Next Steps to Enroll
Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Cincinnati! From all of us at UC International, we can't wait to welcome you into our global Bearcat family.
Before you step foot on campus, you will need to
Confirm your admission
Once you've been accepted to a program, confirm your admission.
If you are a non-immigrant visa holder (E-2, H-4, L-2, etc) you are allowed to study on that status. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
If you are admitted into one of our distance learning programs, you will not be able to obtain a visa to enter the United States.
Email email@example.com to confirm that you have been admitted to a distance learning program and that you will be studying in your home country.
Undergraduate students can confirm their admission online.
The first step after being admitted to a program is to confirm admission. Completing the confirmation form and paying the $100 fee means that you accepts your admission to the University of Cincinnati. It's a time to celebrate!
If awarded scholarships, the second step is to complete the International Scholarship Acceptance Form. A link to this form is located in your application portal. This is the same account where the admission letter is located.
Admission offers are contingent upon successful completion of high school coursework. Students must submit an official final high school transcript to verify graduation.
- Submit this prior to New Student Orientation. If a final high school transcript is not submitted by the time the semester begins, your scholarship award will not be made available and you may be removed from the courses they enrolled in.
- Learn how to report final A-level or IB transcripts.
- Learn more about how your advanced credit may apply to your degree.
If your high school cannot submit a final transcript with grades because your examinations were delayed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with an explanation.
The Math Placement Test (MPT) is carefully designed by UC Math Faculty to assess math ability and correctly place students into a UC math course. All students are required to take the Math Placement Test unless majoring in a performance major within the College-Conservatory of Music, otherwise you should complete the MPT prior to meeting with your advisor.
If you completed the MPT for your application and scholarship review, you will need to take the test again. It's important that your academic advisor knows your current math ability. If the score earned from the first test is higher than the second test, you may request this score be used for class placement by emailing email@example.com.
For more information about the MPT and to register to take the test visit the MPT webpage.
All first-year students are required to attend New Student Orientation also called Bearcats Bound Orientation (BBO).
New Student Orientation registration will open on March 1.
- All students are required to attend.
- Students meet their academic advisors to schedule classes, talk about academic plans, and learn about how to be a UC student.
Transfer students are not required to attend BBO because the colleges organize transfer student orientation differently than freshman student orientation. Refer to the confirmed student webpage to learn what you need to do next.
Graduate students will receive instructions on confirming their admission from their department.
Set up your UC email and get your UCID number
Once you've committed to the University of Cincinnati, you will need your UCID number. You will also need to set up your UC email and check it often for updates.
Submit sources of financial support
International students are required to submit documents showing their financial support using an eForm on iBearcatsGlobal, UC International's online system for international students.
You must demonstrate that you have financial support for all years of study for your degree. You will be able to submit these documents using the "Immigration Documents" e-form in the New International Student Checklist in iBearcatsGlobal. You will be sent an email with log in credentials within 72 hours of being admitted. Please do not email these documents to us.
- Check our estimated expenses page to determine the amount you have to certify. Any UC scholarships can be deducted from this amount, but you need to provide proof of the scholarship
- There is no deadline for submitting financial certification forms, but you will not be issued a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 / DS-2019) until they are received. You will need to get the I-20/DS-2019 in time to apply for your visa and arrive for your intended semester of study.
- Submit your financial documents as soon as possible, but no sooner than 6 months prior to your start date at UC.
When completing the Affidavit of Support Form, also linked in the Immigration Documents e-form in iBearcatsGlobal, clearly state your name as it appears in your passport.
Financial Documentation Requirements
All financial documents need to be dated within the last 6 months. Documents can include:
- bank statements
- certificates of deposit
- letters/statements from sponsors that show how much they receive annually from employment
- letters or emails from UC departments about scholarships/assistantships
- information from governments about sponsorships
- bank/education loan award letters
- letters of support from current overseas employers
All documents should state in English who the account owner is, the current balance, and the currency being used. Deposits stated on the bank statements/certificate of deposits do not need to be frozen.
Unless otherwise stated in the award letter, UC scholarships and assistantships that you have been awarded are considered renewable as long as you maintain good academic standing. For example, if you have been awarded a UC scholarship for $10,000.00, you can include this in your estimates as a source of support for each year of study. Please make sure to upload a copy of your scholarship with your other financial documents.
A sponsor can be anyone: parents, other family members, friends, or agencies. A sponsor only needs to show that they have the first year of support of their intended annual support on deposit. So, for example, if they are committed to providing you $10,000.00 per year, they only need to show that they have $10,000.00 on deposit at this time. It is presumed they understand, and are committed to, their financial obligation to you and to raise this amount for each year of study for you. The sponsor will need to complete an Affidavit of Support form, linked in the Immigration Documents e-form in iBearcatsGlobal, and provide their financial documents to you with this form.
“Personal funds” is any amount that you, the student, has on deposit in your name.
- Because you will not be in a position to be able to work or raise additional funding while studying in the US, your personal funds will be divided by the number of years that we estimate it will take for you to complete your studies.
