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FAQs for International Students:

Where is Mercy College located?

Mercy College has four campuses in the New York metro area. Our main campus is located in Dobbs Ferry, along the Hudson River. Our Manhattan Campus is in the heart of Midtown, Manhattan and boasts all new infrastructure with new student housing opening in Fall 2020. With campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan, Bronx, and Yorktown Heights, our diverse student body sustains a vibrant on-campus culture.

What programs and majors does Mercy College offer?

Mercy College offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Are international students eligible to enroll in every program at Mercy College?

International students can apply for almost all of our 90+ undergraduate and graduate programs, including our Business Administration, Accounting, International Relations and Diplomacy, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Health Sciences, Master of Business Administration and more. Because of F-1 visa requirements, international students are eligible for all programs which require fewer than two online courses per semester. Check out our full list of offerings, along with the specific program pages to learn about individual requirements:

Can I arrange to have a tour of the campus?

You can schedule a tour of the Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, or Manhattan campuses. To schedule your tour please visit our website here:

You can also take a virtual tour from anywhere. Click here to access the virtual tour:

Am I an international student?

At Mercy College, an international student is an individual who will hold a non-immigrant F1 visa while enrolled at the College.

The following are not considered international students:

  • U.S. citizens living abroad
  • Students from U.S. territories
  • U.S. Permanent Residents (green-card holders)
  • Documented refugees or asylees.

Please note that certain visas restrict college attendance. F1 is the only visa type specifically designated for full-time study.

How do I apply and what documents do I need to apply?

International students must submit the following to be considered for admission:

  • Online Application
  • Official academic transcripts (for all programs of study, foreign and domestic)
  • Foreign Academic Credential Evaluation (for foreign transcripts from all levels of education completed outside the U.S.)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores, or accepted proof of English language proficiency
  • Additional documents as specified by the program website
  • Please send all official original documents to the following address:

Student Services Support Center
Mercy College
2651 Strang Blvd
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

If admitted, additional documents are required for the issuance of the I-20.

An explanation of the required admission documents for international students can be found on our Admissions Requirements page.

Do you consider a 3-year Bachelor's degree graduate as eligible for admission to Mercy College's graduate programs?

Mercy College considers three-year Bachelor degree holders to be eligible for graduate-level study. This includes, but is not limited to, applicants from participating European Bologna Process countries and students from India who have completed a Bachelor’s degree with Division I from an institution ranked ‘A’ or higher by NAAC. If you have a three-year Bachelor's degree and have questions regarding your eligibility for graduate-level study, please contact International Admissions.

Please note that certain graduate programs such as Public Accounting, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy and the graduate Education programs have specific pre-requisite and degree requirements that may affect your eligibility. Pre-requisite work as an undergraduate student may be required. Please check your program's website or contact International Admissions if you have any questions.

Do I need a Foreign Academic Credential Evaluation (FACE)?

Yes. If you completed any part of your education outside the U.S. an evaluation is required. If you are enrolling as a transfer or graduate student but you completed any part of your education outside the U.S., a Foreign Academic Credential Evaluation is required.

A Foreign Academic Credential Evaluation is a document that equates foreign qualifications to American degrees using the American grading scale and credit system. A FACE will provide a U.S. equivalency of the courses you have taken, your grade point average (GPA) and your American degree equivalency. A credential evaluation ensures that your application will be reviewed fairly and under the same academic guidelines as your American peers.

For information on how to order a credential evaluation please click here:

If I have an IB Diploma or Transcript, do I need a credential evaluation?

No. Mercy College can evaluate an IB Diploma or Transcript without a credential evaluation.

What is Mercy’s English Language Proficiency Requirement?

International applicants whose primary language is not English are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), DUOlingo English Test (DET), EIKEN, or GTEC. 

Required Minimum TOEFL, IELTS, DUOlingo, EIKEN, and GTEC Scores for Admission:

  Undergraduate Graduate
TOEFL 71 80
IELTS 6.0 6.5
PTE 48 53
Duolingo English Test (DET) 100 105
EIKEN Pre-1 Not Accepted
GTEC 1140 Not Accepted


What is Mercy’s ETS code?


