Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) - International Applicants


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) - International Applicants


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 do offer a limited amount 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.  Please note that 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 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.