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.

Application Fee (International):  $75

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See Graduate Programs

  • 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.

The Graduate School accepts the following TOEFL English proficiency test scores: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test), TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL paper-delivered test*, and TOEFL Essentials. To learn more about these test options visit www.toefl.org.

Minimum TOEFL Scores Required by the Graduate School for Admission

TOEFL iBTTOEFL iBT
Home Edition
TOEFL
Paper-delivered
TOEFL
Essentials†
Writing1818188
Speaking1818N/A8
Listening1414148
Reading1919198
Minimum Overall Required for Admission80‡80‡N/A8

Note: Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores than those listed above. Please review the English proficiency requirements for your specific program of interest 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 recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School.

Purdue University must receive official TOEFL scores directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS). For more information about transmitting test scores, visit www.toefl.org.

Purdue University Northwest Institution Code:  1638

*Paper-delivered Test: Effective April 11, 2021, the paper-delivered test is no longer offered. Scores dated up to two years prior to the date of recommendation for admission to the Purdue Graduate School will be valid through April 11, 2023.

Essentials Test: The TOEFL Essentials requirements of the Purdue Graduate School are not accepted by all graduate programs. Please review the English proficiency requirements for your specific program of interest here.

iBT (Test Center and Home Edition): In addition to required iBT minimum scores for writing, speaking, 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 for admission to the Graduate School.

The Graduate School accepts IELTS (Academic Module) and IELTS Indicator* English proficiency test scores. For more information about these testing options, visit www.IELTS.org or https://www.ieltsindicator.com/.

Minimum IELTS Scores Required by the Graduate School for Admission

IELTSIELTS Indicator
Reading6.56.5
Listening6.06.0
Speaking6.06.0
Writing5.55.5
Minimum Overall Required for Admission6.56.5

Note: Some graduate programs require higher minimum scores than those listed above. Please review the English proficiency requirements for your specific program of interest 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 recommendation for admission is received at the Graduate School.

Official IELTS and IELTS Indicator test scores can be uploaded to the online application under IELTS Score Report, sent electronically to the Office of International Students and Scholars, or the hard copy score report can be mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

*IELTS Indicator Test:  Effective December 31, 2021, the IELTS Indicator is no longer offered. Scores dated up to two years prior to the date of recommendation for admission to the Purdue Graduate School will be valid through December 31, 2023.

Achieve a minimum of 80% (Level 4 examination and pass an Exit Test (consisting of speaking and writing components).

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.

Successful completion of the intensive English language program must be certified, in writing, by the intensive English program faculty to the Graduate Studies Office before applicants using this method of establishing English proficiency may be admitted to the Graduate School.

The certificate of completion can be uploaded to the online application status portal (after submission) under Miscellaneous Supporting Documents, sent electronically to the Graduate Studies Office or the hard copy certificate can be mailed directly to the PNW Graduate Studies Office.

For more information, please contact the English Language Program at 219-989-2502 or elp@pnw.edu.

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
BotswanaMalawiSwaziland
British Virgin IslandMicronesiaSouth Africa
CanadaMontserratTanzania
Cayman IslandsNew ZealandThe Gambia
Christmas IslandNigeriaTrinidad and Tobago
Cook IslandsNorfolk IslandTurks and Caicos Islands
DominicaPapua New GuineaUganda
FijiPhilippinesUnited Kingdom
GhanaPitcairn IslandsZambia
GibraltarRepublic of IrelandZimbabwe

Routine waivers of English proficiency requirements are granted to current Purdue University Northwest students seeking a graduate degree, certificate, non-degree, or teacher license within three consecutive sessions of their last Purdue University Northwest registration. In order to obtain the English Proficiency waiver, the student must have:

  1. Previously satisfied PNW English proficiency requirements (via one of the options listed above); and
  2. A current recommendation for admission to a PNW graduate degree-seeking, non-degree, teacher’s license, or graduate certificate program.

