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Next Steps for International Students

Congratulations on your acceptance, and welcome to Illinois Institute of Technology!

Please review the following checklist of items all newly admitted international students must complete prior to the start of the academic term. We are here to help you with your preparations in any way we can. If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Confirm your Intent to Enroll
Submit your financial support documents
Prepare your visa application and SEVIS fee payment
Prepare for your arrival to the United States
Access your MyIIT Portal
Prepare for your arrival with the International Center
Learn about late arrival
Learn about student health insurance and immunization requirements
Learn about housing
Learn about the PESL assessment
Learn about the Professional Communication Advancement Program (IIT Stuart students only)
Orientation
Academic Advising and Registration
Course Descriptions and Schedule
Tuition Payments
Student Identification Cards and Parking Permits
Textbooks
Career Development
Academic Policies
Final documents

Confirm your Intent to Enroll

We hope you will join the IIT campus and community! Please log into the Applicant Portal to complete the Intent to Enroll Form to notify us of your plans.

View the deadlines for submitting the Intent to Enroll and Stuart School of Business deposit

 
A deposit is required for Stuart School of Business students.  In addition to completing the Intent to Enroll form, Stuart students must pay the $200 non-refundable tuition deposit by logging into the myIIT portal. International students should have their I-20 before paying the tuition deposit.

Submit your financial support documents

If you did not submit your financial support documents prior to admission, please submit them as soon as possible. We can create your I-20 only after your valid documents have been received and approved by this office. Please allow at least two weeks from the date we receive your documents for processing. Read complete financial support document submission instructions.

Prepare your visa application and SEVIS fee payment

On the day that we mail your I-20, we will send you an email that provides your SEVIS number and tracking number. Use your SEVIS number to secure your visa appointment as early as possible.

Current visa wait time information is available at the U.S. Department of State. The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires a one-time SEVIS fee for all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants. Learn more about detailed payment instructions and answers to frequently asked questions at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.jsp.

The visa interview

To assist you in the preparation we would like to offer you helpful tips for the process based on input from NAFSA Association of International Educators, the United States Department of State, and IIT faculty. You may also find detailed information at the following websites: http://www.nafsa.org/resourcelibrary/default.aspx?id=8643http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html, and http://www.educationusa.info/pages/students/visa.php.

10 Points to Remember:

  1. Ties to your home country: Under United States law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas, such as student visas, are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not.
  2. English: Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language.
  3. Speak for yourself: Do not bring parents, family members, or friends with you to the interview.
  4. Know the program and how it fits your career plans: Be prepared to articulate the reasons why you will study in a particular program and your selected institution in the United States. You should also be able to explain how studying at IIT relates to your future professional career when you return home.
    1. If you are pursuing a professional masters degree or a non-thesis master of science degree you should be prepared to explain that your assigned adviser is an academic advisor only and that the degree is coursework only and will not include a research component.
    2. If you are pursuing a master of science degree with thesis or a Ph.D. and you are NOT entering as a research assistant, you should be prepared to explain that your assigned advisor is an initial academic advisor and that research topics for a thesis and a research advisor are selected after successful completion of at least one semester of coursework and possibly after a qualifying examination (depending on the program). If you are asked about potential research topics, you should be prepared with information about the research currently being done by faculty members in your department since these are going to be your choices for research topics at IIT.
    3. If you are pursuing a Ph.D. degree and you are entering as a research assistant, your assigned advisor IS your research advisor and you should be prepared to discuss the projects that your advisor has indicated you will be working on. In this case, you should come prepared to present a copy of your research advisor’s biography, which some embassies request. You can find advisor and faculty biographies at http://www.iit.edu/csl/bio/faculty/ (College of Science & Letters) orhttp://www.iit.edu/engineering/faculty (Armour College of Engineering).
  5. Be brief: Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. Keep in mind that you will have 2 -3 minutes of interview time. Bring additional documents as described above but only present them if requested.
  6. Additional documentation: It should be clear to the consular officer what documents you are presenting and what they signify.
  7. Not all countries are equal: Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas.
  8. Employment: Your main purpose in coming to the United States is to study and complete your degree, not for the chance to work before or after graduation.
  9. Dependents remaining at home: If you have a spouse or children and they are remaining in your home country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
  10. Maintain a positive attitude: Do not engage the consular officer in an argument.

