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Suffolk University has a proud tradition of welcoming international students to our dynamic, culturally diverse campus in the heart of Boston. Join our community and discover an entire world of new directions and opportunities for your future.

International Application Process

To apply to Suffolk, international students must submit/complete the following:

  • Common Application or Suffolk Application and a $50 application fee
  • Essay/personal statement
  • Official high school transcript* or GED/HiSET results
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Official College/University Transcripts (in English or with official translation) from all institutions attended.
  • Proof of English Proficiency Option - select one of the options below:
    • SAT or ACT scores in lieu of English Proficiency (SAT/ACT is not required of International Students)
    • TOEFL or IELTS score (TOEFL minimum is a 79, IELTS a 6.5)
    • DUOLINGO English Test-DET (Minimum score of 105)
    • Exempt if you’re from a country where English is the First and Official Language. Please submit the SAT, ACT or final results from one of the following: IGCSE/GCSE, AS/A-Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) exam). If you only have predicted scores from any of these examination systems, please complete the test waiver form.
    • PTE-Academic with a minimum score of 54
    • IB HL English Predicted scores (if provided by your high school)
    • First Language English Exams in the IGCSE or GCSE or AS/A-Level Predicted/Actual results
    • Gao Kao: students from mainland China who have taken the Gaokao exam and English was one of the three areas tested, you may arrange an interview via this website or contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission
    • For applicants that do not meet the Direct Entry language proficiency or academic requirements, admission may still be possible. See if you still can qualify for admission.
    • Suffolk University is committed to educational access for all. We are aware of the limitations some international students have faced in regards to standardized testing. While we are not a test optional university, we are test flexible for international students and have created a comprehensive list of options that applicants can submit to prove English proficiency. If you believe that you meet one of the following criteria and would like to be considered exempt from providing standardized testing, please complete a test waiver form. Someone from the Admission Office will be in contact with you to inform you if you qualify.

Additional documents are required for each of the following: 

*Applicants may be required to have their credentials evaluated by a professional evaluation service. Suggested agencies include: Center for Educational Documentation, Josef Silny & Associates, World Education Services, and SpanTran [PDF].

To apply to a Suffolk graduate program, students must complete an online application and submit all materials outlined in the application requirements. In addition, international applicants may need to provide supplemental components, such as English proficiency testing and transcript evaluations. Additional information, including testing details and criteria for graduate students, is available on the International Graduate Students page. 

International students are automatically considered for merit scholarship funding when applying to Suffolk. U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents may apply to be considered for financial aid.

Suffolk can issue your I-20, allowing you to study in the U.S. only after a student has been admitted and your Certificate of of Finances [PDF], bank statement, and a copy of your passport have been received. Although these documents are not required to process an admission application, we strongly encourage you to submit these documents when you apply.

Every year, a distinguished group of students is selected to begin their studies at Suffolk's campus in Madrid, Spain. Through our Freshman Year Abroad Program, you will discover a whole new country and culture, exciting classes, and friendly classmates. The academic and cultural insights you gain in Madrid will help define who you are and what you want to be. There really aren’t enough words in English (or español) to capture just how amazing this opportunity is.

If you are currently enrolled in high school (secondary school), you can apply to the Suffolk University Madrid Campus as an incoming freshman and begin your university studies in Spain. And if you choose to pursue your studies here in Boston you can always study abroad in Madrid. Learn more about our campus in Madrid!

Applying With Portfolio

BFA applicants applying as fine arts, graphic design, or interior architecture majors are required to submit a portfolio as part of the admission process.

Your portfolio should contain only your best–and most recent–work and should demonstrate versatility, showing that you are prepared for the diverse and rigorous first-year foundation program. You may include pieces produced in your high school art classes or on your own through courses at art schools, museums, and adult ed programs.
  • Your portfolio should consist of 12-15 examples of recent, original, finished work:
  • Pieces showing skill in observational drawing/painting (still life studies, self-portraits, figure studies)
  • You may also include abstract and design-based pieces in drawing, paint or collage
  • Work that demonstrates a range of media and techniques
  • Do not include anime, manga-based work, or pieces copied directly from photographs
  • Limit the number of computer-generated pieces
Submit your portfolio in ONE of the following ways:
  • Upload to SlideRoom (for Fall 2019 term only – until August 31, 2019)
  • Upload to your applicant portal account after submitting your application
  • Email us
  • Mail to the Office of Undergraduate Admission; 8 Ashburton Place, Boston, MA, 02108

Applying Without Portfolio

If you are a BFA applicant who does not have a portfolio, you can begin your studies at the University as "Undecided Arts and Sciences." Students who meet the stated conditions in their first semester will be considered for full entry into the BFA program.

Not finding what you need? There's more admission information for Art & Design students at Suffolk University.

Spring 2018 Admission & Financial Aid

December 1

Early Action Fall 2018 Admission

November 15

Fall 2018 Admission

February 15

Fall 2018 Transfer Admission

June 30

Fall 2018 Financial Aid

March 1

Priority Financial Aid for Transfers

June 1

The deadline for priority financial aid is March 1; funding for students submitting an application after that date will be based on availability. The FAFSA is required to be considered for need-based financial aid.

Spring 2019 Admission December 1
Early Action Fall 2019 Admission November 15
Fall 2019 Freshman Admission (Priority) February 15
Fall 2019 Transfer Admission (Priority) June 30