International Student

Principia College has two programs for international students:

  • A four-year degree program leading to a BA or BS degree
  • A one-year enrichment program for non-degree-seeking students

Principia is a liberal arts college, not a specialized or technical school. The curriculum emphasizes writing, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking. These skills are applicable to all professions and prepare students to contribute to society in a variety of ways.

Course instruction often involves discussion, and students participate actively in exchanges with classmates and professors. Christian Science-based character education is an integral part of all academic and co-curricular programs.

Four-Year Degree Program

Principia offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree programs. Choose from 26 majors and minors (areas of study), or consider designing your own.

Course selection is based on general degree requirements and your area of interest. More information can be found in the College Catalog.

Note: Principia does not offer master's or other graduate degrees, nor does our curriculum include remedial academic courses.

One-Year Enrichment Program

This program allows students to experience Principia's learning environment without pursuing a degree. The program includes ten fifteen-week courses over two terms. You'll be encouraged to take a variety of courses during the year—some courses recommended by an academic advisor, others of your own choosing.

There are generally two types of students who choose the one-year program:

  • those have recently completed secondary school and want to have a different educational and cultural experience before they enter university in their own country
  • those who already have an undergraduate degree (If you already have a degree and plan to apply for financial aid, you may only apply for the one-year program.)

Admissions Requirements

Christian Science Expectations

Principia's purpose is to serve the Cause of Christian Science. Although Christian Science is not taught in classes, it forms the basis of community life. Some students at the College have been Christian Scientists all their lives, while others are relatively new to the religion, but we all—faculty, staff, and students alike—encourage one other to turn to God for help in all situations.

Prior to applying to Principia, students are expected to have relied on Christian Science for all their needs, including physical healing, and they should have attended a Christian Science church and/or Sunday School for at least one year. Applicants must also be willing to uphold Principia's community standards, which include abstaining from the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and sexual activity outside of marriage.

Academic Preparation

Students must have completed secondary school and have earned a diploma or certificate of completion which makes them eligible for admission to a university in their home country. 

To insure that all incoming students are prepared for college-level academic work, we look for the following minimum requirements:

  • A C+ average in high school
  • A 1380 cumulative score on the SAT*
  • A score of 79 on the TOEFL**

International students must be 18 years or older prior to enrolling at Principia and are expected to be sufficiently mature to study abroad. They must be willing to adjust to a new environment and new people and to share the traditions, ideals, and perspectives of their native country.

*Students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited university are not required to submit SAT test scores.

**Applicants from the UK, non-French-speaking Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are exempt.

English Language Requirement

All applicants must be able to read English with ease and to understand conversational and formal English as spoken in lectures and group discussions. The quantity and quality of academic work expected at Principia cannot be accomplished without sufficient mastery of the English language. We are not able to offer ESL or intensive English for those not yet ready for the classroom.

Getting Started

 Principia needs some basic information from you to activate your file:

  • Your complete legal name (first, middle, last, and in that order, please)
  • Your preferred first name
  • Your date of birth (spell out month, please)
  • Your mailing address and telephone number
  • Your e-mail address
  • The month and year you completed secondary school
  • A description of any further schooling you have had
  • Names of siblings, relatives, or friends at Principia
  • Name of the branch church you attend

Please remember:

  • Your file will be listed in Principia’s database alphabetically by your family name. Make sure your family name is on everything you submit. 
  • All application materials must be completed online.
  • Your first and most urgent task: register for the SAT and, if necessary, the TOEFL. You must register well in advance of the testing date. For both the SAT and the TOEFL, you must indicate Principia College’s testing code, which is 1630. In this way both you and Principia will get an official copy of your score report. You will need to bring your copy of your score report to your visa interview. 

SAT Registration

We require the SAT Reasoning Test. These tests are given throughout the year, but you must take the test in October, November, December, or January. Unless you are exempted from the test by Principia's international admissions counselor, Ifi Xifre Villar, or have taken the SAT within the past 2 years, you must take it on one of these four dates. When registering, please use Principia's testing code, 1630. Typically, test fees are under $100. Registration procedures and deadlines vary by country. Please check with your counselor.

TOEFL Registration

Many applicants do not need to take the TOEFL test, so check with the international admissions counselor, Ifi Xifre Villar, before registering. For more information about the TOEFL test and to register, please visit www.ets.org/toefl. Once you have registered for the test(s), you can complete the other admission requirements in any order, as long as Principia receives everything by the application deadline.

Apply for Admission

From the time you make your first inquiry to the Admissions Office to the time you are granted a visa requires the better part of a year. Please start the application process early!

Before you begin, please e-mail the international admissions counselor, Ifi Xifre Villar, at intladmissions@principia.edu. She will be your contact in the Admissions Office and can help you with the application process.

Application Process

In order to be eligible to apply, you must have been an active Christian Scientist for a year before we can review your application.

We must receive the following information before you are considered for admission:

  • SAT score*
  • TOEFL exam score**
  • Completed admission application
  • Official copy of your high school transcript(s)/national exam results. Note: African applicants should contact the international student admissions counselor, Ifi Xifre Villar, about how to submit senior secondary school national exam results.
  • Guidance counselor reference, if you are currently attending high school in the United States
  • Official university transcripts, if applicable
  • One academic reference from a teacher in a core academic subject. Submit a work reference in place of the academic reference if you have been out of school for more than one year.
  • Two Christian Science references from Christian Scientists who know you well enough to tell us about your understanding and practice. One reference should be from your Sunday School teacher, if applicable.

*Students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited university are not required to submit SAT scores.

**Applicants from the UK, non-French-speaking Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are exempt.

Finances

Financial Aid

Financial aid awards are based on demonstrated financial need, which is determined from information about the student and his/her family's income, assets, and expenses.

Financial aid is available to both one-year enrichment and four-year degree candidates. The international admissions counselor will e-mail a financial aid application to you when Principia receives your admissions application. 

Additional Expenses

There are some additional expenses you must be prepared to assume—expenses you incur when you choose to attend a college in another country:

  • Passport application fee for your country
  • Visa interview fee of $160
  • SEVIS fee of $200 (degree students) or $180 (enrichment students)
  • Airfare to St. Louis, Missouri

Certification of Finances

The certification of finances form is your opportunity to indicate the amount of money you and your family can contribute toward the cost of your education here. Although it has Principia's name at the top, it is actually a standard government form and will become an important part of your visa documentation. If you reference money in a bank account, you need to take the form to the bank and have an official either stamp it or write a two-sentence letter on bank letterhead saying that you (or your family) maintain an account at the bank and that the indicated funds are available.