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.

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.

Apply to Madison College

International Student Admission Process
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Watch an overview of the international student admission process.

Steps to Apply to Madison College

  • 1.

    Review Deadlines and Timelines

    Application Process Deadlines

    Fall Deadline | July 15

    Fall semester begins August/September.

    Spring Deadline | November 15

    Spring semester begins January.

    Summer Deadline |April 15

    Summer term begins May.


    Submit your application and required materials as early as possible. The typical admissions process takes 8 weeks. I-20 issuance may occur 3-4 weeks after all documents are submitted correctly.

    You must submit the online international student application and all required documents before applying for an F-1 visa.

    Visa Processing Timelines

    The following standard visa processing timelines begin after being admitted and issued an I-20.

    Applying Abroad: Visa interview appointments often must be scheduled 2-3 months in advance.

    Transferring F-1 Visa Status: I-20 transfer must be initiated while in valid F-1 status.

    Changing Visa Status in United States: This is only possible in limited cases and may take 12+ months to process. It is strongly encouraged to schedule a visa advising appointment to determine if this is an option.

    Advising and Registration Sessions

    Attend an Advising and Registration (A&R) session to enroll in your first semester classes. You’ll also become familiar with the technology you’ll use as a student. If you're admitted for the Fall semester, you can expect to receive your invitation starting in April. If you're admitted for the Spring semester, you can expect to receive your invitation starting in November.

    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.

  • 2.

    Submit a Program Application

    Create a Madison College account and submit your application.

    Program Availability

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

    You must select a program/s with a minimum of 12 credits during the first or each subsequent term. It must also have a "100% in-person" or "Some online/Some in-person" delivery method. This can be found on every program webpage and under their "Curriculum and Experience" tab. 

    Residency Restrictions

    Petition Programs

    Petition programs admit students in a pre-program status. You must complete petition requirement courses before petitioning into the core program. These programs may have residency restrictions on how soon or successfully you can petition into a core program. View the Petition Process page for estimated wait times to get into programs.

    You may need to take additional courses each term to reach full-time enrollment (12 credits) if you are in pre-program status or if there are not sufficient courses to enroll full-time because of Credit for Prior Learning. You are encouraged to consider this information before applying to a petition program.

    Unavailable Programs

    Due to prolonged wait time, credit load limitations, and/or licensure restriction, certain programs of study are not available to international students. International applicants should not apply to the following programs without consulting CIE staff:

    Unavailable to New International Students
    • Associate Degree Nursing
    • Nursing Completion LPN to ADN
    • Nursing Completion Paramedic to ADN
    • Dental Hygienist
    • Occupational Therapy Assistant
    • Practical Nursing
    • Radiography
    • Respiratory Therapy
    Unavailable to Current International Students
    • Associate Degree Nursing
    • Nursing Completion LPN to ADN
    • Nursing Completion Paramedic to ADN
    • Practical Nursing
    • Dental Hygienist
    • Radiography

    In the first question on the application, ensure you indicate that you need F-1 visa support by selecting “yes.” If you select “no,” your application will be routed to the domestic admissions team, which has a different process than the Center for International Education.

    If you accidentally answer incorrectly, email to cancel your application. You should then complete a new application with your existing student ID and password.

    Apply to Madison College

  • 3.

    Credential Evaluation and Transcripts

    If you received your educational credential outside of the United States

    You must submit an official credential evaluation. A credential evaluation is different from a translation because it shows how your educational system aligns with the U.S. educational system and converts grades into the U.S. equivalent.

    There are two credential evaluation types.

    1. A general credential evaluation converts the educational diploma and GPA to its equivalent U.S. degree type and GPA. This is the minimum requirement for admission.
    2. The course-by-course credential evaluation converts the international transcript to list the previous courses taken and converts the course grades and credit values to the U.S. equivalents. When requesting credit for prior learning, this is used to verify the courses previously taken and their final grade and credit values.

