International Admissions

International Admissions

Seattle Pacific University is proud to include an active international population — currently about 140 undergraduate and 50 graduate students representing 52 different countries. Students from outside the United States are always encouraged to apply to graduate studies at SPU. As you do apply, here’s a quick overview of things you should know:

Who Qualifies as an International Student?

An international student is anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Typically, these students attend college or university on an F-1 student visa.

How Do You Apply?

Your first step is to complete and submit the online graduate application for admissions. Be sure to note details below regarding language proficiency, transcripts, and finances.

Language Proficiency

If you are a non-native English speaker, you will need to demonstrate English proficiency, regardless of English language studies or academic history. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is accepted by SPU graduate programs. Scoring is as follows:

Language Proficiency Minimum Scores

Minimum Scores
IELTS  Duolingo
567 227 86 6.5 110 
Nursing Programs
580 237 92 No  
Seminary Programs
600 250 100 No  

School of Education (Master's Level)
550 213 79 Yes*  
School of Education (Doctoral Level)
600 250 100 Yes*  

Psychology Programs
Clinical Psychology (PhD)
600 250 100 No  
I/O Psychology (MA)
600 250 100 Yes*  
I/O Psychology (PhD)
600 250 100 Yes*  
Marriage & Family Therapy (MS)
600 250 100 7.0  
 Research Psychology (MS)  600 250   100 Yes*   

*Considered on a case-by-case basis.

Waiver for Language Proficiency

International Applicants*: You may be exempted from the English proficiency testing requirement if 

  • You have earned baccalaureate or advanced degrees at Seattle Pacific University or at another regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or at an accredited university in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, or New Zealand.

*SPU considers an international student to be a native English speaker if both his or her primary and secondary education took place in Australia, Canada (other than Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States (other than Puerto Rico).

International Transcripts

The degree-granting institution must be recognized by the Ministry of Education (or its equivalent) in the country where the degree was granted.

Transcripts and diplomas must be translated into English by the institution, accredited credential service, or Ministry of Education.

You must have earned, or be earning, an equivalent four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree prior to starting a graduate program at SPU.

To be considered official, all transcripts must have the official stamp or seal from the issuing institution, and must be received by Graduate Admissions in sealed envelopes prepared by the university or college.

Transcript Evaluations

If you earned an undergraduate degree in a country other than the United States, or your degree is in progress, an official course-by-course credential evaluation must be submitted from a NACES Member-recognized credential service. Acceptable credential services include, but are not limited to, World Education Services (WES) and Foundation for International Services (FIS).

In addition to the evaluation report, we also require official transcripts and diplomas to be submitted, in English. 

Financial Documentation

Fill out and submit the Declaration of International Student Finances form (PDF). You or your financial sponsor(s) must submit an official copy of your bank statements, verifying that you have adequate U.S. funds available for the first year of study at Seattle Pacific. Financial assistance is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Government Scholarships

If your government is sponsoring you, please include a letter from your embassy confirming this sponsorship. The letter may not be over six months old.

Application Materials

Please note that all official transcripts, evaluations, recommendations, and financial documents must be received by SPU in the original sealed and unopened envelopes. All academic records must have the official stamp or seal from the issuing institution, and must be sent directly from the school or another authorized institution to SPU in a sealed envelope. Documents must be issued in English, or accompanied by an official translation. We cannot accept copies of records that were issued to you, the applicant. We also cannot accept unofficial photocopies, faxes, or scanned/emailed documents.

Our mailing address:

Graduate Admissions
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 115-G
Seattle, WA  98119-1922

Where Do You Fit in a Christian University?

SPU does not require that undergraduate or graduate students identify themselves as Christian. You are always welcome here as a person of another faith, or of no faith.

However, it is important to note that SPU is a Christian university, and that is a central part of who we are as a community. Your professors are likely to approach their disciplines within a Christian framework and from a Christian perspective, and it is important that you are comfortable with that approach. 

While there is certainly no expectation that you become a Christian yourself, here you should be prepared for open discussions about questions and issues of faith, both in and outside the classroom.