Does Mercy offer a Proof of English Proficiency waiver for qualified students?

A TOEFL/IELTS waiver may be granted by demonstrating proof of English proficiency based on one or more of the following requirements:

  1. Applicants from the following countries:
American Samoa Anguilla Antigua
Australia Bahamas Barbados
Belize British Virgin Islands Canada
Dominica Gambia Ghana
Grand Cayman Grenada Guyana
Ireland Jamaica Kenya
New Zealand Nigeria Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Scotland St. Lucia
Singapore South Africa Swaziland
Tanzania Trinidad/Tobago Turks and Caicos Islands
Uganda United Kingdom U.S. Pacific Trust
Zambia Zimbabwe  


  1. Applicants who graduated from an American high school in the U.S. or abroad and completed two full years of regular English courses
  2. Applicants who completed 12+ credits at an American college or university in the U.S. or abroad with a cumulative GPA of a 2.0
  3. Applicants who have taken an English course at an American college or university with a grade of a "C" or better
  4. Applicants who have taken the SAT (although not required for admission) and received a 500 or better on the Critical Reading section
  5. Applicants who have completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) English B Standard Level (SL) and received a score of a 4 or better, or have an 80%/B average in English B HL/SL at the time of application
  6. Applicants who have taken the AP English Composition and Literature Exam and received a score of 3 or better
  7. Applicants from Sweden with a grade of VG ("C" on the new scale) or above in English
  8. Applicants from Norway with Level 4 or above in English
  9. Graduate applicants who have completed at least two consecutive years of post-secondary full-time study or completed a bachelor's or first master's degree at a U.S. institution
  10. Graduate applicants who have completed a degree in a country where English is the primary language and this degree is from an institution where English is the primary medium or instruction
  11. Applicants who have successfully completed an equivalent of B2 level on Common European Framework Reference (CEFR) for undergraduate and C1 level on CEFR for graduate programs through an approved English language school.


Mercy College reserves the right request additional documentation to determine a student's English language proficiency. Although it is rare that we request additional information, in doing so we hope to ensure your success at Mercy College. If you have any questions regarding the TOEFL/IELTS requirements, please contact International Admissions

My TOEFL/IELTS score is too low. Do you offer a conditional admission or ESL program?

Mercy College offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) conditional admission program through our partners, Manhattan Language and New York Language Center. Conditional admission is simple: you can attain English proficiency at Manhattan Language and then transfer to Mercy College after completing a TOEFL Preparation course. Click here to learn more about our ESL program:

Is there an application deadline?

No, Mercy College operates on a Rolling Admissions schedule, so we accept applications at any time. However, the more quickly you apply, the faster we can deliver an admissions decision and begin the enrollment process for the upcoming semester. International students should also consider visa processing times and personal circumstances when preparing to study in the U.S. and coming from overseas.

Is there an application fee?

There is a $40 application fee.

Do I need to take any standardized tests (ACT, SAT, etc.)?

Mercy College is a test-optional institution, with the exception of our Traditional Nursing program. We do not require ACT or SAT for international undergraduate students. If you have taken a standardized test, you are welcome to submit your scores for consideration with your application.

I have a Nursing license from my home country. Am I eligible for admission into Mercy College's RN to BSN Nursing program?

Mercy College's RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program requires a valid American RN License for admission. If you have a foreign Nursing license, you must first enroll in a two-year American RN degree program or pass the licensing exam.

I am a transfer student. Will I receive credit for coursework previously taken at the university level?

Mercy College accepts a maximum of 75 credits from two-year colleges and 90 credits from four-year colleges and universities. Our Transfer Team will facilitate your transition to Mercy College, showing you exactly how your transfer credits apply to your intended major and a PACT Mentor will assist in mapping a semester by semester plan through graduation.

When will I receive my admissions decision?