Mandatory Health Insurance

The new insurance carrier for 2022-2023 is UnitedHealthcare Student Resources.

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 graduate students who are registered for classes, regardless of credit hours, to enroll in the Academic HealthPlans, Inc. (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 hereFailure to enroll in the University sponsored health plan or have an approved waiver on file may result in students being charged a Graduate Late Fee of $150.  

  • PNW is pleased to offer health insurance options to students through UnitedHealthcare Student Resources, administered by Academic HealthPlans, Inc. (AHP). Explore more about enrollment options and requirements.

Learn More

Eligibility

All registered full-time students are eligible to enroll in Purdue’s student insurance.

  • 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.
  • International Students: All international graduate students who are registered for classes, regardless of credit hours, visa status, or insurance policy type, are required to enroll in the University-sponsored medical insurance plan or to obtain an approved waiver of coverage by the enrollment/waiver deadline.
  • Online only students are not eligible for Purdue University student insurance.
  • 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.

Benefits & Cost

The new insurance carrier for 2022-2023 is UnitedHealthcare Student Resources.  For more information, please visit Benefits & Cost.

Find a Provider

Click here to find a Provider

Change Coverage

A Qualifying Event is a major life change that may affect your health insurance needs.  Qualifying life events may make you eligible for a special enrollment period outside of the school’s scheduled open enrollment period.  Enrollment is typically required within 30 days of the qualifying event and supporting documentation is required.  Examples of qualifying life events are:

  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
  • Losing existing health coverage under another plan, including job-based, individual, and student plans
  • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
  • Losing existing health coverage as a dependent on a family member’s plan through divorce, death, job loss
  • Eligible student actively enrolled arriving to the US from another country mid-semester

Changes in household which impact a dependent being able to enroll under your coverage:

  • Getting married
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Spouse and/or dependents arriving to the US from another country
  • Spouse and/or dependents losing other health insurance coverage due to aging off parents’ plan, loss of employee benefits, losing eligibility under Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP

If you have a Qualifying Even, please click here to enroll/make changes.

Coverage Continuation

Continuation of coverage of the student health insurance plan (along with the dental insurance) is for those who are no longer eligible for student insurance because they have graduated or are no longer taking classes.  To be eligible for continuation coverage, you must have been insured for at least 3 continuous months on the Purdue Student Health Insurance Plan.  To continue your plan, you must decide how many months of coverage you want to continue (up to three) and submit the entire premium for those months within 30 days after your existing coverage terminates/you lose eligibility.  For enroll, please visit Continuation Coverage.

Open Enrollment

  • Enrollment website: pnw.myahpcare.com
  • Open Enrollment for health insurance coverage during the 2022-2023 academic year is July 1, 2022 (8:00am ET) to September 6, 2022 (5:00pm ET)

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.

Waiver submissions must be done at pnw.myahpcare.com.

What is the Deadline for Submitting a Waiver?

  • September 6, 2022 (4:00pm CST)
  • Failure to enroll in the University sponsored health plan or have an approved waiver on file 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

Purdue University requires all F-1 international students, to participate in a University-sponsored medical insurance plan or to obtain an approved waiver of coverage.

You will be able to apply for a waiver during the following enrollment period:

Fall Semester:  7/1/2022 – 9/6/2022 (4:00pm CST)

Student Health Insurance Plan Waiver Criteria

Purdue University- Northwest has established circumstances in which an international student can request a waiver to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) by providing alternative health insurance coverage. To be approved for a waiver, your health plan must meet the requirements and be submitted with proof of documentation prior to the September 6, 2022, deadline, by 4PM CST.

Limited waivers may be granted to international 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 as of the date of entry into the U.S.
  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

*Amounts must be in US dollars ($)

Appropriate documentation MUST be submitted to waiver 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.

Be sure to check the FAQs for questions and answers around waivers.

Failure to enroll in the University sponsored health plan or have an approved waiver on file by September 6, 2022 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.