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What are the programs offered by Southeast Missouri State University?

Southeast offers a comprehensive set of Bachelor (undergraduate) programs of study and a wide variety of Master (graduate/post graduate) programs. The University also has an Intensive English Program for students who need additional English language study before entering a degree program.

How do I apply?

In order to apply, please download the International Application Form. You can refer to Graduate Programs/ Undergraduate Programs for a checklist of the required documents. Mail all documents to:

International Education and Services
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza, MS 2000
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 U.S.A.

Omission of anything will cause delays. Successful applicants will receive a letter of acceptance and I-20 or DS 2019 by express delivery. Please note: Students applying to enroll in IEP followed by Bachelors or Masters Degree need not submit a TOEFL or IELTS score for initial admission.

Which programs offer conditional admission?

All available undergraduate programs offer conditional admission. Only some graduate programs consider conditional admission - available programs are marked with # on page 4 of the application download. Please note that some graduate programs require a higher GPA for conditional offers.

How does conditional admission work?

Conditional admission allows a student to postpone required testing until their English proficiency is improved. For undergraduate study, students who complete all level 8 courses of the Intensive English Program (IEP) subjects with 'C' or better may enter the university directly without further TOEFL or IELTS.

For graduate students with conditional acceptance offers, completion of the IEP Grad CAP with 'B' or better waives the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. However, other program requirements such as GRE or GMAT must be completed by the time the student wishes to begin graduate study. No graduate courses are permitted until all conditions are met.

When will I receive a decision about my application?

Applications for IEP only or Undergraduate level (including conditional) are usually reviewed and processed within 1-2 weeks of receipt. Email notices are sent to students who are missing documents, as well as those who have been accepted. All email notices are sent to the email address listed on the application form.

Applications for Graduate level (including conditional) are usually reviewed and processed within 2-3 weeks, although some programs may need longer. (Some programs have a single application deadline, after which all files are reviewed.) Graduate applications must be reviewed by three individual offices, which accounts for the slightly longer process.

How many transfer credits will I receive?

Credit transfer information is a separate process completed after acceptance. Please allow 2-4 weeks after your acceptance notification for the credit review. Once complete, the Registrar's Office will email you with further information about number of credits accepted and remaining credits for your chosen program of study. While the number of hours transferred is important for status (i.e. sophomore, junior), the more important question is how many hours remain to complete the program of choice.

Transfer hours are reviewed on a course-by-course basis. First, we check to see that the university/college and credentials are formally recognized as approved programs by the government in the home country. Next, we evaluate each course towards our curriculum to determine matching courses and available subjects. Finally, we use our Degree Works system to apply these credits to your program requirements to reveal remaining hours for graduation. After this initial evaluation is complete, your academic department can review your hours to determine if any waivers or substitutions are appropriate.

Please note that final credit evaluations are not given until all official documentation is submitted. Some students will also need to provide course descriptions to finalize the process; if needed, you will be contacted by email with this request.

I could not join Southeast last term. Can I defer my application?

Yes, we currently permit students to defer their previous application for up to one year beyond the original application date (i.e. Fall 2012 may be deferred to Spring 2013 or Fall 2013). After one year, new application materials must be submitted. All deferral materials are mailed to the person or agency who submitted the original application (no exceptions).

Both completed and incomplete applications may be deferred. Students who were previously admitted must meet the current academic requirements for the deferral to be issued. If the requirements are no longer met (i.e. required test score increases), the application will be forwarded to pending status until the missing items can be submitted.

What is a Graduate Assistantship?

The graduate assistantship (GA) is designed to provide support for a student during full-time graduate study. It is an opportunity for the graduate student to serve in a professional role while establishing a professional relationship with faculty and/or administrators. There are three kinds of assistantships: teaching, research and administrative. Graduate assistantships cover a full tuition and fees waiver for up to 24 hours of graduate coursework annually as well as paying a stipend of $7,600 per year. International students that receive a GA position will not be eligible for the international scholarship.

How Can I Apply for an Assistantship?

