International Applicants

The University of the Arts welcomes applications from international students, a group that makes up approximately 6 percent of our campus population and that represents more than 30 countries of origin.

Educational Background

Students wishing to enter an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) program at the University of the Arts must have completed all of their country’s primary and secondary school requirements. To enter a graduate program, students need to have completed a full course of higher education and have earned the first academic or professional degree.

Application Deadlines

The University of the Arts operates on rolling admissions, which means there is no deadline for admission consideration. Applications will continue to be evaluated on a space-available basis. Due to lengthy procedures needed to receive and evaluate credentials from other countries, however, international students are advised to apply well in advance of their desired date of admission.

Students may apply for admission in the fall term (September through December) or spring term (January through May) to all undergraduate departments.

International Baccalaureate

The University of the Arts recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) and awards 6 credits toward its humanities requirements for a score of 4 or better in an HL (High Level) IB examination and 3 credits for a score of 4 or better in an SL (Secondary Level) IB examination. Credit is not awarded in Studio Art.

Transfer of Credits

Applicants with post secondary or university transcripts from outside the United States, who wish to be considered for advanced standing and receive transfer credit for university level coursework already completed, are required to submit an official evaluation for each transcript.  A Course-by-Course report is required and it is the applicant's responsibility to contract directly with the agency for this service and provide the necessary documents. Please review the requirements for each agency carefully as the policy regarding document submission can vary based on your country.  While applicants may use any accredited evaluating agency, the University recommends World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).

Instructions and application can be obtained directly from:

World Education Services
Bowling Green Station
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Telephone: 1-212-966-6311
Fax: 1-212-739-6100

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
Telephone: 414-289-3400

Application Requirements

Application for Admission

Complete the application for admission. A nonrefundable application fee of US$ 60.00 is required with the application. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.

Transcript/Grade Sheets

All International applicants must provide a complete, notarized transcript from every school attended on the high school /secondary and post-secondary level (Please see “Transfer of Credit” above for foreign university transcripts). Transcripts are official documents that must be signed by the authority in each school you have attended.

If you are transferring from a U.S. English school, you must consult with the international officer at the school you are attending. Your current institution must release your record to SEVIS before we can issue you a Certificate of Eligibility (SEVIS Form 1-20) for study at the University of the Arts. Please complete and return the Transfer Verification form which would indicate your release date from SEVIS.

English Language Requirements

International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based/ 80 internet-based or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required for unconditional admission.

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.

In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview.

Certificate of Finances

The University requires that all international applicants submit proof of sufficient available funds to cover all of your educational and personal expenses while studying at the University of the Arts. All applicants intending to seek or hold an F-1 visa must complete the Certificate of Finances, Affidavit of Support, and provide a current bank statement. The Certificate of Finances form must be completed in English and notarized by your bank official.

This statement must declare the availability of U.S. $63,030.00 (2016-2017) to cover the costs of one year of education and personal expenses. The I-20 form cannot be issued without a valid Certificate of Finances.

Letter of Recommendation

You are required to submit at least one letter of recommendation from an instructor with whom you have worked in an artistic capacity. Letters written in languages other than English must be translated by a certified translator. Both the original and the certified translation must be included in the application.

Portfolio and Audition Requirements

International students must satisfy the same portfolio and audition requirements as all other applicants. Click here for detailed information on these requirements.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

International students may be considered for merit-based scholarships covering partial tuition costs. Need-based financial aid, however, is not available, and on-campus jobs are extremely difficult to obtain. It is therefore very important to plan your expenses carefully. The U.S. Government prohibits off-campus work during the first nine months of an F-1 student visa. After that you may apply for jobs that are directly relevant to your studies. Keep in mind that these opportunities are rare and should not be calculated into your budget.


The University of the Arts Office of Admissions notifies students of their acceptance to the University by sending them a written offer of admission. To accept this offer, you should return the letter and all required documents and necessary deposits to the University of the Arts. The University will then send you a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20AB). You must take the Form I-20AB along with financial documentation to the United States Consulate in your country in order to obtain an F-1 Student Visa, which will be issued for the length of your program at UArts; the I-20 form cannot be issued without a valid Certificate of Finances.

It is very important to obtain the F-1 Visa before you leave your home country. Once you are in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) makes it difficult to convert a Visitor’s Visa to an F-1 Visa. In the event that you must enter the country on a Visitor’s Visa, have "Prospective Student" stamped on the visa page.

