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How to Apply

25% or more of our students are from another country
Over 17 languages are spoken at Miami Ad School
Our international students say Americans smile a lot and are friendly
25% or more of our students are from another country
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Atlanta’s Top Advertising & Design School

Thousands of the industry’s top creative leaders “worked” here before they got their first job.

Started in 1978, this school, originally named Portfolio Center, was the first portfolio school in the world. Thousands of the industry’s top creative leaders got their start here.

The school’s concept? Partner with industry to provide real-world, hands-on education. Practical courses, projects for real clients. You’re surrounded by others as passionate and hard working as you. And you’ll start in a city with enormous resources. Atlanta is the New York of the south with global agencies, start-ups and a growing film industry. The best of NY but with much cheaper rent.

When you visit our school you will feel instantly that this creative environment is the best possible place to start building your portfolio.

A life-size unicorn painted by folk artists. Hand-made tables with Beatle’s lyrics carved in the wood. An Airstream trailer inside the building used as a classroom. A classroom that looks like a hunter’s lodge. Design books hanging from the ceiling. A table made like an upside down Herb Lubalin book. Funky reading rooms all around.  A gallery for artists to showcase what they do in their spare time. Happy dogs all over the place. This school feels exactly like a cool design firm.

Instead of work, school feels like play because these are the kind of projects you love doing. You develop a portfolio. Put what you’ve learned to action in internships in Atlanta and around the world.

When it’s time to graduate, we sponsor a Portfolio Review in Atlanta and New York. And we give our grads job placement assistance from our super list of contacts. In addition with so many of our grads working in the business in senior level positions, they love hiring from their alma mater.

How To Get An M1 Student Visa

Mail us these four additional items when you apply to Miami Ad School.

1. A copy of your valid passport.

Please send a copy of your passport from the country you will be getting the visa in.

2. A bank letter or financial statement indicating a minimum current balance.

This must be printed on bank letterhead and must be calculated for US currency by your bank. The financial document must be the original document as copies nor print-outs from the internet are acceptable.

Your bank statement may not be older then 90 days before your start date of school.

A) If you are applying for the two-year portfolio programs in art direction, copywriting, digital design, photography & video the current balance indicated must be at least $32,000 US.

B) If you are applying for one of the 12-week boot camps the current balance indicated must be at least:

$8,500 US – social media
$13,000 US – account planning

C) If you are applying to the joint master’s program with Florida International University, your international paperwork will be supplied through FIU. Please contact them for their instructions.

3. Sponsor letter if the bank account is not yours.

If the financial statement is not in your name, you’ll need a letter from the person whom is listed on the bank statement. This is your sponsor. You may have more than one sponsor. If the bank statement is in your name, you can skip this requirement. The sponsor letter must be the original as copies are not acceptable.

4. Official TOEFL score

Scores must be a minimum of 550/PBT, 213/CBT, or 80/IBT. Miami Ad School – Miami’s TOEFL code is 3023. Occasionally, this component is waived. Contact your admissions advisor if your English language ability can be clearly demonstrated in both written and oral form.

After you are accepted to Miami Ad School, you will receive your I-20 form. Then follow these three steps to get your M-1 student visa.

1. Login to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website to fill out a SEVIS form 1-901.

  • Go to
  • Click “Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment.” 
  • Choose “Form I-20” and click OK. 
  • Enter your surname and first name as it appears on your I-20 and passport as well as the SEVIS ID number on the top right of your form I-20.

2. Pay the fee and print your receipt.

At the American Embassy or Consulate you will be required to show proof the $200 USD fee is paid. If you are a Canadian citizen you have completed the process. Just save and present your receipt with your I-20 when you enter the U.S. All other nationalities proceed to Step 3.

3. Contact your American Embassy or Consulate to make an appointment.

Be sure to inquire early about all the needed documentation required for this appointment. You will need to complete the DS-160 visa application at Provide only what is required. There will be a fee for the M-1 visa, so you’ll want to ask what this cost is when setting up your appointment. When you have your appointment at the American Embassy or Consulate you will need to leave your passport in order for them to add to it your approved M-1 student visa.

* If you are a Canadian Citizen, you are not required to complete this step.

When the American Embassy or Consulate returns your passport make sure all the information on your M-1 student visa is accurate. Make sure you have been issued an M-1 visa and not an F-1 visa. (The consulates and embassies on occasion issue the wrong visa.) If your student visa is an F-1, it is incorrect and you will need to have it corrected at the embassy or consulate to an M-1 visa. You may not study at Miami Ad School on an F-1 visa. (Disregard this info if you are enrolling in the joint Masters program with FIU.)

Common questions from international students.

Why is my I-20 for one year but the program is two years long?

Since Miami Ad School is an M-1 school, the Form I-20 can only be issued for one year. In your second year you need to get a new Form 1-20. You will receive an email in your fourth quarter in week one telling you that you need a new Form I-20 with your options and instructions.

Can I work in the United States while I am studying?

No, the U.S. Department of Customs and Immigration does not allow students on an M-1 visa to work.

Is there financial aid for international students?

The United States Government does not extend student loans to international students. But, if you’re Swedish, you’re in luck as the Swedish Government provides financial support to its citizens studying abroad.

I’m Here to Help.

Let me know if you have questions

Cheryl Seichrist

International student advisor



What’s it like to design with NASA? Find out on March 3.

Next week, we’re co-hosting a workshop with Oxcart Assembly—the brilliant minds behind the LAUNCH AMERICA identity for NASA and SpaceX. They’ll have speakers from NASA, Carnegie Mellon, the world of music, and more. Don’t miss out.