Steps to Take for Undergraduate International Students

students hugging

Take a moment to reflect on your life over the last year. What has changed? What hasn’t changed in your life? Chances are your desires to study in the United States has grown stronger but you may feel uncertain with US embassies closed or only open for visa appointments or the pandemic has impacted your family’s ability to assist you in paying for your college education. These are just a few of the different thoughts prospective students have shared with me over the last 8-10 months.

I’d like to reframe your experiences during the pandemic in a new light. You’ve realized your new strengths, what drives you, what family means to you, what human connectedness means to you. If you’re anything like me and you’re reading this blog post, you have an innate desire to learn more, not just about a specific content area but about another culture, the slang, the food, the openness of American society, to learn more to enrich your lives beyond what you realize for the years ahead. And for that, for you to be here in this moment with me, I thank you, wholeheartedly.

You are on the next steps of your journey, and I hope you decide to take those steps with Chicago State University, and I’ll be there with you, alongside the campus community, from the application process, to your visa processes, to your academic studies, to celebrating graduation and working, if you choose to, in the United States after graduation. By the time you read the last words in this post, I hope you understand clearly what you would need to submit for consideration for admission as an International Freshman student with Chicago State University.

Where do we start? With submitting an application, of course! For the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023, there is no application fee! (subject to change). There are 5 steps to take to complete your application with the university to be considered for admission into Chicago State University.

What happens once your application has been submitted to the university? One of my colleagues or myself will introduce ourselves and share with you what you will need to submit to complete your application.
An exam that shows you have the English language proficiency to be successful in a degree program. We accept language scores from one of the following companies: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or iTEP and you’d need to achieve a minimum score in one of the exams. What if you’re from a country where English is a foundational language and instructional language? You can check out our academic catalog, page 31, for a list of minimum language scores AND a list of countries that we would waive language scores for.
In addition to submitting a language score, you’ll need to have your high school educational credentials evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation company. We accept evaluations from companies that are NACES accredited. So how do you know which companies we accept reports from? I advise you to check out this website: for a complete list. If you’re STILL not sure which company to use or what type of evaluation to select, you are always welcome to send me, Katherine Haan, an email, You’ll need to earn the equivalent to a 2.75 or above to WAIVE the SAT or ACT requirement. If you’re not sure what your GPA is equal to US high school grades, I’d like to refer you to check out Scholaro’s GPA calculator to get a rough idea of the GPA. This will help you to decide whether or not you will need to take the SAT or ACT exam.

You’ll need to submit your high school transcripts and certified English translation of transcripts (if not in English). The foreign credential evaluation company will require you to submit original documentation for the evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed, the company will provide attested copies of transcripts with the evaluation report to Chicago State University. If you are in your final year of your high school career and you’re not done yet, you’ll need to make SURE you bring the complete official transcripts, English translations, and evidence of completing high school, like a diploma, or credentials, with you to Chicago State University, if you are admitted, for our staff to attest and receive.


Best of all, once you’ve completed the final step, this would complete your application with the university and once we have received all of the materials, we will review for admissions into Chicago State University. Once a decision is made, you will be notified by email and if you are admitted, your journey to coming to the United States has only just begun! Check out my next blog post which will cover what steps are next for admitted international students towards applying for a visa! This will include tips on how to have a successful visa interview and some other thoughts. I hope you have a better understanding of the process of applying now and don’t worry, if you still have questions, PLEASE contact me at We can set up a Zoom appointment or a phone call or just communicate through email. Whatever is easiest for you! I hope to hear from you soon. Go Cougars!