Transfer students must inform the USCIS of a change in educational institutions. To do this, you can use UArts' I-20AB form to re-enter the country (as long as your visa is valid) or you can bring the I-20AB to the International Student Programs Office.

If you are transferring from a U.S. school, you must consult with the international officer at the school you are attending. Your current institution must release your record to SEVIS before we can issue you a Certificate of Eligibility (SEVIS Form 1-20) for study at the University of the Arts. Please complete and return the Transfer Verification form which would indicate your release date from SEVIS.

The University of the Arts is required by law to cooperate with the United States Department of Justice and the USCIS regarding rules and regulations governing foreign students. The University’s Director of International Student Programs will counsel you on immigration regulations.

Health & Accident Insurance

All international students are required to secure health and accident insurance coverage, in case of illness or injury. Your parents or guardians may already have an insurance policy that is valid in any country, including the United States, or you can check with the United States Information Agency (USIA), which will be able to provide you with policy options.

In the event of a minor illness or accident, The University has an on-campus registered nurse as well as a contractual agreement with Jefferson Family Medicine Associates (JFMA), located at 1100 Walnut Street, a short walk from campus. These doctors may be seen by appointment for a limited number of times at no charge; fees will be charged for any necessary X-rays or laboratory work.

Support Services

The University of the Arts is proud of its international population. In an effort to meet the special needs of the international student, the University has developed a network of personnel and offices to provide specialized services to students from abroad.

These services are coordinated through International Student Programs, whose goal is to help students from abroad adjust to life in the United States. In addition to serving as a student liaison and advocate, the International Advisor assists students in securing the services they need. The Advisor is available to answer questions about visa and travel, cross-cultural understanding, and other aspects of daily life.

UArts offers a one-week orientation session that helps students acquaint themselves with Philadelphia, the campus, and other international students. Other programs for international students include ESL tutorial assistance and Immigration Service advisement.

About Philadelphia

The United States' sixth largest city, Philadelphia is also one of its most historically and culturally significant. Its highlights include sites that played a central role in the nation’s founding and that continue to attract visitors from around the world, as well as landmarks in the life of the arts. These include The Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Academy of Music, the main stage for the Pennsylvania Ballet.

The University of the Arts is located near the center of Philadelphia, in a neighborhood called the Avenue of the Arts. Numerous galleries, American and international restaurants, cafes and bars, and independent theaters, cinemas and venues for music and dance lie within easy walking distance.

Regional Attractions

UArts is not only at the heart of all that Philadelphia has to offer, but also at the center of the eastern seaboard of the United States. A 90-minute train ride north or south will take you to New York City or Washington, D.C. The Pennsylvania countryside features some of the most beautiful vistas on the East Coast. The Pocono mountains, which offer skiing and hiking, can be reached in two hours; the ocean beaches of the New Jersey shore, in an hour-and-a-half or less.

Housing & Meals

The University of the Arts offers undergraduate students on-campus housing in apartment-style dormitories.  Laundry facilities are provided on the premises and a residential advisor staffs each floor. Residential students will also be required to purchase a meal plan. UArts offers 3 dining outlets with a variety of healthy and international options. Though UArts provides help in finding off-campus housing, undergraduate students are advised to live on campus for their first year.


Philadelphia’s moderate climate ranges from a high of 38º C in July and August, to a low of -10º C in January and February. Most winters include a few snowfalls. You'll need a warm winter coat, a raincoat or umbrella, and some lightweight cottons or linens for the heat of summer.

Traveling to Campus

If you are traveling by air, fly into Philadelphia International Airport. A taxi from the airport will cost about $27 plus tip. You may also take the SEPTA train to Center City from the airport, which runs every half-hour. Take the train to Suburban Station, exit the station at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard, and walk south on 16th Street until you reach Pine Street. Then turn left and walk two blocks to Hamilton Hall, the University’s main building.

If you're coming to UArts by train, take a taxi from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station to the UArts campus (about $10).

Philadelphia’s Greyhound bus station is at 10th and Arch Streets. A taxi from the station to the UArts campus will cost about $8 plus tip. You can also walk from the station. Walk six blocks south on 10th Street to Pine Street. Then turn right on Pine St. and walk five blocks west until you reach Broad Street and Hamilton Hall.