Graduate International Students | University of Northwestern, St. Paul

Graduate International Students

Are you an international student who is interested in taking graduate courses at Northwestern? Our school is pleased to facilitate the academic and spiritual needs of students from around the world. Find out more about the enrollment process to ensure you experience a smooth transition.

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An international student who desires to attend a university in the U.S.A. without maintaining residency or citizenship can do so with an F-1 visa. Due to the extensive process required to become an international student, we recommend you contact us well in advance of when you plan to begin your program. We also have numerous online degree options that can be pursued from anywhere in the world!

F-1 Visas

Generally, an F-1 Visa accommodates people who are not U.S. citizens, not legal permanent residents or refugees, or dual citizens who completed their secondary schooling abroad. You are considered an international student if you decide to study under a nonimmigrant visa status.

Steps to Enroll

1. Take standardized exam

For those whose native language is not English, arrange to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test in System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE).

Minimum TOEFL scores for application to Northwestern:

  • Paper-based: 550
  • Computer-based: 213
  • Internet-based: 80

The minimum IELTS score for application to Northwestern is 6.5.

The minimum PTE score for application to Northwestern is 58.

2. Complete a University of Northwestern – St. Paul Application for Graduate Admission

Graduate Admission Criteria

  • Evidence of a new birth in Jesus Christ. Willingness to abide by the conduct expectations as outlined in the Declaration of Christian Community.
  • Submission of application and required essays
  • Bachelor's degree equivalent as reported by an international transcript evaluation organization from the NACES approved membership list
  • Have transcripts of all previous (undergraduate and graduate) international college work evaluated by a NACES approved organization.
  • Submit any transcripts from U.S. institutions
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale)
  • Likelihood of academic success at Northwestern.

3. Complete the Financial Verification Form (FVF) (received from Admissions) and return it to the Admissions Office.

Note: Please ask your admission counselor for this form. The line "Total Resources" on the FVF must balance the line "Total Costs." You must demonstrate the ability to cover the cost of an entire year of education. We strongly encourage you to complete these three steps at least two months prior to the term start date. Any other necessary paperwork needed for admittance or for obtaining your I-20 will be discussed with your admissions counselor.

Application Checklist

  • Completed, signed application
  • Application fee of $50 (money order payable to University of Northwestern)
  • Admission essays
  • If cumulative GPA is less than 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) from all previous (undergraduate and graduate) college work, an additional academic essay as outlined in the application packet.
  • International education credential evaluation report prepared by and directly sent from one of the NACES approved members

Admission Decision

When we receive your completed application checklist items, your test scores and your financial verification form in satisfactory condition, your documents will be reviewed by the admissions committee and you will be notified of your admission status within 1–2 weeks.

Housing policy

Graduate students cannot live in residence halls. They must make their own off-campus housing and transportation arrangements.

Questions? Contact Northwestern.

Jody Reynolds (MDIV, MATS, MAML, MAHS)
Phone: 651-631-5346

Sam Raun (MBA, MOL, MAED)
Phone: 651-631-5332

University of Northwestern — St. Paul
Graduate Admissions, N2080
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113-1598

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