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The International Connection:

CONNECTING THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS QUICK ANSWERS FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

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What is the SEVIS fee and how do I pay it?

We applaud your decision to study in the USA! Persons applying for the F-1, J-1 type visas  (student visas) must pay a one-time SEVIS processing fee, called the I-901 Fee. The SEVIS processing fee is USD $200 for F1 visas, and USD $180 for J1 visas. You will need to bring a receipt for payment of this fee to your visa interview. The fee can be paid by check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank or online through the web site. Please visit the SEVIS fee web site at www.fmjfee.com for details about the fee and instructions on paying it. For further information, see the SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) main page. We encourage you to pay the fee as soon as you can to avoid delays in applying for a visa. This is a one-time fee and will be valid for whichever U.S. university you choose to enroll in (although we do hope you choose to join the University of Arkansas!!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the title of a question below to expand or collapse it.

Why do I want to study at the University of Arkansas?

The University of Arkansas offers you a place to achieve your goals in a comfortable, friendly, inexpensive setting. Located in Fayetteville, in the beautiful northwest corner of the state of Arkansas and in the central U.S., we highly value our international students. We are now connecting over 1150 international students from over 119 countries to success through our fully accredited academic programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, and EdD degrees.

How do I apply?

We invite you to visit our web site at www.uark.edu and apply online or download the international application forms located here. If you are unable to do this, or if an application packet is not available to you through an overseas advisor, please contact:

International Admission Office
340 N. Campus Drive
Ozark Hall 213
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville AR 72701 USA
1-479-575-6246 • 1-479-575-5055 (fax)
iao@uark.edu (application requests & other questions)

and ask for a graduate or undergraduate application packet. We will quickly send you everything you need to successfully complete the admission process. You may phone, fax, or email your request or any questions you may have.
We welcome your questions!

Graduate applicants in the area of business should request applications and information directly from the Sam M. Walton College of Business Graduate School of Business at gsb@walton.uark.edu. Applicants for graduate programs in law should contact the Law School directly at jmiller@uark.edu.

Our catalogs are available online at http://catalogofstudies.uark.edu/. The catalogs itemize courses and requirements for the degree programs we offer. For a list of undergraduate programs available, see Section 1 of the Catalog of Studies . For a listing of graduate programs, see the Graduate School's list of Degrees Offered.

Return the completed application forms to us with a US $50 application fee. Your check must be drawn on a US bank. Please do not send cash! We do not offer fee waivers. Notify ETS to send your official TOEFL score here (institution code = 6866), your Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A) score or your official IELTS score sent and notify your previous schools to send official transcripts. Documents not in English should be accompanied by an attested English translation. Once you are admitted, we will send you an official acceptance letter, I-20 or appropriate visa information, and arrival and housing information. To reserve a room in one of our residence halls, you will be expected to pay a housing deposit. You will not have to pay tuition until you actually arrive and register for classes. Tuition and campus housing can be paid in four installments throughout the semester.

When should I apply?

You should apply one year before you plan to start your studies here. Application deadlines are April 1 for a graduate applicant (May 31 for an undergraduate applicant) for a fall term, October 1 for a spring term, and March 1 for a summer term. We would like to have your application much earlier, though, especially if you are seeking a scholarship or graduate assistantship. We have “rolling admissions,” that is, you can be admitted for fall (August), spring (January), or summer (May or July) for most majors. We will process your application as soon as it is received. If we need additional information or documents, we will notify you immediately. You should register to take the TOEFL exam as soon as you decide to study in the United States unless English is your native language or you have an earned U.S. master’s degree.

These documents are needed to consider you for admission:

What are the requirements for freshman undergraduate admission?

We will need the completed application forms, a US $50 application fee, and an official minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 79 (internet-based test), official IELTS overall score of 6.5, or PTE-A score of 58, not over two years old at the time of enrollment. We need official secondary school academic records and diploma or exam certificates showing above average performance and a financial statement showing adequate funding.

