International Student Admission

This process should only be used by applicants who want F-1 student visa support from Madison College. The first step in getting a student visa is to be admitted. In order to be admitted, applicants must submit all required documents listed below. After completing this step, follow instructions for obtaining your visa and next steps for international students

Note: There is no fee to apply! Some programs may only be available to residents. If a program has a waitlist, you will need to select a new program.

CIE continues to assist during COVID-19 campus closure. Visit FAQ for F-1 Visa International Students

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Summer Term

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It is important to be admitted as soon as possible for the following reasons, especially if you do not already have a valid F-1 student visa.

  1. Program Availability: for the best choice of degree programs, apply by January 1 for Fall semester and by May 1 for Spring semester.

  2. Attendance at Program Advising and Registration (A&R) Sessions: many programs offer information sessions which allow you to meet with faculty and academic advisors to help with course selection. Invitations are sent beginning in March for Fall semester and October for Spring semester.

  3. Class Availability: during open (public) degree-credit enrollment, community members can begin to enroll in classes, even if they have not been admitted to a degree program. As a result, classes fill quickly, so admission after this time may result in limited course options.

  4. Visa Timelines: be aware of the standard visa processing timelines which may only begin after being admitted and issued an I-20. 

  • Applying Abroad - Visa interview appointments must often be scheduled 2-3 months in advance.
  • Changing Visa Status (in US) - This is only possible in limited cases and may take 6-12+ months to process. It is strongly encouraged to schedule a visa advising appointment to determine if this is an option.
  • Transferring F-1 Visa Status - I-20 transfer must be initiated while in valid F-1 status.


November 15 (Spring semester begins January)


April 15 (Now available to both Summer Term participants and select program students!)


July 15 (Fall semester begins August/September)

Credential Evaluation

If you obtained your educational credential outside the U.S., you must submit:

  • Credential Evaluation (see recommended services listed below) - A credential evaluation is different from a translation because it shows how the foreign educational system aligns with the U.S. educational system and converts grades into the U.S. equivalence.

    • general credential evaluation with grade point average meets the minimum requirement for admission

    • A detailed course-by-course credential evaluation is recommended when requesting credit for prior learning, through which courses from other institutions may be counted towards a Madison College program

  • Official transcripts showing high school/secondary school completion or higher education

If you earned a degree (high school or higher) from the U.S., you must submit:

  • Official transcripts showing degree completion

Recommended Services for Credential Evaluation

Madison College will accept evaluations by any National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES) member agency, including:

One Earth International Credential Evaluations
Madison, Wisconsin Office

Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Office

Download a list of additional recommended credential evaluation services (PDF, 93 KB).

English Proficiency

Submit one of the following official English Language test score reports, completed within the last two years.

Save money by taking the Madison College *Accuplacer test abroad or at a Madison College testing center.

  • Accuplacer (Next Generation): 221 Writing & Reading
  • TOEFL iBT: 50
  • IELTS: Band 5
  • Duolingo: 80
  • TOEIC: 485
  • EIKEN: 2A
  • GTEC 951
  • PTE: 36
  • E3PT: 42

*Accuplacer test can be used in place of any of the above English Language tests and is also required to enroll in most classes.
To request to take the Accuplacer test remotely from abroad, email

The Madison College English Language Learner (ELL/ESL) classes are not available to non-residents. These classes are not structured for the purposes of intensive English language development.

Financial Support

U.S. federal visa regulations regarding international students require applicants to demonstrate sufficient proof of financial support prior to the issuance of an I-20 form by Madison College. 

Your financial documentation must show your ability to pay the estimated cost of attending Madison College full time for one academic year as well as the cost of living for 12 months. This amount must be available to you for each year of study at Madison College.

Estimated Cost for 2020-2021

Technical Associate and Diploma Programs: $21,277
Tuition and Fees: $5,570 = $232/credit

Liberal Arts Transfer Programs: $23,115
Tuition and Fees: $7,408 = $309/credit

Breakdown of Expenses

Living expenses: $15,707 = $1,309/month

  • Housing and Meals: $11,088
  • Personal: $2,048
  • Books and Supplies: $300
  • Health Insurance: $2,271 - Note: a specific health insurance plan is required. Do NOT purchase alternative plan without reviewing the strict waiver request process

If a child or spouse will be accompanying you, please also add in the dependent expenses (PDF, 145KB)

Acceptable Financial Support Documents

  • Account statement from your personal bank account(s) or a sponsor’s bank account(s).  The statement must:
    • Show the bank logo with contact information
    • Be less than one year old
    • Include your name - If your name is not listed, your sponsor must also submit the Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF, 73KB)
    • Show the available balance
  • Local Host Statement of Commitment (PDF, 148KB) indicates you will live with a host who will be providing housing and meals.
    Note: Demonstrating strong ties to your home country, and having a non-immigrant intent, are a critical aspect of visa eligibility determination. If you have a local host listed as a financial sponsor on your I-20, it is recommended you prepare to address concerns regarding these aspects. 
  • Grant, scholarship, and/or loan documentation. 

Things to keep in mind when budgeting:

  • An “academic year” consists of the Fall and Spring semesters only. If you plan to enroll for the Summer term, additional tuition and course supplies costs should be budgeted.
  • “Full-time” means 12 credits taken per semester, which is typically 3 to 5 classes. Each class may have 1 to 5 credits, depending on the number of hours a class meets each week. If you plan to take more than 12 credits each semester, additional costs should be budgeted.


Verification of Identity must include a copy of the identity and expiration page(s) of your passport. 

  • If you are already in the U.S., please include a copy of your most recent visa stamp and I-94 arrival record (if applicable)
  • If you have changed visa status in the U.S., please provide a copy of your approval notice
  • If you are on an F-1 visa, please include a copy of your most recent I-20
  • If you are on a J-1 visa, please include a copy of your most recent DS-2019

If you wish to share the progress of your international admission application with a third party, you must complete and submit a Communication Permission Form (PDF, 95KB) to the Center for International Education before any information may be released.

If you have any questions, contact International Admissions at (608) 243-4108 or

Continue to Step 2 - Getting a Student Visa

eShipGlobal Mailing Services

To expedite the delivery of your I-20 document, please follow the directions below on how to use eShipGlobal, which is a service that allows you to select your preferred delivery service (DHL, FedEx, etc) and how quickly you wish to receive the package. Once you have arranged payment for the mail service through eShipGlobal, we will receive notification and will contact the selected courier for pick-up of your I-20, as soon as it is ready to be mailed. If you can do this now, it will help us to get the I-20 to you more quickly.

Learn how to Use eShipGlobal. (PDF, 42KB)