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Center for International Students and Scholars (CISS)

Bentley University offers a warm and inviting community for international students and scholars to learn, engage, and grow personally and professionally.

The Center for International Students & Scholars (CISS) serves as a resource for our international community through immigration advising, cross-cultural programming, and resource referral.

CISS Hybrid Operations

The CISS office is operating in a hybrid format.  We are located on the top floor of the Student Center, Suite 310. We are accepting drop-ins visits during our in-person advising hours during the academic year. Please see "Contact Us" section below for more details about our in-person and virtual advising schedule. You may also contact us by phone, email, or via Zoom.

Spring 2023 In-Person Study Requirements - Undergraduate Students

Do I need to take a full course load?  

Yes, new and returning international undergraduate students must remain enrolled in a full course load to maintain F-1 status. This means 12 credits for undergraduate students.  Exceptions to this rule include students with pre-authorized reduced course loads and special student relief, and students in their final semester completing all remaining degree requirements. If you have remaining questions about your ability to take a full time course load, please contact the CISS at

Can I take online or hybrid classes? 

Bentley University has announced that all undergraduate courses will be taught in-person beginning fall 2022. Courses will not be available in a hybrid modality. Accordingly, all international undergraduate students will be expected to attend in-person classes on Bentley's campus.

Spring 2023 In-Person Study Requirements - Graduate Students

Do I need to take a full course load?

Graduate international students must take a minimum of 9 credits per semester, with the exception of your final semester, during which you are permitted to take only your remaining classes to graduate.

Can I take fully online classes?

While Bentley graduate classes are offered in a hybrid format (with in-person and online class sessions), new and returning international graduate students on F-1 visas will be expected to attend the majority of their classes in-person to maintain F-1 status beginning fall 2022. This means that you can take your full course load fully in-person each semester OR, if you choose to do so, only one of your courses (3 credits) towards your full-time requirement may be taken fully online. We recommend that students in hybrid courses with optional in-person class sessions track their in-person attendance using an Attendance Verification Form.

Can I study remotely from my home country?  

No, you cannot study fully remotely from  your home country or the U.S. (e.g., from another state) and maintain F-1 status. While remote study was temporarily allowed for specific groups of students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bentley University has returned to normal operations and students are therefore expected to study on campus. If you are a new graduate student unable to travel to the U.S. due to personal, visa, or travel-related difficulties, please contact Graduate Admissions ( for more information on deferring your enrollment.

Visa, Travel, and Vaccination Requirements for New & Returning Students

Consulate & Embassy Closures

Many U.S. consular posts suspended routine visa processing temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many consulates and embassies have since re-opened and resumed visa processing. Unfortunately, the CISS does not have detailed information about when individual U.S. embassies and consular posts will resume processing student visas. CISS will continue to issue and send I-20s to admitted students so that you are prepared to initiate your visa application as soon as the consular posts reopen. You should check your embassy or consulate’s website frequently for appointment availability.

What are the current quarantine, testing, and vaccination requirements? 

On June 10, 2022, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rescinded the prior general order from December 2021 requiring a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery in order to fly to the U.S.* As of 12:01AM Eastern Standard Time on June 12th, 2022, testing or proof of recovery is no longer required for most visitors. The full CDC announcement can be found hereProof of full COVID-19 vaccination is still required in order to board a flight to the U.S. Details on the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement are available on the CDC website here.

For more information about new requirements for travel, please review these additional sources:

  1. Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  2. Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers

The CISS continues to advise that students and scholars travel cautiously at this time. If you do travel, remember to take the below documents for re-entry:

  1. Valid unexpired F-1/J-1 visa in passport
  2. Passport (valid at least 6 months from date of re-entry)
  3. Most recent I-20/DS-2019 with travel signature signed within last 12 months for students (6 months for OPT/STEM OPT)
  4. OPT Applicants: EAD Card (or I-797 Receipt or Approval Notice)
  5. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination 

*Students traveling to Bentley from China, Hong Kong, or Macau:  Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in China, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) now requires anyone traveling to the United States from China, Hong Kong or Macau [or who has been present in these locations within the past 10 days] to show a negative COVID-19 viral test within 2 days of travel OR proof of recovery from the past 90 days. For more information about this new requirement, please visit the CDC website.  

Bentley University Requirements: You can find Bentley’s updated information on testing, vaccination, and quarantine requirements on the Back to Bentley website. Please check the website and your Bentley email regularly for important updates as more information becomes available. 

Travel Signatures & I-20 Reprint Requests

In order to re-enter the U.S., you must have a travel signature on page 2 of your form I-20 from the past 12 months. If you are on OPT, you must have a signature from the past 6 months. You can come to our office with your I-20 to request a travel signature, OR you can request for a new I-20 to be sent to you via email for you to PRINT and SIGN.

In-person travel signatures: Please come to the CISS office, Student Center Suite 310, Monday - Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm

Requesting an I-20 with a travel signature via email: If you are unable to come to campus, the CISS can issue you a new I-20 for you to print, sign, and use for travel. To obtain an updated I-20 or travel signature, you can request a new I-20 on our website.

Open Advising Information

Spring 2023 Schedule Beginning Week of January 23rd

  •  IN-PERSON OPEN ADVISING (Student Center, Suite 310) 

                   Wednesdays: 1:00pm - 3:00pm (EST)

                   Mondays: 1:00pm - 3:00pm (EST)

                   Thursdays: 1:00pm - 3:00pm (EST)

During open advising hours, an advisor will be on duty to answer your questions regarding your immigration status, travel, documents, and more! You do not need an appointment.  If you are unable to attend virtual advising hours or have a complex or personal situation that may not be able to be answered in a 10-15 minute open advising session with an advisor, please reach out to to request a personal appointment. 


Each Fall, Bentley celebrates the rich cultural fabric of our University through a week-long celebration. CultureFest includes activities, food, music and presentations all around campus.

Learn More


Graduate international students educate the Bentley community about their home country, culture, and traditions through the WorldView program. The goal is to increase awareness and intercultural sensitivity for everyone by encouraging dialogue and global citizenship.

Learn More


Degree Seeking International Students


Alumni on Post-Completion Work Authorization


Semester or Year-Long Exchange Students

CISS Staff

Contact Us

CISS Semester Hours (August - May): Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST)

Phone: 781-891-2829 | Fax: 781-891-2845 | Email:

Office Location: Student Center, Suite 310*

*Please see above "Open Advising" schedule