Julie Smith

International Admissions Counselor

The Department of Homeland Security has an excellent website offering a general overview of how the F-1 visa process works. We recommend all potential students to become familiar with this website.

Currently DTS is only issuing F-1 student visas for incoming students.

Important Dates

  Deadlines for
Fall Admission
Deadlines for
Spring Admission
International scholarships March 1Not Eligible
International application April 15October 1
for Transfer StudentsJuly 1November 15
Proof of funding June 15November 1
for Transfer StudentsJuly 15November 15
Visa obtained for DTS housingMay 15October 15
F-1 visas obtainedJune 15December 1
Transfer Student paperwork submittedAugust 1December 1

International Need-based scholarship Note: If you need to apply for scholarships, your application must be approved by the Admissions Committee no later than February 24th. Therefore, all documents must be submitted to the Admissions Office no later than February 1st. Even if all documents are received by February 1st, the Committee cannot guarantee that your application will be approved in time to meet the March 1st financial aid deadline.

Application Information

We are so excited to hear of your interest in Dallas Theological Seminary! Below is some information that we feel would be very helpful for you as you begin the process.

Minimum Requirements

  • Four year bachelor’s degree: Official transcripts translated into English are required from every school at which you completed at least twelve credit hours. Please do not send your only copy of a transcript, as we destroy an applicant’s transcript three months after it is processed. Note: Your transcript must be a paper copy that is sent by your school’s registrar in a sealed envelope. We cannot accept electronic transcripts from international institutions.
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores: Satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required for consideration of your application. Please make plans to take the TOEFL early in the application process.
  • International students have unique requirements for admission to DTS. For these requirements, please read English Proficiency and TOEFL and Proof of Funding.
  • Plan to start classes in Dallas or Houston during a fall or spring semester.
    • International students may not start classes during the summer because they must attend a government regulations orientation before beginning courses.
    • Studying in Dallas or Houston most easily enables you to maintain status during your studies.
    • Course planning assumes a fall start date, which again will best help students maintain their visa status.
  • We cannot issue an I-20 for an F-1 Visa (student visa) holder to complete the MBTS or the CGS in the United States. However, these degrees can be completed 100% online from your home country.
    • In order to maintain status as an F-1 visa holder, you will be required to take at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester in Dallas or Houston (9 of those credited hours must be taken in person, on-campus).
  • F-2 Visa holders may study part time in the MACS, MBTS, MA Academic (OT, NT, ST), or CGS.
    • F-2 visa holders may not pursue masters degrees at DTS which require an internship, practicum, or apprenticeship. 
    • F-2 visa holders may complete up to 11 hours per semester.
    • Those considering full time study in the future, should change to F-1 status as soon as possible. This is particularly true for those in the Chinese Studies program. It becomes difficult to build a 12 hour a semester schedule when part of the degree is already completed.
  • Some other visa statuses allow for incidental study (see current government regulations for your visa type).
  • DMin and DEdMin students (and master’s students coming to Dallas during the summer or other short sessions) must prove funding, receive an I-20 and obtain an F-1 visa for each trip to the United States.

Professional Ministry Degrees

ThMMaster’s of Theology with a ministry concentration (4-year program)
STMMaster’s of Sacred Theology (1½- to 2½-year program, depending on prerequisites needed; for those who currently hold an accredited, recognized MDiv)
MABCMaster of Arts in Biblical Counseling (3-year program)
MACEMaster of Arts in Christian Education (2-year program)
MACLMaster of Arts in Christian Leadership (2-year program)
MAMWMaster of Arts in Media Arts and Worship (2-year program)
MACMMaster of Arts in Cross-Cultural Ministries (2-year program)

Academic Degrees

MABELMaster of Arts in Bible Exegesis and Linguistics (2- to 3-year program depending on prerequisites; for those interested in Bible Translation)
MACSMaster of Arts in Christian Studies (if you plan to be in full-time vocational ministry, you need to apply to a professional degree; if you believe this degree is right for you, please contact the academic advisor for international students at internationaladmissions@dts.edu or 214-887-5040)
CGSCertificate of Graduate Studies (1-year program; NOT a Master’s degree; international students must complete this degree entirely online)
MA (Academic)Master of Arts academic degree has been uniquely designed for students who want to supplement previous undergraduate Bible or graduate seminary education or prepare for future doctoral work.

