BGSP is a rich tapestry of students from all over the globe, with close to 25% of our students coming from outside the U.S. While each of our students embarks on an intellectual and emotional journey, for international students, making the voyage to BGSP is even more complex.

The Admissions Department is here to talk about all aspects of this venture: BGSP’s programs, your interests and options, whether BGSP is right for you, and how to make studying here a reality.

For more information, check out the links below. Then, take the first step and contact us.

“BGSP provided me with a facilitating environment where I was able to grow, connect, care, and fulfill my dream of becoming a psychoanalyst.”

Dr. Karina Balkh traveled to BGSP from Russia.

Additional Materials

For more information on what is needed in addition to the application process for domestic students, check out the links below:

Once You’re Admitted

You’ve been accepted to one of the academic programs at BGSP. Now what? Please use the links below to find more information about obtaining a student visa, and the cost of education.

Once You Have Your Visa

Leaving home for graduate study is an exciting, but sometimes intimidating process. When a student leaves both home and country to study, he or she may find language, social, personal, and cultural adjustment overwhelming at times. We hope that the information in this section will help to facilitate this adjustment as much as possible.

Please be aware that immigration is a complex area of US law, and that the material presented here should be used only as a source of general information. For guidance related to your specific circumstances, we encourage you to contact the International Students Coordinator.

There are a few external websites that may be helpful to you when preparing for your move to Boston:

  • Study in the States – The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created this website, intended to provide guidance and information for international students studying in the United States.
  • The City of Boston’s official website includes a section for International Students. This website is intended to help with the transition of moving to Boston, and to provide helpful information to make your stay in Boston as enjoyable as possible.

NOTE: It is important to be aware that only web sites ending with “.gov” are official U.S. government web sites. The web address of the official USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly BCIS or INS) is www.uscis.gov. Other web sites that may look like US government web sites but are not genuine may give you inaccurate or misleading information about immigration regulations, or may try to charge you for forms that are otherwise free.

Financial Aid

US Federal Student Aid is not available to International students. We encourage you to research outside scholarships/ grants or private loans for assistance. The following websites have information for international students looking for help to finance their education in the United States:

International Students may also be eligible for Institutional Aid at BGSP. Please contact the Director of Financial Aid for information about current opportunities, or check the Scholarships section on the Types of Aid page.


Q:  Are scholarships available for international students?

A:  Currently, we are not able to offer institutional scholarships.  However, we are working on this, and hope to have more options in the future.  There may be other options for outside scholarships and grants for international students.  Please take a moment to look over some of the resources we know about.

Q:  Are international students eligible for loans?

A: United States Federal Student Loans are only available to US citizens and permanent residents.  We encourage international students to seek loans through their home countries or to seek private loans.

Q: Do you offer assistantships/on-campus work opportunities?

A:  We offer an extremely limited number of paid positions for students who have completed at least one year of study at our school. International students are eligible to apply for these assistantships; however, international students are also expected to be able to fund their stay during the course of their studies. We are not able to guarantee an assistantship at the time a student is accepted for admission. These positions are filled as they become available.  On average, assistantships are 5-10 hours per week, and are paid by the hour.  (This is considered taxable income.)  

Q:  Will I be able to apply my Master’s degree and/or license in my home country after graduating from BGSP?

A: BGSP’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree satisfies the educational requirements, including practicum and internship, for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) certification in Massachusetts and many other states. Be sure to check the regulations for the state or country in which you are interested in practicing.  

Q:  Will I be able to practice as a psychoanalyst in my home country after graduating from the Psya.D. program?

A: Graduates of psychoanalytic institutes have traditionally been called “Certified Psychoanalysts”, certified by the institute from which they graduated. State regulation is a different matter.  Be sure to check the regulations for the state or country in which you are interested in practicing.  

Q:  Does BGSP offer distance learning options for International Students?

A:  We do not offer online or distance learning programs at this time.  All of our courses and degree programs meet for class on site, at either our main campus in Brookline, MA or at one of our branch campuses in New York, NY and Livingston, NJ.

Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score required?

A: The admissions process proceeds with applicants who achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 94 on the internet-based test.  Others are asked to take more English classes and re-apply.

Q:  Do you accept the IELTS score in place of the TOEFL?

A: We do accept the IELTS score in place of the TOEFL score for applicants who are non-native speakers of English.  The admissions process proceeds with applicants who achieve a minimum overall band score of 7 on the IELTS test.  Others are asked to take more English classes and re-apply. 

Q: I studied outside of the United States.  Will you accept my bachelor’s degree?

A:  The structure of higher education varies by country.  Because of this, we request that applicants educated outside of the United States include a credential equivalency report as part of their application.  At a minimum, we are looking for an official determination from a credential equivalency service that your degree is at least equivalent to completion of a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree in the United States.  

Q:   I am an international student; am I eligible to apply to the One-Year Program?

A:  The One-Year Program is open to the public, and all are welcome to apply.  However, since the program is offered through the continuing education division and does not grant a degree, we are not able to sponsor students on an F-1 visa to attend the One-Year program.  If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, you would need a different visa from another source to be in the United States.  

Q: I live outside of the US; how should I pay the application fee?

A: The application fee is payable by check, money order, bank draft or check, credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or wire transfer.  We ask that all payments be made in US Dollars. Please note that there is an additional fee that will be added to your total payment if you choose these forms of payment: $16 for wire transfer, and $10 for credit card.  

Q:  What language should my writing sample be in?

A: We ask that your academic writing sample be in English.  If you originally wrote your academic writing sample in your native language, please translate it into English yourself, and include both versions with your application.  

Q: Do you hold admissions interviews for international applicants?

A:  Yes. Following completion of the application file, applicants (including international applicants) may be selected for interviews.  Interviews generally take place on site, and you will be scheduled for three interviews with three of our faculty members.  

Q: What is an I-20?

A: The form I-20 is a “Certificate of Eligibility” for an F visa. While it allows you to apply for a visa, it is not a visa itself.  When you are accepted to a degree program at BGSP, we will send you an I-20 Application Packet. Once we receive the requested information from you, we can issue you an I-20.  

Q: What is an F-1 visa?

A: It is the United States student visa.  This is the stamp in your passport that serves as your entry permit allowing you to enter the US to study at BGSP.  After you have received your I-20 from BGSP, you may make an appointment with the US Consulate near you to apply for the F-1 visa.