Apr 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Admissions and Programs

The Office of International Admissions and Programs welcomes prospective and current students, alumni, faculty and staff. Our services include international admission; international advising for F-1 students and alumni, F-2 dependents and J-1 exchange visitors; study abroad programs; and all university international agreements.

General Information and Definitions

General Information

For general information, please refer to relevant sections of the New Student Admissions  section in this catalog for information, including but not limited to English Proficiency Requirements for Students Educated Outside of the United States, Examinations for Graduate Candidacies, Examination Exemptions, Readmission or Status Change Process, and Graduate Transfer Credit Information.


International Applicant- Individuals who apply to the university and either (a) hold a U.S. visa or (b) anticipate entering the U.S. with a visa. Individuals who are legal permanent residents, on Temporary Protective Status (TPS), U.S. citizens (naturalized or by birth), refugee/asylee, or undocumented are not considered international applicants.

International Student- Students who are in the U.S. or will be in the U.S. in F-1 status.

Conditional Admissions-A process in which the university reviews the application and submitted documentation to determine if the applicant meets the admission requirements outside of English language proficiency and graduate examinations. This may be limited to UHCL-recognized English language programs (such as ELS) and government-sponsored students.

Conditionally Admitted- Application status that signifies the student hasn’t met English language proficiency requirements or standardized test score requirement such as GRE/GMAT but meets other academic requirements such as a minimum GPA, proof of degree and academic background.

Application Fees

International applicants: $75
International doctoral applicants: $135

Application fees can be paid by credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express or Discover) during online application or after the application’s submission. To submit the application fee online after applying, students must use their E-Services account or pay in person at the Office of Student Business Services.

Application Deadlines

Some programs may have earlier deadlines. Please refer to the catalog for deadlines specific to your program.

Fall Enrollment

Priority Deadline*: Apply by March 1
Final Deadline: Apply by June 1

Spring Enrollment

Priority Deadline*: Apply by Aug. 1
Final Deadline: Apply by Nov. 1

Summer Enrollment

Priority Deadline*: Apply by Feb. 1
Final Deadline: Apply by April 1

* Students interested in qualifying for scholarships and/or applying for visas outside the U.S. should apply and submit the application documents/test scores by the priority deadline.

Deferral Process

Graduate applicants who do not enroll are eligible to defer their application within three semesters of submitting their original application. To defer to a new semester, students should submit an Application Update Request form, which can be found on the Office of International Admissions and Programs’ website. This form can also be used to request a change in academic programs during the admission process. Students who are ineligible to defer their application can re-apply and pay the application fee.

Notification of Admission

Upon receipt of appropriate documentation, the Office of International Admissions and Programs will determine applicants’ eligibility to the university and will notify them of the program’s admissions decision. If accepted, applicants will receive important information regarding registration dates and procedures. This information is also available on the university’s website through E-Services.

Admissions Requirements

After submitting an International Graduate Application through ApplyTexas.org and the appropriate application fee, international applicants must meet the university’s admission standards as explained in the New Student Admissions  section of the catalog and meet the English proficiency requirement.

International graduate applicants must submit official documents from each higher education institution attended (inside and outside of the U.S.). Documents must meet requirements for U.S. documents and international documents (see Documents for Acceptance). Upon acceptance, the student will be required to submit additional documents (see Additional Document Requirements).

Applicants with Pending Bachelor’s Degrees

Applicants to a graduate program may be admitted while they are pending receipt of a bachelor’s degree. To qualify, students must meet current admission requirements and provide proof that they will earn at least a bachelor’s degree prior to their first day of classes at UHCL.

Current UHCL Undergraduate Students

Current UHCL undergraduate students who apply to graduate programs prior to the conferral of a bachelor’s degree must have a pending Graduation Application form on file in the Office of Academic Records. The Office of International Admissions and Programs will verify that the application for graduation has not been denied prior to admission. Admitted students must earn their bachelor’s degree prior to the first day of classes. Those needing additional time to complete requirements for pending undergraduate degrees will be returned to undergraduate status to complete those requirements before being allowed to enroll in graduate studies.

International Conditional Admission

International applicants who meet the university’s admission requirements for their chosen degree programs, but who have not yet met the English proficiency requirement, can be conditionally admitted to some graduate programs. Please note that conditional admission is not available for all programs and it does not allow registration or enrollment at UHCL.

Once an applicant completes ELS Level 112 or otherwise demonstrates proficiency in English,* the applicant will be required to submit graduate exam scores as described in the New Student Admissions section for full admission consideration.

*See English Proficiency Requirements for Students Educated Outside of the United States.

Non-Degree-Seeking Status

International students, who hold F-1 visas, are not eligible for admission as non-degree-seeking students. They must enroll as degree-seeking in specific degree plans or programs. Although their primary programs must be degree-seeking, these students can simultaneously enroll in secondary non-degree certificate or certification programs. International students, who hold J-1 or other visas, may be admitted to non-degree-seeking status or certificate programs. Students can refer to the certificate programs section of New Student Admissions for more information.

