Supporting Your SAE Experience

Our staff are here to make your SAE Institute experience rewarding and enjoyable. Below is an outline of the student services available to you at SAE Institute.

Supporting your learning

SAE Institute's Student Services offers a range of support with your studies:

  • Knowledgeable Student Services Coordinators at each campus
  • Lab Instructors are on hand to assist you with the use of specialist facilities, technical advice and access to equipment
  • On-campus and online resources including email accounts
  • Access to Canvas learning management system
  • Special learning needs are treated confidentially and expertly
  • Tutoring sessions available for personalized support


Administrative Support Services

Student Services staff can help you with all administrative matters including:

  • Course information
  • Academic advising
  • Forms and student records
  • Transcript requests
  • Withdrawals and Leave of Absence requests
  • Orientation
  • Timetables and campus information
  • Fees and payments
  • Graduation

Supporting your well being

SAE Student Services staff provide guidance and support on an array of non-academic matters including:

  • Time management
  • Veteran affairs
  • Accommodation, transportation, and local services
  • Healthy and effective study practices
  • Confidential liaison for contact to professional services in health, social services, finance and counseling

Supporting students with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantee disabled students access to educational opportunities. SAE Institute does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of physical or mental disability and is fully committed to providing reasonable accommodations, including appropriate auxiliary aids and services, to qualified individuals with a disability unless providing such accommodations would result in an undue burden or fundamentally alter the nature of the relevant program, benefit or service provided by SAE Institute.

Students who seek accommodations at SAE Institute must provide documentation of their disability from an appropriate, licensed professional or provide education information such as an Individual Education Plan, 504 Plan or Summary of Progress (SOP). The information should include the diagnosed condition, the treatment being provided (if any) and any disability related recommendations. The documentation cannot be more than three years old. The documentation shall be submitted to the 504 Coordinator who will create an Accommodation Plan. The 504 Coordinator is the Director of Education. The student shall be responsible for sharing accommodation needs with the teacher.

Transcript Request

Students and alumni of SAE Institute can submit a transcript request to the Registrar for a copy of their official transcript.

Transcript Request

How to Apply for a Student Visa

In order to enroll at SAE Institute in the United States, you need to obtain an M-1 student visa before traveling to the country to begin your studies. The US Department of State provides detailed information on visa requirements and the visa application process. Visit the US Department of State website for full details. For information on the current visa processing times or help with the application, please contact your nearest US Embassy.

Your Requirements for Admission & Visa Eligibility

SAE Institute is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant foreign students (M1 Visa) in the full-time Audio Program and full-time Entertainment Business Program in Nashville; and the F1 Visa for the Animation and Visual Effects Bachelor's Degree, Digital Film Bachelor's Degree, and Game Development Bachelor's at SAE Expression College in Emeryville, CA and SAE Institute – San Jose, CA. International students must finish the entire enrollment process, completing all items on the checklist below, before the school can issue Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for M1 or F1 Visas). The student will then present that form, along with all other required documents, to the appropriate consular officials in order to obtain the M1 or F1 visa for entry into the United States. International students are only eligible to attend the full-time program and are not permitted to work while enrolled.

The following will guide you through the steps required to be admitted and obtain Form I-20. Please note how to submit each of the documents on the checklist. 

1. Submit Application & Passport

Submit completed application and a copy of your passport, valid for travel at least 6 months beyond the date of intended stay in the US.

How to submit: Fax, email, or mail

2. Demonstrate English proficiency

SAE Institute campuses in the U.S.A. require all students to be proficient in English, both spoken and written. Applicants to SAE Institute that have completed secondary school in the following English-speaking foreign countries do not need to demonstrate English language proficiency:

Australia Bahamas Barbados Belgium
Belize Botswana Canada Denmark
Fiji Finland Ghana Guyana
Ireland Jamaica Kenya Lesotho
Liberia Nigeria Netherlands New Zealand
Norway Papua New Guinea Singapore Solomon Islands
South Africa St. Lucia Sweden Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago United Kingdom Zambia Zimbabwe

Applicants from all other countries not listed above must provide evidence of English Language Proficiency by providing exam results above the following cutoff scores:

  • A minimum score of 61 on the internet-based test, 173 on the computer-based test, or 500 on Paper-based version of the TOEFL
  • A minimum score of 42 on the Pearson English Test (PTE)
  • A minimum score of 5.5 for Diploma Program and 6.0 on the IELTS exam

How to submit: The examining/awarding facility must transmit the official results directly to the school. Transmission from students in any form will not be accepted.

