Definition | Degree-Seeking Students | Non-Degree-Seeking | Presidential Exceptions | Health Insurance | Housing


At GGC, an international student is an individual who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Currently living outside the U.S. and will require an F-1 visa to study in the U.S. 
  • Not a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident and is currently in the U.S. on an F-1 visa
  • Currently in the U.S. on another non-immigrant visa classification which permits part-time or full-time study

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Degree-Seeking Students

Freshman Students

Students whose secondary education was completed outside the United States system of education may be admitted with acceptable foreign credentials and English language proficiency as described below:

  • Foreign Credentials

International students must demonstrate the required level of academic preparation as evidenced by a certificate, diploma, or other document deemed generally equivalent to a U.S. required high school curriculum by an independent evaluation service which is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES). In special circumstances, other reputable credential evaluators will be considered. Students must submit transcripts to an evaluation service and request that an appropriate evaluation be submitted to the Georgia Gwinnett College Office of Internationalization

  • English Proficiency Requirement

Students whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency. Generally, English proficiency is measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum TOEFL score acceptable for admission to GGC is 537 on the TOEFL paper test, 203 on the TOEFL computer test, or 74 on the TOEFL IBT. Non-native speakers of English who satisfy SAT Verbal or ACT English admission requirement do not need to take TOEFL for admission purposes. The recommended minimum score for the SAT Verbal is 480 and the recommended minimum score for the ACT English is 21. Students may also choose to submit IELTS with a minimum score of 6. [NOTE: The IELTS requirement of 6.0 has been GGC policy since we began admitting international students in 2012.]

Students who submit their application from within the United States must meet testing requirements for freshman applicants.

Go to Testing Services for more information about tests offered at GGC.

Transfer Students

Students who are non-native speakers of English, who transfer from an institution of higher education outside the U.S. where English was not the language of instruction, must submit a TOEFL score as well as the official translation of their foreign credentials.

Students who are non-native speakers of English and who are transferring from an accredited institution of higher education inside the U.S. may be required to retake the TOEFL if their English proficiency cannot be fully demonstrated. Official transcripts of course work taken from previously attended colleges must also be submitted.

Go to Testing Services for more information about tests offered at GGC.

Financial Requirements

International students must provide documentation showing sufficient resources to cover tuition, room and board, health insurance and other living expenses. In accordance with the payment policy of the College, students agree to pay all tuition and fees when due to Georgia Gwinnett College (including, but not limited to, tuition, mandatory student fees and College Housing fees). Failure to pay a student account in full by the published deadline may result in a student being dropped from classes and will jeopardize a student’s ability to maintain valid immigration status.

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J-Visa Students

[NOTE: The letter “J” has always been used with the term “J-Visa.”]

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents is a designated J-1 visa sponsor. As such, GGC may host J-1 visa students. In addition, students who have J-1 sponsorship through an outside agency such as the Institute of International Education (IIE) or International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) may enroll as non-degree-seeking students at GGC for the length of the program. Admission criteria and program length for these types of special programs will be established between the Office of Internationalization and the sponsoring agency.

Visa Classifications Other than F-1 or J-1

Individuals with certain visa classifications may enroll as full-time or part-time students. Individuals should contact the Office of Internationalization for verification of their eligibility to study in the United States.

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Presidential Exceptions

International students may also be admitted as Presidential Exceptions. See Board of Regents Policy Manual and BoR Academic & Student Affairs Handbook Section 3.2.6.

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Health Insurance

International students holding F or J visas are required to have student health insurance that meets the minimum standards set by the University System of Georgia. As a result, all students will initially be charged for coverage. Students who are already covered by an insurance policy (i.e., through parent plans, family plans or employer-sponsored plans) can easily opt out of the plan through a secure on-line process. Once the information has been verified, all charges will be waived. Students must apply for the waiver each academic year for which they are enrolled in classes, and this must be done during the waiver period. Students who do not apply for and receive the waivers during the enrollment period will be responsible for the insurance fees. Students who fail to submit creditable health insurance information by the waiver period will automatically be enrolled in the system-wide student health insurance plan.

Students should not purchase insurance from their home country until they have reviewed information on the insurance waiver policy and are sure they will qualify for a waiver. Students should verify that the insurance policy they are considering meets the waiver minimums before purchasing it. Additional information is available through the USG Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP).

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Housing for International Students

On-campus housing is not available year round. If students choose not to return home during semester breaks, they must arrange for alternative living arrangements off-campus.

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