Information for future international students.

Admission decisions and I-20s/DS-2019 will be made for first-time freshman and first-time graduate applicants based on unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores. However, official copies are required before a student will be allowed to enroll in courses and receive scholarship benefits.

For transfer applicants, official copies of transcripts and test scores ae required before admission decisions can be made.    

Graduate application deadlines vary. Please be sure to check the grad programs page for deadline information.

Undergraduate and Intensive English Program (conditional admission) Application deadlines are below.

Fall (August)

  • Regular international applicant: July 1
  • Web Only and applicants with valid U.S. visa: July 15
  • IEP applicant: July 15

Fall II - October (IEP only)

  • October 1

Spring (January)

Spring II - March (IEP only)

  • March 1

Summer (IEP only)

  • May 1

Note:

  • In order to meet application deadline, the online application and all required admission documents must be submitted prior to deadline.
  • Some graduate programs have earlier application deadlines (including MS Applied Computer Science and MS Cybersecurity). Click here to see the early application deadlines.
  • Students seeking admission for Bachelor's or Master's may only apply for Spring (January) or Fall (August) entry terms. Any summer IEP student who submits a passing English proficiency test score may begin degree studies only in the following Spring or Fall term.
  • We do not guarantee offering an acceptance letter or issuing the I-20/DS 2019 after these dates.  However, late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Mailing Address:

International Education and Services
One University Plaza, MS2000
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

  • All new students who plan to begin their studies at SEMO in the Fall 2022 semester must first complete the International Student Online Pre-Arrival Orientation as soon as possible. Answers to practically every question about beginning at SEMO are answered in the online orientation. The invitation to participate in the online orientation was sent to your SEMO email account when you were admitted from DSO@semo.edu.
  • All new students are expected to be present at New International Student Orientation at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, August 17 at the International Village.
  • New students who arrive after August 17 are considered late and will likely experience significant challenges in regard to course registration and housing.  
  • Fall 2022 courses at SEMO begin on Monday, August 22. It is important for students to be attend the day of class. Inability to participate in courses from the very first day negatively affects a student’s ability to be successful in the course.  
  • Any student who wishes to participate in the Fall 2022 semester must be physically present in Cape Girardeau AND registered for a full-time load of courses by 5 pm August 26!
    • NOTE: To register for courses, all official transcripts and test scores must be submitted AND verified by our admission team. It takes time for our team to verify submitted official transcripts, so anyone who has not already submitted officials should arrange to have them delivered to the Office of International Education and Services as soon as possible, and no later than 5 pm Wednesday, August 17. We cannot guarantee later submissions will be reviewed in time for a late arriving student to register for courses.
    • Anyone who knows they will be a late arrival (i.e., after August 17) who hasn’t already submitted their required official documents is advised to have them delivered to our office as quickly as possible to ensure there is time for verification and enrollment. Do not wait to bring them yourself.
    • As a reminder, the original deadline to submit official documents was July 1. See “Deadline to Submit Official transcripts and/or Test Scores.”  
    • All policies related to official transcripts and how we handle them are posted on our website.
  • No exceptions will be made for anyone not registered for a full-time load of courses AND not physically present by 5 pm August 26. Such students will not be allowed to participate in the Fall 2022 semester.
  • If you are not 100% certain you can meet these required timeframes, you are advised to defer your admission to a future term. Again, if you are not enrolled in a full-time load of courses and not physically present at SEMO by 5 pm on August 26, you will not be have lawful presence in the U.S. Please see “Admission Deferral Process” for instruction on deferring your admission to a later term. 

Once it becomes clear a student will not be able to come to campus for a term they have applied to or been admitted for, they can easily apply to defer their admission to a future term. We cannot guarantee a student will be able to retain their previously issued SEVIS ID (if applicable) unless we receive theri deferral application AND resolve any pending admission items before the start date listed on the original I-20.  

To defer admission, simply complete the online portion of the application again, this time with the new entry term.  To defer admission, applicant WILL NOT have to pay the application fee again.

Once the deferral application has been processed, applicant will be notified if we need anything else.  Applications will then be reviewed and an admission decision will be made.  Applicants can expect a decision on deferral in 2-4 weeks for Undergraduates, and 4-6 weeks for Graduates.

Please note:
We require proof of English proficiency to have been done within two (2) years of the start date of new admission term. Therefore, if an applicant submitted an English language test score, the test date must be within 2 years of the start of the new admission term.

