International Students

The CCAD Difference

Diversity moves art forward, and it makes our community at CCAD even stronger. As an international student, you make important artistic, cultural and intellectual contributions to life on campus. Our student body comes from more than 35 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

We’re dedicated to enrolling talented art students like you from around the world. We offer you an array of resources to help you transition to CCAD and the United States. And we’re committed to cultural diversity, with events that promote cross-cultural contact among students and the community. We’re also proud to offer scholarships to qualified international students.

CCAD is authorized under U.S. federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

How To Apply

Undergraduate (Bachelor of Fine Arts) 

All international undergraduate (BFA) applicants are required to submit:

  • A completed online application with a nonrefundable $50 application fee.
  • A personal statement.
  • A portfolio with 1–20 pieces.
  • Official (signed and sealed) academic records. Educational records from secondary (high) school and college/university, if applicable, must be submitted in English or accompanied by an official English translation.     
  • One or more letters of recommendation. One letter is required. It is always nice to have two or three letters of recommendation.
  • A photocopy of your current passport photo identification page.
  • Proof of English proficiency. Students who are citizens of countries where English is not the sole official language must demonstrate proof of English proficiency by submitting Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results. TOEFL information can be found at (CCAD's TOEFL code is 1085.) IELTS information can be found at

Minimum TOEFL scores (undergraduate program): Paper 500, Computer 173, iBT 61
Minimum IELTS scores (undergraduate program): 6.0 total band score

  • Documentation of financial support. Admitted applicants must provide verification of financial resources to cover the cost of tuition and other expenses for the first year of study. Financial forms will be sent to all admitted students.

Optional items

Applicants may also submit the following supporting materials:

  • ACT or SAT test scores.
  • AP/IB exam results. If you have results from either exam, you are encouraged to send them because you could receive academic credit for certain scores.

All paper credentials must be sent to:

Admissions Office
Columbus College of Art & Design
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215
United States

Have a question? Contact us at 614.222.3261 or

Graduate (Master of Fine Arts)

All international graduate (MFA) applicants are required to submit:


Pick 20 examples of your best work, three time-based works or some combination of the two. You should submit your portfolio entirely as digital files through

Project Proposal

PDF format, please.

Please describe the first project you would like to undertake in your first semester. Although we request that your answers be in written format, we also like to see supporting visual materials.

Here’s what we need to see:

  • A short narrative about the work or research has led you to this interest, including visual documentation of your own or others’ work that has influenced this proposal.
  • An explanation of the historical, critical or cultural contexts for and influences on your proposal.
  • A description of the media and methodology that your project will involve.
  • A description of the resources (facilities and instruction) that you anticipate you’ll need, including what CCAD can offer you to complete your project.

Be clear and specific. Your project proposal is judged not only on its creativity and originality, but also on its clarity, organization and presentation. Remember, you only have one semester to complete this initial project. So keep feasibility and scope in mind.


PDF format.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendations from faculty, guidance counselors, professional artists, employers or other adults not related to you. You should submit these through as well.

Application Fee


College Transcripts

3.00 minimum GPA

Proof of English Proficiency

If you are an international student from a country where English is not the sole official language, you must demonstrate proof of your English proficiency by submitting Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results. A minimum score of TOEFL iBT 80 or IELTS 6.5 is required. You should request your score through the test center; you can submit it via postal mail. CCAD’s code for TOEFL results is 1085.

Have a question? Contact us at 614.222.3261 or

International Student FAQ

How do I know if I should follow the international student admissions guidelines?
Students needing to enter the United States on an F-1 or J-1 student visa must complete the international student requirements.

What if I am already in the United States on a visa?
Students currently in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa need to follow the guidelines for international admissions. Students on other types of visas should contact the international student advisor by email for specific admissions requirements.

I need to apply for an F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa. What is the procedure?
After completing the necessary international student admissions requirements, you will receive an official letter of acceptance, an I-20 form (or DS-2019 for J-1 exchange visitors) and further information on how and where to apply for the F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa.

What are forms I-20 and DS-2019?
Form I-20 is a legal document that is required for the F-1 visa application process. It is also presented at the U.S port of entry, along with your F-1 visa and valid passport in order to enter the U.S. Additionally, the I-20 form is used for travel purposes while the student is enrolled at CCAD. 

Form DS-2019 is a legal document required for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa application process. It is also presented at the U.S. port of entry, along with your J-1 visa and valid passport in order to enter the U.S.

Can I study part-time as an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor?
No. If you hold an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must be enrolled as a full-time student.

What about health insurance?
All F-1 and J-1 visa holders must enroll in the CCAD health insurance plan while studying at CCAD. Medical care in the United States is very expensive, and this plan was put in place to protect international students and their families from the high cost of medical care in the event of serious injury or illness. The cost of this program is factored into the student’s tuition statement each semester. Students will receive detailed information about the health insurance plan during the international orientation session.

Can the English proficiency requirement be waived if I graduate from high school in the United States, Canada or another English-speaking country?
No. This requirement is not only a CCAD requirement. You will be asked to present your English test results when applying for your F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate.

I study in a country where English is not the main language but my high school curriculum is taught entirely in English. Can the English proficiency requirement be waived?
No. You will be asked to present English test results when applying for the F-1 or J-1 visa.

Does CCAD have an intensive English (ESL) program?
CCAD does not have an intensive English (ESL) program. CCAD is able to recommend nearby colleges that do have intensive English programs for international students. Many students begin their studies in such a program and transfer to CCAD after reaching the required English proficiency level.

Are standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT required for international students?
No. These are optional exams for international students. If you take either exam, please have your results forwarded to CCAD. CCAD does not have a minimum score requirement for the ACT or SAT.

It is not possible to take the ACT or SAT in my country. Will my chances of being accepted or receiving scholarship assistance decrease if I do not submit these test scores?
No. CCAD understands that the ACT and SAT tests are not standard examinations in most of the world.

Is there an application deadline for international students?
Early Action Deadline: Dec. 1.
Priority Deadline: Feb. 15.
After Feb. 15, CCAD maintains a rolling admissions process until Aug. 1.

Should all application forms and requirements be turned in at the same time?
Application materials may be submitted separately.

Should physical artwork be submitted by international applicants?
Your portfolio must be submitted electronically using the link on the electronic application form.

Is a personal interview required for the admissions process?
A personal interview is not required for international students. Students should include any important facts and information about themselves in their personal statement. Of course, we would love to meet with you and show off our campus if you are ever in the area.

Are international students eligible for scholarships through CCAD?
Yes. All new international students and international transfer students are eligible for CCAD scholarship consideration. Applicants are automatically reviewed for scholarship assistance upon being admitted to CCAD.

Is tuition higher for international students?
No. CCAD is a private institution and tuition is the same for all students, regardless of nationality.

Do I have to attend International Student Orientation?
Yes. CCAD has developed an exciting and informative International Student Orientation in order to help new students with the transition to CCAD and the city of Columbus.