International Students

Drawn from around the globe, our students share a rich mixture of ideas, talents, customs and backgrounds in a collaborative environment. Within a total collegiate student body numbering around 400, students hail from 35 countries, 35 states and speak more than 20 languages. Over 30% of our students are international.

English Language Proficiency:

Students whose first language is not English must either submit a TOEFL, IELTS score or a certificate from ELS Language Centers in order to meet the minimum English proficiency requirement for admission to the Conservatory. Scores received from tests taken more than one year prior to the application deadline are not valid. Photocopied score reports will not be accepted. International students who have completed at least two years of full-time academic study at an English-speaking college or university at the time of application may request to be exempted from this requirement by submitting a formal request to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs by the application submission deadline for their chosen program. Exceptions to the minimum requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. please contact

SFCM must receive an official TOEFL or IELTS score by February 15th. This score due in February does not need to be a passing score, students will have until June 1st to turn in a passing score in order to be admitted.

TOEFL [Test of English as a Foreign Language]: school code of 4744

  • Master of Music: 80 ibt
  • Artist Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma: 80 ibt
  • Bachelor of Music: 71 ibt
  • Professional Studies Diploma: 61 ibt preferred
  • Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) Programs (all degrees): 80 ibt
  • Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM): 80 ibt

IELTS [International English Language Testing System]

  • Master of Music, Artist Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma: 6.5 IELTS
  • Bachelor of Music: 6.0 IELTS
  • Professional Studies Diploma: 5.5 IELTS
  • Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) Programs (all degrees): 6.5 IELTS
  • Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM): 6.5 IELTS

English Language Services (ELS)

  • Master of Music, Artist Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma: level 110
  • Bachelor of Music: level 109
  • Professional Studies Diploma: level 107
  • Technology and Applied Composition (TAC) Programs (all degrees): level 110
  • Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM):  level 110

Conditional Admission: Non-native English speakers who do not meet the English language proficiency at the time admissions decisions are made, but who have submitted a TOEFL or IELTS score or are enrolled in ELS Language Centers, may be offered conditional acceptance to their desired program. Those students accepted with this status are eligible for Conservatory scholarships and have until June 1 to fulfill the English proficiency requirements. Those who do not fulfill the requirement by June 1st will not be allowed to enroll at the Conservatory.

Intensive Summer English Program

If your TOEFL score is below our requirements but is over 65 (BM) or 71 (MM) the Conservatory offers an Intensive Summer English Program between July 5th to August 12th at the University of San Francisco in order to help non-native English speakers achieve the admissions requirement for matriculation. More information can be found here.

Professional Studies Diploma

International applicants to the Professional Studies Diploma in Instrumental Performance degree program who are non-native English speakers must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score at the time of application.

In order to take academic classes while at the Conservatory, non-native English speakers must meet the English language proficiency requirements outlined above for courses that correspond with a given degree level. Those Professional Studies Diploma candidates who do not wish to register for academic coursework will be limited to taking the following courses: ENS 200-513, HMS 210/211, HMS 212/213, IND 500, IND 600, IND 650, PRF 202-342, PRF 352-362, PVL 600 or PVL 620. Students wishing to take any courses outside of those listed must receive special permission from the course instructor.


International students must also provide notarized course-by-course translations of their transcripts if the originals are not issued in English. The Office of Admission may require that international transcripts be evaluated by an organization specializing in foreign credential evaluation, such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. Transcripts are due no later than July 1. Students completing their degrees after July 1, but prior to enrollment at the Conservatory, must contact the Registrar prior to the deadline.

Required materials for international students applying for scholarship

International applicants applying for scholarship must submit to the Financial Aid Office all forms as described here in order to be eligible for merit-based and/or need-based scholarship. International students may only be considered for Conservatory scholarships are not eligible for any U.S. federal or state grants or loans. All materials are due by June 1.