Graduate International Program Frequently Asked Questions

Is Belhaven University Accredited?

Yes, click here for Accreditation information.

What does it mean for a college to be accredited?

Belhaven University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Belhaven University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on the SACSCOC’s website (

Why is accreditation important?

As stated on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation web site, accreditation is important because:

  • Accreditation recognizes that an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality.
  • Employers ask if a college, university, or program is accredited before deciding to provide tuition assistance to current employees, evaluating the credentials of new employees, or making a charitable contribution.

What is the format of the online class?

You will have assignments due each week, but it's up to you to decide when and where you complete those.  Your assignment deadlines will be clearly communicated by your professor at the beginning of each semester. You will be required to post a discussion board by Wednesday of each week. You will also watch video lectures and read required assignments made by the professor. Assignments are due each week on Saturday.

What is the cost?

Your costs for the hybrid with CPT program are tuition, a resource fee, CPT fee, books, and a graduation audit fee. Please see the Tuition web page for a complete listing of costs.

Are transfer credits accepted?

Transfer credits are accepted at the undergraduate and graduate level. Please contact the Graduate International Office at 601-974-6366 or e-mail

How do I know what textbooks I need to purchase for each class?

Students are required to purchase their books for each class. The Belhaven bookstore offers competitive pricing and even offers rental options for some textbooks.  You may also choose to purchase your books each term from your provider of choice. This will allow you to shop for the best price and best delivery method. Each term you'll need to know which class you are registered for and then a few weeks before class begins order your books to ensure timely delivery. You can find a listing of required books for each course on the Belhaven Barnes and Noble website.

How do I get a driver’s license?

You will need to contact your local department of motor vehicles in the state in which you reside. Each state may vary as to their requirements but at a minimum you will need to take your valid I-20 and a letter of good standing from Belhaven University. To obtain a letter of good standing please click here to fill out the form to request the letter.

Additional documents that may be required:

  • Valid passport
  • Current I-94
  • Proof of physical address (your home or apt. address not P.O. Box)
    • Lease or rental agreement, OR
    • Car registration receipt, OR
    • Electric or water bill
  • Social Security Card if applicant has one
  • Certified birth certificate and translation if birth certificate is not in English (translation has to be notarized).

Can I request a social security number (SSN)?

All students working the US must have a Social Security card. You will only be issued an SSN once in your lifetime so if you have lost your number, please contact your local social security office. All students in the hybrid CPT program at Belhaven University must apply for a social security card. (F-2 dependents are not eligible for an SSN)

How do I apply for an SSN?

You must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently residing in the US
  • Be within 30 days of the start of your employment as recorded on your I-20 (no earlier)
  • Have active I-20 and letter of employment. The letter of employment must be on company letterhead and include name of employee, position, start date, number of hours per week and general duties. Student is only eligible for a maximum of 20 hours per week while enrolled and school is in session. 
  • Find the closest office.
  • Take these documents to the Social Security Office:
    • Complete Social Security application
    • Passport
    • I-20 and current I-94
    • Employment Letter
    • Letter from DSO

Can I work while I am waiting for the SSN card?

Yes, you can work while your application is being processed. However, prior to beginning employment, the student must receive permission from the Designated Student Official (DSO) and a new I-20 noting the details of the CPT approval.

Can I take online classes?

Each semester F-1 students can take one online course per semester, according to the US immigration regulations.

What is the minimum course load?

International graduate students must maintain a course load of 6 credit hours per term.

What happens if I lose my passport?

If your passport is lost or stolen please follow these steps:

  • File a police report for the lost or stolen passport. Keep a copy of the police report for your records.
  • Report your lost/stolen passport to the Consulate or Embassy that issued your visa. You will need to include the following information:
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Place of birth
    • Address in the USA
    • Email address
    • Date passport was lost/stolen
  • When you return to your home country for a break period you will have to apply for a replacement visa. Your passport cannot be replaced within the USA. Take all documentation from steps 1 and 2 with you when you apply for replacement visa.

Are F-1 students required to file USA tax forms?

All F-1 students are required to file United States federal tax forms if you worked in the USA, earned any income in the USA or received a scholarship. Belhaven University does not have tax experts on staff so it is recommended to students seek the help of a tax professional to file your taxes. The deadline to file taxes in the US is April 15.

Am I required to attend New Student Orientation?

All graduate international students must complete orientation during their first face-to-face weekend residency. Attendance at all residencies is required. In addition, students must complete the online student orientation class in Canvas. Instructions for completion of the Canvas orientation will be sent after being accepted at Belhaven University. The online Canvas orientation must be completed before the start of the term.

What other resources are available to me as an F-1 student?

The US Department of Homeland Security is a great resource for F-1 students. Please bookmark this link:

Can I travel if I am participating in CPT?

You can travel when participating in CPT but you can’t work while you are traveling out of the country. Please be sure to carry documentation that shows you are on an approved holiday from work.

You must obtain a travel signature for re-entry to U.S.  Each endorsement is good for one year.