Our students come from throughout the United States and countries all around the world.
Preparing to Apply
The process of applying to school in the United States can take up to one year, so it is important to start your research and planning early. To apply for admission, gather your documents, complete required testing (such as ACT/SAT, English Language tests), have your test scores reported, and submit your full application by the application deadline. Auditions and interviews typically take place during January and February, and admissions decisions are sent to recipients by late March.
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.
English Language Proficiency Requirements
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:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE)
- Michigan English Test (MET)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Undergraduate Applicants Only – Duolingo English Test
The score must be submitted with the application and admission materials. Take your test as soon as possible and have results reported directly by the testing agency to the University of Michigan (the code for U-M is 1839). An invitation to audition or interview can not be sent until you have submitted English proficiency scores that meet or exceed the required scores.
Special Note: applicants applying for Winter 2024 or Fall 2024 admission must still demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are allowed to submit scores from the at-home versions of the TOEFL or IELTS exams.
The minimum qualifying scores are:
- IELTS: 6.0 for MM and SM degree applicants; 6.5 for Undergraduate, MA, and MFA degree applicants; 7.0 for doctoral applicants
- ECPE: 650 for all levels of study
- MET: 54 for undergraduate applicants, 56 for masters degree applicants, 58 for doctoral applicants
- TOEFL (iBT): 88 for undergraduate and masters degree applicants, 100 for doctoral applicants
- TOEFL (cBT): 230 for undergraduate and masters degree applicants, 250 for doctoral applicants
- TOEFL (pBT): 570 for undergraduate and masters degree applicants, 600 for doctoral applicants
- Duolingo: 130 range with section scores 120+
- Note: Only undergraduate applicants may submit a Duolingo score. Duolingo scores for graduate degree applicants will not be evaluated and cannot fulfill the English language test requirement.
Please note that SMTD does not accept TOEFL MyBest superscores.
SMTD doctoral minimums are higher than those required by the Rackham Graduate School, and SMTD has a stricter requirement than Rackham’s for a waiver of this requirement.
International Masters, Specialist, and Doctoral applicants may qualify for an IELTS, TOEFL, or ECPE/MET waiver if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Native English speaker
- Completed all of their undergraduate education (4-5 years) and earned a bachelor’s degree from an institution where the exclusive language of instruction is English, or in a country where the official, national, or most commonly spoken language is English (for example, the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom); an official transcript must be provided by December 1
- A current SMTD undergraduate student applying for a masters degree
OR if they meet both of these criteria:
- completed all of their graduate education (2 years or more) and received a degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only, AND
- provide a previous TOEFL/IELTS, taken within the past two years, that is close to our requirements, above. Applicants with a TOEFL score of 94 or less, an IELTS of 6.5 or less, or no test results are not eligible for a waiver.
Applicants may request consideration for a waiver by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and should include in the email:
- the transcript from your degree that was done in English
- your most recent English language test score (TOEFL/IELTS/MET/ECPE)
- at least one piece of academic writing in English
A request for a waiver must be submitted prior to the program’s application deadline, and approval is not guaranteed. Applicants for whom the tests are not waived will be required to provide a qualifying test score in order to be considered for admission. Academic performance in all prior degrees must meet SMTD’s academic eligibility requirements (3.0+ on a 4.0 scale, or 3.2+ on a 4.0 scale in the last four semesters).
Additional Requirements for Undergraduate Admission
Prospective undergraduate students should read the additional requirements by country that are required by the U-M Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
International students are eligible for a School of Music, Theatre & Dance merit-based scholarships if the application is submitted by December 1 and the audition is completed on or before March 1. These scholarships are merit-based and can range in amount from $2,000 to full tuition. We strongly encourage scholarship candidates to audition/interview live in Ann Arbor whenever possible.
The University of Michigan Office of Financial Aid is only able to assist U.S citizens and permanent residents.
In the past several years, we have had international students come to study at SMTD from the following places:
Frequently Asked Questions
I can’t take the TOEFL before the application deadline. Should I still send in my application?
Maybe. We will not be able to invite you to an interview/audition until we have received an official TOEFL, IELTS, ECPE, or MET score report, so failure to do so in a timely manner will result in your application being canceled. Please submit your application by the deadline and be sure to tell us the date you plan to take the exam on your application. We strongly recommend taking the test before December 1.
How do I get a travel visa in order to audition live in the US?
Do I need to submit a Financial Resources Statement (FRS)?
The Financial Resources Statement is only required of international students who are accepted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and plan to enroll. Our office will contact you approximately three months prior to your planned arrival date to request the FRS and will provide you with any assistance necessary. International Students who are currently attending another institution in the United States must also complete a Transfer-In Form if they plan to enroll at the University of Michigan. For more information regarding documents needed in order to receive your I-20, please check the International Orientation webpage.
Where can I find more resources and support for international students at the University of Michigan?
The International Center is an important resource for any international student, faculty or staff person at the University of Michigan. Please contact them directly for more information.