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International Students: Frequently Asked Questions

The exterior of 101 Wood Street, with window lettering showing the Office of International Student Services and Enrollment on the Point Park University campus.


Answers to Common Questions About International Study at Point Park

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Contact Point Park University's Office of International Student Services and Enrollment at:

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Below are frequently asked questions that we hope will be helpful in understanding the many advantages of attending Point Park University. Learn more about immigration issues, our affordable education, our quality academics, our close campus community and more.

As always, if you have additional questions, need clarification or seek one-on-one advice, don't hesitate to contact one of our helpful staff members in the Office of International Student Services and Enrollment.

Visa/Immigration Procedures

Q: Where do I start in moving forward though visa/immigration procedures?
A: We will help you through each step of the visa and immigration process. Our knowledgeable staff in the ISSE Office is here to help you through the process of obtaining your I-20 form and F-1 visa, so that you can study at Point Park University.

Q: What do I need in order to get an I-20 form?
A: Point Park will issue a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) upon receipt of the following:

  • $350 academic registration deposit. Pay deposit online now
  • Completed, signed and notarized (certified) Financial Affidavit with official bank statement showing enough funds in U.S. dollars for one academic year of tuition and living expenses.

Q: How do I obtain an F-1 visa?
A: The I-20 must be presented along with your passport to the Consular Section of a U.S. Embassy or Consul to obtain a visa (F-1) necessary to study in the United States.

  • You CANNOT study in the United States on a tourist visa.
  • To retain your F1 Visit, you must:
    • Be enrolled in a full course of study per academic term (12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits graduate)
    • Have a valid passport
    • Refrain from off-campus employment without permission from the ISSE Office and Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Q: Can I work once I get to Point Park University?
A: Full-time student visa holders (F-1 students) are not permitted to work off-campus except for optional or curricular practical training purposes. However, they can work on campus under certain circumstances. More information on this topic can be found at the Office of International Student Services.

Costs and Payment Plans

Q: How much does it cost to attend your institution?
A: View 2013-2014 tuition, room and board costs. Living expenses vary depending on where you decide to live. For the issuance of the I-20 you must provide proof of funds totaling up to $40,000 USD depending on your program of study to ensure that you will have adequate monies to meet your living needs. As an international student you are not required to live on campus, however it may be helpful in the first year in order to become familiar with your surroundings and enjoy Point Park to the fullest.

Q: What are my payment options for tuition?
A: International students are eligible for non-interest payment plans through Point Park University that will help to make your tuition payments more affordable. Please contact the ISSE Office for additional information.

Scholarships and Assistantships

Q: What type of financial aid is available for international students?
A:
Students studying in our undergraduate programs can be awarded a combination of academic merit scholarships of up to $13,000 per academic year. Students studying in our graduate programs can be awarded a maximum academic merit scholarship of $3,000 per year.  For further information, please view our scholarships page.

Q: Can I get a graduate assistantship to help finance my education?
A:
International students are eligible for assistantships. However, since assistantships are highly competitive and not guaranteed, international students should only depend on external sources like family income to fund their education, and not an assistantship.

Q: What is a graduate assistantship?
A:
A graduate assistantship is an on-campus, part-time position reserved to graduate students. Graduate assistantships are generally found in each school. Graduate assistantships pay full tuition for three courses per semester and provide a stipend of $6,400 per year (or, $800 per month during the academic year). In exchange, graduate assistants must work 20 hours per week and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Assistantships are generally renewed for a second year when both the student and supervisor are satisfied with the arrangements. Please visit Human Resources to find out if any positions are available.

Arriving on Campus

Q: What happens once I arrive in the United States?
A:
Once you land at Pittsburgh International Airport, we'll arrange for pickup and transport you to the University. Once on campus, there will be a special orientation for international students, and for their families, if your family decides to come. Then, during the coming weeks, you'll engage in a wide range of programming designed for new, as well as current, international students, helping you to acclimate to the U.S. and to student life at Point Park University.

Q: Do I need to attend the international student orientation session?
A:
Yes, the international student orientation session is mandatory for all new international students. During this event, you will receive important information about Point Park, immigration regulations and other aspects of living in Pittsburgh. In addition, orientation is an excellent opportunity to meet our staff and other international students.

Q: Are there ongoing social events for international students?
A:
Throughout the year we have a variety of cultural programming. Our largest annual programs are our cultural summit in the fall and a global celebration in the spring. We also have a variety programs throughout each term based upon the time of year — including Halloween, Thanksgiving dinner for international students, ice cream socials, ice skating, study nights during finals week, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Easter egg dyeing, plus other fun events — all helping you to continually connect with other international students, as well as the entire Point Park community.