What are the requirements for transfer undergraduate admission?

We need the completed application forms, a US $50 application fee, and an official minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 79 (internet-based test), or official IELTS overall score of 6.5, or PTE-A score of 58, not over two years old at the time of your enrollment here. In addition, we need official transcripts of all university work completed to date, showing a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, and a financial statement showing adequate funding. We will need course descriptions/syllabi for a transfer of credit evaluation.

I have completed two years of undergraduate work in my home country. How long will it take me to complete a bachelor’s degree at the U of A?

If the two years of work were in the same discipline as the bachelor’s degree you will complete here, and if the course content is similar, it will probably take you 2 to 2.5 years, but it’s hard to say for sure. We would urge you to apply as soon as you can, have official transcripts sent, and provide us with course descriptions/syllabi. As soon as the admission decision is made, an evaluation of transfer credit will be done. The evaluation will be sent to the appropriate advisor in the college of your major for further evaluation. When you arrive, you and your academic advisor will sit down and go through the evaluation together, seeing what credits you have satisfied and what credits you still must earn. If you are coming from one of the American pattern colleges in Malaysia, your in-country academic advisor can probably help you plan your course of study.

Are there any scholarships for international undergraduate students?

Scholarships are highly competitive and consideration is available only for students planning to enter in Fall terms. Scholarship consideration is not available for those students planning to enter in a Spring term.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is February 1, but applying early is critical in order to have maximum consideration.  Scholarships are awarded only to students who have been admitted before the scholarship deadline.  It is important to submit your application for admission to the University, all supporting documents and official test scores (especially SAT) far in advance of the scholarship deadline (even October or November of 2009 would not be too early for Fall 2010 consideration) so that the admission decision can be made in a timely manner.  You must apply separately for scholarships by going to the Office of Scholarships web site at http://scholarships.uark.edu/.

International students are eligible to apply for the following scholarships:

Scholarship applications are not held until February 1 to be reviewed all at the same time; rather, scholarships are awarded at periodic intervals to qualifying candidates upon review and approval by the Scholarship Committee.  Therefore, not all qualifying students who apply by February 1 may be awarded a scholarship if funding runs out.  If you are an outstanding student with high test scores and excellent grades, we encourage you to apply early for admission and scholarships.

Tuition Advantage Programs

The University of Arkansas is pleased to offer a tuition advantage for qualifying students from selected countries, U.S. regions, or institutions based upon University of Arkansas partnership agreements.

One of my parents graduated from the University of Arkansas. Will I receive a discount in tuition?

Possibly! To receive a 100% out-of-state tuition waiver, students must meet the basic admission criteria of a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale and a score of 20 ACT (or 950 SAT). To renew it each year, the student must maintain a 3.0 gpa on 24 hours completed at the end of each academic year. See the Alumni Association web site here for more information.

Is there financial assistance for graduate students?

Some departments on campus offer graduate assistantships for qualified, outstanding graduate students. Assistantships often pay full tuition plus offer a monthly stipend in exchange for teaching or research for the department of your major. If you wish to be considered for an assistantship, indicate this when you request application materials. We will send you the the assistantship application or you may download this form and return it with your application.

Is the TOEFL or IELTS always required for admission?

Yes — unless your native language is English. If your native language is not English, but your schooling was in English, the TOEFL or IELTS or PTE-A is still required unless you have an earned master’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution. Upon arrival, you will take an English placement exam to help you enroll in the correct level English classes. If your score indicates weakness in your English proficiency, some English as a Second Language (EASL) courses may be prescribed.

What if my TOEFL score is below the required 550 (or 79 on the internet-based) or below the IELTS 6.5 requirement?

We have an excellent intensive English program on our campus. If you are academically admissible but your TOEFL or IELTS is below our required score, we can offer you admission to Spring International Language Center (SILC). Once you have achieved the required English proficiency, you will be allowed to enroll in academic courses in the next available term. We can issue a dual I-20 for you showing admission into both the U of A and SILC.