You must be accepted to your graduate program prior to applying for a GA position. There are several academic and non academic positions available to eligible candidates across the various departments at Southeast. The allocations can be found at

Once admitted, you may contact the academic department of your major or any non academic department that has GA allocations to check for openings. If a position is available, the individual department will guide you on the procedure to submit an application. Please note that procedures and deadlines vary by department. Many departments begin the applicant review process in the previous fall or spring term, so we recommend applying for graduate studies (and taking any required tests) early in order to confirm your admission in time to apply for available positions.

New Students

Do I Have to Have Health Insurance?

Due to the increased costs of healthcare in the United States, the university requires all international students to purchase health insurance offered through Southeast Missouri State University. However, students who are sponsored by their home government or institution may be exempt from this policy if they can show detailed evidence of coverage that is equal to our greater than the university policy.

When Can I Purchase Health Insurance?

All international students are automatically covered and charged for the insurance. You should expect to see this charge on your student bill during the first few weeks of the semester. You may use the policy once the semester has started, even if you have not received the charges on your account or received your card in the mail. The insurance brochure provided in your acceptance packet (or available at the International Center) can be used during this interim period if services are needed.

How Do I Obtain a Student ID Card?

Student ID card services is located at the University Center’s Information Desk (3rd floor). You will require your student Id number which can be found in your acceptance letter (S0XXXXXX) as well as proof of your identity (passport).

Is Orientation Mandatory?

Yes, orientation is mandatory for new students. All new international students enrolling in university level courses must attend the New International Student and Scholar Orientation. All new international students enrolling in Intensive English Program must attend the IEP Orientation. All new international students will have a one-time orientation charge applied to their student account. Students who change education levels (IEP to UG, UG to GR) are therefore not required to attend a second orientation.

Will I Be Charged for Orientation?

All new international students will have a one-time orientation charge of USD 65 applied to their student account.

How Can I Request Airport Pick Up?

Our office offers pick up only during our recommended arrival dates. If you who wish to be picked up from the airport you must:

  • Arrive at Lambert St. Louis International Airport OR Cape Girardeau Regional Airport
  • Arrive on the recommended arrival dates ( (please refer to your acceptance letter for your recommended arrival dates).

Once you have scheduled your arrival, please complete the Arrival Information form on our website: . If you have later schedule changes, you can notify us using the same form. You are not required to use our pick-up services, but we request that you do submit your travel information in case of any unexpected delays or problems.

Where Can I Open a Bank Account?

You can open a bank account with any recognized bank in Cape Girardeau. However, many students pick U.S. Bank as it has a branch on campus. To open an account with U.S. Bank, you need your student ID card, passport, Form I-20, current local address and permanent home address on you.


How Can I Find a Job?

International students should contact Career Services to begin the job search process. University offices often advertise with Career Services when they wish to hire student employees. However, some offices may hire through existing connections such as a current student employee or colleague referral, just as during the job search upon graduation. On-campus jobs can fill very quickly, so it is important to check the job listings frequently and to respond promptly when a new job is listed. Please note that as an international student, you are not eligible to apply for any job listed as "work study only" as this refers to a specific aid program for citizens and permanent residents.

It is also important to note that you should present yourself in a respectful, professional way. Inappropriate behavior will only make it less likely that an employer will consider you for a current opening or any future openings. Remember to treat an inquiry or interview for an on-campus job as serious as you would one for a full-time professional position.

Where Can I Work?

International students may seek on-campus employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular school semesters (fall and spring). Students may work up to 37.5 hours in the summer and winter breaks, and you may work more than one on-campus job as long as you do not exceed the maximum hours. Your student status in the US does not permit you to work off-campus unless authorized through the International Center. (Please see the question below for more information.).

Can I Work Off-Campus?

All students are required to prove that they can afford to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses prior to being admitted. You must not plan on working off-campus. Off-campus work authorization can be allowed only under the following three circumstances:

How Many Hours Can I Work?

You can work on campus up to 20 hours per week during fall and spring Semester.
You can work on campus up to 37.5 hours per week during winter break, spring break and summer semester.


What is my status when I am on OPT?

While on OPT, your non-immigrant status remains F1. The Office of International Education & Services at Southeast Missouri State University will continue to be responsible for your SEVIS record during the period of authorized practical training. You must report any change of name or address, employment within 10 days of that change to your DSO for the duration of authorized training.

