International Graduate Students

Interested in graduate studies as an international student at Purdue University Northwest? See additional details as you take the step to join our vibrant, diverse community.

  • May 15 for fall admission
  • October 15 for spring admission

*Program application deadlines vary. Please be sure to check with your program of interest to determine its deadline.

National Association of Credential Evaluation Services

An international student whose credentials cannot be evaluated by the admitting program at Purdue University Northwest may be asked to submit their transcripts or credentials for a course by course evaluation by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

English Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to provide proof of English proficiency for admission to degree, certificate, non-degree and teacher-license graduate programs. There are several ways to meet this requirement.

In response to the temporary closings of English proficiency testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Purdue University Graduate School will temporarily accept the following English proficiency tests.

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS), is available in all locations where the TOEFL iBT test has normally been available. This is a proctored online version of the test that can be taken in test users’ homes. Additional information about this new test option and updates on testing center closures, postponements, and rescheduling can be found here.

IELTS  Indicator, provided by IELTS, is also providing an online, at-home test. Additional information about this testing option can be found at here. To review the status of IELTS testing centers, visit here.

The Graduate School also accepts valid* International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores (Academic Module).

An overall band score of 6.5 is required for admission with the following minimum section requirements:

  • Reading 6.5
  • Listening 6.0
  • Speaking 6.0
  • Writing 5.5

For more information, visit here. The official test score report can uploaded to the online application under “Miscellaneous Supporting Documents” and a hard copy score report can be mailed directly to the PNW Graduate Studies Office.

*To be valid for admission, English proficiency test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) must be no more than two years old at the time the recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School.

The Graduate School accepts valid* TOEFL scores earned through the paper-delivered test and Internet-based test. PNW’s TOEFL code is 1638.

The minimum Internet-Based (iBT) scores required are the following:

  • Writing 18
  • Speaking 18
  • Listening 14
  • Reading 19
  • Total 80

The minimum paper-delivered section requirements are the following (overall score is no longer reported):

  • Reading 19
  • Listening 14
  • Writing 18

Note that in addition to the required iBT minimum scores for writing, listening and reading, the Graduate School also requires a minimum overall iBT score that is higher than the minimums for the four area tests combined. Applicants must meet or exceed each of the five scores (listed above) for admission to the Graduate School.

Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores. Please check the Graduate Programs Web page for additional requirements. Only official TOEFL scores received directly from Educational Testing Service are acceptable. For further information, visit here..

* To be valid for admission, English proficiency test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) must be no more than two years old at the time the recommended for admission is received at the Graduate School.

Intensive English Program

The full-time, intensive English Language Program is a CEA-accredited intensive academic English program that helps international students develop English-language proficiency to the level needed to succeed at Purdue University Northwest or other universities in the United States or Canada.

Pathway Program

This one-semester program lets undergraduate and graduate students with advanced English proficiency take English Language Program classes in combination with credit-bearing university classes.

For more information, please contact the English Language Program at 219-989-2502 or

The Graduate School will routinely waive the English Proficiency testing requirement for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 36 months at the time of recommendation for admission, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language. Some graduate programs may still require a test of English proficiency for admission; please confirm with your department whether they will also grant this waiver.

If you are admitted under this waiver and are still finishing your degree, you must satisfactorily complete your degree and submit a final official transcript showing that this degree has been awarded BEFORE the Office of Immigration Services can produce your US immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) or before you can enroll in courses at Purdue University Northwest.

Official English-speaking countries/locations, in addition to the U.S., include:

AnguillaGrenadaSierra Leone
Antiqua and BarbudaGuyanaSingapore
AustraliaIsle of ManSouth Sudan
BahamasJamaicaSt. Helena
BarbadosKenyaSt. Kitts and Nevis
BelizeLesothoSt. Lucia
BermudaLiberiaSt. Vincent and Grenadines
British Virgin IslandMicronesiaSouth Africa
Cayman IslandsNew ZealandThe Gambia
Christmas IslandNigeriaTrinidad and Tobago
Cook IslandsNorfolk IslandTurks and Caicos Islands
DominicaPapua New GuineaUganda
FijiPhilippinesUnited Kingdom
GhanaPitcairn IslandsZambia
GibraltarRepublic of IrelandZimbabwe

Mandatory Health Insurance

Health insurance is especially important because of the high cost of medical care in the United States. If you do not have health insurance and become sick or injured while in the US, you may need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for your medical and hospital care.