    Recommended Services for Credential Evaluation

    Review submission instructions for each company, as they will differ based on country of origin, education level or document age.

    Madison College will also accept evaluations by any National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES) member or Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) endorsed member. Madison College has the right to refuse credential evaluations from alternative services for Admission and/or Credit for Prior Learning. Madison College cannot guarantee that a credential and prior coursework accepted by Madison College will be accepted by other institutions as well.

    If you received your educational credential in the United States

    You must submit an official transcript that meets your Education Completion requirement for the program you are applying to. These requirements can be found on the program webpage or the Admission Requirement page for your program. Examples (vary by program):

    • High school/secondary completion
    • Collegiate-level education completion equivalencies A credential evaluation is not needed.

    Official transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution directly to Enrollment Services. If you order your transcript electronically and must provide a Madison College school email, use This allows us to receive the inbound transcript. If the institution is sending a hard copy of your official transcript, it can be mailed to:

    Madison College
    Enrollment Services
    1701 Wright Street
    Madison, WI 53704

    We are unable to accept the self-submission of transcripts.

  • 4.

    English Proficiency

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

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

    Course Placement Testing at Madison College

    We recommend taking the Accuplacer test through Madison College for reading and writing for two reasons: 1. It is the least expensive method costing under $50. 2. Before enrolling in classes, you will need to take the Accuplacer for course level placement, so you will save time by taking one test for both admission and course placement purposes.

    You may take this test remotely abroad or at a Madison College testing center.

    Take the Test Remotely

    To take the test remotely from abroad, send an email to expressing your interest and we will provide further instructions.

    Take the Test On Campus

    Register with the Testing Center to take the Accuplacer course placement test at Madison College. Select the "Course Placement" exam type.

    Register for a Placement Test

    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.

    How to submit: Official English Language scores must be sent by the respective agency or have online verification available.

  • 5.

    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 as a non-resident 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. These documents should be uploaded via an upload link in the email you received with your application submission.

    Residency for temporary, non-immigrant visa holders is out-of-state and cannot be changed.

    Estimated Cost

    Technical Associate and Diploma Programs: $20,888

    Tuition and Fees: $5,640 = $235/credit

    Liberal Arts Transfer Programs: $22,592

    Tuition and Fees: $7,344 = $306/credit

    Breakdown of Expenses

    Living expenses: $15,248 = $1,270/month

    • Housing and Meals: $11,088
    • Personal: $2,048
    • Books and Supplies: $300
    • Health Insurance: $1,812 – 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 accompany you as an F-2 Dependent in the U.S., you must provide dependent information and additional expenses. Submit the F-2 Dependent Form (PDF), dependent passport copies and add additional funding indicated on the form to your total estimated cost.

    Acceptable Financial Support Documents

    • Account statement from your personal checking or saving bank account(s) with the total estimated cost. The statement must:
      • Include the bank logo with contact information
      • Be less than one year old
      • Show available liquid balance
      • Include your name. If the bank account is not in your name, you will need to upload an Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF).
      • Note: If the bank statement is not a checking or savings account, you must provide official documentation from the funding institution indicating that you can withdraw the funds at any time.
    • Local Host Statement of Commitment Form (PDF): If you will live with a host who will provide housing and/or meals, you must submit the Local Host Statement of Commitment Form. You may subtract the indicated amount on the form from your total estimated cost. 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

    How to submit: Financial support documents should be uploaded via an upload link in the email you received with your application submission.

    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.

  • 6.

    Verification of Identity

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

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

    How to Submit Verification of Identity

    Verification of identity documents should be uploaded via an upload link in the email you received with your application submission.

  • 7.

    Communication Permission Form (Optional)

    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) to the Center for International Education before any information may be released.

image of a passport and visa

Already Admitted to Madison College?

Your next step is to get Get F-1 Visa Support. Visit to find resources for Madison College international students, from visa advising to cultural support to getting you connected on- and off-campus and more.

Get F-1 Visa Support