International Admission Requirements FAQ


Application Requirements

Who is considered an international student?

An international student is a foreign applicant who plans to apply for a nonimmigrant visa or, is currently in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa. An International Graduate Applicant is not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. (or applicant for permanent residency). KSI accepts F, H, and B nonimmigrant visa applicants.

What are the academic eligibility requirements for an international student?

Applicants must hold a degree considered equivalent to a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree with an accumulated GPA of a 2.75 in order to apply.

If an applicant's degree was completed outside of the U.S. KSI would need to review the Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or World Education Services (WES) evaluations to prove that said applicant has the U.S. equivalent of a four-years bachelor's degree.

What are the English proficiency requirements for an international student?

International applicants are required to demonstrate their level of English language proficiency during the application process. Students must submit a photocopy of their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS score. Proficiency is proven when a TOEFL score of 80 internet-Based Test (80iBT) or higher or an IELTS band of 6.5 is submitted.

If an applicant's IELTS/TOEFL is expired and he or she has a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, they are waived of the IELTS/TOEFL requirement. However, a copy of the expired scores should be sent to KSI.

If an applicant does not have an IELTS/TOEFL score, nor do they have a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, he or she would be ineligible to join KSI.

When should I apply?

KSI has three points of admission per year: Fall, Spring and Summer semester intakes. The application deadline for each of these semester is mentioned in the KSI Calendar.

What documents are needed in order to apply?

  • Fill out the Application Form
  • Pay the $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Mail out official transcripts (in a sealed envelope)
  • Mail out official WES or ECE evaluations (if applicable)
  • Submit three (3) signed letters of recommendation
  • Submit a photocopy of a government issued ID (Drivers License, State ID)
  • Submit a photocopy of degrees earned (bachelors and higher)
  • Submit a photocopy of passport/visa/I-94
  • Submit a photocopy of all I-20s issued (if applicable)
  • Submit an original bank financial/institutional letter
  • Submit a photocopy of TOEFL scores

Do I have to submit all documents?

All documents must be submitted in order for students to complete the application process.
Majority of the documents can be scanned and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. However, the following documents must be original and must be mailed to the Administrative Office in a sealed envelope: official transcripts from degree earned school (bachelors and higher only) and financial letters.

What happens after I submit all documents?

An applicant will receive a confirmation email from the Administrative Office once all application materials are submitted. The Admissions Council will review all documents and a formal response will be given within five business days.

Obtaining a nonimmigrant Student Visa

This is my first time applying for a student (F-1) visa. What processes must I follow?

First time applicants of F-1 must submit all of the admission documents as mentioned in the admission requirements. If admitted, an acceptance letter and Form I-20 will be shipped to your overseas address. Once the admitted student has received said documentation, he or she must visit and submit the SEVIS I-901 fee. Once the fee is paid, print several receipts. Once you have the SEVIS I-901 receipt, contact the U.S. Consulate of your home country for a visa interview. When, and if, visa approval has been granted, the student may travel to the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to program start date stated on his or her I-20. When an admitted international student receives his or her acceptance letter and I-20 in the mail, they will also have a copy of KSI's Academic Catalog and FAQ's.

Will my I-20 be valid for the next semester's admission if I fail to join for the original semester I applied for?

No. The I-20 is only valid for the program start date stated on the I-20. If the applicant requests to defer his or her admission to the next semester, or, had issues obtaining their visa on time, an updated I-20 with the next semester's program start dates reflected accordingly will be mailed out. In this event, said student would have to re-apply for F-1 visa approval at their respective U.S. consulate.

I am an international student, but this is my first transfer. What is SEVIS? Must I re-apply for a visa to join a new school?

No. Re-applying for a visa in order to join a new school whilst already being in the U.S. is not necessary. Being an international student, certain regulations must be followed, which are instilled by the United States Customs and Immigration Services department (USCIS – formerly INS) and the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Schools in the U.S. that accept international students can only do so if they are approved by the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This is the department wherein I-20's are created. An I-20 is a legal form which states a student's information and current school's details. All international students must hold a valid I-20 at all times issued by the school they are studying in. All international students have a SEVIS ID number issued on their I-20 at the top of the document. This SEVIS ID number begins with the letter 'N'. This ID number is unique: each student visa holder has their own specific SEVIS ID number. When a student decides to leave one school and join another, the student must request for a transfer of this SEVIS number from their current school to the new school which they have recently gained admission to. A student's unique SEVIS ID number is also known as their specific SEVIS record. The purpose of a transfer is to request the school that currently has the student's SEVIS record to release/transfer his or her record to KSI so that an I-20 may be generated. This I-20 would express that the student is now studying at KSI under the Computer and Information Sciences major.

How do I begin processing my SEVIS record transfer?

International students must first be accepted into the MS degree program. Please contact the Administrative Office for information regarding SEVIS transfers. Students may contact the Office via e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or via phone (847-679-3135).

What issues may occur during the SEVIS Record Transfer Process?