Once all required documentation is submitted our team aims to deliver admissions decisions in within approximately two weeks.

Do I need a visa to study at Mercy College?
Yes. You will need to submit documentation to apply for an I-20. After you are admitted to Mercy College, the International Student Services Office will contact you to begin the I-20 application process..

If you would like to learn more about our I-20 Eligibility Forms, I-20 application process, financial requirements and obtaining an F-1 student visa, please visit our International Student Services Office website

What is a SEVIS Form I-20 and why do I need one?

A SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) Form I-20 is a United States government form issued by Mercy College for the purpose of certifying to the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 student status. The SEVIS l-20 form certifies that (1) you have been admitted to Mercy College, (2) that you are or expected to be a ‘bona fide’ student, (3) that you will pursue a full course of study, and (4) that you have enough funds to study and live in the U.S. You need this SEVIS l-20 form in order to obtain an F-1 student visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country, and to maintain your student status while in the United States.

Items needed for Form I-20:

  • Completed I-20 eligibility form
  • Copy of passport
  • Affidavit of support (notarization not required)
  • Proof of funding (recent bank statements)
  • Proof of income (recent tax statement, pay stubs, or letter from employer of your sponsor)

All required I-20 documents should be submitted to the International Student Services Office via email at Please note that an I-20 will not be issued until all requirements are met.

What is a visa?

A visa is an attachment to a passport page in your passport that permits you to apply at a U.S. port of entry for admission to the country for a specific purpose, for a certain period of time.  Since you intend on coming to the U.S. to study as a full-time student, you will be applying for an F-1 international student visa.*

*Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and British subjects resident in certain islands are not required to obtain an F-1 visa.  For more information, please visit

If you are a citizen of one of the above locations where you are not required to get an F-1 visa, please follow steps 1 and 2 only, which are listed below.  Once you get your I-20 and pay your SEVIS fee, you can enter the U.S. with your I-20 and SEVIS fee receipt. 

How do I obtain my visa?

The U.S. State Department is the government agency that issues or denies your visa. Its agencies are commonly known as Embassies and Consulates. F-1 VISAS CANNOT BE ISSUED MORE THAN 120 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PROGRAM START DATE.  Before traveling to the United States and in order to get an F-1 visa, you must:

  • Obtain the SEVIS Form l-20:  This form is issued by Mercy College and mailed to you by Mercy via FedEx International Priority Mail at no cost to you.  
  • Pay Mandatory I-901 SEVIS fee of $350 USD: You must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to do so, you must have your I-20 Form to complete Form I-901 (online) at and obtain the receipt or Form l-797. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card. For more information regarding this topic please visit
  • Complete Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) electronically at:  This form requires you to upload one (1) passport picture. Please make sure to carefully review the instructions prior starting the process. Print and keep the DS-160 barcode page.  You will need this for your interview.  You must schedule a visa interview appointment.  Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will be interviewed for country-specific instructions.  Pay the visa application processing fee.  Visit for more information. 
  • Prepare for Visa Interview: You must have a valid passport, letter of admission from Mercy College, original hard copy of Form I-20, The Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) barcode, the application fee payment receipt and I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, evidence of financial ability to meet expenses, and evidence of intent to depart the United States after completion of studies. For more information on how to prepare for your visa interview please click here:

Important: Students can apply for F-1 visas at any given time. However, the State Department will ONLY start to issue visas 120 days prior to the first day of the beginning of the academic program. In addition, international students will be able to enter the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date.

What if I already have an F-1 visa?

If you already have an F-1 visa that has not expired, you do not have to get a new visa as long as you have not been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months.  If you have been absent from the U.S. for more than 5 months, then you must obtain a new F-1 visa. 

When can I arrive on campus?

You may arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20. Pre-arrival and orientation information will be shared with you by the International Student Services office. Housing move-in days will also be communicated in advance.

Where will I live?

