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International Students

The rapidly changing face of the Catholic Church requires leaders who are adept at understanding and appreciating different cultures. At the Jesuit School, students from more than 40 countries draw on the wisdom of each other's experience to learn to minister to others in diverse cultural contexts.

The global orientation of the Jesuit School is reflected in all aspects of school life, from the classroom to liturgy, field education, and social gatherings. Our students and professors appreciate the new perspectives that they gain from each other. Our location in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its cultural and socioeconomic diversity, affords rich opportunities for field placements in which students become more deeply aware of the social and cultural contexts of theology and ministry.

International students play an essential role in the Jesuit School family. If you are an international student, we encourage you to learn more about us and consider applying for admission. We invite you to share your personal experiences with us and to grow with us.

International students who wish to apply for admission to the Jesuit School of Theology should supply the following:

  1. A completed application for admission. Application fees for International Applicants will be waived.
  2. A personal statement of purpose that indicates why you are applying to the Jesuit School for graduate theological studies. Describe your academic background, ministerial experience, your current work and your future career plans.
  3. Official transcripts for all post-secondary academic work. S.T.D. applicants need only supply official transcripts for the S.T.L. or the S.S.L. JST only accepts official transcripts delivered in a sealed envelope sent via postal mail directly from your university to the following address: 1735 Le Roy Ave. Berkeley, CA 9470.
  4. Two letters of recommendation addressing your academic qualifications for the program to which you are applying. We prefer that these letters be written by someone who recently taught you; however, applicants who have been out of school for an extended period of time may submit a recommendation from an employer, a professional colleague or a church or community leader. For religious applicants, a third letter of support from your religious superior or bishop must also be submitted.
  5. For students applying to the Master of Divinity program, the second letter should address your personal and ministerial qualifications for admission to the Jesuit School.
  6. Applicants whose native language is not English must also prove their ability to speak and write English, and in most cases will be required to take an english Language proficiency exam.  JST is guided by the Santa Clara University standards regarding english Language Proficiency.  JST reserves the right to waive an applicants english Language Proficiency exam if:
    • an applicant’s native language is English;
    • an applicant demonstrates completion of a graduate degree program where English is the language of instruction;
    • the applicant has completed at least one year of full-time graduate study in an institution where English is the language of instruction. These applicants must also submit a sample of their academic writing of approximately 20 pages in length.
  7. Beginning with the Spring 2020 application cycle, applicants whose native language is English are subject to the same standardized test requirements that domestic students must adhere to.

Applicants who take the Educational Testing Service's test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must provide acceptable scores to be considered for admission. Official scores should be sent directly to the Office of Enrollment Management from the Educational Testing Service. Test scores should be sent both to Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology using the following institutional codes:  Santa Clara University’s institutional code number is 4851; JST’s institutional code number is 4390. For more information about the exam, please visit the TOEFL website at:

International students in degree seeking programs will need the F-1 student visa to study in the United States. On the F-1 visa, students must enroll full-time at least 9 credits per semester, but sometimes enroll in more to stay on track to graduate. (Exception: In the JST Renewal program, 6 units constitutes full-time enrollment in combination with other components of the program.) To apply for an F-1 visa, you will need to be accepted for admission to the Jesuit School. You will also need to provide the Jesuit School with documentation of your financial ability to cover tuition and fees and all living expenses during the entire time of your studies.

Estimated Tuition, Fees, Living Expenses for 2018-2019 Academic Year

Click here to view the estimated tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2018-2019 academic year.


In order to apply for the F-1 student visa, you will need an I-20 form issued by the school.  Click here to see the process. Applicants will not be issued paperwork to apply for their visa until they submit the $500 program deposit fee, required upon admission.


For further information about applying for a visa, please contact the Admissions and Financial Aid Specialist, Laura Nieto, via email at or via phone at (510) 549-5033, or visit the website of the nearest American consulate. For a directory of American consulates throughout the world, see:

New and continuing international students in degree or sabbatical programs are eligible for institutional financial aid. International students must complete the Jesuit School of Theology Financial Aid application by March 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. Please contact the Admissions Office to obtain more information about Financial Aid and request an application. Their contact information is listed to the right. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Visit the Department of Homeland Security's official website to study in the states.