Undergraduate / 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.

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  • International students requiring a student visa should allow ample time to fulfill legal requirements associated with obtaining a visa. For this reason, we ask that you complete the application process on or before the February 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. If accepted, please submit a tuition deposit by May 1 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester.
  • The priority deadline for Fall 2017 is February 1, 2017. After this deadline, applications are reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • Student applying for Early Action should submit all materials by December 1, 2016. Please note transfer students are not eligible to apply for Early Action.

Transfer applicants who meet specific prerequisites are accepted for the spring semester, in select majors. The priority deadline for Spring 2017 is October 15, 2016.

International applicant requirement checklist

  • Application form and $70 application fee
  • Essay
  • Portfolio
  • Official transcripts
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS 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 may apply online either by completing the Common Application, or our MassArt Application. The application form and $70 fee must be submitted to be considered for admission.

Apply online
Step 1: Submit the application form electronically and pay the fee by credit card.
Step 2: Upload supplementary materials electronically or mail/deliver them to MassArt's Admissions Office.

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.

What is the Common Application?

The Common Application (Common App) is an undergraduate and transfer admission application that applicants may use to apply to nearly 700 colleges in the United States. The Common App allows an applicant to fill out a single application that fulfills the requirements of multiple colleges. 

Who should apply using the Common Application?

The Common App is beneficial to any undergraduate or transfer applicant who is applying to multiple participating colleges. However, interested applicants may be required to submit supplemental materials to meet the requirements of specific programs. Please check the requirements at each prospective college.


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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

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 or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.


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 40 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 via SlideRoom. If submitting your application using the Common Application, there will be a link provided to complete your portfolio. If submitting the MassArt application, visit MassArt.slideroom.com to begin building your portfolio in SlideRoom. When at the website, click Sign up > Start a new submission > Undergraduate.

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 TOEFL or IELTS 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)

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

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

International students whose primary language is English will not be required to submit the SAT or ACT.

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.

If you are using the Common Application, you can provide the contact information of the recommender, and they will be able to submit an online form. If using the MassArt application, There is no required form for letters of recommendation. At the top of the letter, please make sure your reference prominently lists:

  • your full name
  • the semester for which you are applying

We recommend using either the Common Application or MassArt application, as both allow references to upload the recommendation letter directly to your application. 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.

Resume / 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

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