Application Process

In order to attend SFU as an exchange/study abroad student, you must be studying at one of SFU's formal exchange/study abroad partner institutions, and they must nominate you for an exchange/study abroad at SFU. Contact your university’s International or Exchange Office to find out more about the application procedure, application deadlines, and selection process.

Once your home university's international office has submitted a nomination for you, you will receive an email from SFU with a link to our online application.

You will be asked to upload the following supporting documents to your online application (no hard copy documents are required):

Most recent official transcript

Transcript must be in English. You may need to request an English translation from your home institution. Please scan and upload both sides of your transcript, merged into 1 file. Recommended: merge any other higher education transcripts, if applicable (e.g. Bachelor's, transfer institutions). 

Colour passport-style photo

Head shot from the shoulders up; white- or light-coloured background with full face view; no hats, sunglasses, etc.

Statement of interest

250-500 word statement about your interest in SFU, your study plan and any relevant academic and international experience

Proof of English language proficiency

English Language Requirements

Students applying as an undergraduate or graduate student to SFU must meet one of the following criteria:

a) Currently studying at an institution where the principal language of instruction is English.     No documentation required. 
b) Currently studying in a degree program in which the principal language of instruction is English (in an institution where the principal language of instruction is not English).    
Documents accepted: Official Transcript which states the language of instruction is English, or a statement from Exchange Coordinator stating that degree is English-taught.

c) Completion of the IELTS with the minimum following scores:

Undergraduates: overall band score of 6.5 with no part less than 6.0.
Graduates: overall band score of 7.0 with no part less than 6.5.       

 Document accepted: Official IELTS test score

d) Completion of TOEFL iBT with the minimum following scores:

Undergraduates: overall score of 88 or better with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four components.
Graduates: overall score of 93 or better with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four components.

Document accepted: Official TOEFL iBT test score
e) Undergraduates only: Completion of a three unit* post-secondary level academic English course with a minimum grade of C-.  Document accepted: Official Transcript (course outline may also be needed)        
*3 SFU units are equivalent to 6 ECTS credit points.
f) Graduates only: Have completed a degree at an institution where the principal language of instruction was English, or a degree program in which the principal language of instruction was English (in an institution where the principal language of instruction was not English).     Documents accepted: Previous degree official transcript which states the language of instruction was English, or letter from institution stating that the degree was English-taught.

If you wish to be registered as a Graduate student at SFU you must submit additional supporting documents including:

  • Two academic references (a letter of support from your program supervisor is preferred, and one letter of support from a recent instructor),
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal (only for those students planning to pursue research while at SFU)

As part of the online application, you will be asked to submit a minimum of 8 course access requests.

Nomination and Application Deadlines

Fall term (or full-year) admission:

  • Nomination deadline: March 15 (partner institutions must nominate students by this date)
  • Application deadline: March 31 

Spring term admission:

  • Nomination deadline: September 15 (partner institutions must nominate students by this date)
  • Application deadline: September 30

Summer term admission:

  • Nomination deadline: January 15 (partner institutions must nominate students by this date)
  • Application deadline: January 30

Length of Exchange/Study Abroad term

Formal exchange/study abroad students can be enrolled at SFU for one or two terms (4 or 8 months). Your home university will initially confirm the length of your exchange/study abroad program to SFU.

Housing Application

Please see our Housing website for information on applying for SFU's on-campus residences.

Notification of Acceptance

We will send you your SFU admission letter by email approximately 6 weeks after we receive your complete application (graduate applications may take longer). SFU no longer issues or couriers hard copy admission letters for exchange/study abroad students.

Pre-Arrival Information

Once you've decided to come to SFU and have been formally nominated by your home university, our information for new students will provide information essential for your travel preparations.

If you have any questions, you can contact us directly.