International Admissions

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:

The score must be submitted with the application and admission materials that are due by the application deadline (December 1 for all undergraduate and most graduate programs), so plan ahead and take your test as soon as possible. Applicants must provide unofficial test results as part of the application. Failure to provide English proficiency scores that meet or exceed the required scores will result in your application being cancelled. Enrolling students should have results reported directly by the testing agency to the University of Michigan. Applicants are allowed to submit scores from the at-home versions of the TOEFL or IELTS exams.

Special Note: undergraduate applicants who opt not to submit an ACT or SAT score must still demonstrate English proficiency through completion of an English language proficiency exam. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions website contains further information on English language proficiency requirements for undergraduate applicants.

The minimum qualifying scores are:

  • TOEFL iBT: 88 for undergraduates (minimum sub scores of 23 in listening, 21 in speaking, 23 in reading, and 21 in writing); 88 for masters degree applicants; 100 for doctoral applicants. Please note that SMTD does not accept TOEFL MyBest superscores.
  • IELTS: 6.5 for undergraduate, masters degree, and specialist 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
  • 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.

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.

Waiver Policies

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 unofficial 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:

  1. 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
  2. provide a previous TOEFL/IELTS, taken within the past two years, that is close to our requirements, above.
    1. Doctoral applicants must provide a TOEFL score of 94 or higher or an IELTS of 6.5 or higher
    2. Masters and Specialist applicants must provide a TOEFL score of 82 or higher or an IELTS of 6.0 or higher
    3. Applicants who wish to be considered under this criteria who do not provide prior test results are not eligible for a waiver.

Applicants may request consideration for a waiver by emailing [email protected] and should include in the email:

  1. the transcript from your degree that was done in English
  2. your most recent English language test score (TOEFL/IELTS/MET/ECPE)
  3. 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.

Before You Arrive

Upon admission to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, you will need to complete the International Orientation process. 

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. Applicants are required to provide an unofficial TOEFL, IELTS, ECPE, or MET score report that meets or exceeds the minimum score requirements, so failure to do so in a timely manner will result in your application being denied. We strongly recommend taking the test before December 1. SMTD must have an unofficial test score report no later than December 14th.

How do I get a travel visa in order to audition live in the US?

Once we have received your complete application, we will send you an email message letting you know whether you have been approved to audition. Please take this to the American consulate or embassy in your home country to request a travel visa. Unfortunately, we cannot provide financial assistance to cover the expense of obtaining a travel visa. Please note that it is important to submit your application early to allow plenty of time to obtain the visa.

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.