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International Applicants

Special Information for International Students and Naturalized Citizens

Our International Student Body        

English Language Tests


Financial Resources Statement

Visas & Other Resources

Our International Student Body

Our students come from throughout the United States and countries all around the world. During the 2014-15 school year, approximately 7.8% of our student body are international students. These 85 individuals represent the following countries and territories:



  • Argentina
  • Austrailia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Columbia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Phillippines
  • Russian Fed.
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Venezuela






English Language Tests

All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit a current score (no more than two years old) from one of the following examinations of English proficiency:

  1. the International English Language Testing System (IELTS),
  2. the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or
  3. the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB).

The score must be submitted with the application and admission materials. The minimum qualifying scores, required to schedule an audition at the SMTD, are:

  1. IELTS: 6 for master's degree applicants, and 7 for doctoral applicants
  2. TOEFL (iBT): 88 for master's degree applicants, and 100 for doctoral applicants)
  3. MELAB: 82 for master's degree applicants, and 84 for doctoral applicants

These minimums are higher than those required by the Rackham Graduate School, and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance has a stricter requirement than Rackham's for a waiver of this requirement.

Master's, Specialist, and Doctoral applicants qualify for an IELTS, TOEFL, and MELAB waiver if they meet ONE of the following criteria:

  1. native English speaker
  2. an earned bachelor's degree from institutions where the exclusive language of instruction is English, in a country where the official language is English (e.g., USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom); an official transcript must be provided by December 1
  3. a current U-M SMTD undergraduate student applying for a master's degree

Auditions may be scheduled upon submission of the official score report or upon favorable evaluation of transcripts of secondary and post-secondary study, as described above.

No admission offer will be made without an evaluation of the official test scores and other materials in the application.

Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151

English Language Institute
Testing and Certification Division
University of Michigan
3020 North University Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1057

Rackham Graduate Admissions Office

915 East Washington St.

Room 16

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070



In the United States, the process of applying to graduate school takes up to one year, so it is important to start your research and planning early!  To apply for Fall admission, you will need to gather your documents, complete required testing (i.e. TOEFL), have your test scores reported, and submit your full application by the application deadline. Auditions/interviews typically take place during January/February, and admissions decisions are mailed to recipients in late March or early April, if not earlier.

All supplementary application documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation) must be in the original language and be certified, as appropriate, by an American Embassy or Consular Official, an American notary public, a school administrator, or a national government official. An officially certified English translation must be attached to documents not issued originally in English.

If you plan to audition/interview live in Ann Arbor, do not schedule your travel arrangements until you have received an official confirmation of your audition date from the SMTD Office of Admissions. We cannot guarantee you an audition time without this confirmation.


Financial Resources Statement

A Financial Resources Statement (FRS) is required of every person who is not a citizen of the United States and will be mailed to each admitted international applicant. Its purpose is to assist the applicant in estimating the adequacy of his or her financial resources and to assist the Rackham Graduate School in preparing the appropriate papers necessary for the student’s visa. The FRS must be accompanied by certification of funds to cover all estimated expenses throughout two years of master’s (MFA or MA program) or four years of doctoral study. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for covering the entire cost of their program of study.

The University of Michigan Office of Financial Aid does not provide need-based assistance to non-U.S. citizens. The Rackham Graduate School will not confirm enrollment until the Financial Resources Statement has been received and approved; please send the FRS and the other necessary documents directly to the Rackham Graduate School, Office of Admissions, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109-1070l.



Visa papers will be sent to you from the Rackham Graduate School after they approve your enrollment status.  Your visa documents cannot be completed until you submit the FRS and certification of funds.


Other Resources for International Students

The International Center of the University of Michigan

U.S. State Department



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