for TOEFL

There are many funding opportunities for International Students. The International Student & Scholar Services provides recommendations to assist in financing a graduate international education in the United States.

Find out more about Financial Resources available to you.

CUNY student housing & residence life is a growing community for CUNY students. Residential students benefit greatly from living on-campus with increased opportunities for peer engagement and student involvement.

Find out more about CUNY On-Campus Housing

The Office of Graduate Studies has compiled a list of useful resources to help you navigate life in the U.S.. In case of emergencies, for immigration information, and any questions that you may have that are non-academic, be sure to check out these websites!

Education USA provides a guide preparing you for all your steps before departure to the U.S. for your graduate program. This site offers tips on how to research academic programs, pay for your studies, complete your application, apply for your student visa and more!

International Affairs
The Mayor’s Office for International Affairs fosters positive relations and creates opportunities for collaboration between the international community and local, state, and federal governments. The office is comprised of the following divisions: Diplomatic and Consular Affairs, Protocol, and International Business.

The United States Embassy in your country may have a range of information for your educational need that may include:

  • Scholarships
  • Opportunities to learn English
  • Information on exams you may have to take

Before entering the United States you will also need to go to the U.S. Embassy to obtain a visa.

Before you arrive in New York City, please familiarize yourself with where you country’s Consular Office is located. You can get assistance with lost passports and other citizen support services.

CUNY Citizenship Now provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.