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.

While a few graduate programs at PNW have fixed admission deadlines, many of the programs are more flexible. The preferred deadline of October 15, 2020 is suggested to allow time to get your visa approved.

Once the deadline has passed for Spring 2021, applications for international graduate students can still be processed; however, if you are requesting first-time visa approval, you may not receive it before the start of fall classes if you apply after the preferred deadline.

If you are already in the United States, you may apply until December 1, 2020 for most programs. Please contact us for more information about your specific situation and program of interest.


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.


For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, please visit the following websites:

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

IELTS Indicator is the new online test that you can take from the comfort of your home, to help you continue your education journey during the COVID-19 situation.  For more information, please visit the IELTS Indicator website.

For more information, visit 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

Please note: 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


Individuals can now register to take the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and the GRE General Test at home through the end of December, 2020.  Be assured that ETS intends to offer the at home tests as long as COVID-19 is a concern so that students have the option to take the test from the safety of home.  In addition, at home testing remains available even in areas where test centers have reopened so that students can choose which option works best for them.

TOEFL Test Takers

GRE Test Takers

More test centers are now open for both tests.  About 60% of our test center network outside of China has reopened with preventative measures in place to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  Openings vary by country and are dependent upon the prevalence and threat of COVID-19 and government mandates by region, factors that are outside of ETS’s control.  Test takers can search for currently available test seats on the TOEFL iBT Test Centers and Dates page or GRE Test Centers and Dates page.

* 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.   program will help you develop the English-language skills needed to succeed in university studies at PNW or other English-speaking universities.

Pathway Program

The Pathway Program is a one-semester program designed for undergraduate and graduate students with advanced English proficiency who would like to take ELP 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.

All international undergraduate and 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.

Student Health Insurance

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.  After the 2020-2021 academic year, it will be mandatory for all international graduate students to purchase their insurance through PNW.

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.  Please see the section on Waivers near the end of this document.
  • 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 period for the spring semester ends February 1, 2021 at 4 p.m. CST.
  • 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

International Student Enrollment

The Purdue Insurance must be purchased by the deadline. The Purdue Insurance plan may be purchased online prior to arrival in the U.S.

International Students who have not enrolled or who do not have an approved waiver on file by the enrollment deadline will:

  • have a hold placed on their account
  • have to purchase the Purdue Insurance plan

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).

2020/2021 Policy Coverage Periods

  • Annual 8/1/20 – 7/31/21
  • Fall 8/1/20 – 12/31/20
  • Spring and Summer 1/1/21 – 7/31/21
  • Summer 5/1/21 – 7/31/21

2020/2021 Costs

Student Only $1,377.04 $573.77 $803.27 $344.26
Student & Spouse $2,754.08 $1,147.53 $1,606.55 $688.52
Student & Child $2,754.08 $1,147.53 $1,606.55 $688.52
Student, Spouse & Child $4,131.12 $1,721.30 $2,409.82 $1,032.78
Student & Children $4,131.12 $1,721.30 $2,409.82 $1,032.78
Student, Spouse & Children $5,508.16 $2,295.07 $3,213.09 $1,377.04



Waiver submissions must be done at

What is the Deadline for Submitting a Waiver?

  • February 1, 2021 at 4 p.m. CST for the spring 2021 semester.
  • Those who miss the deadline will have a hold placed on their account and will not be able to obtain grades/transcripts.

How to qualify for a waiver

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

  • Government-sponsored students whose home government pays 100% for tuition and insurance for students and does not just supply funds to purchase an insurance plan of their choice.
  • Student is 100% financially sponsored (including tuition, living expenses, medical expenses, etc.) under a select international organization as listed on the waiver form.
  • Student is covered as a U.S. based employee, or as a dependent of a U.S. based employee, under a U.S. based health insurance provided through that employment.
  • Student studying in an approved exchange program.

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. Coverage must be in effect the first day of classes.
    2. Medical benefits of at least $100,000.00 USD per accident or illness
    3. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.00 USD
    4. Medical evacuation coverage in the amount of $50,000.00 USD
    5. Annual deductible not to exceed $500.00 USD per illness per person

Appropriate documentation MUST be submitted to waive out of the Purdue University sponsored plan.  These Include:

  • I20 or DS2019
  • Front and Back of your insurance card
  • Summary of Benefits

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.



If you are an international graduate student and have health insurance from a provider other than the plan used by PNW, e.g. your sponsoring country provides insurance, please complete an International Student Insurance Waiver Form on the AHP portal prior to registration.

Health Insurance coverage must meet the following requirements:

  1. Period of Coverage Maximum Benefit $250,000
  2. Repatriation of Remains Back to Home Country benefit must be at least $25,000
  3. Medical Evacuation Back to Home Country benefit must be at least $50,000
  4. Medical benefits of at least $150,000 per accident or illness.

*Amounts must be in US Dollars and are the minimal amounts required at the time a waiver request is reviewed at the University.


Failure to provide timely proof of required health insurance 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 of 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.