General Information

Acronyms Commonly Used in This Application

  • YSU – Youngstown State University
  • IPO – International Programs Office
  • ELI – English Language Institute
  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • SAT – Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • ACT – American College Test


Important Definitions of Academic Terms and Admissions Terms

Throughout this booklet, you will find terms that may be new to you, especially if you are not familiar with American higher education. In this section, we will define some of the most frequently used terms to help you better understand the information. Other terms will be defined elsewhere as needed. Most of these terms are used in all American higher education institutions.

Associate degree: Generally 2-year degree. It does not qualify you to enter graduate school.

Bachelor's degree: A 4-year degree at most American colleges and universities. It normally qualifies you to enter graduate study. A bachelor's degree usually represents four years of full time higher education.

Credits or credit hours: Degrees are awarded based on the accumulation of credits. All degrees require a minimum number of credits and have specific course and curriculum requirements that are also measured by credits. In practice the number of credits a course carries roughly approximates the number of hours per week spent in lecture, classroom discussion, and/or laboratory.

Semester system: Semesters are fifteen weeks in length, plus a sixteenth week for final exams. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. are on some form of the semester or quarter system. When transferring from one system to the other, most U.S. colleges and universities agree that 1 semester hour equals 1.5 quarter hours.

Freshman (or new freshman): In addition to the definition given below under "Rank or Standing," freshman has a specific meaning in the application process. It refers to someone who has graduated from high school and is entering a college or university for the first time: in other words, a matriculating student.

High School: The final years of secondary education which are generally defined as grades 9 through 12 in the U.S.

Major courses: These are courses you must take to fulfill the requirements for your chosen major (field of study).

Prerequisite or pre-major courses: When referring to courses, the terms "prerequisite" and "pre-major" are used interchangeably. They refer to specific YSU courses that are required for admission to a particular major. In most cases, you must complete all prerequisite courses before you can be admitted to a particular major.

Rank or standing: These terms refer to the number of credits a student has accumulated. Both transfer credits and credits earned at YSU count toward a student's rank (or standing).

Transfer Applicant: An applicant, who has graduated from high school and was enrolled in another accredited college or university for at least one course, is classified as a transfer applicant. This classification includes postgraduate applicants from other institutions seeking additional undergraduate course work.

Transfer credit: Transfer credit may be given by YSU for work completed at another accredited college or university.

Application Process

For you, the international applicant, admission to YSU involves three separate reviews. Your academic records and supporting documents are evaluated first. If your application receives a favorable academic admission recommendation, your file then undergoes English proficiency review. Finally, a financial review determines if you have sufficient financial support. If all three reviews are positive, you will be sent a formal notice of admission with the appropriate documents to obtain your visa. The first review determines your academic admissibility to the University, but without the other two reviews you will not be able to arrive in the United States and study at YSU.

The Point Average and Scholastic Standing

The student's scholastic standing is indicated by the quality point average (also called "grade point average," "grade average," or "point average").

For determining this, every grade has a quality point value for each semester hour it represents, as follows: A, four quality points; B, three points; C, two points; D, one point; F, zero points. To find the point average, the total number of quality points earned is divided by the total number of semester hours attempted. Thus a student who attempts 16 semester hours and earns 40 quality points has a point index of 2.50. Only grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in the calculation of the point average.

The transcripts you submit as part of your application are evaluated relative to this grading scale.

Admission Deferrals

If you decide to reapply within one year of your original application, you can do so by informing YSU's International Undergraduate Admissions Office. You will not need to send a new application form. Your request to reactivate your application must be received by the application deadline for the semester you now wish to enter.

Your request to reactivate your application must be accompanied by a new application fee payment if the semester you request is more than 2 semesters beyond the one to which you originally applied. If you have completed additional course work, you must submit a current transcript of the work and later a final transcript of any new work currently in progress. If your TOEFL or MELAB scores are more than two years old, you must submit new scores. Finally, if your Affidavit of Support form(s) and supporting bank statements will be more than six months old by the start of the new semester to which admission is sought, you must submit new documents.