Master’s and PhD Admissions

Admitted students have shared their concerns about not being able to make it to Buffalo in time to start their academic program.

We understand that it may be difficult to make plans for your arrival in Buffalo.

Contact your academic program directly if you have questions not addressed here. You can find your program’s contact information via these pages:

The University at Buffalo is Open

Courses are being offered online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and summer 2020.

UB is planning to return to campus in fall 2020 in a modified in-person capacity. For more information, visit:

Accept your fall 2020 offer now

Confirm your admission offer now to secure your seat in the incoming class. Complete the Jacobs Reply to Offer form in your online portal.

Fall 2020 Semester Will Start On Time

No changes have been made to the university academic calendar. 

Will courses be on campus or online/distance learning?

UB is planning to return to campus in the fall in a modified in-person capacity, which will include a mix of in-person instruction – within distancing and public health guidelines – and online courses. This decision will preserve our mission as a place-based, public research institution, while providing us needed flexibility to continue caring for our campus community and providing the best possible educational experience for our students.

We Are Accepting Applications

You may apply to many of our master’s and discipline-specific PhD programs for fall 2020. Check the individual program website for appropriate deadlines.

We are no longer accepting applications for the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences for fall 2020. We encourage you to apply for fall 2021. The application will open in July 2020.

If you are a non-U.S. applicant for the fall 2020 term, we are no longer accepting international applications. We encourage you to apply for fall 2021 programs. Applications will open in July 2020.

Test Scores and Other Application Requirements

Complete your application with all available materials. We will review your application materials on an ongoing basis. We encourage you to take advantage of online testing resources as soon as possible.

Online GRE and TOEFL are available in specific countries

Educational Testing Service announced that online versions of the GRE and TOEFL are available in specific countries and will likely be extended to other areas soon.

We will accept the online version of the above exams for graduate programs in the Jacobs School.

What if I can’t get my final transcript and proof of degree?

We understand there may be disruptions in services at other institutions related to COVID-19. We will evaluate each situation and be as flexible and accommodating as possible.

I have an admit for fall 2020. Do I have to take the GRE again if there are visa issues and I start in spring 2021?

No, you would not need to retake the GRE; you would be an admitted student considered for the next available term.

You may need to retake the GRE exam if you decide to apply to a different program than the one to which you were admitted.

Deferred Attendance

Can I defer my admission to spring 2021 or fall 2021?

You can start our programs in fall only. Contact us to find out if you are eligible for a deferral and what the next applicable term would be for your enrollment.

International Admissions

We admit students from many countries and recognize that not all countries will lift COVID-19 restrictions at the same time, so we are currently evaluating all options for admitted students to begin their programs on time.

We are looking at both partial and full distance learning possibilities for students who may not be able to move to Buffalo by August 2020.

When will the university send me an I-20?

In late March, the Office of International Admissions began sending digital copies of I-20s to students, and in early May, resumed courier shipping and mailing of original I-20s.

The digital copy provides access to your SEVIS ID number and the SEVIS School Code for UB. With this information, you can apply for a visa appointment when U.S. consulates reopen.

It is preferred that you use the original Form I-20 when you arrive at the US Consulate for your visa interview and when you enter the United States. We hope that you will receive the original prior to your interview, but if not, you can use the attached scanned copy.

When are I-20s issued?

We can begin processing your I-20 once we receive your documentation.

The timeline for you to receive your I-20 is 3-4 weeks after you submit all required documentation. Be sure to select the “Express Courier” shipping option.

What is the last date to send documents for I-20 processing?

There is no specific deadline for submitting immigration documents.

We encourage you to complete these steps as soon as possible so that when shipping and visa appointments resume, you have the appropriate materials to move forward.

Pay your DS-160 and SEVIS fee now

We recommend you complete the DS-160 and pay the SEVIS fee now.

What if I pay the SEVIS fee and complete the DS-160 and admission is deferred?

Your I-901 SEVIS fee remains valid regardless of the I-20 start date.

If your admission is deferred, UB can also defer the I-20 to a future term.

Visit for more information on the I-901 SEVIS fee.

I am having issues getting bank documents for I-20. What should I do?

We understand the challenge you may have securing appropriate financial documentation due to COVID-19 closures.

You should continue, to the best of your ability, to work to get your bank documents and other I-20 documents as soon as possible.

We can begin processing your I-20 once we receive all of your required documentation.


All visa issuance questions should be directed to your local U.S. consulate office.

Visa appointment and issuance are regulated by the U.S. government. Information about visa appointment wait times, news and alerts can be found at the U.S. Department of State website.

You can also contact your local U.S. consulate office for specific information about the impact of COVID-19 on visa issuance in your area.

Private Visa Documentation Processing

If you are considering using a private visa documentation processing firm, be aware that their specific calendars are separate from those of the U.S. Department of State or consulate offices. Private visa processing firms may have different availability and dates.

When will embassies and consulates begin issuing appointments?

U.S. embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020.

Embassies and consulates will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date.

We encourage you to check in with your embassy and consulate regularly to monitor visa appointment changes.

What if I can’t get a visa due to suspension issues and am unable to reach Buffalo by the time my program starts?

If your arrival in Buffalo is delayed by any COVID-19 related issue, we will continue to inform you of your enrollment options and ask that you work with your admissions team to understand the impacts for your specific program. 

We will contact you directly via email if any changes occur that affect your program.

We will also share updates via this page.