Note: visa denials or delays. If your visa is denied or issuance is delayed due to additional administrative processing, and you need a letter of support from IIT, please direct your written request to your graduate admission specialist.

Prepare for your arrival to the United States

If your F-1 student admission eligibility is unable to be determined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) you will have 30 days to mail original documents, including the Form I-94, to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). You can avoid 30-day admission by carrying proper valid documents, including (1) passport, (2) I-20, and (3) F-1 Visa, upon entering the United States.

CBP determines your F-1 student admission eligibility based upon the issuance of your Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status), your passport, and your F-1 visa. A CBP officer who is unable to verify admission eligibility will issue a Form I-515A, or temporary entry into the United States. The Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which CBP issues in conjunction with the Form I-515A, has a limited validity period of 30 days from the date of issuance. This means that you are admitted to the United States for only 30 days.

As indicated on the Form I-515A instructions, SEVP must receive original documents from you within the 30-day admission period. You must mail the documents, including the Form I-94, to SEVP at the address listed on the Form I-515A to meet the Form I-94 expiration deadline (30 days). This will allow you to avoid termination of the SEVIS record and the need to file with USCIS for reinstatement.

If SEVP does not receive the required documentation by the Form I-94 expiration date, your SEVIS record status will terminate on the next day. After termination, the only options are to (1) leave the United States or (2) file for reinstatement to F-1 status. Reinstatement costs $290 and takes 2.5 - 4 months for approval. While pending reinstatement you may not work on or off campus and may not accept tuition and stipend payments for research, teaching, or graduate assistantships.

To avoid I-515A 30-day admission, you are advised to carry proper valid documents with you upon entry to the United States. This includes the following:

  1. Passport
  2. I-20 (returning students must also have a valid travel signature on the 3rd page. New students do not need a travel signature.)
  3. F-1 Visa

Upon proper admission in F-1 status, the I-94 will indicate D/S, Duration of Status. This means that you may remain in the United States as long as your I-20 and SEVIS record are valid.

For more information on travel documentation you may visit http://www.iit.edu/~internat/forms/Travel_Handout_F1.pdf.

Access your MyIIT Portal

New IIT students receive a unique identifier (UID) that is also your IIT email username and login for IIT's networking and computing services. Your university-designated student email account will be the official means of communication between you and the university. You will receive instructions via email for locating your UID and logging into the myIIT student portal. Learn more here.

Prepare for your arrival with the International Center

IIT's International Center is here to assist international students as they prepare to begin graduate studies at IIT. For complete information about international student pre-arrival procedures, arrival in the U.S., transportation to campus (including free shuttle service from the airport) and check-in requirements, please visit the International Center or contact the office directly at icenter@iit.edu or 312.567.3680.

All international students must check in within two business days upon arrival to IIT. Please bring your I-20/DS-2019 form, I-94 card, and passport with you to be processed by staff from the International Center. This check-in process allows us to remove a special hold from your record that otherwise will prevent you from registering for classes.

Learn about late arrival

International students must arrive on campus no later than the start date listed on their I-20. Only under special circumstances (difficulties in obtaining a visa, unavailability of plane tickets, or family emergency) may students be allowed to arrive after this date. In such cases, students must request permission for late arrival and obtain an approval letter.

Please request approval for late arrival by contacting your admission specialist directly. Your emailed request, with subject line "Late Arrival Request," must include your full name, IIT applicant ID number, and the reason for your delayed arrival. If possible, also include the date, city, and country of any visa appointment you have attended or will attend.

Learn about student health insurance and immunization requirements

All international students on F-1 or J-1 visas are required to purchase IIT's student health insurance policy. Spouses of students, and/or minor children can purchase insurance, if desired. For more information, visit Student Health and Wellness Center or contact the office directly at student.health@iit.edu or 312.567.7550.

