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International Applicant

The first step in your Northwestern Direction is learning how to apply.

Important dates and deadlines

November 1 (by 11:59 pm applicant's local time)Early Decision Application deadline

The following must be submitted: Common Application (additional "Why Northwestern" written response encouraged) or Coalition Application, secondary school report (includes high school transcript and counselor recommendation letter), teacher recommendation, required standardized test scores and a nonrefundable application fee of $75.

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Additional application requirements may be necessary if you are applying to the following:

December 1Audition registration deadline (Music applicants only)

Applicants to the Bienen School of Music must register online for an audition.

January Test DateStandardized testing

Proficiency Tip:

We review grades, test scores, writing samples and recommendations. If you are not an English speaker or attending an English-speaking school, you are encouraged to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam to demonstrate proficiency. 

Use Northwestern school code 1565 (SAT) or 1106 (ACT) to have your SAT Reasoning Test or ACT sent directly to us. Two SAT Subject Tests are recommended.

International applicants whose primary language is not English or whose secondary school curriculum has not been in English must submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Use Northwestern school code 1565 to direct your TOEFL scores to us; if you are taking the IELTS, request that the scores be sent electronically to us. 

Northwestern does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP).

January 1 (by 11:59 pm applicant's local time)Regular Decision Application deadline

The following must be submitted: Common Application (additional "Why Northwestern" written response encouraged) or Coalition Application, secondary school report (includes high school transcript and counselor recommendation letter), teacher recommendation, required standardized test scores and a nonrefundable application fee of $75.

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Additional application requirements may be necessary if you are applying to the following:

Integrated Science Program
Mathematical Experience for Northwestern Undergraduates
Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences

Late MarchRegular Decision Application decision

Students admitted to an undergraduate degree program at Northwestern University will receive detailed instructions with their admission packet about the process for obtaining a visa. For specific visa questions, contact our International Student Specialist.

In order for Northwestern to issue a certificate of eligibility for visa status (I-20 or DS-019), an admitted student must enroll at the University and show financial documentation guaranteeing their ability to pay for the first year of study.

May 1Enrollment decision and tuition deposit

To confirm your place in the first-year class, you must submit nonrefundable tuition and housing deposits.

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Your international secondary school experience

Every country has a unique educational system and cultural context. Northwestern admission officers will review your secondary school experience within the context of the secondary school that you attend, and they understand that opportunities and options differ in every country and situation.

Northwestern does not require a specific type of secondary school curriculum but expects clear academic success throughout all courses and strong results on all examinations. You should begin the application process during the final year of your pre-university preparation and complete an academic program that would allow you to enter a degree-seeking program in an accredited university in your home country.

If you are in a curriculum that has predicted scores for university entrance examinations (e.g. International Baccalaureate, A-level, Abitur, French Baccalaureate, etc.) and your school policy makes them available, you should have a school representative (counselor or administrator) send them to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

To learn more, visit Global Wildcats, a website for prospective international students.