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International Students Procedures & Deadlines

International students are warmly received into the MICA community. The presence of students from around the world enriches the quality of our student body. The College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. International students must meet all of the requirements for admission as freshmen or transfer students. In addition, they must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of English for success in coursework at an American college.

International applicants should make substantial and realistic financial plans for proposed study in the United States. Certification of funds available to support each year of study at MICA will be required. We will send the certification statement form to you upon receipt of your application. Information regarding financial statements can also be found on the Admission & Financial Aid section of MICA’s Web site under Questions Frequently Asked By International Students. Annual expenses for international students typically run higher than for domestic students, due to travel costs and mandatory health insurance. International students are not eligible to work off campus during the first nine months of their student visa status in the United States. 

Before an international student leaves his or her home country, the student should have a letter of acceptance from MICA and a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form I-20) from the College. Students should make certain that their passport and visa are in order before coming to the United States.

To complete all requirements for admission, an international student must submit the following application materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Step 1: Application (online or paper)

Submit the undergraduate admission application form either online or on paper with the $60 application fee to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. The application fee for applications submitted online must be paid using a credit or debt card. For those submiting paper applications, please make all checks (which must be in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. banks) and money orders payable to Maryland Institute College of Art. Be sure to complete the required essay and activities list. If you wish to apply for merit-based scholarships complete and return the competitive scholarships application form with your application for admission.

Step 2: Test scores

If your native language is not English you must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency to gain full admission. MICA requires a score result on The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 550 PBT (paper based test), or equivalent 213 CBT (computer-based test), or 80 IBT (internet based test). MICA also accepts a band score of at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). SAT or ACT test scores may also be considered as a test of English proficiency. Your application will not be reviewed for admission without test scores, which must be received by application dealines: February 1 - April 15  for freshmen, March 1 - April 15  for transfer students. If you have not yet achieved the minimum score requests listed above, you should submit your current scores for review by these deadlines. After evaluation of all your admission materials, you may be admitted on a conditional basis with the requirement that you achieve minimum test score results within a limited amount of time to be granted full admission. For more information about the TOEFL exam, visit their Web site at or e-mail

Step 3: Transcripts

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to MICA’s undergraduate degree program. Submit original/certified transcripts from your secondary school and any university-level institution you have attended. Include English translations provided by a translating agency if needed.

Step 4: Portfolio of Artwork

Step 5: Letters of Recommendation

While letters of recommendation are not required, you can choose to submit one to three letters of recommendation from any of the following: teachers, college placement advisors, or guidance counselors. You may send recommendation requests to these individuals through the online application or ask them to mail letters of reference to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Step 6: Essay

Choose one of the topics listed on the application form, write an essay (250 word minimum), and attach it to your application.

Step 7: Activities & Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors as explained on the application form, and attach it to your application.

Step 8: Immigration Information

Indicate your current immigration status and your intentions regarding immigration by completing the Immigration Information Form available online. This is required before a Form I-20 can be issued. Please complete this form even if you do not plan to study under an F-1 student visa.

Step 9: Demonstration of Ability to Finance Your Education*

Submit an Affidavit of Support and/or Certificate of Finance available online, as well as a notarized bank statement certifying that sufficient funds are available to support your study at the College. This is required before a Form I-20 can be issued.

*May be submitted upon receipt of admission notification

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Fall Enrollment

  • February 1 Priority admission application deadline for FRESHMEN (applications received after this date will be considered until April 1 if space is available)
  • March 1 Priority admission application deadline for TRANSFER students (applications received after this date will be considered if space is available)
  • February 26 – March 6 Notification of admission decisions mailed to FRESHMEN who applied by February 1
  • April 1 Notification of admission decisions mailed to TRANSFER applicants who applied by March 1
  • April 15 Admission application deadline for FRESHMEN and TRANSFERS
  • May 1 Candidate Reply Date for FRESHMEN: tuition and housing deposits due
  • May 21 Candidate Reply Date for TRANSFER students: tuition and housing deposits due

Spring Enrollment

  • November 5 Application deadline for FRESHMEN & TRANSFER students (applications received after this date will be considered if space is available)
  • December 1 Admission notifications mailed
  • December 15 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

International Frequently Asked Questions

To find out more about international student admission, view our Frequently Asked Questions.