International Students

Cranbrook Academy of Art is “home” to students from many different countries during their two years of study on our historic campus. Currently, our students are citizens of a dozen countries.

The international student information below applies to students who will study in the U.S. on a student visa (e.g., F-1).

English language skills

An excellent command of the English language is required, as all students are expected to participate fully in critiques, readings, lectures, and discussions. Students are expected to possess the necessary language skills when they arrive on campus. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international applicants whose first language is not English. The minimum acceptable score for Fall 2019 admission is 90TOEFL scores must be sent directly to Cranbrook Academy of Art by ETS; the Academy’s ETS reporting code is 1156.  ETS will only report scores for two years.

To be eligible for a TOEFL waiver, you must have:

  • Received (or will receive prior to Fall 2019) a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English and in a country where English is the primary spoken language; and
  • Completed your studies within the past two years, if you are not currently enrolled (please contact the Admissions Office to discuss your situation, as an exemption may be possible based on your particular circumstances).

Students who have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university where the sole language of instruction is English but which is located in a country where English is not the primary spoken language are not automatically granted a TOEFL exemption.  If your degree is from such an institution, please contact Leslie Tobakos ( to discuss whether you qualify for a TOEFL exemption.

Note:  Native English speakers from countries in which English is the primary spoken language are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.

ESL programs and post-bacc programs do not satisfy the requirement for a TOEFL waiver.  Please contact Leslie Tobakos ( if you have question about your particular situation.

IELTS scores (academic version only, score of 7.0 or higher) may in rare instances be accepted in lieu of the TOEFL, at the Academy’s discretion and taking other relevant factors into account.   Please contact Leslie Tobakos ( to discuss your particular situation.

Degree Requirement

In order to be considered for admission, applicants must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree (degrees currently in progress must be granted prior to matriculation in September 2019).  If there is any question as to the degree equivalency, the applicant will be required to submit credentials to a verification service of the Academy’s choosing; the applicant will be required to pay the cost of the verification.

Visa information

International students who are accepted to the academy must obtain an F-1 visa. Those who are accepted and submit an enrollment deposit will be sent information regarding the documentation necessary to begin the visa process. Students will be required to submit documentation of available funds to pay for their first year of study and must certify that they will be able to fund the second year, as well. Please note:  Applicants are accepted without regard to ability to pay, but for those who are accepted and choose to attend, proof of adequate funding is required before we can issue an I-20 to begin the visa process.  While a limited number of accepted applicants (domestic and international) will be offered scholarships when they are sent their offer of admission, such scholarships do not cover the total cost of tuition. In addition, because we do not have an undergraduate program, the Academy does not offer teaching assistantships or fellowships.

Important information about our campus

The Academy of located on a beautiful campus nestled in the lovely suburban community of Bloomfield Hills. We offer dormitories for our students on a space-available basis. It is important to understand that this is an area that relies on personal automobiles for transportation – there are no stores within walking distance of campus, and there is no public transportation available. Students without vehicles are responsible for arranging for their own transportation (including taxi cabs at their own expense) in order to shop for food, supplies, and necessities.

International Student Services

The Registrar, Financial Aid & Admissions Manager processes student visa requests and maintains student data in the federal reporting system (SEVIS). The Student Services Coordinator and Assistant Registrar serves as the day-to-day liaison with international students. Several current Academy students serve as international student peer advisors. Students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) while students at the Academy will receive appropriate instructions annually at a meeting that will be announced via our student electronic newsletter, Hotline. Students at the Academy are not eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).