Frequently Asked Questions

Before you Apply

Applying to Simmons

After you apply

1-20 Form & F1 Visa

Financial Aid & Scholarships

International Student Athletes


Before you Apply

I'm interested in Simmons and want to find out more information — what should my first step be?

If you want to know more about Simmons and are thinking about applying, your first step should be filling out the Request for Information form. This will help us be able to better answer your questions and help you with your application!

What does women-centered mean?

Simmons considers as eligible to apply for admission to the undergraduate program individuals who were assigned female at birth, applicants who consistently live and identify as women, and/or applicants who do not fit into the gender binary but who feel they belong in our undergraduate community of women. For additional information please review our policies.

Are there any co-educational opportunities at Simmons?

At the undergraduate level, Simmons is a women's-centered institution, meaning. However, our graduate programs are co-ed, so if you have a bachelor's degree and are looking to pursue graduate level coursework and are not eligible for undergraduate programs at Simmons, you might be interested in checking out our list of Graduate and Certificate Programs.

I'm interested in graduate programs — where do I find information about those?

You can see a full list of our graduate offerings here, with more information regarding the application process found on our Graduate How to Apply page.

How do I know who my admission counselor is?

Simmons assigns counselors to applicants based on student type and where you attend secondary school. Your assigned counselor is who you should direct your communications and questions to. Find out who your assigned admission counselor is here!


Applying to Simmons

How does Simmons University define an international student?

An international student is defined by meeting the following criteria:

  • Enters or is in the US specifically for the purpose of study
  • Does not have US citizenship or legal permanent resident status but is currently in the US on a non-immigrant visa (F-1, J-1, etc.)
  • Does not hold permanent resident status (a "green card")

If you have questions about whether you should apply as an international student, please contact [email protected]

How can I apply?

You can apply using Common Application or the Simmons Application

Is there an application fee when applying to Simmons?

No, it is free to apply.

Do we offer fee waivers for the application fee?

Simmons does not have an application fee; it is completely free to apply!

What other materials are required to be eligible for admission?

  • Common Application
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a teacher and one from a counselor/advisor)
  • Official high school transcript (sent directly from your school and translated into English, if applicable)
  • Proof of English Proficiency: TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo English Test or SAT/ACT scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores are required if English is not your first language)

What does it mean for a transcript to be official?

An official transcript is a certified record of the courses you have completed and the marks you received at each marking period in all schools attended during the previous four years. This document should be translated into English if applicable. If possible, an explanation of the marking system should be included. An official transcript must be sent directly from your school or a school administrator — you cannot send the transcript yourself. All materials should be sent to [email protected].

How do I submit my high school transcript?

To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the high school. A school counselor, teacher, or school official can email the transcript to [email protected].

How do I submit my college/university transcript?

Simmons requires official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities and must be sent directly from the colleges/universities. They can be submitted through electronic transfer if available or emailed to [email protected]. Applicants who've attended a non-US college/university are also required to send a university transcript evaluation by a NACES approved member, although many of our students have found success through WES or CED.

What makes a recommendation official?

Your recommenders should upload their recommendations directly into the Common Application or send it directly to our office. You cannot send the letter of recommendation on their behalf; they must send it themselves. If sending via email, they should send it to [email protected].

What language should my materials be in? Do we offer fee waivers for Translation Services? Who should do the translation — could one of my recommenders or a family friend do it?

All materials must be translated into English if applicable. Simmons prefers that translations be done by a third-party service, such as WES. Unfortunately, Simmons is not able to offer fee waivers for any translation service fees.

Can I apply with one letter of recommendation? What if I do not have a guidance counselor at my school?

We need two letters of recommendation. If you do not have a guidance counselor, we recommend getting a letter of recommendation from a school administrator who might know you well. Otherwise, you can submit letters of recommendation from two teachers. If there are truly extenuating circumstances such as conflict, natural disaster, school closure, or other preventing you from obtaining two letters, please contact your admission counselor.

(internal info — do not post on website: Kate will be requiring two letters except in extreme circumstances — if a student reaches out to you, check in with Kate.)

I cannot send my transcript. Can I apply without one?

You must send in all transcripts from all schools you have attended, including if you have attended multiple high schools, colleges, or universities. If there are extreme extenuating circumstances impacting your ability to have official documents sent such as war, refugee status, school closure, or natural disaster, we may be able to read your application with unofficial documents, such as an electronic transcript that you have access to. Please contact your admission counselor for more information.

Additionally, Dix Scholars and Transfer students who meet the eligibility criteria may with a signed form attesting to the completion of high school requirements or earned equivalency exam with applicable dates and locations. If this circumstance is applicable, you should complete this high school attestation form and upload it to your application, titling it "Last Name_First Name_High School Attestation." The high school attestation form cannot be accepted for applicants to the nursing program. First Year applicants are not eligible to use the attestation form when applying to Simmons.

