Non-degree Special Students

International Non-degree Special Students

Self-sponsored international students (not part of any official exchange program) who wish to attend Northwestern University as Non-degree Special Students may enter the US in F-1 status provided they have been admitted to a full-time program or course of study (3 or more courses per quarter).

    Application Policies

    • Non-degree Special Students are held to the same admissions standards as regular degree candidates. Therefore, a well-conceived statement of purpose and official transcripts of prior study are required as part of the application.
    • Applications will be reviewed only after the Office of Special Students (OSS) has received a completed application and all supplemental application materials.
    • All materials must be received by the respective deadline in order to be considered.  Applications received after the deadline will be considered for the following term, if the applicant so requests.  If the applicant is accepted, a formal letter of acceptance, registration materials and information on how to request your visa will be mailed via Federal Express within two to three weeks. 

    Application Materials

    • International Non-degree Special Student Application (PDF Format)
    • Official university transcripts in the language in which they were issued, bearing the stamp or seal of the issuing department or faculty.
    • Certified English translations of transcripts, bearing the stamp or seal of the issuing department or faculty (applicants may not certify their own translation).
    • TOEFL score report showing a score of 600 (paper version), 250 (computer version), or 100 (Internet version) or higher.  Scores are valid for two years.
    • Statement of purpose stating clearly why you wish to attend Northwestern as a NDSS (maximum one page typed, double-spaced).
    • $100 non-refundable application fee (check or money order only, payable to Northwestern University. Checks must be drawn on US banks in US funds).

    Send applications and supplemental materials to:

    Office of Special Students
    Summer Session and Special Programs
    Northwestern University
    405 Church Street
    Evanston, IL 60208
    Phone: (847) 491-5251
    Fax: (847) 491-3660

    International Application Deadlines for the 2017–18 Academic Year

    Quarter Application Deadline
    Fall (classes begin Tuesday, September 19, 2017) July 31, 2017
    Winter (classes begin Monday, January 8, 2018) October 27, 2017
    Spring (classes begin Tuesday April 3, 2018) January 19, 2018

    Tuition and Fees


    2017–2018 full time tuition for Non-Degree Special Students is $17,413/quarter for enrollment in 3 or 4 courses (units of credit). Certain courses that are worth more than one credit unit are indicated as such in the quarterly class schedule. Students may also be responsible for applicable student fees. Rates are subject to change without notice, and increases should be expected in subsequent years. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for updated tuition and fee rates.

    International students must enroll as full-time students (3 or more courses/credit units per quarter).

    Health Insurance

    ALL International Students  must purchase the University sponsored health insurance plan from Aetna Student Health. There are NO exceptions to this policy. The cost for the Aetna Plan can be found on the NU Health Services website.

    Entrance Health Requirements

    Prior to arrival on campus, international students must also submit an Admission Health Record Form to prove that they meet the entrance health requirements mandated by Illinois law and Northwestern University. Please visit the Northwestern University Health Services website for links to frequently asked questions concerning the entrance health requirements and to access necessary forms.


    The quarterly class schedule and course descriptions are available on the Office of the Registrar's website.
    Students may also wish to visit the website of the department offering the course(s) in which they are interested in enrolling. Contact information is available from the Northwestern University department directory.

    Admitted Students

    Admitted NDSS will receive a detailed information packet and registration instructions by email. Information on obtaining your visa will be included.  Relevant information for admitted NDSS is also available online.

    Resources for International Students

    Northwestern University's International Office provides information about visa, housing, meal plans, health services, travel, banking and pre-arrival information. All international students are required to register with the International Office upon arrival to Northwestern University. Please contact:

    International Office
    Northwestern University
    630 Dartmouth Place
    Evanston, IL 60208-4190

    Phone: 847-491-5613
    Fax: 847-556-6006