Doctorate Students (PhD Degree) (F-1)

PhD Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • Course by course foreign transcript evaluation by a member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES) The Graduate School does not evaluate transcripts of non-U.S. degree programs and coursework.
  • Graduate admissions exam required by the program to which you are applying. All required test scores must be submitted to The Graduate School.  The GRE exam is required for PhD programs. The Montclair code for test reporting is 2520 for GRE.
  • Scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR English for International Opportunity (IELTS). Montclair State University’s institutional code for test reporting is 2520.  Submit your scores to The Graduate School at Montclair State University.
    • TOEFL Doctorate – Computerized test minimum score: 213
    • TOEFL Doctorate – iBT (Internet) test minimum score: 117
    • IELTS Doctorate – minimum score: 6.5

You may qualify for a standardized test waiver.

Application Deadlines

Check with Graduate Admissions for application deadlines.

Visa Procedure

Most International students enter the United States on the F-1 Student Visa.  In order to apply for and be granted F-1 student visa status, international students must obtain the I-20 Certificate of Financial Eligibility Form from the International Studnet & Scholar Services office.  In order to obtain the I-20 Form, students must show that they have sufficient financial support to cover 12 months of expenses, among other pertinent information.

There are also other visa types that are allowed for study in the United States. If you have another visa and wish to know whether you can study full-time or part-time with that type of visa, contact International Student & Scholar Services.

Step 1:   Complete and submit admissions application.

Step 2:   Complete and submit the I-20 Application to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.  It is highly recommended the I-20 application be submitted either at the same time, or directly after submitting the admissions application.  

Step 3:   Wait for your admission decision.

Step 4:   If/When accepted, obtain I-20 form from International Student & Scholar Services Office.  Students can obtain the I-20  form only when they are accepted into a full-time matriculated program, and have completed the I-20 application along with submitting all supporting documents.

Step 5:   After receiving the I-20 form, you will need to schedule an appointment at your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy in order to obtain your F-1 visa.  The visa is necessary to enter the United States.  At the time of your appointment you will be given an interview, and it is very important that all supporting documents are with you.  To find the U.S. Consulate or Embassy nearest you, please go to Once you have located the U.S. Consulate or Embassy closest to you, you will be able to find out wait times, what to bring to your appointment, and what to expect on your interview.  This information can also be found in the Welcome Guide, which is provided to all new international students with their I-20 form.

Immigration regulations require all F-1 students to:

  • Enroll for a full-time course load each semester. Full-time for undergraduate students is at least 12 credits for each fall and spring semester. Full-time for graduate students is at least 9 credits for each fall and spring semester. (Summer session enrollment is optional)
  • Sufficient financial support to attend classes and live in the U.S.  The I-20 application contains detailed instructions on what financial documents should be submitted with the application.


Students Transferring from Another U.S. School to Montclair State University

Students currently in F-1 status transferring from another U.S. school will need to do the following:

  • Complete the online admissions application.
  • Submit the Montclair State University I-20 Application to the Office of International Services.
  • Meet with your International Student Advisor at your current school and ask them to complete the Transfer-In Form.
    • Determine the exact date you want your previous school to transfer your SEVIS record to Montclair State University. This date is called your release date. On that date, your SEVIS record will be electronically sent to Montclair State University.
    • The release date you select must be between the end of the semester at your current school and beginning of the next semester at Montclair State University.
  • After the release date in which your SEVIS record has been transferred to Montclair State University and you have submitted the required financial documents, we will issue your I-20 Form.

Transfer Points to Remember

You will be considered a Montclair State University student for SEVIS/immigration purposes as of the release date in which your previous school releases your SEVIS record to Montclair State.

  • If you are on Optional Practical Training (OPT) -- After your SEVIS record is transferred to Montclair State University, your OPT ends as of the release date.
  • If you are traveling outside the U.S., you must use your Montclair State University I-20 when you re-enter the U.S.
  • While you are outside the U.S. and your F-1 visa in your passport has expired, you will need to apply for the F-1 visa with the American Embassy or Consulate in your home country.