For information about SILC, contact:

Spring International Language Center

Uptown Campus West - UPTW
1001 East Sain
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas (AR) 72703

1-479-575-7600 • 1-479-575-7673 (fax)
silc@uark.edu

More about the TOEFL:

When you take the TOEFL, give the U of A institution code to have scores sent automatically to us: 6866. Even if you have not yet applied for admission, we’ll hold your score and match it with your application when we receive it. Scores must be less than two years old at the time of your enrollment.

More about the IELTS:

When you take the IELTS, have the scores sent automatically to the U of A. Even if you have not yet applied for admission, we will hold your score and match it with your application upon receipt. Scores must be less than two years old at the time of enrollment.

English Language Proficiency Testing

Non-native speakers of English admitted to undergraduate or graduate study at the University of Arkansas are required to take the English Language Placement Test (ELPT) prior to the beginning of classes in their first term of study. Non-native speakers in the following categories are exempt from this requirement:

  1. Undergraduate students who transfer at least 24 hours of credit from U.S. institutions, including courses that meet the freshman composition requirement;
  2. Undergraduate students who attended at least three years and graduated from a high school in the United States and submitted an SATII/Writing score of 400 or an ACT English score of 19;
  3. Graduate students who earned bachelor’s or master’s degrees in U.S. institutions or in foreign institutions where the official and native language is English;
  4. Undergraduate students with a TOEFL Test of Written English (TWE) or Essay score of 5.0, an iBT Writing score of 28, or IELTS (writing) score of 6.5.
  5. Graduate students with a TOEFL Test of Written English (TWE) or Essay score of 5.0, an iBT Writing score of 29, or IELTS (writing) score of 7.0.
  6. Graduate students with a 4.5 on the analytical writing portion of the GRE or GMAT.

Diagnostic and placement testing is designed to test students’ ability to use English effectively in an academic setting, and its purpose is to promote the success of non-native speakers in completing their chosen course of study at the University of Arkansas. Test results provide the basis for placement into English as a Second Language (EASL) support courses or course sequences. Courses are offered by the Department of Foreign Languages for those students whose language skills are diagnosed as insufficient for college-level work at the level to which they have been admitted (undergraduate or graduate study). Credit in EASL courses do not count toward University of Arkansas degrees. Non-native speakers diagnosed as having language competence sufficient for their level of study will not be recommended to enroll in EASL courses.

The ELPT is administered by Testing Services during New Student Orientation. Undergraduate students assessed EASL course work as a result of performance on the ELPT will be required to complete the EASL course(s) before taking the required freshman composition courses. With recommendation from the appropriate Dean’s Office, the Faculty Committee on Admissions and Transfer of Credit may waive either the requirement for the language evaluation or the required EASL courses. Graduate students assessed course work as a result of performance on the ELPT will be required to complete the EASL course(s) to support initial course work taken in their fields. Graduate departments/degree programs will have the discretion to waive either the requirement for the language evaluation or the required language courses.

The publication, “International Student Information,” is available from the Graduate and International Admissions Office, University of Arkansas, 346 N. Arkansas Avenue (STON 50), 1 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701.

What are the requirements for graduate admission?

In addition to returning the application forms, you should also include a US $50 application fee. You should have a four-year bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA on the last sixty (60) hours of your bachelor's course work. For educational programs not on the credit hour system, the "last 60 hours" equals approximately the last two years of a four-year program. We will need official transcripts or individual mark sheets with confirmation of your bachelor’s degree. We will need an official TOEFL score of 550 (paper test) or 79 (internet-based test), or IELTS of 6.5, less than two years old at the time of your enrollment. Even if you are applying for an assistantship, you should send us back the financial statement, completed as fully as possible. The Test of Spoken English (TSE) or IELTS is required for teaching assistantships. Some programs require the GRE or GMAT. See the Catalog of Studies for details. Please send all application materials to the International Admissions Office. The International Admission Office will process your application, and when your file is complete, we will forward it to the department for the admission decision. When the decision is made, your file will come back to us for issuing the I-20. While you can certainly address questions to the department about areas of faculty research, availability of assistantships, etc., your application documents must come to the International Admission Office first to avoid delays in processing. (The exception: If applying to the Law School or a graduate program in Business, send all materials there instead. These programs process their own applications.) Please apply early! Most departments begin making their assistantship decisions in the month of February for the coming fall term!

