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Incoming Freshman Requirements

International students currently attending a secondary school outside of the U.S.

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.

  • 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..

3. Final secondary school transcript and/or exam results

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. 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:

  • 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
  • High school diploma from Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia

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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