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Due to the time involved in fulfilling legal requirements, it is recommended that international applicants submit all application materials four months prior to the start of the semester. 

Applications for undergraduate programs have a recommended deadline of May 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the spring semester.

Demonstration of English Proficiency

In addition to the general application requirements, international applicants whose primary/native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English. The following are acceptable ways to demonstrate English proficiency: 

  • Fall 2020/Spring 2020: A minimum of 80 on the Internet version, 213 on the computerized version, or 550 on the paper-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*Please note this means a composite score for a single test date. We are not accepting MyBEST TOEFL scores.
  • Please note that the CEEB code for School of Visual Arts is 2835. This is the code that must be supplied to ETS in order to have TOEFL scores mailed to SVA.
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.
  • A minimum score of 53 on the Pearson PTE Academic. For more information on taking the PTE, visit
  • A minimum score of 6 in all categories of the English proficiency examination administered by the New York University American Language Institute in New York. For information on taking the NYU test, call 212.998.7040.
  • This requirement may be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).
  • Note: Students accepted to Undergraduate Programs who wish to improve their English proficiency may take advantage of SVA's English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. The program is offered in the summer as well as during the academic year.
International Student Expenses

The following are the estimated 2019-2020 program expenses (unless otherwise noted) for undergraduate level programs that international students must substantiate in order to be considered for admission. Totals include tuition, fees, estimated cost of supplies and living expenses for the nine-month academic year. Costs are subject to change with inflation:

  • Undergraduate Program Costs: $69,000
  • International Exchange Program Costs (one semester): $15,000
  • ESL/Studio Program Costs (summer 2018): $84,000
  • CDFNY Summer Program Costs: $5,000
Transcripts or Academic Records From Foreign Institutions

Applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside of the U.S. are required to provide original, attested or certified true copies of academic records for all institutions attended beginning with the first year of secondary school or high school. These records should be in the original language issued. Secondary school transcripts can be waived for transfer applicants with more than 24 college credits from a regionally accredited college.

For records not in English, applicants must also submit an official translation of all academic documents. Translations must be a complete, literal, word-for-word translation in the same format of the original academic document. Please note that all documents submitted become the property of the School of Visual Arts and will not be returned.

All foreign secondary (high school level) and post-secondary (university level) transcripts should be converted into U.S. educational equivalencies. Those records that are not converted into U.S. equivalencies must be evaluated by an external evaluation agency. The evaluation should be course-by-course and include: 

  • Name of educational institution
  • Country where institution is located
  • Length of study
  • U.S. educational equivalent (high school/two-year or four-year college)
  • Courses studied per academic year
  • Conversion of grades/marks/final examination results into equivalent U.S. grades of A, B, C, D or F for each course evaluated
  • Total credits earned
  • Conversion of course hours into U.S. semester hours of credit
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4-point scale
  • U.S. degree equivalent

The School of Visual Arts should be listed as the recipient of the evaluation. Transcripts may take up to six weeks to be evaluated. The original academic records must be submitted in addition to the evaluation.

The School of Visual Arts strongly recommends that international academic records be evaluated by either of the following approved external evaluation agencies:

Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE): Course-by-course evaluations for both secondary school (high school) and college transcripts.

P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
Phone: 414.289.3400

World Education Services (WES): Course-by-course evaluations for college transcripts only.

Bowling Green Station
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Phone: 212.966.6311 

Declaration and Verification of Finances

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program requires that international applicants submit to SVA a Declaration and Verification of Finances indicating that the applicant has financial resources adequate to provide for his or her educational expenses without resorting to unauthorized employment.

All funds declared must be substantiated by a Verification of Finances (VOF) letter from the student's bank or sponsor's bank.

After submitting the enrollment fee, you will gain access to a portal called Terra Dotta. Please visit the International Student Office page for further information.

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587