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Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

Am I an international student?

Only non-immigrant visa holders, or those pending permanent U.S. residency, should submit the international admission application. U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents (green card holders) should apply through the Office of Admissions.

Where do I send my application and correspondence?

Old Dominion University
Office of International Admissions
2101 Dragas Hall
Norfolk, Virginia, 23529 USA

Important Application Dates

Term Deadline to Apply
Fall (August) April 15
Spring (January) October 1
Summer (May) February 1

How much is the application fee?

The non-refundable $50 (USD) application fee is required of all applicants. The application fee for the Master's of Business Administration (MBA) is $75 (USD). MasterCard and Visa are accepted credit cards. In the instance a credit card payment is not available, international checks, bank drafts or money orders must be drawn from a U.S. banking institution, made payable in U.S. dollars to Old Dominion University and mailed directly to the Office of International Admissions.

Am I eligible for in-state tution rates?

Students studying on F-1 or J-1 student visas are not eligible; however, other non-immigrant categories may apply by submitting the application for in-state tuition.

Can I visit the main Norfolk campus?

Guided campus tours are available on a daily basis. Reserve your space online or call the Welcome Center at +1 757-683-5678.

How long is the entire application process?

Processing a complete undergraduate application requires 4-6 weeks; complete graduate applications take 8-10 weeks. Please be mindful that evaluation times may vary during the peak application season.

Can I recieve a conditional admission?

ODU does offer conditional admission pending English proficiency only. Admitted students who have not satisfied the English language requirement are automatically restricted to intensive English course enrollment at the on-campus English Language Center.

Are any scholarships available to international undergraduate students?

The Office of International Admissions offers a competitive, merit based scholarship, renewable (up to 4 years) for newly admitted, initial Bachelor's degree seeking international students. For eligible recipients, the ISS scholarship offers $10,000 USD per academic year to be applied to out-of-state tuition costs.

Can international students receive transfer credit?

The Office of International Admissions awards general education and elective undergraduate course credit from classes taken at accredited post secondary institutions. Core departmental course credit is awarded by academic advisors within your college. Course/catalog descriptions officially translated into English are required and will expedite the evaluation process. Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits are awarded once the official scores are received.

Is the SAT or ACT required?

Neither the SAT nor ACT standardized test is required for international undergraduate admission. Both tests are recommended if applying for the ISS scholarship. Sufficient verbal scores on either test may satisfy Old Dominion University's English language proficiency requirement.

Is departmental financial aid available to international graduate students?

Contact the Graduate Program Director of your intended program of study directly for graduate, teaching or research assistantship opportunities.

Is my degree equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's degree?

Applicants are encouraged to apply to the academic level for which they think they qualify. Degree determination is a component of the application process, and notification is given if a different level of study is more appropriate.

Can I receive transfer credit for graduate courses?

All graduate level transfer credit is determined by the Graduate Program Director.

Does ODU accept credential evalutaions from agencies?

Old Dominion University evaluates all foreign credentials in-house. Evaluations completed by a credential evaluation agency or service are not accepted as official, however the report can serve as an English translation. All academic credentials must be sealed, stamped/attested by a school official (Registrar, Principal or Controller of Exams) and sent directly from the institution.

What is ODU's CEEB code for test reporting?

The College Examination Entrance Board (CEEB) code for all standardized test reporting to ODU is 005126.

How do I apply for Non-Degree studies?

A complete non-degree application includes copies of final certificates, highest earned diploma or degree, demonstrated English language proficiency and a copy of one's non-immigrant visa and passport identification page. Students in F-1 status must remain full-time degree seeking students. Non-degree, or incidental study in F-1 status is allowed only (by approval) during a summer session or a practical training (OPT) program. Dependents in F-2 status may enroll in one recreational or English language training course per semester. There are no non-degree study restrictions for J-2 visa holders.

Can I participate in Distance Learning at ODU?