Students are required to submit proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases to the Student Health and Wellness Center. Individuals who are not properly immunized or who do not have proof of immunization may receive the required immunizations at the Student Health Center for a nominal fee. For more information, visit Student Health and Wellness Center or contact the office directly at student.health@iit.edu or 312.567.7550.

Learn about housing

As a graduate student, you have the opportunity and flexibility to live either on or off campus.

Living on campus is a great way to find support for the many challenges associated with being a busy graduate student; and residence halls provide purposefully structured environments for social and academic success. Residence and Greek Life accepts applications on a first-come, first-served basis, from part-time and full-time graduate students, including visiting and exchange students.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact Residence and Greek Life as early as possible to reserve or inquire about on-campus housing. For complete information about deadlines, on-campus, off-campus, and temporary housing options, please visit Residence and Greek Life or contact the office directly at housing@iit.edu or 312.567.5075.

Living off campus is another option, and there are many affordable options near the Main and Downtown Campuses that are accessible via public transportation:

South Commons & York Terrace
2701 South Indiana Avenue
312.842.9560

Prairie Shore Apartments
www.prairieshores.net/
2851 S. Martin Luther King Drive
312.567.7572

Lake Meadows
www.lakemeadowsapts.com
500 East 33rd Street
312.225.9808

International Center - University of Chicago
www.ihouse.uchicago.edu
1414 East 59th Street
773.753.2270

1130 S. Michigan Apartments
www.1130smichigan.com
312.939.4900

Presidential Towers
www.presidentialtowersapts.com
555 West Madison
312.902.2000
presidentialtowers@newhome1.com

Learn about the PESL assessment

If you are required to take the PESL assessment, this will be indicated on your official admission letter. For most IIT programs, any section subscore that falls within the minimum indicated will determine which Proficiency of English as a Second Language (PESL) Assessment Exam you will be required to take. Scores higher than the total minimum indicated will be exempt from the assessment exam unless required by the academic department as a condition of your admission. You may review the score minimums and full English Proficiency Requirements here.

Resubmission of new English test scores or a certificate/transcript from an English language program is not permissible. Assessment exams are offered the week before classes start. To register for the assessment exam, visit the PESL assessment page. For more information regarding the assessment exam please visit the PESL Assessment FAQs.

Learn about the Professional Communication Advancement Program
(IIT Stuart students only)

IIT Stuart's Professional Communication Advancement (PCA) Program for international students offers a customized and targeted approach to communications skill-building, going beyond class performance to include proficiency in a variety of business contexts. PCA is designed to help you achieve success during your time at IIT Stuart and in your future career. Even if you were not required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores for admission, you must participate in an English assessment and possibly take courses in the PCA program. 

Orientation

Complete information about orientation activities will be posted on the Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration (SOAR) web pages near the beginning of the semester. Please continue to check online for updates. Questions about orientation should be directed to soar@iit.edu.

Academic Advising and Registration

International Students are not permitted to register for classes until you have arrived on campus and have checked-in at the International Center. Once you have checked-in, the registration hold will be removed and you will be eligible to register for classes.

All graduate students are encouraged to consult with a faculty advisor prior to registration. Some academic departments require advising before students are permitted to register, so be sure to check with your department before getting started. Your assigned academic advisor, whose name appears at the bottom of your official admission letter, can give you the unique "Alternate PIN" number you will need in order to register through the myIIT student portal.

For additional assistance with registration, visit the Registrar's Office website or contact your academic department.

Course Descriptions and Schedule

The Graduate Bulletin, online at www.iit.edu/graduate_college/bulletin, contains complete program and course descriptions. Course listings for upcoming semesters are posted on the course schedule search web page as they are finalized.

Tuition Payments

Tuition is due on the first day of classes each term. To learn more about tuition and fee rates, payment methods and payment plans, visit the Student Accounting Office website or contact that office directly at sa@iit.edu or 312.567.3794.

Student Identification Cards and Parking Permits

The Access, Card, and Parking Services Office issues all university student identification cards and parking permits. All registered full- and part-time students who will be studying on campus should obtain a student identification card. Distance learning students who are interested in getting an IIT ID card should email their request to hawkcard@iit.edu. For more information about student identification cards, visit the HawkCard website or call 312.567.8968.