Doctoral Degrees

DEdMinDoctor of Educational Ministry (4-year program with classes meeting on the Dallas campus during summer and winter sessions; a student visa is required for periods of residency, requiring new immigration forms from the International Student Office each semester; for students who have a 2-year MACE or an equivalent degree)
DMinDoctor of Ministry (4-year program with classes meeting on the Dallas campus during summer and winter sessions; a student visa is required for periods of residency, requiring new immigration forms from the International Student Office each semester; for students who have a 4-year ThM or an accredited MDiv and who are in full-time ministry)
PhDDoctor of Philosophy (5- to 6-year program; for students who have completed a 4-year ThM or a 3-year MDiv plus an STM degree and who are pursuing academic teaching or academic studies)

The demonstration of English proficiency is required of all applicants for whom (1) English is not their native or birth language or (2) who were not born in the United States of America. This applies even if the applicant is a United States citizen, has attended an American or English-speaking school, and/or is a long-time resident of an English-speaking country.

Waivers for this English proficiency requirement will only be given to applicants who have completed both High School and an accredited bachelor’s program in the US. Additionally, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to require an official TOEFL or IELTS score from any applicant whose correspondence and/or application materials do not evidence the necessary level of English Language proficiency for graduate study.

Applicants demonstrate their proficiency in English by submitting satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), taken within two years of the date of application.


The Admissions Office accepts the following:

  • TOEFL iBT Home Edition
  • TOEFL iBT Paper Edition
  • TOEFL ITP Plus for China

Note: The Admissions Office does not accept MyBest score or TOEFL Essentials.

The minimum score on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) for the CGS, MBTS, and all MA programs is 86, with subscores of 21 for Reading and Listening and 22 for Speaking and Writing. The minimum requirement for the ThM, STM, and all doctoral programs is 90, with subscores of 22 for Reading and Listening and 23 for Speaking and Writing.

Information about the TOEFL may be obtained from: www.ets.org/toefl. The TOEFL institution code for Dallas Theological Seminary is 6156.

A helpful study guide for the TOEFL can be found here.


The minimum overall score requirements for the CGS, MBTS, and all MA programs is 6.5 with subscores of 6.0 in Writing, and 6.5 in Reading, Speaking, and Listening. The minimum requirement for the ThM, STM, and all doctoral programs is 6.5 with subscores of 6.0 in Writing, 7.0 in Speaking, and 6.5 in Reading and Listening.

You should plan to take the IELTS Academic test. Information about this test can be obtained from www.ielts.org. To ensure DTS receives your scores, please use the following information when you register for the test:

Dallas Theological Seminary
Office of Admissions
3909 Swiss Ave
Dallas, TX 75204

Admissions Approval

Once your application has been approved by the Admissions Department, the International Student Office will contact you regarding how to provide proof of funding and assist with the immigration paperwork in order to complete the approval/acceptance process. For more information on the funding process, see below.

Admissions Steps

  1. APPLY TO DTS – Contact the Admissions Office at internationaladmissions@dts.edu
  2. PROVE FUNDING – Contact the International Student Office at internationaloffice@dts.edu

Once all of these documents are submitted, move to Phase 2.

  1. ISSUANCE OF IMMIGRATION FORMS – Once you have received your immigration forms, you can apply for your visa.
  2. VISA INTERVIEW IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY – Contact your local consulate to set up a visa interview

When your visa is approved, move to Phase 3.

  1. APPLY FOR HOUSING – Contact the Housing and Relocation Office at housing@dts.edu
  2. SCHEDULE TRAVEL TO DALLAS – Once you have acquired housing and booked your flight to Dallas, you will submit an arrival form with this information on it to the International Office.

When you have housing and your flight to Dallas booked, you can move to Phase 4.

  1. ATTEND INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION – International Student Orientation is mandatory for all incoming international students and their spouses. This is held the Monday before classes begin during the fall or the spring semester.
  2. SUBMIT FINAL DOCUMENTS – Submit the results of your Tuburculosis Test done and submit the results and other final documents to the International Office.
  3. BEGIN CLASSES – You are now ready to begin classes!

Immigration Information

For Student Issuance of I-20 Immigration Papers

After you have received preliminary acceptance by the DTS Admissions Department, you will receive an email from the International Student Office within 48 hours. The email will include four items to complete in order to be fully accepted. Submit these items to the International Student Office:

  1. Student Data Identification Form
  2. Financial Documentation – necessary funds for first 12 months of study
  3. Current Immigration Status – if you are currently in the United States or are applying from overseas

Start Dates

F-1 visa students are required to attend international student orientation (in Dallas) before starting courses. Orientations are held the week before classes start in the fall and spring semesters. Therefore, F-1 visa students may only start in person courses during the fall or spring semesters. We strongly encourage students to plan toward a fall start date based on the rotation of courses on campus and so they finish their degree and can attend commencement in a spring semester.