Similarly, we require all financial documentation to be dated within one (1) year of the start date of the new admission term. Find more information about the Affidavit of Financial Support and financial proof standards (detailed above).

Our processing times vary throughout the year depending on application volume, academic calendar, and holiday schedules.  However, we strive meet or exceed the following estimated times:  

  • Initial processing of completed application:
    • Within 4-6 week  
  • Finalizing processed applications:
    • First time Undergraduate, IEP-Only, and IEP conditional: 2-4 weeks
    • Graduate, transfer, and IEP graduate conditional: 4-6 weeks (varies based upon graduate department’s review process)  

Freshman Requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that your English language proficiency is adequate for admission. You can demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting any of the evidence below, as long as your proficiency was measured within two years of your program start date. Admitted students are not allowed to enroll in courses or claim scholarship benefits until all required official test scores have been received and processed. Emailed test scores are not considered official. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to be official.

  1. Successful completion of Level 5 of Southeast’s IEP. IEP students with conditional admission seeking to matriculate to their academic programs must submit official test scores before 5 p.m. on the opening day of classes.
  2. English proficiency tests (official scores must be reported to Southeast Missouri State University):
    • TOEFL iBT-minimum score of 61 iBT (examining minimum band scores)
    • IELTS Academic-minimum overall band score of score of 5.5 (examining minimum band scores)
    • ITEP-minimum of 3.7
    • PTE Academic-minimum score of 45
    • Duolingo English Test-minimum score of 90
    • Kaplan International certified level Higher Intermediate
    • HOFT Institute Level 5
  3. Diploma from a U.S. high school (other proof may be required if courses on transcript are listed as ESL)
  4. Diploma from an international school with U.S. regional accreditation (as verified by AdvancED)
  5. Diploma from IB curriculum school whose sole medium of instruction is English (as verified by IBO World Schools). If applicant went to an IB school with two or more languages of instruction, the applicant’s transcript must specify that their program was English language.
  6. Diploma from a non-U.S. high school/secondary education where English language is the sole medium of instruction. Student’s transcript must include three years of high school non-ESL English courses with C or better grades. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to verify the institution’s language of instruction.
  7. SAT test (2016 or later) score of 450 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section.
  8. A score of 21 or better Combined English/Writing score on the ACT Plus Writing test
  9. Successful completion of Level 112 in the ELS Language School
  10. Other proof of English proficiency may be considered on an individual basis.

Transfer Requirements

Non-native speakers of English must prove an adequate level of English language proficiency for admission into an academic program. English language proficiency for admission can be demonstrated in one of the following ways. Demonstration of English proficiency must have been done within two years of the applicant’s intended program start date. Admitted students are not allowed to enroll in courses or claim scholarship benefits until all required official test scores have been received and processed. Emailed test scores are not considered official. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to be official. 

Note: Students with less than 12-credit hours of U.S. higher education credit, or less than one-year full time credit from a non-U.S. institution will have to meet the New First-Time Undergraduate admission guidelines.

  1. Successful completion of Level 5 of Southeast’s IEP. IEP students with conditional admission seeking to matriculate to their academic programs must submit official test scores before the end of business day on the opening day of classes.
  2. English proficiency tests (Official scores must reported to Southeast Missouri State University):
    • TOEFL iBT-minimum score of 61 iBT (examining minimum band scores)
    • IELTS Academic-minimum overall band score of 5.5 (examining minimum band scores)
    • ITEP-minimum of 3.7
    • PTE Academic-minimum score of 45
    • Duolingo English Test-minimum score of 90
    • Kaplan International certified level Higher Intermediate
    • HOFT Institute Level 5
  3. Cumulative GPA of 2.25 (on 4.0 scale) or higher in 12 or more college-level credit hours from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education, including at least one college level non-ESL English course with an earned grade of C or higher.
  4. Cumulative GPA of 2.75 (on 4.0 scale) or higher on 24 or more college-level credit hours from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  5. Cumulative U.S. equivalent GPA of 2.75 (on 4.0 scale) or higher for one year of full-time academic credit from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher education where English language is the sole medium of instruction. Student’s transcript must include a non-ESL English course. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to verify the institution’s language of instruction.
  6. Other proof of English proficiency may be considered on an individual basis.

Graduate Requirements

Non-native speakers of English must prove an adequate level of English language proficiency for admission into an academic program. English language proficiency for admission can be demonstrated in one of the ways mentioned below. Demonstration of English proficiency must have been done within two (2) years of the applicant’s intended program start date.

