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The Cleveland Institute of Music welcomes students from many countries. Today, nearly 30% of students enrolled at CIM are from outside the United States. Admission requirements are the same for all applicants, regardless of citizenship. Additional procedures, however, result from immigration regulations, different educational backgrounds, and financial considerations.

CIM's International Student Advisor, Kristen Zalar, offers many resources to support international students and enrich their educational experience. Please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Zalar with your questions or concerns.

Required documents

To be considered, each document you submit in a language other than English must be accompanied by a notarized English translation from the issuing institution or a recognized translation service. If degree equivalency cannot be determined, you will be required to provide the transcript through World Education Services. We will not accept documents submitted without notarized translations.

For a complete list of required supporting documents, please see the page that corresponds with your situation:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

If English is not an official language in your home country, you must complete the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The CIM school code for TOEFL is 1124. When registering for the test or when ordering a score report, no departmental code is necessary. Log into your TOEFL iBT account to order a score report.

You must upload your TOEFL score report at the time of application. No audition will be scheduled without the required TOEFL score (see below).

Minimum scores required to schedule an audition:

  • Bachelor of Music - 61 (iBT)
  • Master of Music - 61 (iBT)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts - 90 (iBT)
  • Artist Certificate, Artist Diploma, and Professional Studies - 61 (iBT)

Minimum scores required to be considered for acceptance:

  • Bachelor of Music - 79 (iBT)
  • Master of Music - 79 (iBT)
  • Doctor of Musical Arts - 100 (iBT)
  • Artist Certificate, Artist Diploma, and Professional Studies - 61 (iBT)

Passport and visa requirements

Before leaving your home country, you must obtain a passport from your country of citizenship. The passport expiration date must be at least six months later than your intended date of entry into the United States. International applicants who are already in the U.S. must also be prepared to provide authoritative documentation concerning entry into the U.S. (passport, visa, etc.).

During the application process, we will email audition date confirmations to everyone planning live auditions in Cleveland. Once your audition date is confirmed, you may use a copy of this email to obtain a B-2 visa for entry into the United States. A U.S. Consular Post may, in some cases, additionally require a "letter of invitation" from CIM for the visa interview. You may request an invitation letter from the CIM Admission Office at

Financial aid for international students

Prior to confirming your student status, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security requires you to document the ability to pay for the first year at CIM. You must obtain the I-20 needed to get the F-1 visa. While this requirement only pertains to ability to pay for the first year, please plan ahead and consider your ability to fund your remaining time at CIM.

If you have a sponsor or other aid to help pay the first year, and it is not available in subsequent years, CIM shall not be expected to make up the difference. Remember, the CIM Scholarship is renewable at the SAME dollar amount each year for the normal duration of the program (assuming GPA, academic and artistic progress requirements are being met). Newly admitted international applicants must show documentation of ability to pay prior to being confirmed as a new student and this process should be complete by the April 15 (graduate) or May 1 (undergraduate) Intent to Enroll deadlines.

Further resources

For more information, we encourage you to visit these sites: