International Students: Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider Golden Gate University (GGU) for my studies?

First, you should choose a university because it provides you with the academic program that is of interest to you. When comparing universities with similar academic programs, here are some things to consider:

  • What kind of academic focus is important to you? Golden Gate is a practical and career-focused university where the faculty have real-world experience in what they teach and a large proportion of the students have considerable working experience.
  • Are you interested in surroundings that are culturally diverse and exciting? Golden Gate University is located in the heart of San Francisco, one of the most interesting and dynamic cities in the United States. The university has close ties with businesses all over the region, including Silicon Valley. And there's always something to do, from shopping to movies, sports, sightseeing and the arts.
  • How will you fit in? Golden Gate University educates students from all over the world. We see it as an excellent way of enhancing the global perspective in our classrooms. But you will also find that the American students are very open and accepting because San Francisco itself is made up of immigrants from every region.
What kind of help do you have for international students?

Our Admissions and Advising teams are staffed by professional counselors who are here to help you from admissions through graduation. Services provided include visa assistance, new student orientation, academic advising, registration and may other areas. In addition, our Office of Student Affairs provides personal counseling, career services and opportunities to join clubs and activities.

What do I need to do to apply to Golden Gate University?

Check the admissions area of this website for specifics. Generally, international students need to fill out an application, arrange to have academic records sent to the university, provide an English proficiency test score (if your native language is not English) and submit financial documents. If you have questions, you can contact the Admissions Office at or call 415-442-7800.

Can I apply to GGU over the Internet?

Yes, GGU accepts online applications. Apply today!

Is there financial aid for international students?

Government-sponsored loans and grants are reserved for US students. International students may be eligible for some Golden Gate scholarships. With a little exploration, you may be able to identify low-interest loans or other assistance. A list of financial aid resources for international students is available online.

Can I get a job while I'm in the United States?

Yes. F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to work in limited circumstances. Many international students work part-time on campus at Golden Gate University. Students must check with an advisor in the Graduate Advising Center about individual work possibilities.

How do I get a student visa to come to the United States?

Your first step after being admitted should be to contact the US embassy or consulate in your country. They will be able to provide you with requirements and explain the process for obtaining an F-1 or J-1 student visa. F-1 visa requirements can be found online, as well as a list of embassies and consulates.

I've never been to the United States. How should I prepare for the cultural differences?

You may have seen American movies or television programs. Don't believe everything you see. The United States is a very big country and each region is different. You can learn about the San Francisco Bay Area by looking on the Web. To find out what it's like to live in the United States, you might ask friends or relatives if they know anyone who has done it. Most important: Keep an open mind and be flexible. You will probably find there are some things you really like and other things that seem odd to you. When you first arrive, explore as much as you can until you find what you're comfortable with.

How can I learn more about applying to Golden Gate University, the application deadlines, and the costs of a degree?

For all of these questions, please visit the Graduate International page for international admissions.

I am a GGU international student and I am interested in working. How can I get authorization to work?

This is a very popular question! F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to work in limited circumstances. Students must check with a counselor in the Graduate Advising Center for specific questions about individual work possibilities.

What is USCIS?

A while ago services formerly provided by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). In support of the DHS overall mission, the immediate priorities of the new USCIS are:

  • to promote national security
  • continue to eliminate immigration adjudications backlogs
  • implement solutions for improving immigration customer services

The USCIS will continue efforts to fundamentally transform and improve the delivery of immigration and citizenship services. This is the government bureau that Golden Gate University works with to ensure that we are servicing our international students safely and legally. Our main component is a database called SEVIS.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS is an electronic database that United States educational institutions use to communicate international student information with the USCIS.

As of August 1, 2003 all colleges and universities were required to enter information in SEVIS for all F-1 and J-1 students. This information includes:

  • Enrollment status
  • Current address
  • Change of status
  • Reduced course loads (when a student drops below full time status, whether approved or not)
  • Termination due to failure to maintain approved F-1 or J-1 status
  • Program extensions and completions
  • School transfers
  • Practical training authorizations and requests