Admitted students are not allowed to enroll in courses until all required official test scores have been received and processed. Emailed test scores are not considered official. Test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to be official. 

Note: The following standards apply to most, but not all, graduate programs. Some programs may have higher standards for admission. Please refer to the Bulletin for specific program admission requirements.

Graduate students: See if your program requires higher test or specific test scores. If your department requires higher or specific test scores, the requirement to provide a test score cannot be waived.

  1. Successful completion of Southeast’s IEP’s GradCAP.
  2. English proficiency tests (official scores must be reported to Southeast Missouri State University):
    • TOEFL iBT-minimum score of 79 iBT (examining minimum band scores)
    • IELTS Academic-minimum overall band score of 6.0 (examining minimum band scores)
    • ITEP-minimum of 3.9
    • PTE Academic-minimum score of 53
    • Duolingo English Test-minimum score of 105
    • Kaplan International certified level Higher Intermediate
    • HOFT Institute Level 5
  3. Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  4. Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) or higher from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher education where English language is the sole medium of instruction. Student’s transcript must include non-ESL English courses. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to verify the institution’s language of instruction.
  5. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on 4.0 scale) or higher in 12 or more college-level semester credit hours from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education, including at least one college level non-ESL English course with an earned grade of C or higher.
  6. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) or higher on 24 or more college-level credit hours from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  7. Cumulative U.S. equivalent GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) or higher for one year of full-time academic credit from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher education where English language is the sole medium of instruction. Student’s transcript must include a non-ESL English course. It will be the responsibility of the applicant to verify the institution’s language of instruction.
  8. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) or higher on 9 or more graduate level credit hours from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  9. Successful completion of Level 112 in the ELS Language School
  10. Other proof of English proficiency may be considered on an individual basis.

Southeast Missouri State University is required by law to verify and retain valid financial information on international applicants who will study on a F-1 or J-1 student visa. This includes Affidavit of Financial Support and Proof of Finances to cover anticipated expenses over the duration of their stay in the U.S. Financial documentation must be submitted along with other application materials in order for us to make an admission decision and issue immigration documents.

In most cases, the financial information we require will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for the visa. We recommend the applicant keep a copy of the financial documentation submitted to the university for that purpose.

  • The sponsor must verify financial support by completing the affidavit of financial support form . The sponsor must also provide a supporting bank statement showing available funds. Please upload both documents in PDF format to the correct category in your application portal.
  • All financial documentation must be dated within 12 months of applicant’s intended program start date.
  • Financial documentation provided must be equal to or greater than the estimated minimum yearly cost. Please refer to the estimated cost sheet for estimated minimum yearly expenses. All fees are subject to change by the Board of Regents without prior written notice.
  • Student may have multiple sponsors. Student may sponsor themselves.
  • If the bank statement submitted is from a company (i.e. not a person), you will also need to upload a letter from an authorized individual from that company attesting that those funds can be used for your education.
  • Financial documentation not in English must be accompanied by a Certified English translation. This must be provided by a translation agency and stamped by a qualified translator.
  • Proof of funds must clearly include account holder’s name, document issue date, available balance and currency. Account holder's name must match sponsor name on Affidavit of Financial Support.
  • You will be denied admission or expelled if you send falsified bank statements or any other documents

  • Southeast Missouri State University requires official English translations for all documents issued in a foreign language.
  • The official translation must be in the same format as the original document.
  • English translations must be provided by a translation agency and stamped by a qualified translator.
  • English translations that are provided by other students, friends, or family members will not be accepted.
  • Official Credential evaluation reports can be used as English translations of official transcripts.

Translation service recommendations:

You are not required to use any of these translation agencies. There are many translation services available.

  1. US Translation Company
  2. Translation Cloud 
  3. International Education Evaluation, Inc. 

In certain circumstances, evaluations of international academic credits conducted by external organizations may be used in the Southeast admissions process. Southeast will accept evaluations completed by any organization endorsed by AICE or is a member of NACES. (Our preferred partner for credential evaluations is Scholaro.) External evaluations may be requested or used in the following circumstances:
  • Students with a 3-year bachelor’s degree applying to a master’s level program
  • If an applicant disagrees with our GPA calculation, we will honor the GPA calculated in a report submitted by an approved organization. Reports submitted to revise a GPA for scholarship eligibility must be received by Southeast prior to the beginning of the student’s first term enrolled in non-IEP courses.
  • External evaluation reports explicitly stating the documents reviewed were officially received can be used in lieu of official transcripts for new undergraduate and graduate applications. For transfer students, Southeast requires official transcripts to be received directly from the educational institution before admission decision and transfer credit evaluation can be made.

