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J-1 Exchange Students

Metropolitan State University of Denver welcomes prospective J-1 exchange students from our partner institutions. If you are a current student at one of the following universities, you may be eligible to join MSU Denver for 1 - 2 semesters as an exchange student, depending on your major and other eligibility requirements:

  • Facchochschule Dortmund - Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
    • Architecture, Design, and Business Studies
  • Dong-A University
    • College of Design and Creative Technology
  • Pädgogische Hochschule Zurich - Zurich University of Teacher Education
    • School of Education

Interested students should contact the exchange coordinator at their home institution for additional information regarding the nomination criteria. 

Apply to MSU Denver

Before you apply, please remember that your home institution needs to "screen" you for exchange. You should contact the exchange coordinator at your home university's International Office to discuss this process. They should then contact the Office of International Studies (studyabroad@msudenver.edu), International Student Support (intlsupport@msudenver.edu), and International Admissions (intladmissions@msudenver.edu) before you proceed with completing our application requirements. 

Complete the Application Requirements

All of the following documents should be submitted to the Office of International Admissions


Complete our online application. Please select that you are applying to MSU Denver as a Non-Degree student.

When asked, you should note that you will apply for a J-1 exchange visa.

To "waive" the $25 application fee, enter "exchange" in the promotional code field.

Your name, date of birth, and passport expiration date should be legible. A photo or scan are both acceptable.

TOEFL or IELTS Scores are required as proof of English Proficiency. Scores more than 2 years old are not accepted.

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Obtain a minimum score of 72 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), or a 533 on the paper-based TOEFL (PBT). An official score must be sent directly from TOEFL Services. MSU Denver's institution code is 4505.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Obtain an overall band score of 6.5 minimum. An official score must be sent directly from the testing company.

Some exceptions apply. Please review the "English Proficiency" section of the International Admissions website for further details. In some cases, certain academic departments at MSU Denver may accept lower scores. This is up to the discretion of the department.

Students requesting an DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 exchange student visa must show that they have enough money to pay for their time of study study at MSU Denver.  As an exchange student, this does NOT include costs for tuition. However, the financial estimate does includes certain fees as well as an estimate for living expenses. The current financial estimate for Fall 2018 for exchange students is $8,087 for one semester. For 2 semesters, this is estimated to cost $16,634. These estimates are subject to increase without warning.

The following financial documents are required before you are accepted to the university and receive an DS-2019:

  • An official bank statement showing sufficient liquid assets to cover fees, books & supplies, room & board, health insurance, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses for your period of study at MSU Denver (1 - 2 semesters). The bank statement must be on official bank letterhead, must be dated within the last 6 months, and must show the specific denomination and currency of the available funds.
  • The Affidavit of Financial Support form completed by yourself and your financial sponsor.  Please complete all sections and submit the form to the Office of Admissions.

Receive the DS-2019 and Admission Letter

After you complete the application process, you will be issued an admission letter and a DS-2019. The DS-2019 is the immigration document issued by MSU Denver which will allow you to apply for the J-1 exchange visa. We will be emailing you to notify you of your admission and to give you shipping instructions to receive your admission and immigration documents. You will need to read the email carefully and request express shipping as quickly as possible.

Apply for the J-1 Visa

Step 1: Schedule a visa interview appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Before scheduling your interview, you must be admitted to MSU Denver and you must have received your Form DS-2019 (see above). Visa interview appointments must be scheduled online. To schedule an appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you, visit https://www.usembassy.gov/.   

Step 2: Prepare all supplemental documentation to provide to the visa officer during your appointment. Required documentation includes:

  • All 2 pages of the Form DS-2019, provided by MSU Denver. The DS-2019 must be signed and dated by the applicant at the “Exchange Visitor Certification” section on the bottom of page one.
  • Nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160, available online at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.
  • Passport valid for at least six months after your intended date of entry in the U.S.
  • One 2x2-inch (51x51-mm) recent color photograph, showing full face, without head covering, against a white or off-white background.
  • Receipt of payment of the visa application fee.
  • Receipt of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee, payable online at https://www.fmjfee.com/#.
    • Be sure to write your name exactly as it appears on your DS-2019.
    • Print a copy of the receipt. You may wish to make copies of this receipt, as it may be needed for future visa applications.
    • MSU Denver will not pay this fee for you; you must pay this fee.

 Additional documentation that you should prepare includes:

  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended.
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution, such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
  • Financial evidence showing that you or your financial sponsors have sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for one year. This financial documentation should match what was provided to MSU Denver. Documentation may include affidavits of support, bank statements, scholarship letters, or other documents showing liquid assets available for educational support.
  • Proof of your binding ties to a residence in your home country which you have no intention of abandoning.

Step 3: Notify International Student Support after Receiving Approval for the J-1 Visa

Contact International Student Support after you have received approval for your J-1 visa. This will help us track your status. If you have any issues getting the J-1 visa, please notify International Student Support immediately.

Next Steps


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