Except for F-1 or J-1 student visa holders, who must attend a majority of their classes on the main Norfolk campus, international students are eligible to apply for Distant Learning degree programs offered either online or at a Distant Learning Site.

Does ODU participate in exchange or study abroad agreements?

Those interested in yearly exchange programs should contact the Office of Study Abroad for a list of institutions with which ODU currently administers exchange agreements. Current international students are also eligible to participate in the University's Study Abroad programs.

Does ODU host J visa scholars?

Many international visitors join ODU as researchers and faculty on a J visa scholar program administered by the Department of State. Please direct application inquires to the office of International Student & Scholars Services.

Can I defer my admission or application?

International students are eligible to defer their admission or application for up to one academic year. Requests beyond this allotted time will require the student to re-apply with transcripts and application fee. Students in F-1 or J-1 status must submit updated financial documents, and return all unused I-20 or DS-2019 forms to International Admissions.

How do I re-activate my admission?

Students in good academic standing who wish to return to active enrollment must complete and submit a new international undergraduate or graduate application (no fee required). Additionally, any additional academic course work completed in the interim period must be submitted to International Admissions. Graduate students need written approval to re-enter their program from the Graduate Program Director. Students in F-1 or J-1 status must submit updated financial documents.

How do I return to ODU from an academic suspension?

Undergraduate students must submit the Readmission from Suspension Application. Graduate students must secure readmission approval from their graduate program director. Once approved, submit the respective international application (no fee) to International Admissions. Students in F-1 or J-1 status must submit updated financial documents.

Do any non-immigrant visas restrict study in the U.S.?

USCIS regulations state that principles in visa categories E, H, I, O, P & TN may attend classes that are casual or incidental to their status, and should not be degree seeking students. However, dependents of individuals in these visa categories may be degree seeking. Pending Permanent Residents must present their I-485 receipt or Green Card before enrollment; asylum seekers their asylum petition or approval notice. Old Dominion University cannot be responsible for tuition or fee refunds in the event of a negative immigration petition.


Admitted Students

I’m admitted to ODU, what now?

Congratulations! Be sure to thoroughly read ALL materials included with your admission package, as many forms and procedures state strict deadlines. Don't delay - planning ahead will help to ensure a smooth transition to Old Dominion University. We look forward to your safe arrival!

What student visa should I apply for?

ODU is approved to administer both F-1 student and J-1 student and exchange visitor programs. With sufficient proof of funding, the University will issue either an I-20 or DS-2019 visa document, for which the student will apply for the appropriate non-immigrant visa.

F-1: The most common student visa, for those seeking a full course of study.

J-1: Those participating in an educational or cultural exchange program.

What are the requirements for obtaining an I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) visa document?

Those seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa must submit original supporting finances, including ODU's financial affidavit and supporting bank statement, or an official letter of financial support from a sponsoring or governmental agency. These financial documents must indicate sufficient funding for first year expenses, which includes tuition/fees, living/personal costs and mandatory health insurance. Financial documents are valid for one calendar year from the desired date or enrollment; all must be original or certified, dated, and show the equivalent numerical balance of funds to cover the 9 month academic year. Be prepared to obtain two original sets of bank statements, one for ODU, the other for the visa interview and travel.

Can my dependents (spouse or children) accompany me to the U.S.?

Yes. Each family member in F-2 or J-2 status will require an I-20 or DS-2019. Please note that additional funding is required for each dependent, and any sponsorship funding must be noted and adjusted accordingly. To ensure accuracy, submit a copy of each dependent's passport information page.

What is ODU’s code for the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Important codes

ODU SEVIS code for I-20 issuance WAS214F10145000
ODU program code for DS-2019 issuance P-1-03464

SEVIS fee summary

Visa type With form SEVIS fee*
F-1 I-20 $200 USD
J-1 DS-2019 $180 USD
F-2 - Exempt
J-2 - Exempt
* Additional visa or consulate application fees may apply.

Review SEVIS fee details.