Purdue University requires all international students who are registered for classes, regardless of credit hours, to enroll in the Academic Health Program (AHP) insurance plan unless an approved waiver is on file.  Eligible students who enroll may also insure their eligible dependents. Failure to enroll or obtain an approved waiver may negatively impact your legal status per federal immigration regulations. To review the criteria for eligibility and apply for a waiver, please visit here.

Effective Fall 2021

Failure to provide proof of health insurance coverage may result in students being charged a Graduate Late Fee of $150. 

PNW is pleased to offer health insurance options to students through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical and Prescription Drug Plan, administered by Academic Health Programs (AHP). Explore more about enrollment options and requirements.

Learn More


  • Domestic Students (US Citizens and Permanent Residents): All registered graduate domestic students taking six or more credit hours and degree seeking are eligible to enroll in the University Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan.
  • International Students: All international graduate students who are registered, regardless of credit hours, or in an approved professional certificate program must enroll in the Mandatory University health insurance plan unless you meet the criteria for a waiver. To review the criteria for eligibility and apply for a waiver, please visit here.
  • Students must actively attend classes for at least the first 31 days after the date for which coverage is purchased. AHP maintains its right to investigate eligibility to verify that the policy eligibility requirements have been met. If the eligibility requirements have not been met, the only obligation of AHP is to refund the premium.
  • Eligible students may add/drop dependents on their plans either during open enrollment or within 30 days of a life event. Life events consist of: loss of coverage on another plan, marriage, birth, adoption, death, entering or leaving the U.S.

Summary of Benefits and Brochures

Insurance coverage includes medical and prescription drug.  There is also limited vision and dental coverage for some family members and some services.  For more detailed information related to this plan, please visit AHP Benefits.

Anthem Network Information, Deductibles

Students may see providers that participate in the Anthem network.

A $200 deductible for in-network preferred providers and a $400 deductible for out-of-network providers will apply to all services.

Preventive care services are only covered if performed by an Anthem in-network provider.  The health centers on both the Hammond and Westville campuses are in network on this plan.

Prescriptions can only be filled at an Anthem network pharmacy. Walgreens on the corner of 169th Street and Kennedy Avenue is located less than 1 mile from the Hammond campus and Walgreens on the corner of 421 and 20 in Michigan City is located 6 miles from the Westville campus.

Information related to network pharmacies can be found at

Additionally, a searchable prescription drug list can be located at

Most US Providers will file claims to Anthem BCBS for services received.  All claims must be submitted to insurance within 90 days of the date of service.

Anthem’s Purdue dedicated line is 1 (844) 412-0752.

Coverage Continuation

Continuation coverage is available for those students who are no longer eligible for student insurance and have had 3 continuous months of coverage under a previous Purdue University student insurance plan. You must apply for continuation within 30 days of the expiration date of the previous coverage.

To apply, complete the form found at and follow the instructions on the landing page for payment options.

Open Enrollment

  • Enrollment website:
  • The open enrollment fall deadline is September 7, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET
  • The open enrollment spring/summer deadline is January 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET
  • Students must enroll their dependents during open enrollment or within 30 days of a qualifying event. Qualifying events are: marriage, divorce, birth, death, dependent entry into US, and involuntary loss of insurance coverage.

If the above deadline dates falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the following Monday at 4 p.m. CST

Annual v. Semester Enrollments

We encourage students to enroll and pay for the Annual plan. Though a student has the option of enrolling separately for Fall and Spring/Summer, it is more advantageous to purchase the Annual plan.  Students must meet the eligibility requirements only once if the annual plan is purchased.