Graduate Transient Status

Graduate students in good standing at another institution may be admitted to University of Houston-Clear Lake as transients for one semester. These students generally plan to transfer coursework back to their home institution.

Transient students must submit official transcripts showing proof that a bachelor’s degree or higher has been conferred. Due to prerequisite requirements, some programs may also require a Letter of Standing from the transfer institution indicating the coursework being requested at UHCL.

All required documentation for admission must be provided, prior to registration. Students in F-1 or J-1 status must also provide a letter from their immigration adviser at their respective institution allowing them to enroll as a transient student at UHCL. See Transient Admission Requirements in New Student Admissions.

Transients who wish to enroll in a second semester must obtain permission from the associate dean of their academic program. They must then reapply by submitting a new application and application fee to the Office of International Admissions and Programs. Students enrolling under this option, who subsequently decide to become degree-seeking, must reapply, pay the appropriate application fee, (see Application Fees) and meet the university’s and academic program’s current admission requirements.

Documents for Acceptance and Enrollment

Applicants must indicate on their application for admission all previous schools attended. Degree-seeking students must submit official transcripts from each college or university attended. Transient students must provide documents from each institution attended to be eligible to register and must be eligible to return immediately to the last school attended.

The Office of International Admissions and Programs must receive all documents by the appropriate deadline (see Application Deadlines). An official transcript of any coursework in progress and proof of diploma/degree, prior to or during enrollment at University of Houston-Clear Lake, should be sent to the Office of International Admissions and Programs immediately after grades are posted.

To expedite processing, applicants should request that domestic (U.S.) transcripts be sent electronically. UHCL’s preferred method of transcript delivery is via EDI or SPEEDE download for transfer work and Trex electronic downloads for high school work. Hand-delivered transcripts must be no more than 60days old and enclosed in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution.

If students knowingly withhold information or submit fraudulent information regarding enrollment at another accredited institution, their application to UHCL will be considered invalid and they may be administratively withdrawn from classes without a refund of fees paid.

International Transcript and Document Requirements

School Accreditation Status

Applicants submitting international college or university transcripts/documents must have attended an international institution recognized by the International Association of Universities (UNESCO) or Ministry of Education.

Transcripts from International Institutions

Students must provide the Office of International Admissions and Programs with official transcripts, mark (grade) sheets and confirmation of degrees or diplomas for all academic studies attempted and completed at those colleges/universities. Transcripts and/or mark (grade) sheets must be in the original language and accompanied by official English translations (if applicable). These documents should clearly indicate dates of attendance, subjects taken and marks (grades) earned and reflect any degrees or diplomas awarded.

Official transcripts must be sent to UHCL by the registrar of each institution attended. When this is not possible, documents certified by an embassy or consulate, Education USA official, university authority (such as principal, registrar, controller of examinations, vice rector or rector), Ministry of Education or Ministry of Foreign Affairs official as “true copies” may be accepted. Copies of documents that are not certified will not be accepted.

English Proficiency Requirements for Students Educated Outside of the United States

Applicants educated in countries where English is not the native or first language must demonstrate English proficiency. The intent of this policy is to ensure that students for whom English is not the native language have a reasonable chance to succeed academically based on their ability to comprehend and use spoken and written English. For additional details refer to the New Student Admissions  section of this catalog.

Additional Document Requirements

Prior to being allowed to enroll, accepted students who are in the U.S. or plan on entering the U.S. in F or J visa status are required to submit:

The following documents are required for students entering the U.S. in another visa status:

  • Copy of photo page of the passport.
  • Copy of current I-94.

The university recommends that these documents are submitted immediately after the student applies so that there isn’t a delay in the enrollment process.

Other Policies Applicable for International Students

Transfer-In Policy

Students who hold F-1 visas and are currently studying at another SEVIS-approved institution of higher education in the United States must do the following:

  • Be accepted by University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Request the “transfer-out” school to transfer their SEVIS record to UHCL
  • The “transfer-out” school must then set up the SEVIS transfer to UHCL, prior to the student receiving eligibility to enroll.

Health Insurance

All international students holding F or J visas are required to have health insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. The university provides such insurance and automatically adds the premium to applicable tuition/fee statements. International students with private health insurance comparable to the university’s coverage may request a waiver of the university’s health insurance.

To be considered for a waiver, students must submit a waiver request online by the dates posted. University of Houston-Clear Lake will not accept waiver requests by U.S. mail, e-mail, fax, or documents brought to the university. Incomplete requests, late requests or insurance policies not meeting the minimum requirements will not be approved. Each F or J visa holder is responsible for any late fees associated with the waiver process.