Academics

Q: When does each semester begin and what is the application deadline for each semester?
A:
The spring 2014 semester will start Friday, Jan. 10 for new, incoming students. The fall semester begins in late August each year. We don’t have application deadlines for International students, but keep in mind that your enrollment is regulated with the time frame needed to obtain a visa for the upcoming term. 

Q: How long is each term?
A:
The spring and fall semesters are approximately 15 weeks, while the summer term has one 12-week period that can be divided according to classes into two six-week sessions. However because of limited course availability, summer session is not an option for new incoming international students.

Q: Can you tell me about Point Park's highly regarded Conservatory of Performing Arts?
A:
Our Conservatory of Performing Arts is one of the top programs of its kind in the United States, offering degree programs in theatre, dance and cinema and digital arts. The conservatory combines hands-on experience and rigorous training with internationally recognized master teachers, directors, producers, writers and choreographers that will help transform your dreams into reality. Students come from across the United States and around the world. Substantial scholarships/talent awards are available.

Learn more about conservatory programs:

Campus Life

Q: How safe is Point Park and Downtown Pittsburgh?
A:
Point Park's Department of Public Safety is at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide a safe, secure living and learning environment for the University community. Police officers are on duty 365 days a year and provide immediate response to emergencies on campus. The department has received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. From residence halls with controlled access, to security desks in every building, to more than 400 surveillance cameras monitored 24/7, our professional, round-the-clock security provides a safe campus home in which to relax, work, learn and live.

Pittsburgh, ranked by Forbes.com as one of "America's Safest Cities," is a medium-sized city that is ethnically diverse and extremely open and welcoming to various international cultures.

Q: How safe is Point Park and downtown Pittsburgh?
A:
Guided by the University's Department of Public Safety, Point Park provides a safe, secure living and learning environment. From residence halls with controlled access, to security desks in every building, to more than 400 surveillance cameras monitored 24/7, our professional, round-the-clock security provides a safe campus home in which to relax, work, learn, and live.

Pittsburgh, ranked by Forbes.com as one of "America's Safest Cities," is a medium-sized city that is ethnically diverse and extremely open and welcoming to various international cultures.

Q: What are the living options at Point Park?
A:
Point Park University will guarantee you residential living on campus for four years, or for however long you need it. You'll be able to choose from a variety of safe, comfortable living options on our unique urban campus — from single, double and triple rooms to more expansive suites and apartments. Living on campus offers great convenience and a full college experience. You'll find affordable options for living both on campus and off.

Q: What are my dining options?
A:
Gathering for meals is a big part of campus life. Point Park offers a variety of on-campus dining locations and meal plans as well as delicious food — from upscale entree and grilled favorites, to fresh salads and vegetarian specials, to homemade desserts and Starbucks.

When you're ready to venture off campus, Downtown Pittsburgh offers a huge variety of restaurants, including many ethnic establishments within walking distance.

Point Park is sensitive to the dietary needs of our international students. If you have dietary restrictions, speak with our ISSE office, and we will do all we can to make your transition to dining at Point Park as smooth as possible.

Q: What health services are available on campus?
A:
Your health and well-being are priorities at Point Park. Whether you need assistance with a health issue, could use someone to talk to, or are looking for guidance with your studies or career plans, we offer professional health services and student support on campus — all easily accessible, all free of charge.

Q: What athletic opportunities can I pursue?
A:
Many of our international students compete on intercollegiate athletic teams at Point Park, and many receive substantial scholarships to play. The Point Park fields 11 varsity sports teams as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, competing in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.   

Career Development

Q: How can Park Point help guide me toward a successful career?
A:
As you navigate toward your chosen career, you'll receive plenty of guidance. Our Career Development Center will help you develop the professional skills you'll need to achieve your goals. You'll work closely with our counselors to plan your career path, create a professional resume or CV, sharpen your interview skills, participate in networking opportunities and more.

Q: Will I be able to participate in internships?
A:
With the vast opportunities that Pittsburgh has to offer, you'll be able to gain invaluable industry experience through professional internships. These hands-on internships will enable you to experience your field, broaden your skills, and significantly enhance your resume or CV. Our ISSE office will help you to explore these many internship opportunities

Q: Can Point Park help me to pursue employment?
A:
In the United States, Pittsburgh ranks seventh for Fortune 500 company headquarters. It is home to more than 100 billion-dollar global corporations. It is one of the nation's most vibrant cultural centers. And, it is at the forefront of fields ranging from technology to health care to communications. Our ISSE office will advise you on how best to explore the vast job opportunities that this world-class city has to offer, as well as job opportunities in other U.S. cities.