I’m interested in the MBA program. Are the admission requirements different?

The new MBA program is designed to provide a rigorous theoretical background in the core disciplines and is balanced by professionally relevant career track courses in marketing, supply chain management, finance, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the professional development seminars will give students the opportunity to customize their degree with skill sets that are the pre-requisite to many of the career paths in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail industries. Summer internships with CPG companies and study abroad programs give students additional hands-on learning experiences that strengthen their resume. The MBA program is a 3-semester, 48 credit hours program, beginning in the Spring semester of each year.

Successful applicants are expected to rank in the 80th percentile on the GMAT, possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale, and have several years of post bachelor work experience. International applicants must score a minimum TOEFL of 550 (or 79 on the internet-based test) or IELTS of 6.5. Completed application materials should be submitted by April 1. All applications received after September 15 will be processed will be processed on a space-available basis. All application materials should be sent to the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Graduate School of Business. You may contact gsb@walton.uark.edu for more information.

What if I am a government or agency sponsored student?

To accommodate the special needs of sponsored students, we have a special office. Please direct all inquiries to:

Sponsored Student Programs Office
STON 50
346 N. Arkansas Avenue
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville AR 72701 USA
1-479-575-6857 • 1-479-575-5055 (fax)
uassp@uark.edu

This office will facilitate your admission process, your acclimation to campus, and act as liaison between you and your sponsoring agency. There is a management fee which will be charged to your sponsoring agency.

Deadlines! Deadlines! Deadlines!

Yes, we have them, but please don’t wait until the deadline to apply! “The early bird catches the worm” definitely applies to college admissions, especially if you want a scholarship or assistantship. For admission without a scholarship or assistantship, we must have a complete file for you by April 1 (graduate students) or May 31 (undergraduates) if you want to be considered for a fall term, October 1 for a spring term, and March 1 for a summer term. After these deadlines, we will try—but cannot guarantee an admission decision in time for the term you desire.

How much does it cost to attend the University of Arkansas?

Specific information on the cost of attendance can be found on the current Estimated Expense Cost Sheet. Listed on this sheet is a breakdown of costs including tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, insurance and personal expenses. Please note that if you are bringing family members with you, you will need to show additional funding available: $5,000 for a spouse and $3,800 for each child.

How much money should I expect to spend on textbooks?

Depending on your courses, textbooks may cost from $300 to $950 per semester. Textbooks are expensive, but the local textbook stores often have used copies available at a reduced cost. We have a fully-stocked bookstore on our campus for your convenience. There are other textbook stores close to campus, as well as online sources.

Can I find a part-time job to help support myself?

International students holding F-1 or J-1 visas are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week on campus only. These campus jobs are usually in residence halls or dining services
and pay minimum wage. Jobs are not always available. Off campus employment is restricted by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).

Where will I live while attending the U of A?

Single students can find residence hall accommodations readily available in a variety of settings. Meals are available on campus for all meals except the Sunday evening meal.

The cost for housing for an academic year (fall and spring semesters) with the full meal plan is about $4656, though it varies by residence hall. Off-campus housing is available, but you must make your own arrangements and some restrictions apply (freshman under 21 must live on campus unless special permission has been obtained from University Housing). Family housing is available, but space is limited, so apply early once you are admitted.

