Applying as an International Student to our San Francisco Campus
San Francisco Art Institute is home to students, faculty and staff from more than 30 countries who make an enormous contribution to our campus. We remain committed to the safety, legal rights, and well-being of them and our entire community. Our commitment is to implement policies and protocols that ensure the safety of undocumented and underdocumented individuals on our campus, be they students, faculty, staff, or other community members.
San Francisco Art Institute was declared a Sanctuary Campus in March 2017. San Francisco is also a Sanctuary City, and, with the January 1 effective date of Senate Bill 54, California became the country’s first Sanctuary State, with measures that prohibit police from asking people about their immigration status during routine interactions and prevent local authorities from acting as immigration agents.
International applicants are required to submit additional materials for admission to SFAI.
Immigration Authorization: F-1 and J-1 Visa Information
Admitted students that are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents (Green Card holders) are required to obtain U.S. immigration authorization to enroll at SFAI. Please contact the Global Programs Office with any questions or for more information about this process.
F-1 Student Visas
Please begin the F-1 student visa application process as soon as possible. We strongly recommend reviewing the step-by-step information on the Study in the States U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.
J-1 Student Visas
SFAI J-1 exchange visitor visas are sponsored through the Institute of International Education (IIE).Detailed information for J-1 visa participants may be found at the J-1 Visa Participants website.
More information about the rules and regulations for currently enrolled international students at SFAI can be found here: F-1 and J-1 Student Visa Holders
SFAI has authorization under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.
English Language Proficiency
SFAI’s rigorous studio and liberal arts curriculum demands substantial mastery of English reading, writing, and verbal skills. If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident (Green Card holder), or if your primary language is not English or the language of instruction at your previous institution was not in English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Test System (IELTS Academic) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic). Details on these tests are included below.
TOEFL - https://www.ets.org/toefl - SFAI School code: 4036
IELTS - https://www.ielts.org - SFAI accepts the Academic IELTS only.
PTE - https://pearsonpte.com - SFAI accepts the Academic PTE only.
Minimum required scores are as follows:
MFA/MA Dual Degree
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP)
Successful completion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is recognized by most postsecondary educational institutions as equivalent to U.S. high school graduation requirements.
To request official IB diploma and IB examination score report transcripts or certificates, please review the International Baccalaureate Transcripts Request page.
For more information about possible transfer credit for individual IB examinations, please review the SFAI Transfer Credit Guidelines.
Undergraduate Foreign Transcript and Documentation Requirements
International students or students who studied at international schools must submit official sealed copies of original academic documents or transcripts from all secondary and postsecondary schools. These must be issued in their original languages and accompanied by certified English translations. If you have academic experience beyond a four-year bachelor’s degree, those transcripts must also be submitted.
For detailed documentation requirements, please refer to the country in which you attended school (for countries not mentioned, please submit similar documentation).
For questions about documentation requirements, please contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415.749.4500.
Graduate Foreign Transcript and Documentation Requirements
SFAI requires the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution of higher education. International students or students who studied at international schools must submit official copies of original academic documents or transcripts from all postsecondary schools. These must be issued in their original languages and accompanied by certified English translations. If you have academic experience beyond a four-year bachelor’s degree, those transcripts must also be submitted.
For detailed documentation requirements, please refer to the country in which you attended school (for countries not mentioned, please submit similar documentation). Transcripts and Diploma Supplements for three-year degrees from Bologna Accord countries will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
For questions about document requirements, please contact the Admissions Office at email@example.com.