What if I Can't Remember the "Date or Place of Last Entry to the U.S"?

Your I-94 will have your place of last entry.

Can I Travel When My OPT is Pending?

If you have graduated and your application for OPT has not yet been approved, it is not advisable to travel outside the United States. If you leave the U.S. when the application is processing, the United States Customs and Immigration Services may consider your application abandoned.

Can I Travel While on OPT?

An F-1 student on OPT who travels outside the U.S. temporarily can be readmitted to resume employment for the remainder of the period as indicated on your employment authorization card. You must carry the following when traveling abroad:

  • SEVIS Form I-20 endorsed within the last six-months
  • Valid F-1 visa stamp inside passport
  • Current passport, valid at least six-months after the date of last entry
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card; and
  • Employment Letter showing you are returning to resume employment

Can I Work at Any Job with OPT Authorization?

No, your employment must be directly related to your field of study and commensurate with your educational level. Working in an unrelated job is a violation of your visa status.

Can I Work for More Than One Employer?

Yes, you may work for more than one employer and/or change employers during OPT provided that each position is directly related to your field of study and commensurate with your educational level. You must report any changes in your employment within 10 days of that change to your DSO.

Student Services

What Documents Do I Need to Obtain a Driver's License?

Students must carry the following documents with them when they apply for a driver's license.

  1. Form I-20/DS2019
  2. I-94
  3. Passport (with visa)
  4. Social security card OR a letter obtained from the Social Security Office of Cape Girardeau stating that you are not eligible for a social security number
  5. Verification letter from the international office
  6. A document verifying Missouri Residential Address (A utility bill, letter from school or bank statement with your name and current address would suffice)

Please click here for a complete list of required documents for all visa categories for the state of Missouri.

The test can be taken at 3102 Blattner Driver, Ste 102, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. You may want to read the Missouri Drivers Guide prior to taking the test. Upon passing the test, you will be directed to obtain your license from 112 South Spanish Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703. International students generally receive a temporary license paper while waiting for the permanent card to be mailed to their address (about 4-6 weeks).

How Do I Get a Social Security Number?

The Social Security Office will issue Social Security numbers only to students who have a written job offer. Please carry your written job offer, verification letter from our office, passport, Form I-20/DS2019, I-94 and completed application when you go to apply for the social security card. Make sure that you save the "receipt" as this will be your proof of employability until the social security card is mailed to you.

Local Office Address:

Social Security
2445 Cape Centre Dr
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Please note that you must not have a social security number to obtain a driver’s license or state ID, to sign a cell phone contract, or to open a bank account.

How Can I Travel Within Cape Girardeau? to St. Louis?

During the week, students can travel around Cape Girardeau by the CTA bus and taxi service. For bus information, visit Buses are less expensive, but they run on a specific schedule to pre-determined locations. For customized service, consider the taxi system. For taxi information,

On the weekends, Southeast Missouri State provides a free student shuttle system called W.I.N.G.S. to select locations, including downtown Cape, Town Plaza, the West Park Mall and Walmart. Schedule information can be found at

For travel to St. Louis, students may fly, use a shuttle service or use bus service:

Greyhound is bus system that runs between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau as well as other places around the country. For more information please contact (573) 339-7806 and they are located at 937 Broadway Street Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.
BART is a van service that, upon reservation, can drive you from the St. Louis Airport to Cape Girardeau. Visit their website for more information:
A final option is to take a charter flight from the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport to St. Louis Lambert International Airport. For more information, please visit:

Is there a minimum enrollment requirement for international students?

Yes, International students must meet minimum enrollment requirement outlined below to be considered a full time student
Undergraduate students-Total of at least 12 credits with no more than 1 online class counting towards this requirement
Graduate students-Total of at least 9 credits with no more than 1 online class counting towards this requirement
Graduate Assistants-Total of at least 6 face to face credits

Do I Have to Report Where I Live to the International Office?

If you live on campus, you do not have to update your address with our office. If you live off campus, you MUST our office with your current local address within ten days (Email Shvetha Gohn at This is a requirement by Department of Homeland Security to maintain your student visa status.


International Center – Located at:
939 College Hill
Cape Girardeau, MO

International Education and Services
One University Plaza, MS2000
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
Staff Directory
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