All international students holding F and J visas are required to check in with the Office of International Admissions and Programs upon arrival to campus. Students must complete this check-in process through the International Student Document Portal. Also, students must submit all official transcripts, other academic documents showing degree completion and final semester coursework. Failure to complete the check-in process and/or submit the final transcript or degree will cause a hold to be put on the student’s account. This hold will prevent the student from registering for a future semester.

International Student Orientation

New international student orientation is offered prior to each fall, spring and summer semester and is mandatory for all new international students. A comprehensive program is offered to all new international students to the university. The orientation provides information regarding health insurance, visa regulations, cross-cultural adjustment, transition to college, negotiating campus setting, academic and peer advising.

Co-Enrollment (International Students)

International students may obtain an international student adviser’s permission to co-enroll at another institution. Permission for concurrent enrollment must be obtained from a UHCL international student adviser through the International Student Document Portal prior to attempting to register and enroll concurrently at a different institution. At the beginning of the semester, a registration printout or transcript from the concurrent school must be provided to the UHCL international student adviser as proof of students’ enrollment status. International students must provide official transcripts after the semester has completed from the other institution.

Education Abroad and Scholar Services

Education Abroad at UHCL is committed to helping students expand their global awareness. We promote, support and develop international and intercultural educational opportunities for students and in so doing, contribute to defining the international character of UHCL.

Education Abroad is here to help you connect to the right program–one that aligns with your academic goals, challenges your perspectives, and empowers students to become engaged global citizens. Students interested in education abroad opportunities should contact Education Abroad to attend an Education Abroad 101 information session. All students who participate in an education abroad program are required to complete the University’s education abroad participation forms, purchase the approved education abroad health insurance, pay any applicable education abroad program fees and attend a pre-departure orientation meeting.

Types of Education Abroad Programs

UHCL Faculty-Led

UHCL administers faculty-led programs, either fully or in partnerships with other institutions. Programs are led by full-time UHCL faculty associated with a UHCL course. Students earn regular UHCL credits and grades that count towards degree requirements (upon written approval).

Exchange Programs

UHCL students may study for a semester or academic year at institutions in which UHCL has established international student exchange agreements for which they will receive transfer credit at UHCL upon written approval.

Partner Providers

UHCL has a list of partner providers that facilitate and administers education abroad programs all over the world. The providers take the guesswork out of the education abroad process. Even before leaving for your new host country, providers assist in securing visas, transfer credit documentation, organizing flights, and picking housing and roommate options for you. Written course transfer approval is required to obtain financial aid.

Students who register for education abroad programs administered by institutions other than UHCL will pay the tuition and fees of the administering university or program, in addition to any applicable education abroad fees payable to UHCL to maintain the student’s enrollment at UHCL.

J-1 Exchange Scholar Program

The goal of UHCL’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to promote cultural and educational exchange between international and domestic students, faculty, staff and community members as well as to promote greater diversity and global awareness within the UHCL community. Components of this program include:

  • Educational, research and teaching activities
  • Cultural exchange programming
  • Cultural adjustment support
  • Immigration advising

Education Abroad Accident and Sickness Medical Insurance

The University of Houston-Clear Lake requires students approved to participate in an approved education abroad program (regardless of credit or funding) to secure and maintain the required student international accident and sickness medical insurance coverage. Insurance coverage must be secured from the university-recognized insurance provider for the students’ approved UHCL education abroad dates. Education Abroad program types may include, but are not limited to:

  • Internships
  • Service-learning programs
  • Volunteering/humanitarian outreach activities
  • Research missions
  • Academic-related meetings or programs
  • Professional association conferences/meetings 
  • Student organization events  

As part of a student’s education abroad process, students will either be directed to the appropriate source to purchase their insurance or be automatically enrolled under Education Abroad and Scholar Services international travel accident and sickness insurance. 

Currently, insurance costs run between $11-20 per week for basic coverage.  This fee will cover the cost of student travel accidents, sickness insurance, and travel services while on UHCL approved programs. The current policy brochure is available online.

Students are advised to maintain their primary healthcare coverage while abroad. Students must have the UHCL approved education abroad insurance policy regardless of any other insurance they may have, including personal/private insurance, insurance required by partner-party providers, or a foreign government. Waivers are not permitted.

Education Abroad Travel Registry

The UHCL-approved designated travel registry vendor provides up-to-date, in-depth and trusted traveler information. With the travel registry app, students, faculty and staff will obtain real-time destination reports and alerts pushed to their smart phones.  The Office of Education Abroad and Scholar Services will be able to communicate and keep Education Abroad groups updated to make informed decisions.

Students must register with the designated UHCL travel registry vendor to obtain safety and security alerts.  The app’s instant check-in option allows students to report their status back to UHCL in case of an emergency or at the Office of Education Abroad and Scholar Services’ request.