When purchasing Fall and Spring/Summer separately, the eligibility must be met at the beginning of each coverage period.  In the event of a serious illness or injury prohibiting a student from returning to class for Spring/Summer, charges incurred after January 1 would not be covered due to ineligibility for insurance if the Fall Semester Plan was purchased instead of the Annual Plan.

Policy Coverage Period and Costs – Domestic and International Students

Enrollment in student insurance is MANDATORY for all International Students (unless approved for a waiver).

2021/2022 Policy Coverage Periods

  • Annual 8/1/21 – 7/31/22
  • Fall 8/1/21 – 12/31/21
  • Spring and Summer 1/1/22 – 7/31/22
  • Summer 5/1/22 – 7/31/22

2021/2022 Costs

Student$1,360.39$566.83 $793.56 $340.10
Student & Spouse$2,684.78$1,118.66$1,566.12$671.20
Student & Child$2,732.78$1,138.66$1,594.12$683.20
Student, Spouse & Child$4,087.17$1,702.99$2,384.18$1,021.79
Student & Children$4,015.17$1,672.99$2,342.18$1,003.79
Student, Spouse & Children$5,369.56$2,237.32$3,132.25 $1,342.39

Waiver submissions must be done at

What is the Deadline for Submitting a Waiver?

  • September 7, 2021 at 4 p.m. CST for the fall 2021 semester.
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance coverage may result in the student being charged a Graduate Late Fee of $150 USD.  A hold will also be placed on the student’s record which would prevent the student from registering for class, obtaining a transcript and graduating.

How to qualify for a waiver

Limited waivers may be granted to international graduate students who satisfy one of the criteria listed below:

  • Be 100% funded by your home government including tuition, housing and fees, and health insurance that meets Purdue’s waiver requirements below. Governments providing funds for students to purchase another plan in place of Purdue’s do not qualify.
  • Be 100% funded by a world organization including tuition, housing and fees, and health insurance that meets Purdue’s waiver requirements below. Sponsor’s providing funds for students to purchase any other plan in place of Purdue’s do not qualify.
  • Be a J-1 exchange student on an approved exchange program.
  • Be covered as an employee or dependent of an employee of a US-based company with a US-based health insurance plan that meets Purdue’s waiver requirements below.

If you determine that you satisfy one of the criteria for a waiver, you must purchase an insurance plan that meets all five of the following:

    1. Policy effective date:  8/1/21
    2. Medical benefits minimum of $100,000 USD per accident or illness
    3. Medical evacuation of at least $50,000 USD
    4. Repatriation of at least $25,000 USD
    5. Socialized/standard medical policies are not accepted unless participating in an approved exchange program.  Example:  Canadian, French, German, and Australian policies are not accepted.

Additional Requirements for J-1 Visa students:

  • Imposes a deductible that does not exceed $500 per year.

Additional Requirements for all other Visa student plans:

  • Imposes a deductible that does not exceed $3,400 per year.

Acquire the following scanned documents before submitting your waiver request:

  • An electronic copy of the front and back of your health insurance ID card,
  • An electronic coy of your complete insurance policy document, including exclusions and limitations and dependent coverage.
  • Page 1 of your I-20 or DS2019.
  • All other Visas will need to submit a copy of passport

Obtain this information prior to leaving your home country.  If you are not able to obtain this information in the format requested, DO NOT purchase the plan as it will not be accepted.

Students must submit their own claims to their insurance company for reimbursement.

Effective Fall 2021

Failure to provide proof of health insurance coverage by September 7, 2021 may result in the student being charged a Graduate Late Fee of $150.

The student will also have a hold placed on their account that will prevent you from future class registration, or may cause you to be unregistered from your current classes. International graduate students may not be employed as graduate staff and may not receive fee remission without proof of health insurance.

Proof of health insurance is required for the term or the entire academic year (from August to May, unless you are graduating in December, in which case you will need to provide proof of coverage through your graduation date).

Have questions about health insurance requirements for international graduate students? Call the Graduate Studies office at 219-989-2257.