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COVID-19 Admission Questions

Although much in the world has changed this year, one thing remains consistent at Saint Louis University: We are excited for you to be a Billiken.

We know you might have a lot of questions about this fall at SLU, especially if next year will be your first year of college. We've provided answers to questions we're hearing frequently below. If your question is not addressed, please contact us at and visit our admissions and admitted student pages for more information and to connect with other current and future Billikens.

General Questions

According to the new EU travel restrictions, I am unable to travel to Spain. What should I do?

We understand that the EU-wide travel restrictions, announced on June 30, 2020 and effective July 1, may cause a disruption in your plans for this fall. The royal decree, available in Spanish, states that travelers in possession of a valid student visa will be able to enter Spain, provided they are free of symptoms. 

This means that students who do not possess an EU passport must obtain a student visa and may not travel on a visa waiver; those whose habitual residency is in a country that does not have a travel restriction should get a student visa whenever possible.

Which countries are not included on the EU’s travel ban?

Currently, the list of countries that do not have a travel restriction are; EU member states, including Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City; Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, and provisionally China, pending a reciprocity agreement.

Is the Madrid Campus open? Can I visit campus?

Our campus facilities are open by prior appointment, but let’s connect virtually! We've updated resources on our Virtual Visit page. Follow and interact with us on social media (@slumadrid on Instagram) to find out about our community and life on campus.

If in-person classes cannot be conducted in the fall as planned, what is SLU-Madrid's contingency plan?

We are going forward with a hybrid fall semester that will include both online components, held at the beginning and end of the semester, as well as in-person classes. If local authorities prohibit in-person classes, we will conduct classes online. 

Can I defer my admission to January? 

Yes. You can defer your admission and merit scholarship (if applicable) for up to one full year, allowing you to start in either January 2021 or September 2021. Please email the Office of Admissions if you choose to do so. 

Can I get a refund on my fees and tuition paid if I am incapacitated due to COVID-19 illness or travel restrictions in Spain or my home country? 

Yes. See the tuition reimbursement schedule found on our Tuition and Fees page under Class Refund Policy. SLU-Madrid can also defer your confirmation fee and housing fees to a future semester or process a refund. 


First-year and transfer applicants for Fall 2020

Are you still accepting applications for the Fall 2020 semester? 

Yes. Applications continue to be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis for Fall 2020. For students who do not possess a European Union passport, the application deadline is May 31. EU passport holders may apply until August 1.  

What will you use to determine admission if I don’t have grades for my last semester in high school?

Admission decisions can be made with the coursework and grades provided on a seven-semester transcript. Final transcripts are due prior to registration for the second semester at SLU.  

Standardized tests and/or university readiness exams in my country have been postponed or canceled altogether. What will you review to make an admission decision?

For Fall 2020 applicants, we will review academic performance of the last three to four years (equivalent to grades 9-12 in the American system) without the university readiness exams/standardized test scores if they are unavailable because of cancellations due to COVID-19. As admission decisions are holistic, we will also review your essay, letters of recommendation and any other supporting documents.  

How will you evaluate for merit scholarships if I don’t have my final university-readiness exams when I apply?

We will use the academic performance average of grades 9-12 (or local equivalent) to make merit scholarship decisions.  

Will there be any changes to the requirements to receive transfer credits for AP or IB exams?

No. We will honor AP/IB scores as they have amended their policies due to COVID-19. You can reference our AP/IB credits transfer page to see what credits will be awarded by score.  

My last semester high school dual credit courses were online. Will they still count for college credit? 

Yes, as long as they appear on an official transcript from the high school or college. 

My school has closed. How can I submit official documentation, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation or proof of graduation? 

Generally secondary schools can submit documentation through a digital document system like Parchment. If electronic submission is impossible, we will accept electronic documents directly from a school official, such as a college/career counselor. 

Does SLU-Madrid accept Duolingo for English Language Proficiency requirements? 

Yes. For the Fall 2020 intake we have expanded admission criteria to allow the review of Duolingo scores for all points of entry (Academic English, 1-Semester Bridge Program and direct entry). Students must achieve a composite score of at least 80 for entry into the Academic English Program, at least 100 for the 1-Semester Bridge Program and at least 120 for direct entry to degree programs.


Fall 2020 admitted first-year and transfer students

My GPA went down in my last semester because I didn’t do as well in online classes. Will that affect my admission and scholarship? 

