If you're looking for a home away from home, you've found the right place

As an international student at SCNM, you’ll not only be prepared for a successful career as an ND, but be surrounded by classmates and faculty who will become your second family.

Naturopathic medicine draws from the ingenuity of traditional medicine practiced around the world. We look for more than GPAs and test scores; we seek students who have an intellectual curiosity, passion for health and the diversity of thought and cultural experience so critical in holistic healing.

Our student body is amazingly diverse; our students come from over 35 states and 14 countries. When you become part of the SCNM community, your experiences and connections will open doors to limitless possibilities. Now is an exciting time to become a naturopathic physician, and we are here to give you the foundation you need to make your mark in the world--whether it’s in your home country, the U.S. or as an international traveler.

To apply to SCNM, please complete all the standard admission requirements found here, along with the following requirements:

International transcript evaluation/translation by professional international transcript service (for all foreign course work)

Your foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a member organization of either the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Education Credentials (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE). Fees for this service are the responsibility of the applicant.

Language requirements for international applicants

SCNM’s Admissions Office reserves the right to require International applicants whose first language is not English to provide an English Language Test report (IELTS or TOEFL preferred) from an approved testing site. SCNM requires a minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based test or IELTS Band 6.5.

International students

International students do not qualify for U.S. federal financial aid. However, there are other options to help fund your SCNM education including alternative or private loans. Please be aware that these options require a United States citizen or permanent resident as a co-signer. 

Canadian students

Canadian students may be eligible to apply for Canadian student loans through their respective provincial governments. You are responsible for initiating the process of financial assistance from your province. Documentation must be sent to the SCNM Financial Aid Office for completion of the required information and returned to the appropriate provincial government.

If you receive financial aid from your provincial government, you will be held to the same payment deadlines for tuition as all other students. Tuition must be paid in full by the first day of a term. If provincial financial aid is received by SCNM after you have paid, a refund of excess tuition will be issued to you within ten business days. 

F-1 Student Visa

If you are a non-immigrant student, your spouse and children may be admitted into the United States in the F-1 classification during your course of full-time study. This does not apply if you hold dual citizenship, are lawful permanent residents, or have a valid business visa.

If you are applying for an F-1 Student Visa, you must satisfy/submit the following SEVIS requirements:

1. Complete all outstanding admission requirements

2. Submit an admission deposit

3. Submit a completed SCNM Financial Guarantee Form

4. Supply documentation of sufficient funds. Sufficient funds must cover the cost of the first year of school, books, student fees, and all living expenses. All payments to the College must be made in US funds. Official bank statements, a signed letter of support or an affidavit of support (available from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services), sponsor income verification, or other proof of liquid assets is required to document sufficient funds. The amount required to cover expenses for the first year is listed on the SCNM Financial Guarantee form. 

Documentation of sufficient funds is required because the U.S. federal government prohibits off-campus employment during the first year of international study. International students are limited to no more than 20 hours a week of on-campus employment while school is in session and may work full-time during vacation periods, as long as they have maintained status and intend to register for the following quarter. International students are not eligible for federal or state funded student aid programs but may obtain private loans with a U.S. citizen or resident co-borrower. Canadian students also have access to the Canadian federal student loan program.

I-20 application form

Upon acceptance to SCNM, you can begin working with the admissions office to initiate the I-20 application immediately. The director of admissions processes and issues the I-20 forms for students with full admission after receipt of admission deposit.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our admissions team.

SCNM Designated Student Officials (DSO)

Your designated school officials (DSOs) are people dedicated to help you, as an F or M student, to maintain your non-immigrant status while you attend a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school

Dean Ken Donnelly
Dean of Students

Melissa Winquist
Vice President of Student Affairs

Post Completion Practical Training

Overview of F-1 Optional Practical Training

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available for F-1 students who are about to graduate/graduated and have secured or are in the process of securing a full-time work opportunity and wish to remain in the U.S. In order to secure optional practical training (OPT) a student must find and secure an employment opportunity, complete a required form and follow an application process. An initial period of 12 months may be awarded by Immigration (USCIS) per degree level. OPT requires that you pursue employment in your area of study, but does not require a specific employer at the time of filing.

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT) and what do you need to know?

  • Optional practical training is one type of work permission available for eligible F-1 students. It allows graduates to get real-world work experience related to their field of study.
  • While a Designated School Official (DSO) recommends OPT in SEVIS, it is the student who must apply for the work permit with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If the OPT is approved, USCIS will issue an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The student must not begin working before the start date on the EAD.
  • No more than 90 days of unemployment is permitted during the initial 12 months of post-completion OPT. Exceeding the limit of unemployment constitutes a loss of your legal status. Be sure to report your changes in employment and address to your Designated Student Officer (DSO) promptly.

OPT eligibility

To apply for OPT you must first obtain a new I-20 from an SCNM DSO documenting your eligibility for OPT. You will subsequently submit a paper-based application for employment authorization to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). You must be in lawful F-1 status at the time of filing, and your period of OPT may commence only immediately following at least two full and continuous quarters of enrollment.

Application essentials

Applications for post-completion OPT must be filed and reach USCIS:

  • No earlier than 90 days prior to the completion of study which corresponds to the end date of your I-20.
  • No later than during the grace period, presuming you have not departed the U.S. once studies are completed.
  • Within 30 days of the issuance, date on the original OPT-endorsed Form I-20 given to you by the SCNM DSO.

NOTE: If you have not completed all coursework for your degree and are unsure that you will complete your degree on time, you should consult your SCNM DSO before submitting the application for OPT.

Requesting Start & End Dates of Employment

Students may request OPT to begin on any date from the day after the date of completion of studies up to 60 days after the date of completion of study. Applications for OPT can take three months or more for the USCIS to adjudicate so it is very important to plan accordingly.

Authorized period of employment

Students may not begin working until they have received a valid OPT employment authorization card (EAD) issued by the USCIS and the start date has been reached.

How to apply for F-1 OPT

Step One: Complete the SCNM Online I-20 Request for OPT and Form I-765. Visit the USCIS website for more information. Please complete Form I-765 electronically, save it and print it.

Step Two: Bring printed Form 1-765 along with supporting materials (if available) to an SCNM DSO. Do not submit to our office earlier than the 90 days prior to the end of your I-20.

Step Three: : DSO will review all materials and endorse. Pick up the endorsed Forms I-20 and Form I-765 from the SCNM DSO, and follow the OPT USCIS Filing Instructions. The OPT I-20 and full application must be in the hands of Immigration no later than 30 days after the OPT I-20's issue date. Do not E-File your application.

Step Four (optional): Complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, if you wish to receive email and/or text messages when your application has been received. NOTE: USCIS will continue to mail the receipt notices to you. Completion and submission of this form for email and/or text message notification is an option for you and not a required form.

Reporting requirements while on OPT

While on OPT, students will must report address, phone number and employment information to their DSO. Coming soon: Students will be able to report address, phone number and employment information themselves directly through the SEVP Portal.


  • Residential Address
  • Phone & Email Address
  • Employer Information including full address
  • Start Date of Employment and End Date (if known)
  • Job Title
  • Supervisor's Name, Email Address and Phone Number
  • Any period of unemployment. You must inform your employer that they are also required to inform the SCNM DSO of a loss of employment.
  • Date of departure from the U.S.