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International Applicants

Below please find application information tailored especially for applicants to TGS programs who are citizens of countries other than the United States. 

Degree Equivalency

Minimum Requirements

To be eligible to apply to a TGS master's or PhD program, you must have earned, or will have earned at the time of enrollment, a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or its international degree equivalent.

Check Degree Equivalency

 Applicants can use a credential evaluation service to confirm their degree is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree. The Graduate School strongly recommends ECE or WES. 

Who to Contact

Contact the program you are applying to if you have any questions about your degree's equivalency to a U.S. bachelor's degree. You can find program contact information on our directory webpage.

Academic Records

Application Requirements

In addition to transcripts or academic records from each school you have attended, applicants with international credentials must also provide a certified copy of the diploma and/or degree certificate for any conferred degree. All academic records must be personal copies of the official documents issued by the college or university and provided in the original language. A certified or notarized English translation must accompany the academic records if the original language is not English.

A complete set of academic records should include the name of the degree program in which you were enrolled, your dates of attendance, a list of courses taken each year, grades received in each course, and the date your degree was conferred (if applicable). Combine multiple pages from the same set of academic records into one file; the file size for each upload cannot exceed 10MB.

Enrolling Students

This section is only applicable to admitted students who have accepted an offer of admission from The Graduate School at Northwestern University.

All incoming students are required to submit an official transcript from each institution you have earned a degree from demonstrating the degree marked as conferred or awarded. These transcripts must be sent directly from your institution to The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Recruitment by email or postal mail. Submit your documents as soon as possible to avoid processing delays. Documents must be received before the start of the term you were admitted to.

  • If you earned your undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution outside the U.S., you must provide the transcript, a certified copy of your diploma and/or degree certificate, and a certified translation of all documents if they are not already in English. 
  • Any documents sent to The Graduate School Office of Admissions and Recruitment will become the property of the university and will not be returned to students.

Who to Contact

Applicants with questions should contact the program they are applying to. You can find program contact information on our directory webpage. You can also contact for technical support.

Enrolling students with questions about the official transcript requirement should contact

English Language Proficiency

How to Meet the Requirement

All applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency.  There are two ways this may be done:

  1. Submit Scores – Provide official IELTS Academic, Michigan English Test or TOEFL iBT test scores. 
  2. Request a Waiver – Applicants may request a waiver if they earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution that instructs primarily in English. Documentation may be requested, and waiver approval is at the discretion of your program and The Graduate School.

Test Score Guidelines

  • The Graduate School Minimum IELTS score = 7
  • The Graduate School Minimum TOEFL score for PhD applicants = 90
  • The Graduate School Minimum TOEFL score for master's applicants= 80
  • The Graduate School Minimum MET score for PhD applicants = 61
  • The Graduate School Minimum MET score for master's applicants = 54

Visit your program's website to determine their specific requirements. See the Academic Programs page for a list of all programs and their websites. 

Students admitted to PhD or MFA programs will also be required to fulfill The Graduate School's English proficiency requirement to become eligible for funding as a teaching or graduate assistants.  Please see the Graduate and Teaching Assistantships page for details.

The Michigan English Test has provided The Graduate School with a discount link . To take the MET Digital at a discounted rate, navigate to the Michigan Language Assessment Customer Portal using this link. Then click the yellow button "Create an Account" and fill out the identifying information. Then you will see your homepage, where you can click "Register for a Test." The fee shown will reflect the discount. 

Do you accept Duolingo?

No, we do not accept Duolingo.

Do you accept TOEFL Essentials?

No, we do not accept TOEFL Essentials.

Who to Contact

Applicants with questions about the program's minimum test score requirement or waiving the requirement should reach out to the program's admission contact.  Information can be found on our directory webpage