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International Students

Please note we are currently experiencing issues with the Common Application, and we are unable to import applications in order to communicate with applicants about next steps. This is a known issue that the Common Application is working to fix. Once the issue has been resolved, you will receive email instructions on how to log onto the application portal and upload your portfolio.

Please note that this delay will not negatively impact your application; the deadline for transfer students applying for the spring semester has been extended to November 1, 2018. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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

Deadlines

Fall 2019

The priority deadline for Fall 2019 is February 1, 2019 for first-time college students. Students applying for Early Action should submit all materials by December 1.

The priority deadline for transfer students is March 1, 2019. Please note transfer students are not eligible to apply for Early Action.

SPRING 2019

Transfer applicants who meet specific prerequisites may apply for the spring semester which begins in January. The deadline for Spring 2019 has been extended to November 1, 2018.

Beyond these deadlines, applications are reviewed on a space-available basis. International students requiring a student visa should allow ample time to fulfill legal requirements associated with obtaining one. If accepted, please plan to submit a tuition deposit by May 1 for Fall 2019.

International Applicant Requirement Checklist

  • 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)

Application Form and Fee

Students should apply online by completing the Common Application. The application form and $70 fee must be submitted to be considered for admission.

Apply

  • Step 1: Complete the Common Application and pay the application fee by credit card, following the link above
  • 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
Application Fee Waiver

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 guidance 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.

Essay

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. 

Portfolio

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.

Portfolios must be submitted digitally. Please apply using the Common Application, and a link will be provided for you to complete your portfolio.

Official Transcripts

International applicants are required to submit academic records that have been converted to the U.S. educational equivalents. 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. Some recommended centers are:

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.

Official english proficiency exam scores

MassArt does not offer an intensive English language program. Students are expected to be proficient in English before applying for admission. In addition to all other admission requirements, international students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English. To demonstrate English proficiency an official copy of one of the following English proficiency exam scores is required:

TOEFL (minimum scores)
213Computer-based test score
550Paper-based test score
Internet-based composite test score (iBT):
21Reading
19Listening
23Speaking
22Writing
85Overall Total

Please visit ETS for more information on taking the TOEFL. MassArt's code for the TOEFL is 3516. Please note that TOEFL scores are only valid for 2 years from the date of examination.

IELTS

For applicants taking the IELTS test, a score of 6.0 is required.

duolingo english test

For applicants taking the DuoLingo English Test, a minimum score of 54 is required.

The Pearson Test of English Academic
For applicants taking The Pearson Test of English Academic, a minimum score of 59 is required.

EXEMPTIONS
International students whose primary language is English are not required to submit English proficiency exam scores.
 

Students whose primary language is not English, but who are currently studying in the U.S., may qualify to have English proficiency exams waived. This is determined by the Admissions Office on an individual basis; please contact Yaritza Peña, Admissions Counselor, at ypena@massart.edu for additional information.

Two Letters of Recommendation

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, guidance 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 admissions@massart.edu. All recommendation letters must 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.

Résumé/list of activities

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.

Student Visa Information

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.

Proof of Graduation

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

Mailing address

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