International Student Information

Admissions Requirements and Visas for International Students

Application Materials:

To apply to this program, the applicant must submit the following:

  • A completed online application form.  The form includes details about the application materials and how to submit them.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation may be from a teacher, supervisor, work colleague, employer, or peer.  Recommendations from PWI’s Outreach and Admissions Coordinator or the candidate’s personal therapist will not be accepted. The reference form can be downloaded in MS Word format here. The referee should send the recommendation letter directly to PWI at  
  • Official transcripts sent directly from the school to the PWI registrar to demonstrate that the student meets the Bachelor’s degree admission requirement.
  • Essay describing the applicant’s calling to pursue this program. The application form provides additional guidelines.
  • An application fee of $100 made out to PWI and submitted at the time of your application.

Admissions Requirements for International Students:

  • Bachelor’s degree: all applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an appropriately accredited school.
    • To be accepted into the academic program, students must provide official transcripts to document completion of a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or international equivalent. If the bachelor’s degree was obtained outside of the United States, it must be certified as equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor degree by the International Education Research Foundation (IERF) PWI requires the general report from IERF.  They usually return the report within 15 days.
    • Prospective international students are cautioned that a U.S. bachelor’s degree is an award that requires at least 4 years of full-time equivalent college-level work.  In some countries a Bachelor degree may be awarded for 3 years of full-time study, however this will not usually be equivalent to the U.S. Bachelor degree, otherwise known as the baccalaureate credential.  Please reach out to the PWI office if you want to know more at
  • English language competency. The Master of Arts program requires a high degree of verbal participation because of its experiential learning style. As a result, non-native English speakers need to be conversant in spoken and written English.  English language competency will be assessed in the admissions interview.  PWI may require English proficiency as demonstrated by the following minimum scores:
    • 530 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT)
    • 71 on the Internet Based Test (iBT)
    • 5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS)
    • 50 on the PTE Academic Score Report.
    • Or, Alternatively:
      • A minimum grade of Level 3 on the ACT COMPASS’s English as a Second Language Placement Test.
      • A minimum grade of Pre-1 on the Eiken English Proficiency Exam.
      • A transcript indicating completion of at least 30 semester hours of credit with an average grade of “C” or higher at an appropriately accredited/recognized accredited college or university where the language of instruction was English; “B” or higher for Master’s, First Professional Degree, or Professional Doctoral Degree.
      • A transcript indicating a grade of “C” or higher in an English composition course from an appropriately-accredited/recognized college or university; “B” or higher for Master’s, First Professional Degree, or Professional Doctoral Degree.

Visa Application Process

If you are a non-US citizen, you will need an F-1 Student Visa issued by the US Embassy in order to study in the US. If you are bringing your spouse and/or children with you while you study, you will also need to apply for visas for them, called F-2s. To apply for an F-1 (student) visa, you will need to provide the Process Work Institute with the information listed below. Once the information is received, we will send you a completed I-20 form which you will need to secure a student visa interview at the U.S. Embassy located in your home country. Getting the I-20 does not guarantee that you will get a student visa. It is your responsibility to contact your local U.S. Embassy and make an appointment with them in order to actually get the student visa. Arranging a visa interview can take a long time.

Information for your I-20

In order to process your I-20, and allow you sufficient time, all required materials must be received by PWI at least 2 months prior to the program start.

(Click below to download the forms you need.)

  • Certificate of Finance: To be considered for a student visa, you must certify that you have the necessary finances available to pay for one full year of the program, including living expenses, and expenses for your dependents if you’re bringing them. If you do not have enough money in your accounts, you must have someone agree to financially support you through an “Affidavit of Support”.
  • Statements: You need to obtain an official statement from your bank showing that the balances in your account(s) are enough to cover the amount on the Certificate of Finance.
  • Affidavit of Support: Use this form if you need a third party (family member or friend) to show that you have sufficient funds to pay for your program.

Email the PWI registrar at with the filled out forms.

Once PWI has all of your materials, we will mail you your I-20 (and your dependents) to the address you provide on the Personal Information Form.

Information for your US Embassy Appointment

After you receive your I-20 you should request an appointment at your closest US Embassy. There is a web site with more information at, which also has links to the required forms. Each applicant for a student visa must submit these forms and documentation:

  • Form, I-20 Don’t forget you need to sign the I-20 form.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant,Form DS-156, together with a Form DS-158. Both forms must be completed and signed. Some applicants will also be required to complete and sign Form DS-157. A separate form is needed for children, even if they are included in a parent’s passport. The DS-156 must be the March 2006 date, electronic “e-form application.” Important Notice : At certain U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, nonimmigrant visa applicants are now required to apply for their visa using the new DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, instead of the nonimmigrant application forms DS-156, 157, 158, and other related forms. Check with your local embassy.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and valid for at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.
  • One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the website for photo requirements.
  • A receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
  • Money to pay the visa issuance fee. Check with the embassy, or embassy website to see how much the fee is.

If you are applying with dependents you must also provide

  • Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.);
  • It is preferred that you apply for visas for you and your dependents at the same time. If your spouse and children must apply separately, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder’s passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

You may also be required to show:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended.
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the period of your study. If you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.

Important to remember: An I-20 issued to you does not guarantee that the US Embassy will issue you a F-1 student Visa. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. When you receive your U.S. nonimmigrant visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country, the consular officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. You should not open this envelope! The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. port-of-entry will open the envelope.

When you travel to the US

You should have with you (carry them on your person, not in your luggage):

  • Your passport with attached envelope
  • Form I-797, receipt notice, verifying payment of SEVIS fees.
  • On your first entry you’ll be issued an I-94, you must keep this in your passport for all travel to the US.
  • Evidence of Student status, (recent tuition receipts or transcripts)
  • Form I-20, which must be signed every 12 months by a PWI Designated School Official (DSO) if you are going to travel outside of the US during the duration of your program.
  • Name and contact information for Designated School Official, at PWI that is Shay McDonald, phone number 503-223-8188
  • A pen, blue or black ink is best.

Upon arrival in the US

After arriving to the US, you have up to 30 days to report to PWI’s front office in Portland, OR. The PDSO will check in with you and make sure your Point of Entry has been stamped correctly. If you miss this check-in, your I-20 is automatically terminated, and you will have to go through this process again.