The AFI Conservatory is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.

Please note: An I-20 cannot be issued without the receipt of the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score requirement or qualifying exemption.

If English is NOT your country of citizenship’s native language, and you are NOT a U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S. with an Alien Registration Number, you must submit a TOEFL or an IELTS score or be exempt as described below.

Applicants must submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.0. Test scores must reflect tests taken within 24 months of submission. Please allow for appropriate time for test scheduling. We must receive test scores by the deadline dates described in the Admissions Requirements.

TOEFL/IELTS EXEMPTION REQUEST: Level of English language competency, as it relates to admission into the AFI Conservatory, will be determined by, and is at the discretion of, the Admissions Committee. Applicants may be exempt if an undergraduate degree program that includes English Composition and Literature or its equivalent, or two semesters of non-remedial English Composition and Literature, or an intensive English program (minimum one year) with results that equal the TOEFL or IELTS requirements, has/have been successfully completed in the United States or other English-speaking country. A master’s degree program will not be considered for an exemption unless it includes the above English courses.

Please do not assume that you are exempt based on the criteria above. All transcripts will be evaluated for exemption by the Registrar’s Office for admissions purposes. We highly encourage all international applicants to receive exemption approval prior to applying to attend the AFI Conservatory. To request an exemption, please email with the subject line TOEFL EXEMPTION REQUEST. Please include PDFs of your transcripts to be evaluated.

TRANSCRIPTS: AFI Conservatory accepts unofficial transcripts for the application. For international applicants that are admitted to the AFI Conservatory, all credentials and transcripts must include an original (no copies) plus an official English translation (if applicable) to be enrolled. The Registrar determines final evaluation of applicants’ records.

FINANCIAL VERIFICATION: The total cost of first year tuition, fees and living expenses for 2020-2021 is estimated at $90,347. International Fellows must be able to show financial verification for the first year of study. Note: AFTER acceptance, international applicants will be asked to provide financial verification to cover the full cost of tuition, fees and living expenses for the first year to enable the AFI Conservatory to issue an I-20 to obtain the F1 student visa. If bringing dependents, an additional $4,570 per dependent, per year, is added to the overall budget. Please note: spouses on the F2 visa are not allowed to pursue employment or attend a college degree or certificate program.

Visa processing times vary by consulate and typically take from one to four weeks. Please be advised that processing times may be longer due to individual circumstances. Visas may only be issued in the originating country; visas cannot be issued in the United States. Accepted International Fellows must finalize planning for the entire length of the program to avoid financial difficulties in the Second Year. Independent sources of scholarships may be researched on the AFI Conservatory website. It is highly recommended to begin searches as soon as possible. Information on how to obtain a visa will be sent upon acceptance to the AFI Conservatory.

Applicants who are pursuing the Master of Fine Arts degree from the AFI Conservatory and who have completed a program outside the U.S. must submit a bachelor’s degree equivalency document upon acceptance into the program. If the applicant does not intend to receive the Master of Fine Arts degree, an evaluation is not required and a Certificate of Completion would be awarded at the successful completion of the program. Final approval is at the discretion of the Registrar.

The following are a few organizations that provide the service of credentials evaluations:

Request only a document-to-document evaluation; the average cost is between $75 and $100. The applicant provides the agency the documents requested. The AFI Conservatory does not do credentials evaluations.

There are other organizations that provide similar services; if one is chosen, please check with the Registrar’s Office first to verify its accreditation.

Once the evaluation has been received by the Registrar’s Office, the results will be officially posted to the Fellow’s record.

For more information, please contact Carl Smith, Associate Registrar/International Advisor, at