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International Students

Application Requirements

International students are an important part of MassArt's diverse population, enhancing the college's cultural and artistic community.

  • Before applying, applicants should review MassArt's admissions standards
  • Once international students are formally admitted to MassArt, they are required to submit information in order to apply for a F-1 student visa status. Learn more

Apply as a First-time College Student

Apply as a Transfer Student

    • FALL 2022 The priority deadline for first-time college students for Fall 2022 is February 1, 2022. The priority deadline for transfer students is March 1, 2022.

      SPRING 2022 Transfer applicants who meet specific prerequisites may apply for the spring semester which begins in January. The deadline is October 15, 2021.
      • • Application form and $70 application fee
      • • Essay
      • • Portfolio
      • • Official transcripts
      • • Official English language proficiency exam scores
      • • Two letters of recommendation
      • • Résumé / list of activities
      • • Proof of graduation
      • • Declaration and Verification of Finances (for student visa)
    • Students should apply online by completing the Common Application. The application form and a $70 fee must be submitted to be considered for admission. Please plan on completing the following steps after the application is made available in September:

      • • Step 1: Complete the Common Application and pay the application fee by credit card
      • • Step 2: Upload supplementary materials electronically or mail/deliver them to MassArt's Admissions Office
      • • Step 3: Upload the portfolio; after submitting the Common Application, you will be emailed a link (within two days of receipt of your application) through which you can upload the portfolio
      • • Step 4: Check the status of your application using the application portal

      An application fee waiver request will be considered in cases of extreme financial hardship substantiated by a College Board fee waiver form issued from your school counselor or a letter from your social worker, financial aid officer, or clergy person. This waiver may be submitted by fax, email, or mail. Your application will not be considered complete until this request is received by the Admissions Office.

    • The application essay gives you an opportunity to express yourself in words and gives the Admissions Committee more insight into who you are as an individual. Please answer one of the following questions, and provide a statement of at least 500 words:

      1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
      2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
      3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
      4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
      5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
      6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
      7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
    • Submit a selection of 15-20 examples of your strongest and most recent artwork, reflecting your interests, skills, and willingness to explore, experiment, and express yourself. Your portfolio may concentrate on a single medium or may show a variety of media. We encourage you to include work representing a sustained interest and/or development over time.

      If you are a transfer student who has completed studio art or design courses at the college (university) level, you may submit up to 45 examples in your portfolio. Keeping in mind the guidelines listed above, please submit 3-5 examples from each class, reflecting the knowledge gained in those courses. Transfer credit will be awarded based on the strength of the examples provided.

      Tips for Developing Your Portfolio




      The MassArt Application is completed in two phases:

      Phase 1: Complete and submit the MassArt Common Application. After the Common Application is submitted you will receive two emails with login information and a link to the MassArt Applicant Portal. It can take up to 24 hours after submitting your Common Application to receive these emails - plan your time accordingly.

      Phase 2: Upload portfolio and submit remaining materials. On the MassArt Applicant Portal you will be able to upload your portfolio, see missing materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc), and the check status of your application. The Applicant Portal has many resources for applicants about application requirements, financial aid, scholarships, next steps, and more. Decision letters are released on the Applicant Portal.

    • International applicants are required to submit academic records that have been converted to the U.S. educational equivalents. This includes course-by-course evaluations for both secondary school (high school) and college transcripts. Massachusetts College of Art and Design requires official evaluations of secondary and post-secondary transcripts or records from other countries. These evaluations can take up to six weeks to complete, so please begin this process early. Evaluations must be arranged through NACES or AICE approved members.

      International applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside of the U.S. are required to submit official (original, attested, or certified true) copies of academic records for secondary school education and any college-level study. Please note that this should begin with the first year of secondary school or high school. Credentials in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified literal English translation. Translations must be complete, literal, word-for-word translations and mirror the original document.

      All secondary (high school) and post-secondary (college) transcripts should be converted into the U.S. educational equivalencies. Records that are not converted into the U.S. equivalencies must have a course-by-course evaluation by an external evaluation agency and should include:

      • • Name of the educational institution
      • • Country where it is located
      • • Length of study and its U.S. equivalent
      • • Courses studied by year
      • • A conversion of grades and/or examinations to the U.S. grade equivalents of A, B, C, D and F on a 4-point scale
      • • Total credits earned and conversion of course hours to U.S. semester hours
      • • U.S. degree equivalent

      Applicants with previous university-level studies should submit official course descriptions or syllabi for all course work completed.

    • Students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting official TOEFL, IELTS, DuoLingo, or the Pearson Test of English scores as part of the application process. Learn More.
    • Letters of recommendation can be very helpful in consideration of your application. It's best to choose someone who can discuss your potential as a student, your motivation, skills, background, and character. This person should have first-hand knowledge of your art or academic achievements. We recommend asking someone, such as an art teacher, liberal arts teacher, school counselor, employer, or mentor.

      Using the Common Application, you can provide the contact information of the recommender, and they will be able to submit an online form on your behalf. We will also accept letters of recommendation via postal mail, or e-mail sent directly from the reference's account to All recommendation letters must be sent by the reference, or be on signed high school, college, or business letterhead and sent in a sealed envelope. We will not accept recommendation letters sent by a student or family member that have not been signed and sealed by the reference.
    • Include a list of your activities including employment, community service, school clubs, organizations, and extracurricular interests. Specify positions held (if any), length of service, and awards or prizes.
    • Once international students are formally admitted to MassArt, they are required to submit information in order to apply for F-1 student visa status. Learn More.
    • MassArt requires proof of graduation for all first year and transfer students. This is necessary for both residency documentation and financial aid verification.

      Transfer applicants with an academic transcript that indicates they have successfully completed at least two years of post-secondary education (48 or more credits, not including college credits completed while in high school), have adequate documentation to fulfill the proof of graduation requirement. If credits are currently in progress, you must provide the final college transcript noting successful competition of those course in order to enroll. Failure to do so will require you to submit your proof of graduation, and you will not be able to start classes without proper documentation. To satisfy this requirement, you may submit one of the following:
      • • A final high school transcript from a U.S. high school or U.S.-accredited high school, including a date of graduation; signed, stamped, or sealed by a school official, and sent from your high school or recognized third-party vendor
      • • A Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) results sent directly from the testing organization
      • • An official copy of documentation sent directly from the IB Organization indicating that a diploma has been awarded
      • • Some national exam results: GCE/GCSE exams (O-Level and AS-level), India Secondary School Examinations, Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Exams, and CAPE I, etc.
      • • Home-schooled students have the additional option to submit a letter from a local school district official or state education agency certifying that the student received an education substantially equivalent to instruction given to students graduating from high school in a public or private institution
    • If you are mailing materials, please address your package to:

      Office of Admissions
      Massachusetts College of Art and Design
      621 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115
    • Admissions decision letters are released electronically within a student's Application Portal. Decisions are released on a rolling basis, beginning in early January for Early Action applicants. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your application to be reviewed once it is complete to receive a decision.

      If you have questions about your decision letter, please contact the Admissions Office.