Off-campus living quarters can cost as little as $200 per month for a furnished sleeping room with kitchen privileges in a private home or rooming house, or over $500 a month for a spacious modern apartment in a complex of apartments with swimming pool and other facilities. However, unless utilities are part of the rental fee, you will be paying separately for electricity, gas, water, and trash service. This can be difficult when you first arrive in Fayetteville. We recommend on-campus housing, especially at first. This
will give you time to seek out alternatives at your leisure. It will also give you a chance to meet others who may want to live off campus and might want to share an apartment with you to cut expenses.

Our University Housing office will assist you in securing on-campus housing. For more information, contact:

University Housing
Hotz Hall
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville AR 72701 USA
1-479-575-3951 • 1-479-575-8450 (fax)
hotzdsk@teamwork.uark.edu

Will I be the only student from my country at the U of A?

Probably not! We have over 1150 international scholars representing over 119 countries, and we have an excellent Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) to assist you in getting comfortable on campus and making new friends. Cultural organizations on campus include:

African Student Association
Arab Student Association
Buddhist Value Creation Society
Chinese Student & Scholar Association
Friends of India
Hmong Student Organization of Arkansas
International Students Christian Association
International Christian Fellowship
International Students Organization
Korean Student Association
Latinos Unidos
Muslim Student Association
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Study Abroad Student Association
United Europe

There are over 200 general campus organizations and lots of campus activities for your entertainment. We have an excellent recreation facility complete with racquetball courts, swimming pool, weight room, volleyball courts, and more. You can also participate in intramural sports.

A thorough orientation is offered to you upon arrival to campus by the ISS. You will learn everything there is to know about the U of A, make new friends, learn your way around, and even register for your classes during the ISS orientation sessions. The first day of classes will find you well prepared for your college experience. A variety of other services especially for international students is available through the ISS. If you would like more information about the ISS, or if you would like to find out if there are students here from your home country, contact:

Office of International Students and Scholars
104 Holcombe Hall
1 University of Arkansas
Fayetteville AR 72701 USA
1-479-575-5003 • 1-479-575-7084 (fax)
iss@uark.edu

Do I have to have a car to “get around”?

The University of Arkansas has bus routes all around campus. The buses run on time and often. We also have bus service to all major shopping areas in Fayetteville. There are grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and bookstores within walking distance. Several restaurants deliver to campus. The Office of International Students and Scholars also plans fun trips to area attractions. A variety of medical services is available on campus at the Student Health Center. Many off-campus apartment complexes are on University bus routes. If you live in an off-campus apartment which is not on any U of A bus routes, however, transportation will be difficult without a car or bicycle.

Is Fayetteville accessible by air?

The University of Arkansas is serviced by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA). If you let International Programs know your correct arrival information, they will arrange transportation for you from the airport to campus. Be sure your travel agent understands that we are in Fayetteville, ARKANSAS. There is also a city named Fayetteville in the state of North Carolina!

How big is Fayetteville?

Fayetteville, Arkansas, is a town of about 70,000 people, not counting the student population of over 19,000. While of this size might seem small to some, every convenience is here. Some of the best things about Fayetteville include its low crime rate and good climate. We have all four seasons here, with no long dry or rainy season. It will snow at least twice in the winter and get hot in the summer, but rarely over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The larger Northwest Arkansas area includes Springdale, Rogers (famous poultry production towns), Bentonville (headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.), Beaver Lake, Devil’s Den State Park, and scenic White Rock Mountain. Other recreation areas are nearby for camping, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor sports. Our campus recreation facility offers outdoor equipment for rent at a nominal cost.

We are about three hours away by car from Little Rock, our state capitol and largest city in Arkansas.

Do I have to bring my own computer?

No. There are computer labs in several locations across campus, some available 24 hours a day, with state-of-the-art programs and services and international networks.

What about medical records and health insurance?

