International Students Admissions Process

We are pleased that you are considering study at Washington University in St. Louis. Here, you will find a welcoming and diverse community.

Admissions Process Overview

  1. Complete the student application appropriate for your course of study. Both graduate and undergraduate admission information is available on the central WashU website. If you are looking to study only in the summer, visit the International Summer Study website.
  2. If you receive an offer of admission to WashU, your admitting department will will gather information from you to send to the OISS. For a list of Admissions Documents needed, please visit Admissions Process Documentation.
  3. OISS will receive the completed packet from the Admissions Office to process your information and issue the appropriate immigration form (either an I-20 or DS-2019).
  4. You will need to apply for a visa at a United States consulate.
  5. OISS will provide information that will assist you in arriving on campus and adjusting to life in St. Louis.

Changing Status

Someone who has been admitted to WashU but who is not in F-1 status may be eligible to apply for a change of status to F-1 after an I-20 has been issued. Those who are in B-1, B-2 status are not eligible to study until a change of status is approved by the DHS. An F-2 may enroll in courses on a part-time basis and even pursue a degree program. However, an F-2 who wishes to study full-time will need to obtain the F-1 status before enrolling full-time. There are certain statuses that are not eligible to change status. Individuals who are interested in changing their visa status should inform their Admissions representative.

What are the I-20 and DS-2019 forms?

The forms I-20 (for prospective F-1s) and DS-2019 (for prospective J-1s) serve as proof that you have been admitted to an academic program at Washington University. Receiving an I-20 or DS-2019 does not guarantee that you will be granted an F-1 or J-1 entry visa or that you have F-1 or J-1 status.

You may not engage in studies in the U.S. until you have done one of the following:

  • Entered the U.S. with an I-20 or DS-2019 and an F-1 or J-1 entry visa
  • Changed your status to F-1 or J-1 within the U.S.
  • Transferred your F-1 or J-1 status to Washington University from another U.S. educational institution