At Mercy College living on campus is a safe, convenient, and affordable option. Mercy College offers different housing accommodation options that allow students to choose between living right in Midtown, Manhattan and our scenic Dobbs Ferry location. Starting in Fall 2020 our Mercy Manhattan campus will be ready to have students live a brand new residence hall in the heart of the city.

Dobbs Ferry is home to Mercy College's main campus. Students can enjoy a traditional college experience which includes the opportunity to live in Residence Halls, eat in our Dining Hall and use our athletic facilities. The campus recently underwent construction on new buildings so that all residents have access to more gathering and study areas, a student common that includes a Starbucks Cafe and convenience store, as well as a 5,000 square foot fitness center. With views of the Hudson River, restaurant and shopping options on Main Street, and a Metro North train station with service to New York City at the base of the campus, our Dobbs Ferry location provides students a safe and charming campus experience in close proximity to New York City.

Our Manhattan, New York City campus is located in the heart of midtown on 34th street, just across from Herald Square and across from Macy's flagship store. There is always something to do and our students love having access to the world's most amazing city. Our Manhattan campus is also home to our MBA program's Strategic Consulting Institute.

For more information about student housing, please visit our Residential Life pages.

When can I register for classes?

Mercy College offers a personalized learning experience that includes the College’s Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program. Your PACT advisor will assist you in registering for classes as soon as you are accepted to Mercy.

Will I have an academic advisor?

The International Student Service office will be your main contact at Mercy College for all immigration and compliance needs.  You will also have a PACT counselor to assist with academic advising, transitioning to College, and to ensure you are making progress towards your degree.

Additionally, ISS organizes events such as the United Nations Tour every semester, Broadway shows, cruise around New York city, and much more.

Can I study as a non-degree student?

International students are not eligible to enroll in non-degree programs at Mercy. F-1 students must study full time in pursuit of a degree.

Can I work while studying at Mercy College?

Students are eligible for three types of employment on an F-1 student visa:

  1. On-campus Employment
  2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  3. Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Please note that on-campus positions for International Students are available but limited. CPT and OPT generally require you to have completed one academic year to be eligible to apply for authorization. Please see our Employment Guidelines for more information or contact the International Student Services Office.

Can I study part-time?

No. As per F1 guidelines, International students are required to study full time, or 12 credits per semester for undergraduate students and 9 credits per semester for graduate students. MBA students are required to study 6 credits per quarter.

How safe is the Mercy College campus?

The mission of the Mercy College Department of Campus Safety is to maintain a secure and open environment that fosters learning and growth for all members of the College community. We pledge to do so in a respectful and professional manner at all four campuses. In return, we ask that members of the Mercy College community assume their individual and collective responsibilities to assist us in our mission and help to make Mercy College the best learning environment possible.

Mercy College Campus Safety offers a variety of services to the Mercy community. From responding to calls and providing event security, security escort, keys duplication, rekeying of doors, locking & opening buildings, access control, and jumpstarting car batteries our comprehensive services help you study, work and live in a safer and more secure campus environment.

How do I get around NYC?

New York City is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world and has an extensive subway system that makes it easy to travel around the city. Transportation to and from Mercy College’s campuses is easy and convenient. Whether you’re exploring Midtown on foot or hopping on the B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, or W trains accessible from the 34th Street Herald Square station just outside our Manhattan campus doors, there is never a lack of things to do in NYC.

If you’re looking to get out of the city and visit Dobbs Ferry, or just take a trip to the Bronx, Mercy operates a shuttle service from Dobbs Ferry to the Bronx, and will also pick you up right at the train station nearest to the Dobbs Ferry campus. The Westchester Bee line bus stops on-campus & right off-campus on Broadway, Ardsley-on-Hudson Metro North stop (just steps away from campus), and you’ll find ample parking on campus. In addition to exploring New York, Mercy College and New Jersey Transit have partnered to offer full-time undergraduate and graduate students 25% off the regular price of a monthly rail, bus or light rail pass.

By utilizing Mercy’s many transportation options, and getting to know the NYC MTA (Metro Transit Authority), you will always be able to get where you need to go.