Center for International Education

1701 Wright Street
Madison WI 53704 

Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

International Admissions
Email / (608) 243-4108

International Student Services
Email / (608) 243-4108

Study Abroad
Email / (608) 243-4108

CIE Main Office
Call: (608) 246-6201 
Fax: (608) 243-4445

Downtown D112
211 North Carroll Street
Madison WI 53703

Call: (608) 243-4108

Hours: Limited staffing on Wednesday and Friday, please call first.

International Student Admission

The international admissions process should only be used by applicants who want student visa (F-1, J-1, M-1) 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, please follow instructions for obtaining your visa and the required next steps for international students

Note: Many of these requirements take time to obtain, so please don't wait to make your requests for documents. There is a $50 application fee for programs and a $15 fee for each certificate. If a program is not listed on the application, there is a wait list and you will not be able to apply for that program.

Apply to a Program     Apply to a Certificate


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) - visa applications may take 6-12 months to process
  • Transferring F-1 Visa Status - transfer must be initiated within 30 days of the next semester start date at your prior school or within 60 days of graduating


July 15 (Fall semester begins August/September)


November 15 (Spring semester begins January)


April 15 (Summer semester begins June)

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

  • Transcripts showing high school/secondary school completion or higher education (unofficial copies accepted)

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

  • Official transcripts showing degree completion

If you have been admitted to UW-Madison or another UW college system undergraduate or graduate degree (not ESL), you must submit:

Recommended Services for Credential Evaluation

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

Download a list of recommended credential evaluation services (PDF, 36KB).

One Earth International Credential Evaluations
Madison Office
Phone: 1.608.205.8189

Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE)
101 W. Pleasant Street, Suite 200, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Tel: (414) 289-3400, Fax: (414) 289-3411,

Joseph Silny & Associates, Inc.*
7101 SW 102 Avenue, Miami, FL 33173
Tel: (305) 273-1616, Fax: (305) 273-1984

*Provides both translation and credential evaluation services.

For additional listings please send request to

English Proficiency

If you are currently outside of the U.S., proof of English proficiency may be demonstrated by submitting an official score report for any of the following English language examinations taken within the last two years:

  • TOEFL: 58 (IBT)
  • IELTS:  Band 5
  • GTEC:  1055
  • TOEIC:  550
  • PTE:  42
  • EIKEN: Grade 2A

If you are currently inside the U.S., proof of English proficiency may be demonstrated with placement test scores (Accuplacer, COMPASS, ACT) from within the last two years. For visa support, placement into Academic Reading 5/6 and Academic Writing 5/6 classes or higher is required.

If you need to improve your English skills, we recommend taking an intensive English language program before coming to Madison College. We have an agreement with the following institutions to facilitate your visa transfer:

Please note: The English Language Learner (ESL) classes offered by Madison College are not available to non-residents due to being funded by grants designed to serve resident immigrants. Additionally, these ESL classes are not structured for the purposes of intensive, full-time, college preparatory 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 2018-2019

  • Technical Degree: $19,776
  • Liberal Arts: $21,432

Breakdown of Expenses

Tuition and Fees: 

  • Technical Degree Program: $211/credit = $5,064 -or-
  • Liberal Arts Transfer Program: $280/credit = $6,720

Living expenses: $1,226/month = $14,712

  • Housing/Room: $6,800
  • Meals/Board: $1,908
  • Personal: $2,084
  • Books and Supplies: $1,820
  • Health Insurance: $2,100. - 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, 83KB) indicates you will live with a host who will be providing housing and meals.
  • 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, 122KB) 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)