3. Provide proof of educational achievement

Secondary education or Post-secondary education completed outside of the U.S. used as evidence of High School Graduation or equivalency must be evaluated by a foreign credential evaluation service, SAE Institute will only admit students that hold a credential deemed equivalent to a U.S. high school education, even if the student has achieved an university/higher level credential. The student need only submit their high school documents for evaluation, but in most cases the evaluation company can use university transcripts to demonstrate US High School diploma equivalency. Approved agencies providing this service include all NACES members, all AICE members and AACARO.

How to submit: The student must apply for the evaluation with the chosen service and instruct the service to transmit the report directly to the school. Copies, faxes, or emails from the student will not be accepted.

4. Demonstrate available financial support and stability for the period of enrollment

This proof may be in the form of bank or other financial statements. The minimum will vary based on cost of living for the area and all program costs. If the financial statements are in another person's name (i.e. parent) who plans to sponsor the student, a letter indicating that he/she plans to support the student must accompany the statements. You may request a template of this letter from the school.

How to submit: Email, fax, or mail

5. Pass the Entrance Evaluation

In addition to the secondary school completion and English Proficiency, students are required to score a passing score on the Wonderlic SLE for the corresponding program. An applicant for a diploma or Associate Degree program must score at least a 14, and applicants for a Bachelor’s Degree must score at least an 18.

SAE Institute requires all applicants to successfully complete the Wonderlic SLE to enroll into a program. An applicant for a diploma and associate’s degree program taking Wonderlic SLE who on the first attempt does not met the minimum score of 14, or an applicant for a bachelor’s degree program who does not meet the minimum score of 18, may retake the exam one hour after the first attempt. If the second attempt does not result in the minimum score of 14 or 18 or higher, a third attempt may be made one week after the second. If the third attempt does not result in a minimum score of 14 or 18 or higher, a fourth attempt may be made three months after the third.

Please contact your SAE Institute representative for details and to set up a date and time for the evaluation.

6. Enrollment Agreement

Once you have chosen a start date, you will be provided with an Enrollment Agreement for that class. Please complete the required information, sign & date all three "Student's Signature" and "Date" fields. An electronic copy may be sent to the school to secure the visa, and then either the original may be mailed directly to the school or signed upon arrival. Students will not be allowed to attend class until a signed, hard copy Enrollment Agreement is on file.

How to submit: Students must mail a signed hard copy of the Enrollment Agreement, or electronically transmit a signed Enrollment Agreement to the school as a placeholder with the understanding that must sign a hard copy of the Enrollment Agreement before they will allowed to attend class.

7. Payment

International students may choose from one of three payment plans (see options and details on following page). Please indicate which payment plan you intend to use and make the initial payment, due upon enrollment, as your final step in the enrollment process. SAE cannot enroll a student or issue any immigration forms, including the I-20, until this payment has been received.

How to remit: wire transfers or credit card payments are the easiest options for overseas payment. Further information and instruction will be provided once necessary.

USCIS & SEVIS Requirements: SEVIS is the internet-based system that maintains information on non-immigrant students, exchange visitors, and their dependents. Once you have received your Form I-20, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) requires that you pay the SEVIS fee before you can apply for a student visa. The easiest way to pay the SEVIS fee is online. Be sure to print your receipt- you will need it for your visa interview.

Living in America

Every year thousands of students travel to America for our quality of education, high standard of living, competitive costs, and unbeatable social, sporting and cultural experiences.

Beginning a life in America can be daunting. Rest assured, you will be well looked after – each SAE Institute campus has a supportive Student Services team to assist you with settling in. 

In preparation for your stay in America, please read the US Government page Welcome to the United States, which gives comprehensive information on:

  • Planning your departure
  • Arriving in America
  • Accommodation
  • Accessing student support services
  • Remaining visa complaint
  • Working while you study
  • Living costs
  • Health and safety
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Phone and internet
  • Transport

Discover America is a great resource to help you when beginning your life in America.

Visit this site for more information on International Student Health Insurance.