- For example, if you have $20,0000.00 on deposit and you are applying for a two year Master’s degree, then you have $10,0000.00 available for each year of study.
Bank/Education Loan awards are usually awarded as one lump sum. Therefore, the amount awarded will be divided by the number of years we estimate it will take for you to complete your degree.
- The letters must state that the loan has been awarded. Letters that state that you have only applied will not be accepted.
- Letters that state the loan is provisional/conditional will need to state what those provisions/conditions are.
- If there is anyone’s name on the loan other than your own, they should complete the affidavit of support form.
Room and Board Affidavit
If you will be living with someone in the Cincinnati area that will provide you free room and board you can also submit the Room and Board Affidavit (which is linked in the Immigration Documents e-form in iBearcatsGlobal). Submission of this form will reduce the amount needed for the cost of living expenses associated with the I-20. Do not submit this form unless you have someone in the US that you will be living with while you are studying.
When you submit your financial documents for review, it will take no longer than five business days to review and provide you feedback. If your documentation does not qualify for an I-20 to be issued, you will be sent an email explaining why. You can then make changes to your documentation and resubmit them using the Immigration Documents e-form in iBearcatsGlobal in the New International Student checklist.
If you plan on having accompanying dependents (spouse / children) in F-2 or J-2 status, provide biographical and immigration information regarding those dependents using the Add a New F-2 Dependent e-form found at iBearcatsGlobal. Each dependent will then receive his/her own I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for their visa.
Apply for Housing (undergraduates)
The Housing Office manages all residence halls, dining halls, and the housing application. The Housing application is open March 1 through May 5.
Students living outside of the U.S. are required to live on campus the first year.
- You must complete the Housing application to live on campus.
- Student in the U.S. who live 50 miles (80.5 km) or more from the UC campus are required to live on campus the first year.
- If would like to live with a relative that lives in Cincinnati, OH, email the Housing Office.
Room selection will be emailed to your UC email address at the beginning June through July.
Roommate profiles can be searched in the Housing portal. If you plan to have one or more roommates, create or join a roommate group before room selection begins in June.
UC International partners with the Housing Office to present the UC the World Living-Learning Community, a block of the University Park Apartments for students who share an interest in global travel, cultures and citizenship.
Both US and international students can apply to live in the LLC. You will indicate interest in living in the LLC with your university housing application. Space is limited.
Find Housing (Graduates)
Check out our housing webpage with resources to finding temporary housing, on-campus housing and off-campus housing.
Receive I-20 or DS-2019
After your Immigration Documents e-form is approved, you will be mailed or emailed a Certificate of Eligibility. You need this document to apply for your visa.
- F-1 students will receive an I-20 (emailed)
- J-1 students will receive a DS-2019 (mailed)
You will receive periodic email updates on the status of your I-20 or DS-2019. When your I-20 or DS-2019 is ready, it will be emailed to your UC email. Set up your UC email and regularly check it.
UC International recommends having your DS-2019 sent by express mail. Regular mail overseas takes 4 - 6 weeks.
To request express mail service, go to study.eshipglobal.com. We have discounted express mail rates negotiated with DHL and FedEx through eshipglobal. Do not go through the DHL or FedEx websites directly.
Our office will be notified once you have requested a shipment. If you have issues registering and processing a shipment, please use the website "Help" section for instructions. If you have additional questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pay the SEVIS fee
Before you can apply for a visa, you must pay a SEVIS fee to the US Department of Homeland Security. Read all the instructions before paying the fee.
- The SEVIS fee can be paid by credit card over the internet, by check, or by money order by mail.
- If you are applying for F-1 status, the SEVIS fee is $350.
- If you are applying for J-1 status, the SEVIS fee is $220.
The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to the scheduled date of your interview in order for the payment information to show up on the SEVIS system. Bring your I-901 receipt with you to your visa interview. A paper receipt can be used as verification in place of the internet verification.
In order to complete your SEVIS fee form, you will need your I-20 or DS-2019 and the University of Cincinnati's School Code. Our school codes are:
- CLE214F10355000 for F-1 students with an I-20
- P-1-00733 for J-1 students/scholars with a DS-2019
DHS allows you or anyone else to pay your SEVIS fee using a credit card, Western Union, or by check/money order.
We strongly recommend paying by credit card if possible. After paying the fee, print out the payment screen as verification. Take this payment verification with you to your visa interview.
If you are from one of the following countries, you cannot pay with a credit card:
If you live in a country where Western Union offers its "Quick Pay" service, you can pay the SEVIS fee using the company.
- You will still fill out the Form I-901 online and take a payment coupon to Western Union to complete the transaction.
- Bring your online payment confirmation to your visa interview.
More instructions are available on the SEVIS website.
When paying by check or money order, there are two options:
- Internet-generated coupon
Students & scholars can go to the fee payment website, enter basic information, print out a coupon, and then mail a check or money order. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.