When can I enter the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa?

An F-1 visa can be issued up to 120 days prior to the program start date (line 5) listed on an I-20. A J-1 visa can be issued any time before the program start date (line 3) listed on a DS-2019. F/J student visa holders are eligible to enter the U.S. no more than 30 days in advance of the program start date. Be sure your passport is valid at least six months beyond the date of your expected duration of stay in the United States.

Can I register for courses before arrival on-campus?

No, all new international students (undergraduate and graduate) must first check-in on campus before course registration can proceed. Be sure to review the semester important dates.

I'm admitted with a full-time English requirement, where do I check-in?

Students admitted on the condition of full-time, or intensive English course enrollment, must report directly to the on-campus English Language Center. Contact the ELC directly for arrival assistance, temporary housing and institutional TOEFL dates and times.

Do Canadian citizens need a visa to enter the U.S. to study?

No, but an I-20 or DS-2019 visa document is required, in addition to proof of identity and citizenship.

How do I transfer-in my SEVIS record from another U.S. institution?

After admission to ODU, request your current international student advisor determine a mutually agreed release date for your electronic SEVIS record to be transferred to ODU. In addition, have your previous institution complete and send the SEVIS Transfer-In Form to International Admissions. With sufficient proof of financial support, a new I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued.

Why do I have to arrive a week before classes begin?

There are a number of mandatory orientation programs in which you must attend before the academic year begins. All new students must attend the international orientation. In addition, freshman and all new undergraduate students intending to major within the College of Business & Public Administration must attend PREVIEW, ODU's academic orientation program. Undergraduate transfer students, while not required, are strongly encouraged to attend PREVIEW. Graduate students receiving an graduate assistantship (GA, TA or RA) requiring classroom instruction must attend the Graduate Teaching Assistantship Institute (GTAI). Additionally, non-native English speakers receiving teaching assistantships (TA) must take the SPEAK test. Verify attendance with your sponsoring graduate program.

How do I change my visa status?

If you wish to change your current non-immigrant visa to a student visa within the United States, be sure to indicate this intention on the admission application and financial affidavit of support. After admission is secured, follow the change of visa status instructions.

Do I need to purchase health insurance?

Health Insurance is required for those in F-1 or J-1 visa status; students are automatically enrolled and billed for the University approved health insurance policy for the duration of their studies. Dependents in F-2 status are not required to purchase the University sanctioned plan, however, ODU strongly encourages health insurance coverage for your spouse and children while residing in the United States. Dependents in J-2 status, per federal law, must maintain a health insurance policy that meets the requirements outlined by the Department of State.

Can I work on campus?

Students in F-1 status can work on-campus 20 hours per week while school is in session, 40 hours while not in session. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) internship opportunities are also available.

How do I pay my tuition and fees?

The tuition costs listed on your visa document are estimates in U.S. dollars for the nine month academic year, or two semesters. Summer costs are not included. Tuition and fee payments are paid on strict deadlines each semester following course registration. Plan to have sufficient funds for the initial semester in a readily exchangeable form upon arrival. Note that international money transfers may require special forms, permissions and or fees from your sponsor's bank, and may take several weeks. Traveler's checks, MasterCard and Visa may also be used for tuition payment. Carrying large amount of case is highly discouraged. Note that bringing over $10,000 USD (or equivalent) in any liquid or demand form into the United States must be declared to U.S. Customs & Boarder Protection (CBP).

Are payment plans available?

Yes, ODU offers a payment plan through which tuition, fees, health insurance and on-campus housing costs may be paid in 4 installments.

Third Party or Government Sponsorship

If sponsored by an employer, governmental or private organization, and direct billing of your tuition and fees is requested, Old Dominion University must obtain current billing authorization and contact information. Invoice approval is sanctioned by a dated financial guarantee written on official organization stationary. The total funding amount, duration of funds, and any additional related terms and or restrictions, such as specific course of study registration, must be clearly stated.