Heritage Christian University welcomes applications from International students who demonstrate superior academic potential and who wish to pursue a Christian education.

Please read this entire page before beginning the International student application process below.

International students with an F-1 Visa are eligible for certain forms of assistance through the University. Heritage Christian University offers a Foreign Student Scholarship to those who meet all criteria. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at mthompson@hcu.edu to request a Foreign Student Scholarship application packet for consideration.

The scholarship provides a full tuition scholarship for one degree.

The scholarship will cover tuition for the Bachelor of Arts or one of the three graduate theological degrees (Master of Arts, Master of Ministry, Master of Divinity). There is a per semester limit of 16 credit hours for the Undergraduate program and a per semester limit of 12 credit hours for the Graduate program. Students awarded a scholarship are responsible for paying tuition charges that exceed the credit hour limit per semester.

Overview of HCU requirements

  1. In order for students to become fully involved in the Heritage Christian University community and to improve the quality of the on-campus experience, it is policy that International students receiving the scholarship must live in university residence housing units and purchase a meal plan. Married students receiving the scholarship and who are accompanied by their spouse/children are exempt from purchasing a meal plan.
  2. Married students accompanied by spouse/children will be assigned to standard married housing based on availability. If standard married housing is unavailable, the student will be assigned to other housing options and additional fees will apply. Since all university residence housing units are limited, students are encouraged to make reservations early.
  3. The student must be enrolled half-time for summer classes unless they are returning home for the summer. Half time enrollment is 6 credit hours.
  4. The student must have a sponsoring/ financial supporting U.S. church/congregation and must be under the oversight of a local church leadership.
  5. The student is required to validate funds for additional fees and reasonable living expenses above the cost of tuition, books, and registration fees. (no less than $800 per month per semester for a single (unmarried) student and no less than $1450 per month per semester for a married student accompanied by his/her family).
  6. The student’s sponsoring/ financial supporting congregation must submit a letter of intent to provide financial support and a current bank statement to validate the amount of the support.
  7. The student must abide by the University’s student rules and regulations as outlined in the student handbook, including maintaining a 2.00 GPA each semester.

The Application Process

When to apply:

Application filing periods are as follows:

  • Apply December for a Fall semester start date
  • Apply May for a Spring semester start date
  • Student must pay the non-refundable $25 US application fee when submitting the application for enrollment.

Testing Requirements

All International Applicants:  College Readiness Test
Because proficiency in English is critical to achieving academic success at HCU, applicants must be fluent in the English language in both oral and written areas. International applicants must submit scores from either the TOEFL, SAT, or ACT. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Students whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged to take the TOEFL exam. Non-native speakers may submit results of the SAT or ACT; however, they are much more likely to achieve a higher score on the TOEFL. Based on the recommendation by the College Board, HCU will not accept TOEFL scores that are more than two years old.

Graduate Applicants: MAT (or GRE)
Those who are applying for admission to the Master’s degree programs (excluding the MDiv) are required to submit an MAT (or GRE) score taken within the past five years. Generally, applicants who hold a master’s degree or higher are exempt from submitting test scores.

Test Score Minimum
TOEFL: Minimum accepted score for admission is iBT test score of 80, with a minimum score requirement of 20 in both Reading and Writing.
ACT/ SAT: Official scores must be at least 18 on the ACT or at least 900 on the SAT.
MAT (or GRE): Since HCU evaluates the entire application for graduate study applicants to determine if there is evidence the student is a match for our program and if the student will be successful in graduate level classes, HCU does not have a specific score requirement for the MAT or GRE.

HCU College Codes:
TOEFL: 8931
ACT: 5116
SAT: 0805
MAT: 2636

Academic Records and Credentials

International applicants are required to report their complete academic history within the HCU application; however they must not submit academic records to HCU. International academic credentials are usually not comparable to U.S. standards and are sometimes in a different format and language. Applicants must have international academic records translated (if applicable) and then evaluated by a professional academic credential evaluation company. HCU recommends the use of World Education Services, however applicants may choose one of their own. If the applicant prefers WES, log on to their website at www.wes.org to begin the process.

The World Education Service evaluation must confirm a U.S equivalent high school diploma for the undergraduate program or a U.S. equivalent bachelor’s degree for the Master’s program.

Passports, F-1 Visa, and I-20

All International students must have a passport from their government, a Visa from the United States, and an official Form I-20 from HCU before they can enter the country. This can be a lengthy process, so we encourage students to get started right away.


When applying for an International passport, some countries will require proof of admission before granting a passport. Proof of admission will consist an official Letter of Acceptance from HCU. It is important that students apply early for admission to HCU in order to complete the application process and receive the Letter of Acceptance in a timely manner. Students should always be prepared to take any necessary supporting documents when applying for a passport.

Visas and I-901

International students must have an F-1 Visa from the U.S. Government in order to attend Heritage Christian University. To apply for the Visa, students should refer to the application requirements and procedures on the U.S. Department of State website. In addition, International students must complete the SEVIS Form I-901 and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

Form I-20

Prior to applying at a U.S. embassy or consulate for an F-1 student Visa, applicants must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school such as HCU. Upon acceptance, Heritage Christian University will enroll International students in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and issue them a Form I-20 to present to the consular officer for the official Visa interview. A spouse and/or children who intend to reside with the student in the United States, must apply for an F-2 Visa and will receive an individual Form I-20 from HCU. International students who have been granted an F-1 Visa are limited to entering the United States no earlier than 30 days before their I-20 start date (first day of class).

Learn more of what is involved in applying for admission to Heritage Christian University by contacting the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) at mthompson@hcu.edu.

Click here to begin the application process