- Paper option
Students & scholars can download or obtain Form I-901, fill it in, and mail it with a check or money order. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.
All checks and money orders must be made payable to the "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee." The check or money order must be made in US dollars and drawn on a bank located in the US. You will receive a receipt notice when the fee is processed.
You need to pay the SEVIS fee if:
- You are seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa for initial attendance at a university or initial participation in an exchange program. The fee must be paid before applying for the visa.
- You will enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, but are not required to have a visa. The fee must be paid before you apply for admission to the US.
- You are applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1. The fee must be paid before you submit your change of status application.
You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if:
- You are an F-2 or J-2 dependent.
- You are a J-1 participant in an exchange program sponsored by the US government.
- You are transferring to another school, program, or program category.
- You are requesting an extension.
- You paid the fee, your application for a visa was denied and, within 12 months of the denial, you re-apply for the same status.
If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of another institution, but you wish to attend UC, you will not have to pay the fee again.
Bring the I-20 or DS-2019 of both the schools to the consulate or port-of-entry and tell the officer you will be a student or scholar at the University of Cincinnati.
Apply for a visa
Once you have confirmed your admission, received your I-20 or DS-2019 and paid the SEVIS fee, you can apply for your student visa. You can apply at any US consulate or embassy, but it may be more difficult outside of your country of citizenship.
- Complete the DS-160, the online application for a nonimmigrant visa.
- Your school contact is the Director of International Services, Ron Cushing.
- Find the embassy or consulate closest to you.
- Select a time for your appointment.
Appointments are mandatory for all visas, and some US embassies and consulates require appointments to be made at least four to eight weeks in advance. Apply for your visa well before the date you would like to depart for Cincinnati so you can arrive in time to begin your program.
- Required photo(s)
- Visa fee or proof of visa fee payment
- SEVIS fee payment receipt
- U.S. nonimmigrant visa application forms (unless you will completing it at the consulate or embassy)
- University of Cincinnati admission letter or departmental invitation letter
- University of Cincinnati I-20 or DS-2019
- Test scores and academic records
- Proof of English proficiency
- Proof of financial support (if applicable)
- Evidence of ties to your home country
- Any other documents required by the embassy or consulate
US law states that F and J visas may be given only to persons who intend to be in the US temporarily. You must prove that you intend to return to your country after completing your program. Follow these tips:
- Show a definite academic or professional objective. You must know what you are going to study and where it will lead. Be ready to say what you want to study, what kind of career it will prepare you for in your home country and why it is better for you to study in the US than at home.
- Show that you are qualified for the program.
- Be definite about your choice of schools. If you are not certain that you want to study at the University of Cincinnati, you will not get a visa.
- Show adequate financing and have documents to prove it. You may not plan to use employment as support while you are in the US.
- Remain calm and impersonal when speaking to the consular officer. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.
- Do not emphasize any ties you may have to the United States or to family members in the United States.
US government officials are convinced more easily by written documents than by spoken statements. When possible, show your connections to your home country.
- Your visa application, if at least part of your financial support comes from your home country.
- If your family owns property, take the deeds.
- If you have a brother or sister who studied in the US and then returned home, take a copy of the brother’s or sister’s diploma and a statement showing that they have returned home.
- If possible, show that an individual or company in your home country will give you a job when you return. If you cannot get a promise of a job, get a letter saying that you will be considered for a job.
- If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank describing the business.
If you have been accepted, congratulations!
- Start completing UC's New International Student checklist.
- Purchase your airfare to the United States.
- Enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019.
Most UC students and scholars will be successful in obtaining their visas, but a small number have their visa applications denied. The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial.
If your visa is denied, email UC International at email@example.com. Provide the date and location of your visa interview, and the reason given by the visa officer for the denial. We will help you reapply or determine your next steps.
You may reapply for a visa within 12 months without having to pay the SEVIS fee again.
Complete your health screening
Complete your mandatory health screening prior to your arrival on campus. The health screening includes two parts: Tuberculosis (TB) screening and proof of required immunizations. Instructions and necessary documentation are available on the University Health Services website.
You will need to make an appointment with a healthcare provider, have them complete the necessary documentation, and upload it to an online system.
- Have your healthcare provider complete the immunization record sheet and tuberculosis risk assessment forms.
- Receive any required immunizations before you arrive in the United States.
- Upload the completed forms to MedProctor and bring the form with you to your health screening.
Complete the New International Student Checklist
All incoming students are required to complete our New International Student checklist in iBearcatsGlobal. You will use the checklist to
Virtual Pre-Arrival Presentations
UC International Services Director, Ron Cushing, hosts virtual presentations detailing essential information for your fall semester 2023 arrival. Ron will answer questions relating to immigration and entry requirements, COVID and vaccinations, iBearcatsGlobal and the New International Student checklist, mandatory health screenings and the UC International online orientation.
This session is open to both newly admitted undergraduate and graduate students. We recommend attending one of the presentation dates to ensure a positive arrival experience.