You Are Welcome Here...

As an international student at LACM, you will also have the opportunity to build professional and personal relationships that last a lifetime. LACM’s international students make up about one-third of our student population, which creates a unique and diverse learning environment. Our Student Services Office and International Office are dedicated to making the transition from your home country to LACM as smooth and easy as possible.

International Requirements for Admission

Step #1: Complete general application process as outlined here, Please take note of the International Applicants section in, “Step 1: Send your Documents”.

Step #2: Send Foreign Transcript Evaluation.

Individuals who have completed high school, college, or university course work in a country other than the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by a NACES-approved ( evaluation agency. For more information, click here. International students must submit an official transcript evaluation from a NACES Member Service. For a full list of NACES Members, click here.

The transcript evaluation must include:
1. A detailed report (course-by-course evaluation)
2. A U.S. degree equivalency
3. A U.S. Grade Point Average (GPA) equivalency

Transcript evaluations are not required from American universities operating overseas, provided the institution is regionally accredited by a recognized U.S. regional accrediting body, with grades report on a U.S. 4-point scale.

  • In order to be considered for academic scholarship, students’ transcripts must contain a cumulative GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale. Domestic transcripts from IB Diploma Programme schools may be considered for academic scholarship should their transcript contain a cumulative GPA on the 1-7 scale. The same is also true for international students attending an IB Diploma Programme, however their programme must be instructed primarily in English and be accredited by an American Regional Accrediting organization. All other international IB transcripts must complete the Foreign Transcript Evaluation Process.
  • If you are a domestic GED graduate, your official transcript must provide your score, out of a total possible score.

SpanTran is the preferred evaluation company of LACM. They offer a discount and expedited turnaround on the evaluation and will send a free copy directly to LACM. SpanTran Application

ACEI (Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc.) is also an approved evaluator of LACM

Step #3: Submit an English Proficiency Exam (TOEFL or IELTS).

International Applicants must submit one of the following English proficiency tests for admission. Duolingo English Test is the preferred proficiency testing company of LACM. They offer testing that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. Scores may not be more than two years old at the time of application to LACM. Below are the minimum scores accepted for each test:

  • Duolingo English Test: the minimum score for acceptance is 95.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): the minimum score for acceptance is 70 (Internet-Based). Our TOEFL school code is 1987.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): the minimum score is a 6 overall band score.

Bridge to Success: English and Cultural Immersion Program

  • Attend LACM 1 quarter early, and improve academic English proficiency through english and music coursework
  • Earn English proficiency needed to attend LACM degree programs. Minimum scores to enter the program: Duolingo: 80, TOEFL iBT: 50, IELTS: 5
  • for more info

Other Exemptions from the English Proficiency Test Requirement:
Students are exempt from the English proficiency test requirement if they meet at least one of the following criteria: The student is a citizen or permanent resident (as indicated on the application for admissions) of one or more of the following countries: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Scotland, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

The student has a degree (as indicated on the application for admissions) from an institution where the primary language of instruction and evaluation is English, and for which verification is available through the International Handbook of Universities, published and edited by IAU/UNESCO. Additional information may be requested from the applicant’s university registrar’s office to verify that the instruction was conducted in English.

For more info on how to apply, visit our Admissions Page or contact and Admissions Officer.


International Student Services



Academic Advising & Tutoring



All Official Transcript Evaluations and English Proficiency Scores should be sent to:

LACM Admissions
Los Angeles College of Music
300 South Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Enrollment & Visa Process

Step 1: 
Sign Enrollment Agreement & Pay Enrollment Fee

Upon acceptance to an LACM program:

  1. Sign the enrollment agreement and pay the $335 enrollment fee (includes the Form I-20 processing and mailing fee)
  2. Submit $100 Housing Reservation Application (optional)

Didn’t get accepted? Check out our LACM Online programs for options on increasing your music industry, theory and production skill set.

