Associate Degree Program
Follow the step-by-step checklist below to apply to the College and request an I-20 form. Students who are eligible for the associate’s degree programs begin in the fall and spring semesters.
Apply for Admission and I-20 Form
1. Apply Online
Make a note of the Student Information System ID (SIS ID) that is created at the end of the application. Please write this ID number on all your other forms. Apply Online.
- Step 1 of the application will include the question “In what type of class will you be enrolling?”. You will be given the options Non-Credit or Credit. If you meet the level of English proficiency required to be admitted to the degree program, you should choose Credit.
NOTE: If you have not yet met the level of English required for entry into the degree program, please follow the instructions for applying to the Intensive English Program. You can continue on into the degree program after meeting the English proficiency requirement through our Intensive English Program.
- Step 5 of the application asks about your educational goals. If you plan to pursue a degree, please include the academic program you intend to pursue at NOVA. You must choose an associate’s degree program. (Due to the restricted nature of some programs such as Veterinary Technology and Dental Hygiene, some programs are currently not available to F-1 students.)
2. Provide Evidence of English Proficiency
Note: All students (American and International) must take an English proficiency test before registering for classes at NOVA. The English proficiency test may be waived if you have a TOEFL iBT score of 95 or have completed the equivalent of ENG 111 as described below.
You can meet the English proficiency requirement for obtaining an I-20 in one of the following ways:
- English is one of your primary languages
- You have taken the English placement test given at a Testing Center on any campus of NOVA within the past 12 months and received a score of Level 4 or higher.
- You can provide one of the following test scores taken within the past two years:
- TOEFL: PBT 500 or higher
- TOEFL: CBT 173 or higher
- TOEFL: iBT 61 or higher*
*Students who submit TOEFL iBT scores of 95 or higher will be placed directly into ENG 111 (ESLVL 7) without having to sit for any further ESL or ENG placement testing.
The code for reporting TOEFL scores to Northern Virginia Community College is 5515
- IELTS: Academic** 6.0 or higher
**If you choose to submit an IELTS score, you must take the Academic IELTS. NOVA does not accept scores from the General Training IELTS.
- SAT: 500 on both Critical Reading and Writing
- ACT: 21 on both the English and Writing subtests
- PTE: Academic 44 or higher
- You have studied at a U.S. college or university whose credits are accepted by NOVA. An original transcript in a sealed envelope must be mailed by the college/university directly to the Office of International Student Services (not to a campus of NOVA) The transcript must show that you have taken the equivalent of our ENG 111 as part of a full time course load (12 credits. You must have received a C or better in the English class and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. All transcripts are subject to verification.
- You have studied an ELS Language Center www.els.edu and passed Level 112. A copy of the certificate needs to be submitted with your application. Certificates are subject to verification with the ESL Language Center.
3. I-20 Application Form
Download, complete, print and sign the I-20 application form.
4. F-1 Financial Statement Form
5. Bank Statement
Provide recent bank statements from your financial sponsor dated no more than six months before the start of the semester for which you are applying. See Financial Documents for more information.
NOTE: If your sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, he or she may submit form I-134 as proof of funds. Please see the Affidavit of Support (I-134) site for more information.
6. Proof of Completion of Secondary Education
Provide evidence that you have completed the equivalent of a U.S. high school education by submitting one of the following: Please do not send original diplomas or certificates as we cannot return them to you. (NOTE: If the documentation is not in English, you need to submit an official English translation.)
- Certified copy of your secondary school diploma or certificate equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma OR
- Evidence of your attendance in college or university level studies.
- Participants in a J-1 Au Pair or Summer Work Travel program may provide a copy of their DS-2019 to demonstrate that they have met this requirement.
- If you are currently still in high school but will graduate soon, please ask your school to provide an official letter stating the date by which you will complete your studies. You must complete your secondary education before you begin classes at NOVA.
Provide a photocopy of your passport ID page.
NOTE: Incoming transfer students will take an English placement test at the College before registering for classes. You will not be required to take the test if you have already completed a three-credit college English Composition course at an accredited U.S. college or university with a grade of C or better. If this is the case, please bring an official (unopened) transcript with you when you check in at the campus.
F-1 Transfer Students:
Please include a copy of your current I-20
Change of Status Students:
Please include a copy of your current visa, current I-94 and any immigration documentation you have for your current status (i.e. DS-2019 if in J-1 status, I-797 if previous change of status)
After the Office of International Student Services reviews your documents and determines that you have met all the requirements, the I-20 will be issued. Based on the information you provided on your I-20 Application Form, we will mail your I-20 to you or call you to let you know when it is ready to pick up.
Ø You have studied at a U.S. college or university whose credits are accepted by NOVA. An original transcript in a sealed envelope must be mailed by the college/university directly to the Office of International Student Services (not to a campus of NOVA) The transcript must show that you have taken the equivalent of our ENG 111 as part of a full time course load (12 credits. You must have received a C or better in the English class and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. All transcripts are subject to verification.
Ø You have studied an ELS Language Center www.els.edu and passed Level 112. A copy of the certificate needs to be submitted with your application. Certificates are subject to verification with the ESL Language Center.