Academic Catalog

International Admission

All prospective undergraduate students planning to study on a visa, asylum, or refugee status are considered international applicants. Students are encouraged to complete the application process prior to submission deadlines; applications are evaluated after all required documentation has been received.

Applications from international students should be received by Benedictine University no later than June 1 for the fall term or by October 1 for the spring term of the year in which the student plans to enroll. Students are encouraged to complete the application process prior to submission deadlines; applications are evaluated only after all required documentation has 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

  1. Benedictine University’s International Application for Admission.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and language training programs attended in the U.S. Transcripts must be submitted with English translation (if applicable). Students with foreign academic credentials are required to submit an acceptable evaluation (see 4, below). Students who have submitted academic documents to an approved evaluation company may not be required to submit the same official academic documents directly to Benedictine.
  3. Official evaluation of all non-U.S. credentials completed by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) (ece.org/) or Educational Perspectives (edperspective.org/benedictine/) or World Education Systems (wes.org/). Please contact the Office of Admissions to determine the type of evaluation required.
  4. Official results of any of the following Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, TOEFL, or IELTS. Electronic verification of IELTS scores may be accepted; applicant must submit IELTS TRF number.
  5. Evidence of English proficiency (please see English Proficiency Policy).
  6. High School Guidance Recommendation form (available online) or letter of recommendation (may be required of some candidates).
  7. Written personal statement (may be required of some candidates).
  8. 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 the Office of Admissions to determine the amount required.
  9. International Student Health Form – Students must fully complete the health form that includes evidence of all immunizations and a current TB test.
  10. For students requesting an F or J visa: Proof of health insurance or additional forms may be required depending on student visa.
  11. Housing form if requesting on-campus housing.
  12. Photocopy of passport ID page showing expiration date. If passport is expired, please submit renewal page.
  13. Students requesting I-20s or DS-2019s to include dependents are required to submit additional information per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations. Please contact ips@ben.edu for more information.

Undergraduate freshmen and transfer admissions applications, document instructions, and general University information can be obtained from the Office of Admissions by calling (630) 829-6300 or emailing admissions@ben.edu.

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 a waiver of required documents.

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, International Programs and Services will issue visa paperwork to allow the applicant to apply for a visa. International Programs and Services will contact the student regarding the next steps in the process.

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, and I-94. It is the international student’s responsibility to be aware of all expiration dates and allow ample time for renewal/extensions. International students are responsible for understanding the consequences of not abiding by their student visa regulations.

English Proficiency Policy: Undergraduate TOEFL/IELTS Requirements

All international students must demonstrate they have met the English proficiency requirements for the Lisle campus degree program to which they are applying. Students applying to the Lisle campus for traditional freshmen or transfer programs must meet the following TOEFL or IELTS 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 is not guaranteed.

Under certain circumstances, the English Proficiency requirement may be met without the official TOEFL or IELTS. These circumstances may 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 Admissions.
  • Submitting an ACT or SAT score demonstrating proficiency upon review.
  • 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, Office of International Programs and Services, or the Department of Languages and Literature 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 TOEFL/IELTS may be waived 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. Students may be placed in courses that will help them improve in their academic English proficiency. Such courses below the 1000 level will not count as credit toward degree minimums.

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

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 grace period, transfer and enrollment deadlines, and policies regarding I-20 transfer. Benedictine University 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.

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 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. It is the responsibility of the student to work with their home institution to confirm their financial obligations to both their home institution and Benedictine University. Please contact ips@ben.edu for additional information or visit ben.edu/IPS.