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International Students Like You Belong At Erikson

Erikson is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students. If you are a resident of a foreign country who wants to study full-time at Erikson Institute’s campus in Chicago, please note that you must satisfy additional requirements before your I-20 can be issued. We are here to help you.

Please note that International students are not eligible for student visas for any of Erikson’s online or hybrid programs.

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An Overview of Erikson Institute’s Application Process for International Students

Take the first step towards your graduate school career.

Make sure you have everything you need so you can start your journey on schedule. Keep the following deadlines in mind for completing your application, to allow time for issuance of Form I-20, setting a U.S. Visa appointment and processing.

International Application DeadlineTerm Begins In
Fall TermJune 1September
Spring TermOctober 1January
Summer TermFebruary 15May
MSCD: Child LifeJanuary 15September
PhD (program starts every 2 years, in odd years)February 15, 2025September

As a degree-seeking student, your first effort is to apply to the degree you seek (Steps 1 through 5). Once you have received your acceptance to Erikson Institute, paid your deposit, and have an active Erikson email, you can begin the process to request your immigration documents (Steps 6 through 10). You will continue to use your Application Portal to provide the required documents for those steps. Deadlines for submitting your required documents to Erikson to process and submit for F-1 student visa are about four months from the start of your program.


Choose your program


Confirm you meet the admission requirements for your program of study


Complete your application


Prove your English language proficiency


Provide all your college or university foreign transcripts for evaluation


Supply a confidential statement of financial support as part of your I-20 Application for Certificate of Eligibility to provide evidence of adequate funding to meet the estimated cost of attendance


Copy of Passport

Submit a copy of your passport within the application form. If you are currently residing in the U.S. a copy of your U.S. visa stamps and I-94 card is required.




Find housing in and around Chicago prior to arriving in Chicago. Housing will need to be verified 2 weeks prior to your arrival, even if it is temporary housing.


Erikson Institute offers International students the opportunity to earn a merit-based Leadership Scholarship


Maintain proof of health coverage


Send Official TOEFL or IELTS Test Scores

If your native language is not English, you must submit official test scores directly to Erikson from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as evidence of proficiency in oral and written English. Test scores must be no more than two years old at the time of admission.

If you have received a degree from a college or university in the United States or where the language of instruction is English, proficiency scores are not needed.

Are There Minimum Requirements for English Proficiency Tests?

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For TOEFL, you must receive a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, or 550 on the paper-based TOEFL. Include Erikson’s institution code of 0623 to have your test scores sent to Admissions.

Learn more about TOEFL

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For IELTS, you must receive a minimum overall band score of 6.5 and a minimum score of 6.0 on the academic reading and academic writing sections. Erikson doesn’t accept scores from the General Training exam

Learn more about IELTS

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Submit Your Previous Transcripts For Review

If you have completed undergraduate or graduate level work at a college or university outside the United States submit official sealed transcripts from each institution to Erikson for review. Unofficial transcripts may be used for evaluation of meeting admissions criteria.

We require an outside evaluation service review of your transcripts with course-by-course evaluations. Your transcripts and documents must be in English for our review. To ensure the most complete review, please include all courses on the submitted documents.

We accept evaluations from:

Educational Credential Evaluations, Inc. (ECE)

World Education Services (WES)

If you have questions, please reach out to the Office of Admissions.


Student Health Insurance Required for All Students

As an international student on a F-1 visa, you will need to submit proof of insurance coverage for the duration of their enrollment at the Institute. Erikson provides neither a student health center nor health insurance.

The following are the minimum requirements your insurance coverage will need to provide:

  • Coverage must be arranged through a health insurance provider in the United States.
  • The policy must be for a full 12-month period without gaps in coverage, beginning on the first day of enrollment at Erikson.
  • Proof of coverage must be submitted no later than the first day of classes.
    • Proof of coverage can be in the form of a statement of coverage from the insurance company or a valid insurance card.
  • At minimum, the policy must provide coverage for the following: $50,000 per accident or illness; $7,500 for repatriation of remains; and $10,000 for medical evacuation to the student or dependent’s home country.
  • The insurance company providing the coverage must meet one of the rating criteria listed below:
    • Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-1” or higher;
    • Standard & Poors Claim Paying Ability rating of “A-” or higher;
    • A Best’s rating of “A-” or higher; or
    • Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or better

Contact Admissions to Review Your Health Insurance Needs

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Access Erikson Scholarships and Help Make Your Degree More Affordable

Earn a merit-based Leadership Scholarship as an admitted master’s program student with your academic and professional achievement as well as your potential for leadership in your chosen fields.

