Are you an International Student?

We are honored that you are considering moving to the United States to study at RTS Washington, D.C. Here you can find more information concerning the application as an international student. Our admissions team looks forward to helping you on this journey.

There are FOUR steps to complete as an international student.

  1. Complete the RTS Online Application and its requirements
  2. Complete and return the International Student Supplement (ISS) and supporting documents (English language test results, letter from home church, and financial resources)
  3. Admittance and Financial Aid
  4. Visa application

The process of applying for an international student can take longer than a traditional U.S. student. To ensure you can arrive before the semester you hope to start studying we recommend beginning your application process 6-12 months before your desired start date.

International Student Requirements Overview

  • All international students must establish English language proficiency. All applicants whose first language (“mother tongue”) is not English must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL). Though there are three different forms of the TOEFL exam, the Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL exam is the only form accepted by Reformed Theological Seminary. To be considered for admission to the MDiv or MA degree programs, applicants must have a total score of 84 or higher, with a score no lower than 21 on the four components of the exam (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing).  To be considered for admission to the DMin or MAC degree program, applicants must have a minimum total score of 100, with scores no lower than 25 on each of the subtests (Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing).
    • For more information or to register for TOEFL, please visit:
    • The institutional code for Reformed Theological Seminary is 9771.  If you put this number in the appropriate place on the test registration form, your score report will be mailed to us.
  • Students must submit official transcripts from all previous academic work (a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a 2.6 cumulative GPA is ordinarily required). Undergraduate transcripts (baccalaureate degree or equivalent) from international colleges and universities should be submitted through the World Education Services for evaluation. Make sure to request the Course-by-Course Report and specifically request that they include the language of instruction on the report. Please see the WES Frequently Asked Questions page for further information about fees and processing times. Official transcripts for post-baccalaureate studies (master’s, doctorate, etc) should be submitted directly to RTS Washington.
  • International Students are legally required to be full-time students (12 credit hours per fall and spring semesters)
  • The US Government requires proof of finances and financial support in the amount covering both your tuition and living expenses for the duration of your degree.
    • Student: $31,260
    • Student & Spouse: $44,160
    • Student, Spouse and 1 child: $48,160
    • For each additional child, add $4,000.


In addition to the online application, International Students are required to complete the International Student Supplement (ISS).

This International Student Supplement is required by RTS Washington and the United States Government in order to be issued the legal documents you need to study in the USA (I-20 and F1). This document explains the International Student requirements including English language skills, financial support, and education background. Please read the instructions and requirements carefully.

Please download the ISS form, complete it, and email it to your enrollment counselor along with mailing all of the original/hard copy supporting documents needed.

Financial Aid

New students planning to enroll in the summer or fall must apply for financial aid by May 1 (December 1 for winter/spring entrants). Please consider this in your application timeline.

The financing of an RTS degree is, above all, a trusting in and a reliance on God’s provision. Students finance their studies through their personal resources, the support of their home church, family and friends, and through RTS financial aid.

Please follow the link to the Financial Aid page to learn more about the types of scholarships and grants RTS Washington offers, the financial aid brochure, as well as the financial aid application.

Visa Application

Upon admittance to RTS Washington, you will be issued an I-20 (having completed steps 1 and 2 in their entirety). This I-20 document allows you to apply for your F1 visa.

Please note: Once you have received your I-20, the visa application process, interview wait times, and return of passport with visa, vary from country to country. Please allow at least 6-8 weeks from your visa application date to be granted an interview and receive your visa.

Before applying for your visa, confirm that your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your expected stay in the USA.

Visa Application Steps

  1. Register on the SEVIS Website by submitting  I-901 Form (includes USD $200 fee).
    WHAT IS SEVIS: The Department of Homeland Security and Department of State are responsible for monitoring schools, F-1 status students and others. Student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate information on non-immigrant students (F-1 visa) and their dependents (F-2). SEVIS enables schools to transmit mandatory information and event notifications, via the Internet, to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student’s stay in the United States.) Unless otherwise exempt, participants must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee to the Department of Homeland Security for each individual program. Submit your online SEVIS form.
  2. Complete the online visa application forms. Please follow all instructions carefully. These are legal documents. (Includes approx. USD $200 fee)
  3. Schedule Visa Interview
  4. Attend the visa interview with all necessary supporting documents.

For complete student visa information please visit this the US Visa website.


As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. It is important to remember that applying early and providing the requested documents does not guarantee that the student will receive a visa. Wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information is available on most embassy websites. Because each student’s personal and academic situation may differ, two students applying for the same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. For that reason, the guidelines that follow are general and can be abridged or expanded by consular officers overseas, depending on each student’s situation.

Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue a student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date. If you apply for your visa more than 120 days prior to your start date as listed on the Form I-20, the Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Consular officials will use that extra time to accomplish any of the necessary special clearances or other processes that may be required.

New Students may not enter the United States more than 30 days before the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.