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.
Students wishing to enter a graduate (master's degree) program at the University of the Arts must have completed a full course of higher education and have earned the equivalent of a bachelor's degree, first academic or professional degree.
The University of the Arts accepts applications on a rolling, space-available basis. There is no deadline for admission consideration. 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.
Spring Enrollment: MAT in Visual Arts Education, MAT in Music Education, MM in Jazz Studies, Diploma in Jazz Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Crafts
Summer Enrollment: MFA in Studio Art, MM in Music Education
Fall Enrollment: MA in Museum Communication, MA in Museum Education, MAT in Visual Arts Education, MDes in Design for Social Impact, MDes in Product Design, MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking, MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning + Design, MAT in Music Education, MM in Jazz Studies, Diploma in Jazz Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Crafts, MFA in Devised Performance, Graduate Certificate in Devised Performance
In addition to the standard graduate application requirements, International applicants must also submit:
All applicants with post-secondary or university transcripts from outside the United States are required to submit transcripts officially translated into English. A transcript evaluation by a NACES-approved evaluator is required in order for an application to be complete, and a decision made. 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 NACES-approved accredited evaluating agency, the University recommends World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
Instructions and application can be obtained directly from:
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 92 (iBT) or 580 (PBT) or higher, an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher 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.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mandates that all foreign students applying for (or transferring their current) F-1 student visa sponsorship show sufficient funding for at least one year of study. UArts is required to verify and report this information to ICE before a SEVIS I-20 may be processed (or transferred) and issued to an accepted student. Accepted students will be sent a Certification of Finances form and Affidavit of Support. The Certificate of Finances form must be completed in English and notarized by your bank official. This statement must declare the availability of funds of at least U.S. $63,030.00, to cover the costs each year of education and personal expenses. The Certification of Finances is not required to make an offer of admission however, the I-20 form cannot be issued without a valid Certification of Finances.
International students may be considered for merit-based awards 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 Certification of Finances (see "Application Requirements" above).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The University of the Arts offers 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 2 full-service dining outlets and several "Grab & Go" locations, with a variety of healthy and international options. UArts can also provide help in finding off-campus housing.
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.
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 Broad Street, where you'll find 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.
Above: The Philly skyline at dusk. Photo by B. Krist for GPTMC