Admissions Process

What to Know Before Coming to CWRU

So, you’ve decided you want to study in the United States.

The first thing you should know is that an international student is a person who enrolls full time in a degree or non-degree program at a U.S. university or college, and who must properly maintain a temporary nonimmigrant visa status.

We are pleased to know that you’re considering studying at Case Western Reserve University and look forward to working with you during your student career if you chose to join our campus community.

Prospective Students

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) is not involved in the admissions process at CWRU. Students must complete an application appropriate for their level and course of study. Information about the admission processes and other valuable information is available on the university’s website.


New + Incoming Students

Students admitted to CWRU will become a part of our diverse community, and ISS is happy to assist you with any immigration-related questions or concerns that you have before arriving in Cleveland. Our goal is to make your cultural and academic transition to the U.S. as smooth as possible while educating you about your responsibilities to properly maintain your student visa status.


Accepting Admission to CWRU

New F-1 students who receive an offer of admission from CWRU will interact with ISS in the following ways:

  1. ISS will receive information about you from your admitting department, which will be used to begin the process of creating your immigration form, the Form I-20.

  2. After ISS receives and processes your admission information, you will be provided with instructions about how to access an electronic application to request your immigration form.  ISS will need to receive proof of financial support for one academic year (tuition and living expenses), as well as any other supplementary information requested. Once you submit all required documentation through the electronic application, the ISS will generate a digital I-20 for you.  This process takes approximately 15-20 business days. 

  3. When ISS has generated your digital I-20, you will also receive instructions via email about:

    • how to access your digital I-20, print it, and sign it for use.  You must present a physical copy of the generated I-20 at your visa appointment and upon entering the United States.  The digital version of the I-20 is not valid for use. 

    • your SEVIS ID

    • how to pay the required SEVIS I-901 fee

    • important information about arriving on campus and living in Cleveland.

  4. Finally, use the I-20 to apply for a visa at a United States consulate.

    • you can schedule an appointment while you wait for the I-20 to arrive- just be sure that you’ll have your I-20 in time for your appointment- after you have paid the SEVIS I-901 fee

Students Transferring to CWRU from another U.S. Institution:

  1. Complete steps 1-3 as listed above; however, you do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again.  Be prepared with a copy of the receipt you have from making the payment to originally obtain your visa.

  2. Be sure to provide your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) transfer release date in your electronic application.  This is a date that you and the ISS advisor at your current institution agree to initiate the electronic transfer of your SEVIS record to CWRU.  ISS can begin to process your I-20 only after your SEVIS record has been released to CWRU.

  3. Consult an international student advisor at CWRU to discuss whether or not you need to renew your visa or if you plan to travel abroad before the start of your first semester at CWRU.

You must possess adequate funds to cover all tuition, health insurance, and living and anticipated incidental expenses during your stay in the U.S..  Specific dollar amounts are available in the Terra Dotta portal and this accessible to you

Personal or family funds for your financial support in the U.S. can be documented by either an official statement from a bank or investment firm. The document must stipulate the country in which the funds are available as well as the amount of funding available for withdrawal for the purpose of your education.

Proof of a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship award can be documented with a letter from the sponsor stating its ability and intention to provide funds. If you receive a financial award from CWRU, the award letter will state the amount of funding provided.