Due to government policies, internships are consider Curricular Practical Training (F-1). Select other visa holders may study incidentally, but have no provision for completing an internship.

If you plan on coming to DTS on a work or religious visa, please contact the International Student Office for more information.

Funding Information

Government regulations require 12 months of proven funding. Once an international is accepted, the International Student Office will dutifully inform the applicant of the financial documentation required, namely the yearly expenses for 12 months of study at DTS. Expenses reflect first-year initial expenses and vary by size of household, type of visa, and level of program. 


2021-2022 International Expenses*



& Spouse

1 Child

2 Child

3 Child

4 Child

5 Child


Acceptable Proofs of Funding

We will collect all of the following documents submitted and add them up until the student reaches the total required amount as proof of funding.

  • Must be a current statement on official bank letterhead with the name of the student listed.
  • We can accept 100% of the student’s current bank statement.
  • Must be a current statement on official bank letterhead with the name of the spouse.
  • We can accept 100% of the spouse’s bank statement if a marriage certificate is provided. (If the marriage certificate is not in English, you must provide an English, certified copy of the marriage certificate.)
  • Supporters can make a donation directly to the student’s DTS account.
  • Supporters will need to contact the Student Accounts Department to process the donation. (Supporters can email them at stuacct@dts.edu.)
  • Once a donation has been made, please contact the International Office so that we are aware of the donation.
  • Supporters can submit a pledge form on behalf of a student (Pledge Form).
  • Per regulations, we are not allowed to accept a pledge for an amount that is more than 25% of a donor’s total assets. Therefore, if a pledge is more than a certain amount, a supporter will need to provide a 6-month bank history.
    • Pledges for $199 or less monthly support: No bank history required
    • Pledges for $200 or more monthly support: Requires 6-month bank history
    • Pledges for $999 one-time support: No bank history required
    • Pledges for $1000 one-time support: Requires 6-month bank history

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for international students. If you complete your application with all of its supporting documents by February 15th for the following Fall Semester, you can apply for financial aid. In general, because of the very limited availability of financial aid, you should look into alternate means of supporting your education as well.

Students receiving an international student scholarship are required to return to their home country. Scholarships cover the cost of tuition, books, and fees. Additional scholarship money may be provided to cover some of the student’s living expenses for the first year only. Living expenses for family members are not covered by scholarships.

You can apply for financial aid after you have become a student accepted by the Admissions Committee.


Final Documentation

Once the student proves the required funding, they will need to provide the International Student Office with the following documents:

  • Student Data Form for Issuance of I-20 Immigration Form (a link to this form will be sent to the student once funding has been proven);
  • A letter describing your expected sources of funds for the remaining years of your degree program;
  • A scanned copy of passport for you and each member of your family, as applicable;
  • If you are married, a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, please provide a Certified English copy of your marriage certificate; and
  • If you will be coming without your spouse and/or children, a letter describing how your family will be provided for during your absence.

Please be aware that all international students are responsible to pay for the postage costs to mail their I-20. Sign up at study.eshipglobal.com, selecting Dallas Theological Seminary as your school.

You and your dependents are required to be tested for before starting classes. More information will be provided. Your cost for the required test will be approximately $25-$100 USD per family member.

Required Tuberculosis Testing

International students must provide official written medical proof of freedom from tuberculosis, through either a negative skin or blood test (or chest X-ray) that was given inside the United States within the last twelve months. Tuberculosis testing done in countries other than the United States will not be accepted. If you have written proof of being tested for tuberculosis in the last twelve (12) months, please send a copy of your test results to the International Student Office. If you have not been tested for tuberculosis in the last twelve (12) months, be prepared for you and your dependents to be tested for tuberculosis during the week of orientation (the week before classes start your first semester). More information will be provided with your welcome packet. Your cost for the required test will be approximately $30 – $50 USD per family member. If the initial test comes back positive, then an x-ray must be done, which will cost an additional $80. If you are interested, you can find out more about tuberculosis at US Center for Disease Control website:

Important – DTS does recommend all prospective students have adequate immunizations for diphtheria; rubeola, rubella, mumps; tetanus and poliomyelitis (see Texas Department of Health’s Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule).