Non-Degree Study

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What does it mean to be "non-degree"?

  • You are enrolled on a semester-by-semester or course-by-course basis and have not been accepted as a regular student pursuing a degree.
  • You are not admitted to a specific major or department.
  • You generally are not eligible to take higher-level, major-only courses.
  • Your study is limited to a specified number of credits each semester / term as well as in total.

In-Person or Online

There are many courses to choose from as a non-degree student.


In-person courses are traditional classes that take place inside a classroom and require you to be physically present on campus. 


Courses that are offered online do not require physical presence on campus and are completed via a web portal.

Students who take only online courses, sometimes called 'distance learners', are not required to hold a U.S. visa to register for these classes. 

Your studies can contain a combination of both in-person and online courses.

Immigration Requirements

All students studying IN-PERSON must be in a valid visa status while in the United states. But not all students need to be on a student visa from the University at Buffalo.  Find the instructions specific to your situation starting with whether or not you are currently living in the U.S.


International students living outside the United States are welcome to apply for non-degree study at UB for the summer or winter sessions.

New Student Visa Required

If you will require an F-1 visa to enter the United States to study at UB you will be required to submit a valid financial form and bank statement in addition to the academic and English proficiency documents required for admission.

In order to apply for F-1 visa eligibility you must:

  • Complete the UB Financial Form
  • Provide a bank statement showing that you and your family have enough money to pay your tuition and fees.

International students enrolled in summer or winter only non-degree study must be registered full-time (defined as six credits in summer and three credits in winter). 

How to Apply

Applying for non-degree study at the University at Buffalo is easy.  Just follow the steps below:

A $50 Application Fee is required for all applications. 

  • Pay the application fee through our secure payment website
  • After making payment, you will receive confirmation of payment by email
  • Save a copy of the confirmation email receipt
  • Submit a copy of your receipt with your electronic applciation

Step 1: Pay the Application Fee

Step 2: Scan your Academic Documents

You will submit a scanned copy of your secondary school and/or university transcripts, school-leaving examinations and/or certificates with your electronic application.

Step 3: Proof of your English Proficiency

English language proficiency must be sufficient so that you can successfully complete university classes. In the application form, answer the questions about your English proficiency and submit the required documentation. When you arrive at UB, the University may test your English language proficiency if you are having language problems and you may be required to register for an English class if your language proficiency is determined to be inadequate to successfully function in a university academic setting.

You must submit or document one of the following:

  • TOEFL score report (no minimum score for summer-only study).
  • IELTS score report (no minimum score for summer-only study). 
  • SAT I Critical Reading section score report. 
  • GCE O level or A level Results Slip with a passing grade in English. 
  • IB passing grade in English or Literature. 
  • AP passing grade in English or Literature.
  • Any other recognized test that demonstrates English language proficiency (for example, STEP, CEFR, CET, PTE, TOEIC, GRE Verbal score, MELAB, Cambridge ESOL CPE and CAE, iTEP, etc.). 
  • Citizenship of a country where English is the official / legal language. 
  • Citizenship of a country where English is the medium of instruction (for example, some Caribbean countries, some African countries, India, Singapore, some European countries, and others); to be determined on a case-by-case basis by International Admissions as part of the application review process. 
  • Successful completion of an English language program. 
  • Successful completion of at least one term of academic study in a country where the official medium of instruction is English (regardless of citizenship or native language of the applicant). 

Applicants who cannot demonstrate English language proficiency as noted above cannot be admitted and will not be issued an I-20 or DS-2019. 

Step 4: Complete the Non-Degree Application

The Non-Degree Application must be completed online and requires you to upload:

  • Proof of Application Fee Payment
  • Academic Documents
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • Required Immigration Documents