International FAQs

International students

Am I an international student?

You are an international student if you intend to study under an F-1 student visa.


When should I start my application?

We encourage international students to begin the admission process early, as it can take up to a year to complete.


How do I apply?

If you are interested in taking the next step toward enrolling at Northwestern, please complete these steps:

  1. Submit our online college application
  2. Send us your high school transcript (official copies are required if you’re a transfer student)
  3. Submit your test score (ACT, SAT, TOEFL, or IELTS)



What is the timeline?

Fall 2018 Semester:

  • July 1: Student has all paperwork completed and deposit paid
  • August 1: Final remaining balance paid
  • August 14-15: Student arrives in Minnesota and stays with host family
  • August 22: International Student Orientation
  • August 24: General Student Orientation
  • August 29: Fall classes start

Spring 2019 Semester:

  • November 1: Student has all paperwork completed and deposit paid
  • December 1: Final remaining balance paid
  • January 7-11: Student arrives in Minnesota and stays with host family
  • January 11-13: New Student Orientation
  • January 14: Spring classes start

Can I come visit?

Yes! International students who are currently in the United States and interesting in applying can set up a time to visit our beautiful lakeside campus.


How much does it cost to attend Northwestern?

Estimated undergraduate expenses for the 2018-2019 academic year are $41,330. For more details about expenses, you can visit our tuition and fees page.


Can I work while attending Northwestern?

International students may apply to work on-campus at Northwestern. Students who have a student visa are generally not allowed to work off campus. We cannot guarantee employment at Northwestern to any international students.


Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam?

All international applicants must take one exam in order to meet the requirement for admission. Below are the ones we accept: 
• ACT = 18 or above
• SAT (critical reading + math) = 860 or above
• TOEFL = (ibt = 71), (cbt = 97), or (pbt = 530) or above
• IELTS = 6.0 or above


If my current exam score does not meet the minimum requirement can I apply for conditional admissions?

You may be admitted conditionally by fulfilling one of the below requirements for admission:
• Retake the ACT, SAT, TOEFL or IELTS and meet our minimum score
• Attend our partner program, Global Language Institute, and successfully complete the required level of English language training


I want to transfer credit for my classes from a university outside of the United States. Will I receive transfer credit?

International students who attended universities outside of the United States must submit official transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended. College transcripts from any international college/university are required to be verified through World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators or any NACES accredited organization. 

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