Contact an admissions counselor to discuss how to make your application stronger for the admittance in the future.

Step 2: 
Submit Your 1-20 Requirements

You will need the following to apply for an I-20:

  1. Copy of your passport
  2. Current financial statement(s) showing proof of adequate funds
  3. Affidavit of Support (if you have a sponsor)
  4. The “International Student Processing Form

Use the links provided for more info on:

Please contact the International Services Counselor,, with questions.

Completed forms & copies can be sent to or by mail:

International Services Officer
300 S. Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

Step 3: 
Form I-20 Issuance

After meeting the I-20 requirements, you will receive an I-20 draft. If all information on the draft is correct, your original Form I-20 will be mailed to you via Fedex.

When asked, verify if all information on the form is correct. Once you receive your I-20 in the mail, read the terms of conditions of admission, and sign page 1 (student attestation section) using blue ink.

Step 4: 
Pay Tuition

Remember to pay first quarter tuition, you will be contacted by the billing office with instructions.

Your I-20 will be cancelled if the tuition payment is not received.

For questions, contact

Winter 2023: October 11, 2022

Spring 2023: January 4, 2023

Summer 2023: April 4, 2023

Fall 2023: July 5, 2023

Step 5: 
Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee

The SEVIS fee is a federally mandated fee, currently $350 USD, which must be paid by all international students at least three days prior to the visa appointment. To pay the fee, go to

Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, print the receipt, and take it with you to your visa appointment. Canadian citizens present the receipt at the U.S. Port of Entry.

Step 6: 
Complete the Form DS-160
(Visa Application)

Access and carefully complete the online Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) from the Consular Electronic Application Center website: (you may be asked to upload a digital photo of yourself).

Print and keep the DS-160 barcode page. (You will not need to print the full application but email yourself a copy).

Pay the DS-160 visa application-processing fee, currently $160 USD (not the same as the I-901 fee). Each embassy and consulate has a different requirement for paying fees, so review country-specific instructions on the U.S. Embassy website:

Print the “confirmation page” to bring to your visa interview.

If you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda you do not require a visa to enter United States as a student. However, you must present a valid Form I-20 at the time of admission (at the U.S. Port of Entry), and you should be prepared to present all supporting financial and academic documentation. Additional resources for Canadian visitors to the United States can be found on the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada website:

Step 7: 
Schedule the Visa Interview

Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Visit to locate a U.S. Embassy/Consulate near you. Each Consulate provides instructions on how to apply and make an appointment.

Please note that payment of both the I-901 SEVIS Fee ($350) and the DS-160 Visa Application Processing Fee ($160) are due before the visa appointment. The SEVIS I-901 is due at least 3 days before your visa appointment and the DS-160 is due at the time of making the appointment. 

Prepare for your interview. Click here to download our “Tips for a Successful Interview”

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, and delays are possible, so apply early. When your visa is approved, you may also be required to pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality. For visa appointment and processing wait times, click here.

Step 8: 
Go to Your Visa Interview

Bring the following documents to your visa interview:

  1. Valid passport (must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U.S.)
  2. Form DS-160 confirmation page
  3. Application fee payment receipt (if you are required to pay before your interview). Otherwise, bring visa issuance fee
  4. Original Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1 or M-1) Student Status
  5. I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  6. LACM acceptance letter
  7. Two passport-style (37 mm X 37 mm or 2”x2”) photos (unless you are only required to upload a photo while completing the online Form DS-160). Review photo instructions.
  8. If you have dependents you must also show proof of your relationship (birth certificate/marriage certificate). It’s recommended for families to apply at the same time.
  9. Original financial statements showing that you or your sponsor has sufficient funds. In most cases, the Consular Officer will require you to provide the same (possibly additional) financial evidence you provided to LACM. You need to bring these statements withyou when entering the United States.
  10. Copy of LACM scholarship and/or grant award letter (if applicable)

Additional documents may be required depending on your personal and academic situation. All students should be prepared to also present:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from previous schools attended
  • Standardized test scores required by the school (ex. TOEFL) Any information that shows you will return to your home country after completing your studies.