Is demonstrating English proficiency required to apply to Simmons?

If English is not your first language, you must demonstrate proof of English Proficiency.

What tests are accepted to show English proficiency?

We accept TOEFL Essentials, TOEFL iBTS, IELTS, Duolingo, the SAT, ACT, the Pearson Test of English, or the Kaplan KiBT.

Are there non-test options to show English proficiency?

If your two most recent years of secondary or post-secondary coursework were at a school where English is the language of instruction, without taking any ESL/ELL coursework during those two years, you do not need to submit an English proficiency test.

What are the minimum scores?

TOEFL iBTS: 83

TOEFL Essentials: 8

IELTS: 8

Duolingo: 105

SAT EBRW: 550

ACT English Section: 21

Pearson Test of English: 55

Kaplan (KiBT): 89

How long is a TOEFL/IELTS score valid?

It is valid for 2 years.

Do we offer fee waivers TOEFL/IELTS/DUOLINGO?

Unfortunately, Simmons is not able to provide fee waivers for English proficiency tests, but that does not mean they are not available. For example, Duolingo offers fee waivers for students; while you cannot request one on your own, a school counselor/administrator can request a fee waiver for you. They should email Duolingo at [email protected] from their professional email account to inquire about this. Additional information can be found here.

Do we accept certificates from the World English Institute in lieu of an English proficiency test?

No, we do not accept WEI certificates.

Do we offer fee waivers for WES Evaluations?

Unfortunately, Simmons is not able to offer fee waivers for third party credential evaluations.

Are international students required to take the SAT or ACT?

Simmons University is test optional. This means you do not need to submit your SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission, to be considered for scholarship, or to be considered for any special programs. Students do need to submit Proof of English Proficiency if English is not your first language, as indicated above.

I want to interview Simmons. When and how do I sign up?

You should sign up for an interview before you submit your application to Simmons. Interviews are conducted by current students and are generally anywhere between 30-45 minutes. You should sign up using the Interview Request Form.

How do I fill out the Interview Request Form?

Fill in your name, contact information, and home address. Let us know if you would like to conduct the interview in person or virtually. Indicate two preferred interview slots by filling in the date and time (eastern time). Responses should look something like this: September 1st, 2022 at 10:30am EST am and September 2nd, 2022 at 3:30pm EST. Again, please keep in mind that interviews are scheduled and conducted on Boston/Eastern Standard Time.


After you apply

I have sent my application and all the necessary materials to Simmons. What happens next?

Once we receive your materials, your applicant portal will be updated to show that all the necessary application components have been received. Keep in mind that it can sometimes take a few days after receiving materials for everything to be processed, so keep an eye on your applicant portal. If after a few days it still says we are awaiting materials, reach out to your counselor, who can be found here.

Can international students work on campus?

Yes, international students with an F-1 can work up to 20 hours on-campus. In terms of off-campus employment, according to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, F-1 students may not work off-campus during the first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first academic year, F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment, one of which include Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you have further questions, please reach out to the Center for Global Education at [email protected].

Is there an International Student Orientation?

Yes — international students are encouraged to attend the third session of orientation, typically right before move-in weekend. You can find more information about Orientation here.

How can I find information about programs offered at Simmons?

The Majors and Minors page has more information about academic programs offered at Simmons.

What services does Simmons provide for international students?

Your first resource as an international student here at Simmons is the Center for Global Education. Additionally, the Student Life page highlights some more of the great resources offered, with information on everything from how to get involved to housing and dining on campus.

I want to play a sport at Simmons. What sports are offered and who should I get in touch with?

Simmons is a Division III school and offers nine intercollegiate sports teams: swim & dive, tennis, volleyball, cross country, soccer, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, and rowing.

You can find more information about our programs here, and should fill out this Athletics Inquiry form to be connected with coaches for your sport of interest.

How can I find out more about Boston?

The Simmons Official Guide to Boston is a great resource if you are looking to find more information about the city!

What services does Boston offer to international students?

You can find resources and information compiled by the City of Boston for international students here.

What services does the U.S. government offer to international students?

There are lots of services and information available for international students provided by the federal government, including the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and the Department of Homeland Security.


1-20 Form & F1 Visa

What is a Form I-20?

The Form I-20 is a document demonstrating that you have been admitted to a full program of study and that you have shown sufficient financial resources to stay in the U.S. It is also a printed form of your record in SEVIS, the Student Exchange Visitor Information System, a system that maintains information on international non-immigrant students and exchange visitors in the US.

