Procedures and regulations
Initial application and arrival
At Saint Martin's University, we provide numerous opportunities
for international students of all levels of study wishing to study
in the United States. We provide English learning programs during
spring, summer, and fall semesters.
- To apply or learn more about ESL or English learning
- To apply for undergraduate degree programs,
- To apply for a graduate degree program,
After a student is accepted to a program, the designated school
official (DSO) will enter the student’s information into SEVIS, the
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. An official I-20
document will then be printed and sent to the student. Upon
receiving their official I-20, the student will then schedule a visa
interview in their home country to obtain an F-1 student visa.
After receiving their visa, the student should make travel
arrangements and notify the Office of International Programs and
Development of their arrival date and time. Immigration regulations
prohibit students from arriving more than 30 days before their
program start date as listed on their I-20.
Students and visitors staying longer than one month are required
to get two MMR vaccinations and be screened for tuberculosis.
International students are required to complete the
international student medical history record form before they
can attend Saint Martin’s University. We strongly encourage students
to get all immunizations before they arrive in the US and submit
proof of immunization by providing a shot record history and/or PPD
report with their application documents. Immunization documents must
be in English so that the Student Health Center can review them.
Students who only have had one MMR shot and require a second, may
get their second shot at the Student Health Center for $60.00.
The required PPD test for tuberculosis can also be administered
after arrival for $20.00.
There will be an additional charge of $125 for the IGRA bloodtest, if needed,
that is paid to Quest Laboratory but chest x-rays are not part of the initial screening
unless the PPD or IGRA are positive or if there are signs and symptoms of active
Again, it is strongly recommended that students and visitors
complete all immunization tests before arriving at Saint Martin’s
Full course of study requirements and
reduced course loads
While studying in the United States, all international students
are required to maintain enrollment as a full-time student at all
time (with a few exceptions). The requirements for what is
considered “full-time” vary from program to program.
A minimum of 12 credits (usually 4 classes) constitutes full-time
study for undergraduates at Saint Martin’s University. International
students in their first semester of undergrad classes are usually
advised to not take more than 15 credits, but are able to take up to
Graduate study requirements
As full-time graduate study requirements vary depending on the
field of study, we suggest that the student be in contact with their
advisor and always be taking enough classes so that they may
complete their program before the program end date as indicated on
Reduced course loads (RCL)
Reduced course load (RCL) is reserved for students who are having
academic difficulties and need to take fewer classes to prove
successful as a student. The reason for reducing course load must be
limited to the following:
- Initial difficulty with the English language
- Unfamiliarity with U. S. teaching methods
- Improper course-level placement.
The student must resume full-time (at least 12 credits) the next
available semester and may not take less than 6 credits while on
RCL. RCL may only be used once during a student’s program unless
that student changes level (e. g. from Bachelor’s to Master’s). RCL
is usually only given to students in their first term.
Exceptions to requiring enrollment in classes full-time are as
- Summer vacation (after 9 months of enrollment).
- Compelling medical issue.
- Undergraduates completing programs within the current term
(It is strongly recommended that the student check in with the
International Student Services Coordinator before reducing
- Graduate students working on a thesis or dissertation.
- Full-time post-completion Optional practical training (OPT).
Students wishing to transfer into Saint Martin’s University
should first fill out the transfer eligibility form
with the help of their current school’s international student
advisor. Once we receive your transferred record, we will create a
new I-20 for your use at our school.
Students wishing to transfer out of Saint Martin’s University to
another school must first fill out the
transfer out request form.
We ask that you provide proof of acceptance to your new school and
that you resolve all responsibilities at Saint Martin’s University
before you depart. This means:
- Paying off all remaining charges on your student account
- Informing the mail room that you no longer wish to have a
mailbox (if applicable)
- Notifying on-campus housing of your departure (if
Once we receive proof of acceptance, a completed eligibility form
from your new school, and have received word that you have done the
above, the International Student Services Coordinator will transfer
your SEVIS record to your new school.
Employment and practical training
Employment opportunities for F-1 Students are limited to the
options detailed below.
On campus employment
F-1 students are allowed to work part-time (less than 20 hours
per week) in positions found on campus. If the position extends into
summer break, the student is allowed to be bumped up to temporary
full-time employment (maximum 40 hours per week), providing the
student intends to continue their studies the next available term.
Getting a Social Security number
If a student is interested in on campus employment and has
received a job offer, they will then need to acquire a social
security number in order to receive payment for their work. Applying
for a Social Security number involves bringing a completed
SS-5 form (found on
Social Security Administration’s
website), along with the student’s passport, I-20, and proof of
employment to the nearest Social Security Administration office. Any
further questions can be answered by the International Student
Curricular practical training (CPT)
Curricular practical training (CPT) is a practical training
opportunity for students who are required to engage in an internship
as part of their academic program. To be eligible for CPT, students
must have been enrolled in full-time classes for at least one
academic year (two semesters) and the employment must be required as
part of the student’s degree program. Students in ESL and English
learning programs are not eligible to apply for CPT.
CPT request form
Optional practical training (OPT)
Optional practical training or OPT is available to students who
have been enrolled in classes for at least one academic year (two
semesters). OPT allows students to engage in employment in a
position relative to their field of study in order to gain practical
experience. The two types of OPT available are pre-completion and
Pre-completion OPT is an OPT period that the student takes on
before they have completed their program. The student must maintain
full-time student status while on this form of OPT so usually it is
advised that students do not work more than 20 hours per week.
Post-completion OPT takes place after the student has completed
their degree program. Post-completion OPT can also be taken while
the student is working on their thesis or dissertation if the rest
of their coursework has been completed.
Once OPT is approved, the student is allotted one year of OPT
time, with no more than 90 days total days of unemployment. If the
student advances in level, (e. g. Bachelor’s to Master’s) then the
student is allowed another year of OPT after the completion of the
Students with a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or
mathematics field have the option to extend their OPT period an
additional 17 months by applying for STEM OPT.
If you are interested in OPT, please stop by the International
Office and pick up an OPT Packet and schedule a meeting with the
International Student Services Coordinator for more information.
Some international students may find that they need more time to
complete their program than originally expected. In these cases, a
student can extend the program duration on their I-20. The following
are a few compelling reasons why a student might need to extend his
or her program:
- Change of major or research topic
- Unexpected research problems
- Medically documented illness
- Initial difficulty with English language
To be eligible for extension, the student must be in lawful
status and must apply before his or her program end date as
specified on their I-20. Program extension request form can be found
online here, or in OM 430.
If a student has overstayed the period stated on their I-20 or
otherwise failed to maintain good student status, they must apply to
the USCIS for reinstatement to F-1 student status. Reinstatement
should only be considered in extreme circumstances as the student
must show that failure to maintain status was due to something
outside the student’s control. If you feel you may require
reinstatement, please meet with the International Student Services
Coordinator immediately to discuss your situation.
Students who fail to remain in good academic standing
(grade-point of 2.0 or higher) will be placed on academic probation.
Students on probation are sent a letter from the University along
with an academic contract the student must follow. Failure to follow
the guidelines of the contract may result in suspension or dismissal
from the University and international students may be required to
leave the country. Students on probation are not eligible for
program extensions, reduced course loads, or F-1 visa reinstatement.
More information on academic probation can be