No. We recognize the significant stresses of this semester, and changes in your GPA after admission to the University will be evaluated in light of the COVID-19 situation.  

What is the last day to submit a confirmation fee? 

We have extended our May 1 confirmation deadline to May 31 this year. Students admitted after May 1 will have one month to confirm their admission.  

When is orientation? 

Welcome Days are your introduction to SLU-Madrid and will allow you to meet new students, our current student Campus Ambassadors, faculty and staff. While this event is typically held just before classes begin, we have moved Welcome Days to September 12 and 13, immediately before in-person teaching that begins on September 14. If you are planning to arrive before Welcome Days, our campus will be open for study, group activities and general socializing.

I have U.S. federal financial aid that stipulates I must be enrolled as a full-time student. Will the online component of the Fall 2020 semester affect my federal aid?

No, it will not affect your aid. The semester will last a full 16 weeks so that the recipients of any federal aid will be able to receive those benefits. If you have additional questions about your specific case, please email

If I defer, can I keep my scholarship?

Yes, your scholarship would move to the deferred semester. If you were to take more than 24 university credits at another institution before coming to SLU, your application for admission would be re-reviewed as a transfer applicant, and you would be considered for transfer scholarships.

Will there be any changes to the financial aid packages?

We recognize that the current public health crisis may bring unexpected financial hardships to students and their families, and we are committed to supporting students during this challenging time. We encourage students facing financial hardships to contact the Office of Financial Aid at

If I defer to spring or next fall, can I take classes online or with another institution and transfer in credits?

If you take classes at an accredited institution in the American university system, we can generally review courses for transfer credits. We can assist in identifying the courses you should take to ensure that they would transfer. If you take more than 24 credits at the university level (after graduating from high school), we will review your application again as a transfer student.  

SLU-Madrid also offers students the option to complete their first semester entirely online should they so choose.

I need a visa to travel to Spain. Will SLU-Madrid provide the necessary paperwork? What will I do if my consulate will not reopen before September?

SLU-Madrid provides visa documentation that includes an official letter of invitation and an official document stating specifics of the program of study. Students who do not hold a European Union or U.S. passport will need to make payment for one full semester’s tuition for SLU-Madrid to issue your student visa documentation. If your consulate won’t reopen until September and you need a visa to enter Spain, we suggest deferring your admission until January.  

I will be a minor when the in-person session begins in September. Will I need to get a visa or complete additional paperwork?

Traveling to Spain as a minor depends on two factors: your nationality and when you turn 18.  

The most complete information is available on our Visas for Spain page. 

I am a European passport holder. Can I arrive in Spain earlier than September 11?

SLU-Madrid staff will be ready to welcome students on August 28. If you plan to use University-sponsored housing, you are welcome to move in August 28, and we will have on-campus facilities open for your use. We will also program activities for students who are able to join us at this time. If you cannot join us until September 11, that’s OK, too. 

If you are not a Spanish citizen, you must register your residency within 30 days of arrival. The Office of Student Life will give you additional mentoring help. 

I live near SLU’s main campus in St. Louis (Missouri, USA). Can I start classes at the main campus?

We want you to be a Billiken. Starting at the University’s main campus in St. Louis, Missouri, and joining us in the spring is a great option.  If you live near St. Louis, write to so that we can explore this possibility with you. 


Visiting (study abroad) students  

The in-person portion of the fall semester lasts just 86 days. Do I need to apply for a visa?

Yes. Students who are not European passport holders must apply for a visa at the consulate that serves their state or region. Please visit our Visas for Spain page for complete information.

I’m staying with a host family. Will fees be adjusted for the shorter in-person session?

Yes. Students will pay housing fees according to their move-in date; rates are available on our website.  

When should I plan to arrive?

Students should plan to arrive in Madrid on September 11 and depart on December 5. These dates are not flexible. 

Is there orientation?

Mandatory Welcome Sessions for visiting students will be held on September 11. Visiting students should plan to arrive on Friday, September 11. 


For graduate students

Will the M.A. in Political Science program be postponed or deferred to the spring semester?

We will launch the M.A. in Political Science program in the fall according to the academic calendar dates. 

I am unable to take the GRE or MAT exams due to cancellations. Will SLU-Madrid admit me on condition?

Yes. The GRE exam is a requirement for application review. ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test center. Please see the ETS page for eligibility.