For information about parking on campus, visit the Parking Services website or call 312.567.8968.

Textbooks

To purchase books and supplies for your classes, visit the Illinois Institute of Technology bookstore website or visit the store on the main level of the McCormick Tribune Campus Center at 3201 S. State Street. For more information, call 312.567.3120.

Career Development

To learn about services offered by the Career Management Center (CMC), visit the Career Management Center website or contact that office directly at cmc@iit.edu or 312.567.6800.

Academic Policies

The Graduate Bulletin, online at www.iit.edu/graduate_college/bulletin, outlines important academic policies for graduate students.

Final documents

Your admission is contingent upon completion of a Baccalaureate degree, and if applicable, Master's degree. Should you be required to submit final documents as a condition of your admission, this requirement will be listed on your official admission letter. This does not exclude the possibility that you may be asked to provide the physical copies of your original documents during the course of your enrollment. IIT reserves the right to request these documents at any point, for any reason during your enrollment.

Transcripts from institutions in China

You must present the original academic transcripts and graduation and degree certificates with the stamp or seal of the university on each page. Transcripts must be submitted in the original language and in English. Translations must come from the institution or from a professional translation service.

If requested, all documents must be verified by the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). These verifications should not be submitted by post. You must present your application and file numbers for all verified documents when your original documents are submitted to our office. We will then verify this information online.

Individual marksheets from institutions in India

You must present all original marksheets for all terms and the original degree diploma for all degrees. Please note; attested copies will not be accepted.

If you have received a three-year degree, or are part of a sandwich program, you must present any and all mark sheets from your pre-diploma courses or masters degree. All mark sheets must contain all marks for all attempts at each examination. Any failures MUST be shown; consolidated transcripts cannot be accepted. If the statements of marks include abbreviated paper titles, or numbered papers without titles, please provide complete course titles.

NOTE: Exceptions for consolidated transcripts are for any IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) institution and Anna University.

Transcripts from institutions in Iran

You must present original, official transcripts and degree certificates in Farsi, stamped and signed by the issuing institution and accompanied by word-for-word English translations. If your original transcripts are issued by the institution in English a corresponding Farsi version is not required.

NOTE: Translations must be made by a professional translator but may be stamped by the Ministry of Education. For English translation services we recommend consulting http://www.atanet.org.

Transcripts from institutions in Pakistan

You must present all original marksheets for all terms and the original degree diploma for all degrees. Please note; attested copies will not be accepted.

If you have received a three-year degree, or are part of a sandwich program, you must present any and all mark sheets from your pre-diploma courses or masters degree. All mark sheets must contain all marks for all attempts at each examination. Any failures MUST be shown; consolidated transcripts cannot be accepted. If the statements of marks include abbreviated paper titles, or numbered papers without titles, please provide complete course titles.

Transcripts from institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone

You must have your academic transcripts sent directly to our office by your institution. Please use the following mailing address:

Office Of Graduate Admission
10 West 33rd Street, Room 203
Chicago, IL 60616, USA

Transcripts from institutions in all other countries

You must present official, original transcripts and degree certificates issued by your institution. If in the original language (non-English) please include a professional English translation.

Other Resources

  • The Chicago chapter of Hostelling International (www.hichicago.org) offers temporary, short-term accommodations. Located in the Loop at 24 East Congress Parkway, Chicago IL, 60605. Contact 312.360.0300 or reserve@hichicago.org.
  • Neighborhoods surrounding IIT include Bronzeville, Bridgeport and South Loop. Corresponding ZIP codes are 60602, 60603, 60604, 60605, 60609, 60616, and 60653.
  • Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com) - Hover over “Real Estate”, select “Apartments & Condos”.
  • Chicago Reader (www.chicagoreader.com) - Click on “Rentals” on the right side of the home page.
  • Bridgeport News (www.bridgeportnews.net/latest.pdf) - Neighborhood newspaper includes listings in Bridgeport. Scroll down to the ‘For Rent’ section of the classifieds.
  • Craigslist (www.chicago.craigslist.org/hhh/) - An excellent resource for housing in the Chicagoland area.