Students from outside the United States are a vital part of the life of the Theological School at Drew University. We therefore welcome applications from women and men throughout the world who would like to engage in theological studies. The deadline for completed international applications is April 1 for enrollment in the fall semester and October 1 for enrollment in the spring semester. Online applications are free and can be completed on our website.
*Note: Due to new immigration rules you will not be allowed into the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. You should have your financial papers and bank statements to show the Port of Entry officer when you enter the U.S. If you have problems entering the country and the officer wants to speak with a representative from Drew University, you can call during office hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time) at (973) 408-3111.
Apart from exceptional circumstances, applicants whose native (first) language is not English must submit an IELTS or TOEFL score when applying for admission. TOEFL scores can be submitted to Drew Theological School, Code 2193, Dept. 21. The University of Cambridge language examinations (IELTS) may be submitted as an alternative to the TOEFL examination.
Applicants that have completed a previous degree at an accredited institution where English is the language of instruction may request a waiver from the Office of Theological Admissions. The TOEFL waiver form can be found on our website.
*TOEFL waivers are not granted to Ph.D. applicants.
Financial aid awards for eligible international applicants are announced when the candidate is notified of an admissions decision. The Theological School’s financial aid resources do not permit full coverage of student expenses; thus, like other Theological School students, international students should seek additional financial support to underwrite the cost of Drew studies. International agencies related to major denominations are often a source for additional financial aid.
Additional resources can be found on our money for seminary page: www.drew.edu/moneyforseminary.
I-20 Process and F/J Visa
International students should not plan to pay for their education through employment in the United States. While occasional field education positions and on-campus employment may become available, a student cannot rely in advance on such opportunities, especially not during the first year. International students must demonstrate adequate funds to cover tuition and the cost of living for themselves and any dependents during the first year of a degree program. This funding can be demonstrated by the applicant’s personal funds or through sponsorship by an individual or organization. In either case, funds must be demonstrated that equal or exceed the total amount required for tuition and the cost of living. A supporting bank statement that is no older than 6 months must be provided for each sponsor or to demonstrate the applicant’s personal funds.
To calculate the total amount required to secure an I-20, please see our I-20 calculator.
Once a student has secured the funds required for an I-20, the following documents must be submitted to Drew University in order to receive the I-20:
- I-20 Checklist
- Signed Intent to Accept Form
- $300.00 Enrollment Deposit
- Certification Contract
- $5,000 Registration Deposit by money order or drawn on a US bank
- Sponsor Support Forms (Individual / Organization) and Corresponding Bank Certification Statement
- Student’s Personal Bank Certification Statements
- Immigration Status Transfer Form (transfer students only: Word Document | PDF form)
- Copy of Passports for all individuals entering the United States
- Copy of Green Card, Naturalization/Citizenship Papers, F/J/R visa (if available)
- Supplemental Financial Aid Information Form
- Housing Application (or US address of residence)
- Vaccination Records (or intent to be vaccinated at Drew University)
If you are ready to submit your documents, please complete, print, and return the I-20_Checklist with your materials.
Submission of the above documents does not guarantee that a student will be granted a visa to study in the United States. Once an I-20 has been issued by Drew University, students must schedule an interview with the United States Embassy in the country of their citizenship. Students should pay the interview fee before arriving at the US Embassy and take the I-20 issued by Drew University to the interview.
In most cases, students will be issued an I-20 for an F-1 visa and F-2 visas for family members. Occasionally, students who have entered into contractual agreements with supporting organizations will be granted J visas. You will need to pay a US $200.00 SEVIS fee and get a receipt BEFORE you can go to an appointment at an Embassy or Consulate. You must have the receipt to give the Embassy/Consulate or you will not be allowed to go into the appointment. To pay the SEVIS fee, visit the following website at least three days prior to your interview: http://www.FMJfee.com.
English Language Program
International students and non-native English speakers will spend approximately three weeks prior to their first semester in an intensive language program, in which they will be trained in American English and culture, as well as English for theological students. The intensive language course is a requirement for most international and non-native English speaking students. For more information, please see the ESOL website.
*Entering Ph.D. students are not required to participate in the English Language and American Culture program.