Like most U.S. universities, we require immunization against measles and rubella. Be sure to bring your immunization record in English to prove you have had these shots or we’ll have to give them to you again! Also, health insurance is required. If you already have health insurance, you should bring proof. If you do not have health insurance, you will be given information upon your arrival. When you register and pay your fees, you will be assessed a $174 student health fee for the academic year. This fee entitles you to visit our campus clinic for free. (You will have to pay for any medicines, lab work, or x-rays obtained from the clinic.) Health insurance is estimated to cost $1020 per year. This insurance will protect you from the devastating cost of major medical care in a hospital should the need arise.

What about academics? Are all programs fully accredited? Nationally recognized? What is the average class size? What is the faculty/student ratio?

All academic programs on our campus are fully accredited by their disciplines’ national accreditation organizations and many are nationally ranked.

  • Fortune magazine listed the U of A as one of the top 66 schools in the country that produce chief executives of major American companies.
  • Our programs in creative writing and translation are ranked among the best five in the country.
  • Our Bell Engineering Center is a world-class facility.
  • Our Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Honors Studies Program was highly praised in a recent edition of How to Get an Ivy League Education at a State University.
  • Our College of Education implemented the 5-year Master of Arts in Teaching degree program—the most dynamic and innovative program in the state.
  • Our School of Architecture takes great pride in its successful graduates, among whom is E. Fay Jones, winner of the AIA’s highest honor for lifetime achievement. He was the school’s first dean and continues to lecture here as Emeritus Professor.
  • Our College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences features the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science offering the finest training for poultry scientists in the country.
  • Our Law School has the only agricultural law master’s degree (LLM) program in the U.S.
  • On April 11, 2002, the University of Arkansas received the largest gift in the history of American public higher education — a $300 million commitment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation of Bentonville, Arkansas, to establish and endow an undergraduate honors college and to endow the Graduate School.

The average class size is difficult to pinpoint. It depends on the class and your year in school. For example, a freshman honors class might contain as few as 8 students, but a freshman English class could contain 25 students. A general Chemistry lecture class might have as many as 300 students (but the lab would be a much smaller group).

The average ratio of faculty to students is 1 to 18.

What if I don’t do well at the University of Arkansas?

First of all, our admission standards are designed to admit above average students. If we didn’t think you would succeed here, you wouldn’t be admitted! We want you to do well and have a great American university experience. Your professors also want you to succeed. Every professor has office hours so that you can go to them for help. Campus tutors are available to you for extra help. International undergraduate students must take 12 academic credit hours during the fall and spring semesters to remain “in status” with Immigration. Often, however, our super international students will sign up for 18 semester hours (maybe more with advisor’s permission) and find themselves overwhelmed. You see, for every hour spent in class, a student should expect to spend at least three hours in study and preparation for that class. That’s a lot of studying! If for any reason a student starts to fall behind in a class, the student has the option of “dropping” the class within a certain period of time. For example, fall classes begin in mid-August. The last day to drop a class is early November, well beyond the midterm exam period. You will know by then if you need to drop a class. Of course, if the class is required for your degree, you will have to take it again at some point—but you will have a better idea about what is expected and can choose your classes that term around this challenging class.

The International Admission Office and Office of International Students and Scholars, as well as your academic advisor and professors, realize what a major step you have taken in coming to the U.S. to study. We want you to succeed and will do everything we can to help you! If you find yourself unhappy with your progress here, you must reach out to the many people who are here to help!

Is the campus safe?

Yes, this is a safe campus, with very few crimes against persons. All public sidewalks are well lighted. Emergency phones are located prominently all over campus. The University Police are student-oriented persons who have met all state training requirements. Your safety and security are their number one priority. We also have a special patrol composed of police officers and community service cadets who are available on call in the evenings to escort you wherever on campus you need to go. Residence halls are monitored and guests must be accompanied by a resident of that hall.

All of these precautions are just good proactive measures to keep you safe! Remember, Fayetteville is a city with a very low crime rate. All it will take to secure your personal safety and property is your own good common sense.

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