• About

    In 2009, Zaytuna College was founded in Berkeley, California, with a mission that called for grounding students in the Islamic scholarly tradition as well as in the cultural currents and critical ideas shaping modern society.

  • Academics

    As a Muslim liberal arts college in the West, Zaytuna offers a curriculum that provides its students with a foundation in the intellectual heritage of two major world civilizations: the Islamic and the Western.

  • Admissions & Aid

    Our mission is to educate students to become morally, intellectually, and spiritually accomplished individuals ready to contribute to our contemporary world in ways that are proportionate to their gifts and to the needs of human society.

  • Campus Life

    Zaytuna’s campus is on Holy Hill and students enter the College as part of a cohort, a community of learners that travel together through the curriculum.

International Students

International Applicants

Zaytuna College accepts applications from international students. International students admitted to the  College must then apply for an F-1 student visa.

Although applying for an F-1 visa is not difficult, it can take a few weeks or months to obtain the visa. For this reason, it is recommended that students begin the visa application process as soon after admission as possible to ensure all the necessary steps are completed before the beginning of classes.

Arabic Language Proficiency Requirement

Due to regulations governing the F-1 student visa, international students are unable to join us for the Summer Arabic Intensive Program. Therefore, international students must first pass the Arabic Proficiency Test in order to receive an offer of admission. After evaluating your application, the Admissions Office may invite you to take the test covering material equivalent to the first twelve chapters of Al-Kitaab Fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part 1, 2nd Edition.

Learn more: Prepare for the Arabic Proficiency Test

Getting an I-20 from Zaytuna College

To apply for an F-1 student visa, applicants must first obtain a Declaration and Certification of Financial Resources Form I-20 from Zaytuna College.

The I-20 documents, among other things, financial ability to cover the cost of attendance for the first academic year at Zaytuna College. Applicants must have a letter of admission, an I-20, and proof of financial resources in order to apply for the F-1 visa.


  • Copy of current valid passport

  • Completed Certificate of Financial Resources

  • Financial documents

  • Bank statement or letter from the bank

  • Scholarship information, if applicable

  • Educational loan information, if applicable

  • Address exactly as printed on a FedEx label

All documentation must be provided to the primary designated school officer (PDSO) or designated school officer (DSO) at Zaytuna College at pdso@zaytuna.edu. The College then creates and sends the I-20 to the applicant to apply for a visa. Applicants must inform the PDSO upon receipt of their visa.

After international students have received the I-20, they need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee (see https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2013/01/whatis-the-i-901-sevis-fee). Students need the I-20 and proof of fee payment for their visa appointment at a U.S. consulate. When students have received their visa and travel to the United States, all documents must likewise be presented at the port of entry, no more than thirty days before the program start date listed on the I-20.


The primary designated school officer (PDSO) provides resources and support to international students regarding their application for F-1 visa status to ensure compliance with U.S. federal regulations. They can be reached at pdso@zaytuna.edu. The College also refers applicants to www.studyinthestates.dhs.gov.


International Students FAQ

What are the steps to apply as an international student?

The process is similar to that for U.S. students. In addition to all regular admissions requirements, international non-native English speaker applicants must also submit TOEFL, IELTS, CEFR level, or Duolingo English Test scores. Additionally, international applicants must pass the Arabic Proficiency Test in order to receive an offer of admission. You can learn more about the Arabic Proficiency Test on this webpage.

Does my foreign diploma qualify me for undergraduate studies?

Zaytuna College assesses transcripts based on the educational system of your country and the level of studies.

My transcripts are not in English. What do I do?

All transcripts in a language other than English must be translated by your school or a professional translating service. Transcripts that are not translated will not be accepted.

Are international students eligible for financial aid?


When do I submit a financial verification form or proof that I am able to pay for my studies?

Financial verification is requested after you are admitted to Zaytuna College or when you apply to financial aid.

Can international students apply to the MA program?

Yes, the MA program is now open to international students.