Effective spring 2022, the amount of “Family Funds” or “Personal Funds” listed on Southeast I-20s for admitted students will be the same amount that is listed for the total “Estimated Average Cost for 9 months.”  This change is being made to be consistent with practices of other U.S. universities, and to reduce the possibility of confusion on the part of consular officers during the application process.  Please contact us at international@semo.edu if you have any questions or concerns.  

SEMO does not produce paper copies of admitted students’ I-20s or DS-2019s, as electronic forms of these documents are now fully acceptable in all circumstances, including for visa interviews and at U.S. ports of entry.

Federal regulations require us to send the documents directly to the admitted student, so the forms will be emailed directly to YOUR SEMO EMAIL ACCOUNT. The process is as follows:

  • When a student is accepted for admission, an acceptance email will be sent to the email address given on the application. The acceptance email will include instructions on how to activate their Southeast online account (SE Key). All admitted students are encouraged to activate their account as soon as possible.
  • Once the account is activated, the student will have access to the SEMO student portal (portal.semo.edu) and their email account (mail.semo.edu). Southeast uses a "single sign on" system which means users can access all SEMO online resources with their SE Key and the password they create. Please be sure to remember your SE Key (which serves as the username for most programs) and the password you create.
  • 5-10 business days after the acceptance email is sent, an electronic copy of the student's I-20 will be emailed to their SEMO email account.

  • Documents to submit: Submit all documents which apply to your educational history.
  • To be admissible:
    • You must have a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA (on a 4.00 scale) on all previous college work for undergraduate admission.
    • Southeast will consider for admissions an international transfer applicant who does not meet standard admission requirement under certain conditions.
    • Graduate applicants please refer to the Graduate Bulletin for specific program admission requirements. 
    • To be Official: 
      • Transcripts must be an original or photocopy stamped/signed by a school official, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, or other government authority.  Attestations by notary publics are NOT accepted.
      • Transcripts can be mailed to Southeast either by the applicant OR directly by the issuing body.
      • Transcripts must remain sealed as they were by the issuing educational institution. If your school does not seal their transcripts as a standard procedure, please request that they place your transcripts in a sealed envelope and stamp the outside flap with their school seal. Please do not open the envelope as this will void the transcripts.
      • Southeast will not review photocopies, faxes, or scans.
      • Official credential evaluation reports completed by a current member of NACES or AICE will be accepted in lieu of official transcripts (for undergraduate freshmen and graduate applicants only), if the evaluation indicates that it was based on official transcripts. 
      • Transcripts from U.S. or Canadian schools must be sent to us directly from the school.
      • Official transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a Certified English Translation. This must be provided by a translation agency and stamped by a qualified translator.
  • If you do not list all schools on your application, you will be expelled, denied admission, or refused transfer credit. 
  • You will be denied admission or expelled if you send falsified transcripts or any other documents.
  • Transcript Retention Policy:  Please do not send us your only copy. Southeast does not return or provide copies of the official documents submitted. 
  • Address for Transcripts and other application Materials:
    Office of International Education and Services
    Southeast Missouri State University
    One University Plaza, MS 2000,
    Cape Girardeau, Missouri  63701, USA
    Telephone:  1-(573) 986-6863
    Email: international@semo.edu

Admission decisions and I-20s/DS-2019 will be made for first-time freshman and first-time graduate applicants based on unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores. However, official copies are required before a student is allowed to enroll in courses and receive scholarship benefits.

For transfer applicants, official copies of transcripts and test scores are required before admission decisions can be made.

Fall (August)

July 1

Fall II (October, IEP only)

September 1

Spring (January)

December 1

Spring II (March, IEP Only)

 February 1

Summer (IEP only)

April 1

NOTE:

EMAILED DOCUMENTS (TRANSCRIPTS AND TEST SCORES) ARE NOT OFFICIAL. If accepted, you will have enrollment holds until we receive official test scores (if applicable) and official transcripts (with degree confirmation)- if previously NOT submitted. Test scores have to be sent directly from the testing agency to be official. Academic credential standards for transcripts to be official are detailed above.

Location
Office
1025 N. Sprigg
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 2000
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701