Academic Catalog

International Admission

All prospective graduate students planning to study on a visa, asylum, or refugee status are considered international applicants. Applications from international students should be received by Benedictine University no later than three months before the term for which the student plans to enroll. Students are encouraged to complete the application process prior to submission deadlines; applications are evaluated after all required documents have been received.

Recognizing the academic and cultural benefits of having international students in classes and on campus, Benedictine University is pleased to accept applications from this student group. International student applications are evaluated by the same admissions standards as those established for American students. Requests for admission are considered without regard to the applicant’s race, religion, gender, age, national origin, or disability.

International Application Materials

Admissions applications, document instructions and general University information can be obtained from the Office of Admissions by calling (630) 829-6300 or emailing  

  1. Benedictine University’s International Graduate Application for Admission.
  2. A nonrefundable application fee payable by personal check or money order of $40.
  3. International application questionnaire for students interviewing for an F visa for the first time may be required.
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and language training programs attended along with English translation (if applicable). Students who have submitted academic documents to an approved evaluation company (see 6.) may not be required to submit the same official academic documents directly to Benedictine.
  5. Proof of a U.S. baccalaureate degree or equivalent.  
  6. Official evaluation of all non-U.S. credentials completed by Educational Credential Evaluators ( or Educational Perspectives (EP) at Students completing an ECE evaluation should have a course-by-course evaluation completed. Students completing an Educational Perspectives evaluation should have a detailed evaluation completed; or students may request a course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services at Official reports must be mailed or electronically sent directly to Benedictine from EP, ECE, or WES. Please contact the Enrollment Center for more information.
  7. Please contact the Office of Admissions prior to completing your report for additional information. Students applying for the Master of Science in Nursing may have non-U.S. nursing credentials evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Contact Students applying for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness program may be required to submit an evaluation from another organization. Please contact the Office of International Programs and Services if you are interested in this program.
  8. Official results of standardized test scores – GMAT, GRE, MAT, TOEFL or IELTS (may be required of some applicants) or Graduate Entrance Exam Waiver. Request form if applicable.
  9. Letters of reference no more than one year old from persons who know the applicant from a professional or academic perspective.
  10. Evidence of English proficiency (please see English Proficiency Policy).
  11. Written statement of educational and career goals.
  12. Resume, if applicable.
  13. Personal interview (may be required of some applicants).
  14. For students requesting an F or J visa: Official bank document, statement or letter of sponsorship showing sufficient funds to cover one year of tuition, room and board, and personal expenses. Contact International Programs and Services to determine the amount required.
  15. International Student Health Form – Students must fully complete the health form that includes evidence of all immunizations and a current TB test.
  16. For students requesting an F or J visa: Proof of health insurance.
  17. Housing form if requesting on-campus housing.
  18. Photocopy of valid Passport ID page.

Please note, depending on the type of program you are applying for, additional requirements or prerequisites may apply. Please contact International Programs and Services for more information.  

Documents required to be official should be mailed directly to Benedictine University from the applicable institution, evaluation company, testing service or financial agency. Documents not mailed directly to Benedictine University should be in their original, unopened envelopes. Benedictine University understands that students who attended academic institutions in countries experiencing or recovering from conflict may have difficulty obtaining official documents as defined above. Additionally, some institutions may require students or their families to request documents in person. Under these and other extenuating circumstances, students may work with The Office of Admissions to request an Official Transcript Waiver.

International Admissions Procedures

Once all requirements are met and the applicant’s file is complete, the file will be reviewed for admission. The applicant will be informed of the admissions decision in writing. If admitted, the applicant’s file will include all documentation required for the visa application. International Programs and Services will contact the student regarding the next steps in the process if the student is seeking an F or J visa. All F-1 students are required by law to be enrolled in a full-time course load. It is the international student’s responsibility to maintain the validity of the I-20, passport, visa, I-94 and valid immigration status. It is the international student’s responsibility to be aware of all expiration and program end dates and allow ample time for renewal/extensions. International students are responsible for understanding the consequences of not abiding by their student visa regulations.

