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. 

  • Students at the Multicultural banquet

    International Students

    Northwestern hosts students from around the world. Our institution is intentional about serving the academic and spiritual needs of all students regardless of origin. Learn more about F-1 visas,...

    Read More
  • Chinese fan with art

    Chinese Students

    Are you the parent or guardian of a Chinese student and want to connect with a counselor? Learn more about Northwestern and meet your personal contact Jennie Yu Yi.

    Read More
  • International graduate students

    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...

    Read More
  • International students smiling

    International Student Enrollment Process

    Looking to attend Northwestern's traditional undergraduate program as an international student? The process can be complex due to multiple organizations that are involved. Find out more about how to...

    Read More
Northwestern shield logo
Become a Student
Location marker icon
Visit Campus
Contact icon
Contact Us