AFTER YOUR VISA INTERVIEW, the consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa. You will be informed how your passport with the visa will be returned to you.

Step 9:
Once Approved

Once you have received your visa you can start to make travel plans and other living arrangements. Do not make final travel plans until you have your student visa.

  • Book airfare and make other travel arrangements.
  • Research health insurance and if desired, enroll in a plan (it is not required for international students; however, it is highly recommended). LACM recommends obtaining international health insurance through Gallagher Insurance:
    If you have questions regarding health insurance, feel free to contact International Student Services.
  • Make any necessary living arrangements. More info:
    For questions regarding LACM housing, please contact our Housing Coordinator, Abigail Gunther at
  • Notify your DSO what day you plan to arrive in the U.S. and of any changes.

Make sure to bring all visa-related documents with you in your hand luggage or carry on when you travel:

  • Passport
  • Original Form I-20
  • LACM Acceptance Letter
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
  • Financial Statements (showing proof of adequate funds)

Be aware that a valid visa does not guarantee entry into the US: it only allows you to travel to a U.S. Port of Entry and request permission to enter the United States. Permission to enter is given by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official.

Occasionally there may be a visa denial or delay. If your visa is denied, you should receive the reason for the denial in writing. If it is delayed, the reason could be that your SEVIS record does not appear in the Consulate database, or that a security clearance background check is needed, which on average takes 3-8 weeks.

Email if you do not receive your visa within 45 days of your visa interview. Again, we recommend you start the visa process early.

Please note, LACM cannot guarantee that you will be issued a student visa.

International FAQs

You should reschedule your visa appointment. You must have your original I-20 with you when you go to your visa interview.

While international students are not required to have health insurance, we highly recommend it. In most cases, the easiest and most affordable option for international students is to request extended (international) coverage from their health insurance provider in their home country (or a separate plan with international coverage). However, if that option is not available, there are many health insurance options for international students in the United States. Contact your DSO for recommendations.

LACM recommends obtaining international health insurance through International Student Insurance:

The following link lists recommended vaccinations to get before entering the US:

As an international student, you are not eligible for U.S. financial aid. You may be eligible for a scholarship. For questions regarding scholarships, contact the Admissions Department at

In general, only non citizens who have permission to work can apply for a Social Security number. While most companies will ask for your SSN, it is not always a requirement to start a service. You will not need a SSN to open a U.S. bank account, to sign up for utilities, to get a U.S. driver’s license, or enroll in a cell phone plan. However, some companies may require you to pay an extra deposit or provide additional proof of funds if you do not have a SSN.

Yes. Keep them in a safe place together with your other immigration-related documents. You will need them every time you travel.

As an international student (non-resident), you do not need a U.S. license to drive in the Unites States. You are allowed to drive with a foreign driver’s license. If your license is in another language than English, you need to first have it translated which you can do at your embassy. When driving, carry both the license and the translation with you.

Yes, any F-1/M-1 non immigrant in lawful status can apply for a driver’s license or ID card. If you plan to, visit and contact your DSO who can provide guidance. Wait at least ten calendar days from the date of entry into the United States before applying for a driver’s license or ID to allow for arrival date processing. When you apply, you will be asked to present necessary supporting documents to verify legal status in the United States.

GDPR Compliance Statement

The Los Angeles College of Music has always been committed to our students’ and applicants’ right to privacy and protection. LACM welcome’s the arrival of the GDPR and is taking the appropriate steps to making sure our data processors adhere to the privacy and protection policies outlined by the EU-US.

If you have any questions about LACM’s commitment to the GDPR or LACM’s policies on privacy and data security, please feel free to contact our office at 626.568.8850

GDPR Compliance Request