Prospective International Students

Do you wish to study public health in NYC — United States’ largest most diverse city, where the nation’s most serious public health problems often emerge and are solved? Your search is over! Find the degree and program that is right for you and submit your application to become a student at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). Just keep in mind that it usually takes between two to three months from the time international students get admitted to the time they are able to enter the U.S., so submit your application early to allow yourself enough time.

Once you have been accepted by our school, the first thing you need to do is to… CELEBRATE! If you will need to apply for a Nonimmigrant F-1 Visa to the United States, or if you are already under an F-1 Status and will be transferring-in, the next step you will need to take is to submit the Certificate of Eligibility Request Form, Affidavit(s) of Support, and Evidence of Financial Means.

For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, please see our FAQ for international students.

Certificate of Eligibility Request Form, Affidavit(s) of Support, and Evidence of Financial Means

The United States government requires documentary evidence of financial support for the duration of a proposed course of study prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20). Please submit the following documents, in one single email, to the CUNY SPH International Students Office:

  • Copy of your passport ID page.
  • Copy of the SPH Admissions Letter.
  • Certificate of Eligibility Request Form, with the necessary supporting financial documentation, if relying on personal funds.
  • Affidavit of Support, with the necessary supporting financial documentation for each sponsor.
  • Applicants with dependents must provide proof of relationship to their spouse and/or children (e.g. marriage and/or birth certificates).
  • Applicants with Immigration Status other than F-1 must provide appropriate documentation to the ISO before registering for classes.
  • Transfer students already under F-1 Status, who got admitted and will be joining the SPH, must also submit the Transfer-In Form, in addition to the above-mentioned documents. Consult with a DSO at your current school about transfer implications, especially in regards to employment authorization, and then determine an appropriate Release Date.

Once the admission and financial requirements are met, we will issue the Initial I-20.

Preparing for Arrival in the U.S.

Student Visa

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the Embassy or Consulate website where you intend to apply. For more information on how to obtain a Student Visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Generally, an international student pursuing an F-1 visa, must:

  1. Complete an online nonimmigrant Visa application
  2. Take a photo according to specified requirements
  3. Schedule an interview
  4. Gather required documentation:
  • A passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements)
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) confirmation page and fee payment receipt
  • The SEVIS Fee Receipt (I-901)
  • Photo taken according to specified requirements
  • A signed Form I-20
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended
  • Scores from TOEFL and GRE
  • Proof of financial support (tuition and living expenses) for the duration of the studies in the U.S.

NOTE: Transfer students may renew their visas at any time, as long as they have maintained student status and their SEVIS records are current.


Immigration regulations require full-time enrollment in a degree-granting program for students in F-1 Status. Therefore, individuals under this category may not be admitted as part-time or non-degree students. Currently, CUNY considers full-time enrollment to be 12.0 credits during each regular semester (fall and spring). Registration during the summer term is optional and has no credit requirement.

Incoming students will not be able to register for classes until they email us:

  • Copy of valid F-1 student visa
  • Estimated date of arrival
  • Availability to schedule the check-in visit

While international students will be permitted to register prior to entering the U.S. they must check-in with the SPH ISO within 3 days of their arrival and prior to the official beginning of the semester (view academic calendar). Be sure to bring the following to your check-in appointment:

NOTE: Students who miss their check-in appointment will have their classes dropped and registration cancelled. If this happens, international students will loose their seats in class and will have their SEVIS records terminated for no-show. Such students will loose their F-1 Status and will have to leave the U.S. immediately.

NOTE: If an international applicant has an Immigration Status other than F-1 and intends to keep that Status, appropriate documentation must be provided to the International Students Office before registering for classes.

Tuition, Fees, and Payment Options

In addition to providing excellent education and concrete career prospects, CUNY SPH offers the lowest tuition in the region for a graduate degree in public health.

Please view our tuition and fees information and payment options to plan ahead. Please contact our Bursar’s Office for instructions on wire transfer.