The following issues may occur during a SEVIS transfer:
OPT Students: If a student is on OPT and their 60-day Grace Period is surpassed, his or her SEVIS Record may be 'Completed'. KSI does not accept 'Completed' status students.
Terminated Students: KSI Graduate School does not accept students that have a Terminated/Deactivated SEVIS Record. Terminations are only processed if a student has failed to follow the policies of USCIS, SEVIS and/or their school's policies.
Pending Requirements: If a student has several pending requirements due to their school, this will definitely delay the transfer. Admitted applicants should be in constant communication with their current school to ensure they have met all financial/documentation obligations.

How do I obtain an I-20 for my family members (dependents)?

Admitted students must contact the Administrative Office regarding which dependent and how many dependents they will be responsible for and/or inviting from overseas.

Students will also need to provide scanned copies of their passports and demonstrate additional funding for each dependent ($7,200 for spouse and $3,200 for each child).

Relationship documentation must also be submitted i.e. copy of marriage certification for spouse and copy birth certification for child.

Once my I-20 is issued, can you e-mail me a copy?

It is our policy to provide only the original hard-copy document. We cannot make exceptions.


Enrolling/Transferring Credits

Can I study part time?

No. International Students cannot study part time. U.S. immigration law requires all international students on F-1 visas to maintain full time enrollment. Full time at KSI Graduate School is defined as completion of 18 credit hours per year for an international student that has had valid F-1 for over a year and 24 credit hours for students that have completed under one year of academic studies in the U.S.

Can I transfer any credits?

An applicant must have a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The six regional accreditation commissions are the following: HLC-NCA , MSCHE, NEASC, NWCCU, SACS, WASC. An applicant must submit official transcripts by the application deadline which he or she is applying for. Please refer to the KSI Calendar for the deadlines; the deadline must be met for the Admissions Council to review said applicant's admission documents. The Admissions Council has the right to reject an applicant's courses if they do not correlate with KSI's degree courses.

I have taken some of the classes mentioned in KSI's degree program already, but my school is not regionally accredited and I can't transfer credits. What do I do?

In such an event, the Admissions Council will decide if the applicant is eligible to take KSI's Waiver Exams. Only eligible applicant's may take the waiver exams. Eligibility is defined in acceptance letters. If the eligibility clause is not listed in the acceptance letter, the applicant is therefore, ineligible to take waiver exams and must take all degree required courses and any prerequisites if listed on the acceptance letter.


Tuition and Fees

What will my academic schedule and fee structure look like?

Academic Schedule:

One academic year includes 3 semesters;
Spring – January to May (16 weeks)
Summer – May to August (12 weeks)
Fall – August to December (16 weeks)

Classes are held once per week for the duration of the semester.

One credit hour is $576 (each course at KSI is 3 credits)

On-site Lab - $50 per semester
Material - $5 per course

For full tuition and fee details, please visit Tuition & Fees (for international student).

When do I pay tuition? Can I pay by using a debit or credit card? Is there an installment plan?

The Registration Day of each semester is the tuition payment due date. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for exact deadlines.

Payment methods include: check, money order, credit card, and debit card. There is a 3% service fee added to the full tuition amount when selecting any card as a payment method. Students complete a Credit Card Authorization Form, which is available to download at the Download Forms section of the website.

KSI does offer installment plans for students. Installment plans are divided into two equal payments, with the first installment due on Registration Day and the second installment due 30 days later. Students on work authorization (CPT) are ineligible for installments.

How much will the entire degree program cost me?

It will cost roughly $20,000 - $29,000, depending on the courseload.

Does KSI Graduate School offer any scholarships or loan eligibility for International Students?
At this time, no. We do not offer any scholarships for International Students. Government student loans are also not processed for International Students. However, students may be eligible for a private bank loan. Many of our students use the Discover Student Loans program for financial support.



How often do I have to attend classes? Can I get weekend courses?

Classes are held once a week per class. In the Fall and Spring semesters, each class is subject to be held for three (3) hours and in the Summer semester for four (4) hours. We offer weekend courses, which are offered on Saturday & Sunday. Weekday evening classes are also available.

When and where are classes held?

Classes are held on 3420 Main Street, Skokie, IL 60076. Parking is available on the lot (all spaces facing Main Street). Online courses are also available, for details regarding online course availability please contact the Administrative Office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

How soon can I get my degree?

If students are doing the bare minimum (2 courses/semester), they can expect to graduate in three years.

The more classes students take per semester, the faster they graduate. You can visit the graduation requirements.


Work Authorization

Does KSI provide Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optical Practical Training (OPT)?

Yes. CPT is offered on a part time (20 hours per week) basis during the Fall and Spring semesters. Full time CPT is allowed exclusively during the Summer semester for applicable students. Students that have been on active F-1 status for over one year in the U.S are eligible to apply for CPT in the first semester at KSI. Students that have not yet completed one year under valid F-1 status are not eligible for CPT. CPT is only offered for a maximum of nine semesters. For further information, including how to apply for CPT, please visit Internships.

OPT is only offered maximum three months prior to graduating. Visit the graduation requirements. The Masters Degree in Computer and Information Sciences at KSI is a part of the STEM (Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics) program thus, OPT would be for 29 months total.

International Students that have already completed OPT using their Master's degree are not eligible for OPT again.