I-20 Transfer Policy

International students already in the United States may plan to transfer their I-20 to Benedictine University after they are accepted. It is the international student’s responsibility to be aware of their current institution’s grade period, transfer and enrollment deadlines, and policies regarding I-20 transfer. Upon acceptance to the University, Benedictine will provide students an official acceptance letter in order to transfer their I-20, and will require students to work with their current institution to complete the I-20 Transfer Form. International students transferring in their I-20 must attend class full time during the term for which they have been accepted and the required subsequent terms. Once an I-20 record is transferred to Benedictine, the student must begin full-time coursework the next available term, or within five months, whichever is sooner, per immigration regulations.

Short-Term Study and Exchange Program

Benedictine University has several agreements with institutions around the globe. Students interested in studying under terms stated in a formal agreement between Benedictine University and their home institution should work with the Office of International Programs and Services to determine the application requirements per the formal agreement. Students studying as short-term students are those students who are not intending to get a degree from Benedictine but would like to study for a short period of time.

English Proficiency Policy

All international students must demonstrate they have met the English proficiency requirements for the Lisle main campus degree program to which they are applying. Students applying to the Lisle main campus for graduate programs must meet the following requirements:

  • TOEFL Paper Based Test: 550
  • TOEFL Internet Based Test: 79
  • IELTS Exam: 6.5

Test scores must be no more than one year old at the time of application and must be official documents in their original, unopened envelopes or sent directly from the testing service. Electronic verification may be possible, but is not guaranteed.

Under certain circumstances, the English proficiency requirement may be met without the official TOEFL or IELTS. These circumstances include:

  • Studying at an accredited institution where the official language of instruction is English, consideration given for length of program, cumulative GPA and overall academic performance.
  • Completing one year or more of academic coursework at a U.S. institution, pending review of transcripts.
  • Completing a formal in-house English assessment with the Department of Languages and Literature per the recommendation of the Office of International Programs and Services.
  • Submitting official transcripts from ELS Language Centers with a score of 112; scores below 112 require a formal in-house English Assessment.

A TOEFL/IELTS waiver will not be considered until all other documents required for admission have been received. Students may need to meet additional requirements such as the GPA or testing requirement, or they may be required to submit official confirmation of their language instruction.

At any time, the Office of Admissions, Graduate Department, Office of International Programs and Services, or office completing the English assessment can require further documentation or request the student submit an official TOEFL/IELTS or complete a formal assessment through the Department of Languages and Literature. Once all required documents have been received, the Graduate Department may waive the TOEFL/IELTS if it is determined English proficiency has been met.

Benedictine University reserves the right to test the English writing and speaking skills of all incoming undergraduate and graduate students if circumstances warrant it. Where indicated by in-house testing, students may be placed in additional courses which will help them improve in their academic endeavors.

Please note, students attending subject to a short-term or exchange program and not earning a degree from Benedictine University may have different requirements.  

Overseas Credentials

Academic credentials should include:

  • A list of all courses studied each year.
  • Grades or examination results received (both passing and failing) in each course.
  • Maximum and minimum grades obtainable.
  • Certified English translation of all international academic credentials.
  • If you have studied at a non-U.S. university, you must have your university educational credentials evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. ( or Educational Perspectives ( or World Education Services ( Report requirements vary by program. Please contact the Office of Admissions for information on the type of report required. Read the directions on the evaluation form carefully, send all information and payment needed for the evaluation directly to the evaluating organization. Allow four to six weeks for your evaluation to be sent to Benedictine University.

Graduate Entrance Exams

For U.S. standardized tests such as the GMAT, GRE, MAT and TOEFL, contact one of the following in your country:

  • U.S. embassies and consulate offices
  • Fulbright commissions
  • Bi-national centers
  • Private organizations, such as the Institute of International Education. Ask for an international application. Take the test at least five months before the intended start of school.

For international applicants living in the United States, contact one of the following:

International Programs and Services Policies and Procedures

All international students are required to attend an orientation as part of the academic experience. Participation in orientation is mandatory and the course is listed on final transcripts. Failure to attend may jeopardize your visa status. International students who do not show satisfactory academic progress may have their status terminated.