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Incoming Freshman Requirements

International students who are currently attending a U.S. high school

Academic Requirements

  • High school diploma: You must have graduated by the time you start at NIU in order to be admitted.
  • Grades: You must have passing grades equivalent to a U.S. C+ average on all transcripts and/or exam scores

Documentation Requirements

Incoming freshmen will need to submit the following to be considered for admission to NIU:

Note: students coming on F-1 (student) visas also need to submit proof of financial ability to receive their immigration documents.

1. Completed NIU Application.

Apply online through Undergraduate Admissions.

2. Application fee

This fee is required to process your application.

  • Applicants from outside the United States note: when you submit the online application, you must also submit the payment (Visa and MasterCard). If this is not possible, you will have to send in an international bank draft. Applications without the accompanying application fee will not be processed.
  • The extreme economic hardship fee waiver is only for high school students currently studying in the U.S. If you are enrolled in a U.S. high school, you must submit an NIU Application Fee Waiver Form (.pdf) to apply for the waiver. You may also have your high school counselor or social worker submit a letter which states that you meet the criteria listed on the NIU application fee waiver form.

3. Official transcripts from all high schools attended

  • If you attended secondary school(s) outside of the U.S. in addition to a U.S. high school, you must submit a transcript and/or final exam score from each. These documents must be official originals or attested copies. Please submit the documents in their original language and also provide an official English translation.

4. ACT/SAT Score

Be sure to order your official ACT and/or SAT score reports to be sent to NIU International Admissions directly from the testing companies to support your application.

    • Use NIU's ACT Code #1102.
    • Use NIU's SAT Code #1559.

5. Proof of English Ability

Students enrolling at NIU must first prove they can communicate in English at a university level.

Any one of the following will be considered as adequate proof of English proficiency:

  • Attended a U.S. high school for more than two years by the time you graduate.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS score report
    • TOEFL: Either an Internet-based or paper-based test. Required minimum scores:
      • 71 on an Internet-based test- use NIU’s TOEFL Code 1559
      • 527 on a paper-based test
    • IELTS: Minimum required overall band score of 6.0
  • Completion of ELS level 112 for Academic Purpose offered by ELS Language Centers

Contact Us

All supporting documents necessary to process your application must be sent to:

International Admissions
Northern Illinois University
1425 West Lincoln Highway
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1346


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