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.

Completed NIU Application

Apply online through Undergraduate Admissions.

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.


You don't need to send your ACT or SAT score. Read more about test-free admission requirements for fall 2021.

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.
  • PTE Academic English: minimum score of 48
  • Duolingo English Test: Minimum score of 105
  • IGCSE, GCSE, or GCE O-level or A- Level English test subject. Minimum passing grade of C.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB): Score of 4 of higher on English A Standard Level exam
  • 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: 815-753-8276

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