Talk to Student Finance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Erikson Institute international students study in F-1 status.

International students must choose full-time program lengths to be eligible for F-1 student visa.

Student visas are prioritized over tourist visas however, appointment wait times and processing times will vary by country depending on local U.S. embassy/consulate procedures. It is important to follow the guidance of the specific location where you will be applying for your student visa. Some individuals may qualify for an interview waiver, while others may need to schedule the first available appointment and work to obtain an expedited appointment closer to the start of the program date.

Generally, you will need to allow Erikson Institute 2 weeks to issue Form 1-20 after submitting all required documentation. The average for U.S. Visa appointment with wait and processing (U.S. consulate or embassy) is 1-3 months.

International students must document that they have enough funding to cover at least one year of the program (or the entire program if shorter than one year). You may want to gather evidence to show financial support for your entire program length, as American embassies and consulates may require this type of evidence before issuing your visa. Additional funding is needed for students bringing family members. Exact information for each program will be provided to students after they deposit and also will be indicated in the Form I-20 request.

The most common documents we typically receive represent liquid assets and include savings and checking accounts via bank account statements. We also accept proof of guaranteed loans, financial award letters from sponsor(s) and other official documents outlining liquid assets. Documents must be dated no older than 90 days from the date you submit your Confidential Statement of Financial Support. All documents must be issued in English or accompanied by an official, notarized translation.

Bonds, stocks, property documentation, credit card limits, tax forms and income or salary statements are not allowed. Any funds not immediately accessible are not accepted.

Information will be provided to students upon receiving their first deposit. Form I-20 processing begins about four months prior to the start date of a program. Once your request form has been submitted, and your documents are complete, we do our best to issue your Form I-20 within two weeks.

Students will receive their Form I-20 for F-1 status through their Erikson email once it has been processed. You will print it out and use it for the visa process and entry to the U.S.

Visit the US Department of State (DOS) website for information on the student visa. For more specific instructions, locate the website of the US embassy, consulate, or other US visa-issuing post having jurisdiction over your place of residence. Schedule your visa appointment as early as possible. Each case is unique, and visa issuance may be delayed if special clearances are required.

A student must have met all conditions for admission before a Form I-20 can be issued. If you have been admitted conditionally you can submit your Form I-20 request, but will need to satisfy the condition before the Form I-20 can be issued.

In addition to completing your application to the degree of interest and submitting your Statement of Financial Support, you will also need to complete the F-1 SEVIS Transfer Form

If you are coming to Erikson Institute as a new international student from a U.S. college or university, you will likely need to transfer your immigration record to Erikson in order to receive a new Form I-20 for your Erikson program. You would indicate this within the Form I-20 request, and complete the F-1 SEVIS Transfer Form.

A selected number of banks offer loans for international students to finance their education. In order to be eligible, international students must have a co-signer who is a US citizen or permanent resident. For additional information about international student loans, please contact Associate Director of Financial Aid, Monique Foster.

You may also apply to earn a merit-based Leadership Scholarship as an admitted master’s program student. The scholarship application will appear in your admit portal pending scholarship availability.

Yes, we would love to welcome your family into the Erikson community! Their information should be included with your Form I-20 request. Additional funding documentation would be required and indicated within the Form I-20 request.

F-1 international students can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the Form I-20 start date.

At the US port of entry, the CBP officer will provide an admission stamp in your passport that is annotate with date of admission, class of admission (for students, the class is “F-1”), and length of authorized stay (for students, the authorized stay is for “duration of status” or “D/S”). The Form I-94 is an important admission document that is issued to nonimmigrants entering the US. It is created as an electronic automated arrival record at an air or sea port of entry. You must go to the CBP website as soon as you arrive in order to retrieve and print your I-94 number. You may need to present it as part of your lawful record of admission. Keep each I-94 number printout for your records.

Please refer to the Admitted Students web page to learn more about the next steps needed before you start your first term.