Health and Housing
Students who desire to live on the campus of Drew University should submit a housing application after their admission to Drew. For more information about housing for Theological School students, including the housing application, please see the housing office website. International students may arrive at Drew Theological School up to one week prior to the start of the English Language Program.
All full-time and part-time students who attend class on campus at any time are required to submit health information. Please refer to Drew University Health Services (DUHS) for further information on health requirements and instructions on submitting health forms. Students will not be permitted to continue registration or reside in Drew housing until immunization and health information requirements are met. Any documents that are mailed must be in English. As a registered student you have confidential and secure online access to forms on your electronic health record through myhealth portal. Although most information will be completed online in myhealth, there are some documents that need to be printed, completed, and mailed back to DUHS.
International students are authorized by Drew University and the U.S. government to work up to 20 hours per week during each term of the academic year. International students may work up to 40 hours per week when academic terms are not in session. Anticipated employment may not be considered when applying for an I-20.
International students are only authorized to gain employment on campus at Drew University unless specifically authorized to work off-campus by the International Student Services Officer of Drew University. As part of their degree curriculum, many students will have the opportunity to complete curricular practical training (CPT) during the second and third years of study at Drew. For more information about CPT, please contact the International Student Services Office.
Before an international student can be employed on campus, students must apply for work and be hired by an office of the university. Once a student is hired, her/his supervisor must write a letter stating the terms of employment and this letter must be taken to the Social Security Administration Office in Parsippany, NJ. The student will be issued a social security number in 2-4 weeks. After receiving a social security number, students should complete the I-9 and W-4 forms with the Office of Financial Assistance. Students may not begin work until after all of these steps are complete and the Office of Financial Assistance has granted permission for the student to begin working. For more information about on-campus employment, please see the financial aid section of our site.
From the Airport to Drew University
For driving directions and additional information about public transportation, please see the maps and directions portion of our website. For international students, the information below is most relevant.
Due to new immigration policies you will not be allowed into the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. You should have your financial papers and bank statements to show the Port of Entry officer when you enter the U.S. If you have problems entering the country and the officer wants to speak with a representative from Drew University, you can call during office hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard time) at (973) 408-3111.
From Newark Airport
Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get from the airport to Drew University. On the baggage claim level there is a station for taxis. “Terry’s Taxi” offers a taxi service to Drew University from Newark (about $45 plus $8.25 for tip and $1.00 for each piece of luggage). Please make prior arrangements with the company “Terry’s Taxi” (toll free number in the US 1-973-334-5100). If you can’t make prior arrangements there are usually plenty of other taxis at the airport, but the fare may be higher. Make sure you agree with the taxi driver on the fare, plus tolls, before you leave the airport.
If you don’t have much baggage, you can also take the AirTrain Newark Train from the Newark Liberty Airport to Secaucus Station and then change trains to New Jersey Transit Dover line which goes to Madison, NJ (where Drew University is). For walking directions from the Madison train station, please see the maps and directions portion of our website.
From J.F.K. Airport
It is also possible to get to Drew from JFK airport by taxi. “Airport Express Taxi offers services to Drew for $105 plus $15.75 tip and $1.00 per bag. Please make prior arrangements. From US – 1-888-566-6665. Outside US – 1-973-701-7884. There is also an area for taxis in case you could not make prior arrangements. These fares could be as high as $130.00 plus a 15% tip and tolls ($16). Make sure to arrange the price before you leave in the taxi. Most taxi drivers only take US dollars, not credit cards or traveler checks.
You can also get to Drew by public transit. Take the AirTrain to the Howard Beach/JFK Subway stop for the A Train. Take the A train ($2) to Penn Station. For directions from Penn Station to the Madison train station, please see the maps and directions portion of our website.
From La Guardia Airport
Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get to Drew University. The taxis can be found on the baggage claim level. “Airport Express Taxi” offers a taxi service to Drew University from La Guardia for about $95 plus a $14.25 tip and about $16 in tolls. Please make prior arrangements with the company (from US 1-888-566-6665 or outside US – 1-973-701-7884). If you didn’t make arrangements beforehand you can usually still get a taxi, but the fare could be as high as $150.00 plus a 15% tip. Make sure to arrange the price before you get in the taxi.