International Students

International students on a hike in Zoar Valley.

The UB Department of Geology believes that we are a stronger united front against geohazards when our minds are unique and diverse. We welcome students from every corner of the globe to join us in exploring what we all have in common: Earth. 


In addition to meeting all of the requirements for domestic students, an international student must also fulfill the following:

Prior to enrollment, international applicants must complete an academic program equivalent to a US bachelor's degree. Students may apply during the final (senior) year of this program, but will be required to furnish proof of graduation before the end of their first semester at UB.

The following are not considered satisfactory for admission to the graduate program:

  • Taiwan – Diplomas from junior colleges or non-degree granting institutions
  • British educational systems – ONDs or HNDs
  • Bangladesh, Burma, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – Two- and three-year bachelor’s degrees (only the B.E., B.Sc.Engr., and all master’s degrees are considered equivalent to US undergraduate degrees)
  • Nigeria – Nigerian Certificates of Education

English Language Proficiency

All international applicants (unless exempted) must demonstrate proficiency in the English language. International students demonstrate proficiency via official test scores digitally submitted to the University at Buffalo. Information on exemption and acceptable tests may be found at the Graduate School website. The Department of Geology shares the same minimum qualifying English proficiency scores as the University (example: a TOEFL iBT of 79 or greater).

The University at Buffalo TOEFL code is 2925. The Geology departmental code is 71.

Financial Documentation

All international applicants must document their ability to meet their educational and personal expenses for the entire period of intended study before UB can issue an I-20 or IAP-66. It is essential that you read the International Applicant Financial Form carefully. Complete and return the form along with official supporting documentation as outlined in the instructions. No certificate of eligibility will be issued without satisfactory financial documentation. Financial documentation is required for visa issuance only.

Financial Assistance

Teaching, Graduate, or Research Assistantships are sometimes awarded to newly admitted international graduate students. The assistantships include a stipend and a tuition scholarship. In return for this study grant, the assistant will be required to teach, assist with research, or perform other duties as assigned by the department.

Visa Information

Applicants recommended for admission are considered eligible for a visa certificate only after they have satisfied the language and financial requirements listed above. All international students are issued a Certificate of Elig ibility (I-20) for a student visa (F-1). The issuance of an IAP-66 for the acquisition of Exchange Visitor status (J-1) is restricted to the following applicants: (1) those funded by the US government or by an international organization; (2) participants in formal SUNY at Buffalo exchange programs; (3) those currently in the U.S. on a J1 visa and transferring to UB to continue their original program purposes; (4) those from countries which require all departing students to possess Exchange Visitor Visas (J-1). Indicate the type of visa necessary on the application form.

Part-Time and Non-Degree Study

All international students are required to enroll as full-time degree program students. International students may be admitted as non-degree students if they are funded by an institution or international agency for the specific purpose of non-degree study. If approved, such study may not exceed one calendar year in duration.

Part-time (less than 12 credit hours per semester) enrollment of international students is permitted in the following cases: (1) Canadian nationals who intend to commute to this University for their course work; (2) persons holding non-immigrant visas other than F1 or J1; (3) spouses or dependents of persons holding F1 or J1 visas.

All non-degree students must meet all admission requirements applicable to full-time matriculating international students, including financial documentation. Courses taken by non-degree students do not automatically apply toward a graduate degree if the student eventually matriculates into a degree program.

Final Admission and Pre-Arrival Information

Please pay special attention to the following instructions:

  • Do not proceed to the University at Buffalo until you have received your Certificate of Eligibility and formal admission letter from the Office of Admissions.
  • Do not enter the US on a Visitor’s Visa (B2) unless it is stamped “prospective student,” as it is extremely difficult to change your visa status while in the US.
  • Do not enter the US on an I-20/IAP-66 issued by another US university and expect to enroll at the University at Buffalo.
  • If accepted, you will receive additional information regarding pre-arrival information and housing availability.