College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership

International Students

  • The Seattle University MFA in Arts Leadership program draws in students from all over the world. With Seattle's vibrant art scene and the success of our alumni, it's no wonder.

    As a prospective international student, you may have questions about attending graduate school in the United States. On this page, we hope to answer some of those questions or link you to the people and organizations that do have answers.

    Seattle and the Arts

    Seattle has a thriving performing and visual arts scene including nationally honored Benaroya Hall, home to one of the most recorded symphonies in the world, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the critically acclaimed McCaw Hall, home to the world class Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Seattle Opera. With several major art museums including the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park, EMP Museum, the Museum of Glass, the Frye Art Museum, the Seattle Children's Museum, many smaller museums, over 100 commercial art galleries and internationally renowned glass artists, Seattle's visual artists are a presence both nationally and internationally. In short, the city of Seattle has a lot to offer and has been an important factor for many of our students.

    Seattle University's MFA in Arts Leadership program is part of this thriving arts community. Our graduate students spend time in the field, working with local and nationally recognized visual and performing arts organizations and artists. This hands-on experience gives students the opportunity to apply what they've learned in class, preparing them for challenging arts leadership positions.

    Beyond the Arts

    The art scene in Seattle is exciting but there is even more to attract you to the city. For those interested in the outdoors, the Cascade and Olympic mountains serve as a beautiful backdrop for the city and offer numerous hiking and skiing opportunities just a short drive away. Puget Sound, Lake Union and Lake Washington make Seattle a great spot for ferry rides, sailing, fishing and other water sports. Seattle has a vibrant nightlife, history, and a diverse culture. Learn more.  

    If you're looking for a sense of community, Seattle University is a great place to be. Seattle University is among the most diverse independent universities in the Western United States. Our students represent all 50 US states and 77 nations. As of 2014 Seattle University had 7,273 students, 33% from ethnically diverse backgrounds and over 600 international students.

    With approximately 100 clubs and student organizations, you'll be able to find a student group or organization that shares your interests. Cultural heritage, sports, academic clubs, performing and visual arts are just a few of the student clubs that you can find at Seattle University.


    International students have requirements beyond the general application. We encourage you to visit Graduate Admissions for details. You will find information about having your transcripts evaluated for coursework completed outside of the United States (this is a requirement), a chart detailing English proficiency requirements and more.  If you have further questions, please contact Carol Lwali in Graduate Admissions. For specific questions, please contact Carol Lwali in Graduate Admissions.  The admissions priority deadline and scholarship deadline for the MFA in Arts Leadership program is March 15th but applications will be accepted after that date.  Please contact us for details. 

    While you're studying in Seattle

    While you're a student, you'll have university organizations available to assist you and answer questions. The International Student Center is one such group that may be able to answer your questions.

    Students who have not met Seattle University's English proficiency minimum for regular admission and were admitted through CLB (Culture and Learning Bridge) will have an additional requirement of CLB classes. We encourage students required to take these courses to arrive in June so that they may complete these classes before our program begins during Summer Quarter, August intersession.

    Seattle University also offers writing assistance through our Writing Center. We encourage our students to take advantage of this free program.

    Working In Seattle

    As a graduate student on an F-1 Visa, you may be able to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week or work off campus through CPT or OPT training. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a paid internship that is required for your program. As our program requires a practicum for all but intercession, this will likely be a great option for some students. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary work authorization designed to give students experience in their field before or after graduation. This is only an option after you've been in the United States for one academic year. For both CPT and OPT, this is just a very brief introductory and there are other requirements. If you are interested in pursuing one of these options while at Seattle University as a part of the MFA in Arts Leadership Program, we encourage you to get in touch.

  • NY Times Video - 36 Hours in Seattle

    This is a great introduction to our vibrant city.