The Form I-20 will contain information about your program of study, the length of your degree program, your personal contact information, and your unique SEVIS ID number. This form allows you to apply for an F­-1 visa at your local US Embassy or Consulate, enter and reenter the US, and remain in the US as a student at Simmons University. Your I-20 must be always valid and up to date. If you have further questions about the I-20, you should connect with the Center for Global Education at [email protected].

How do I get my student (F-1) visa?

You must first submit your enrollment deposit by May 1st. We will then send you a personalized International Student Supplement Form (ISSF), which needs to be completed with all the required attachments. This form is available at simmons.edu/admitted.

If you are currently studying in the United States, please also submit The SEVIS transfer form, available at simmons.edu/admitted. If you are on a visa other than an F-1 visa but would like to switch to an F-1, you will need to submit the paperwork above in order for us to issue you an I-20.

All documents should be scanned and uploaded to the Center for Global Education (CGE) portal: https://filetransfer.simmons.edu/form/CGE#. Once received, the CGE will contact you with any additional questions and a draft Form I-20. Once the document has been reviewed, the CGE will mail your Form I-20 with directions on obtaining your F-1 visa. If you have further questions about this process, you should connect with the Center for Global Education at [email protected]. Additionally, The U.S. Department of State offers additional information about obtaining a student visa.

How long will it take for me to receive my Form I-20?

After you have submitted completed ISSF and required documentation, it usually takes 2-3 weeks for the Center for Global Education to send the Form I-20. After you have received your Form I-20, you can go to your consulate to apply for your F1 Visa.

How should I submit the required documents that the Center for Global Education Requires?

Upload them to CGE's secure file drive: https://filetransfer.simmons.edu/form/CGE#

When filling out the International Student Supplement Form (ISSF), does my bank balance need to be in USD?

Yes, the account balance needs to be clearly displayed in both USD and local currency.

Do I need to submit an immunization record?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires by law that all full time (9 credits or more) students submit documentation of immunizations to the University before starting classes. More information can be found on the Incoming Students page on the Health Center website.

Do I need health insurance?

All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage. To ensure compliance with Massachusetts State law, Simmons University students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the Student Health Insurance Plan, which is unrelated to the mandatory Health Center fee. Students are not allowed to waive coverage with a foreign insurance carrier or the Health Safety Net Plan. Information about Student Health Insurance Plan coverage and benefits is available on the University Health Plans website. Check out the Incoming Students page on the Health Center website for more information, and contact Student Financial Services at [email protected] if you have questions about cost.

Can I defer my offer of admission?

Yes. You should reach out to your admission counselor to discuss the details of the deferral. In order to officially defer, you must first pay the $250 tuition deposit and then fill out this form. Please note that you cannot take more than 17 college credits during your deferral, or you will have to reapply as a transfer student; additionally, you can defer for up to one year. After a year, you must reapply to Simmons.


Financial Aid & Scholarships

Can I apply for financial aid? Does Simmons accept the CSS profile? Can I get a fee waiver for the CSS profile?

Simmons does not accept the CSS profile and therefore is unable to provide need-based financial aid to international students. However, international students are eligible for the same merit-based scholarships that are offered to domestic applicants — these scholarships range from $19,000-$30,000 and are automatically awarded upon application.

What kinds of scholarships are available for first year international students? How do I apply for them?

We do not offer need-based aid for international students. However, international students are eligible for the same merit-based scholarships that are offered to domestic applicants — these scholarships range from $19,000-$30,000 and are automatically awarded upon application. Additionally

What kinds of scholarships are available for international transfer students? How do I apply for them?

Simmons considers students who are under the age of 24 are applying with 17+ University credits. Merit scholarships for transfer students range from $7,000-17,000 per year.

What kinds of scholarships are available for international Dix Scholars? How do I apply for them?

Simmons considers students who are over the age of 24 and/or have already received a bachelor's degree to be Dix Scholars, or adult students. As a Dix Scholar, you are automatically considered for merit scholarships, which go up to $5,000 for the first two consecutive semesters of enrollment.

How do I show proof of my scholarship?

You should attach a copy of your acceptance letter which indicates your merit scholarship award.


International Student Athlete

International Student Athlete Eligibility Checklist

Download the NCAA International Student Athlete Eligibility Checklist.

Eligibility Center

If you are an international student applying to Simmons and have an interest in participating in athletics, you must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Once registered, you must receive final amateur certification before you are able to participate.

Fall Enrollment

If you are initially enrolling at a Division III institution in the fall semester, you may request a final amateurism certification on or after April 1 prior to enrollment.

Spring Enrollment

If you are initially enrolling at a Division III institution in the spring semester, you may request a final amateurism certification on or after October 1 prior to enrollment.