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:


In response to the temporary closings of English proficiency testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Purdue University Graduate School (Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Northwest, and West Lafayette campuses) will temporarily accept Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between March 1 and August 1, 2020, in countries where the TOEFL iBT (including the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition) and IELTS are not available. As of April 15, 2020, these countries are Iran and Mainland China.  The Duolingo English Test will be accepted from applicants in impacted countries, as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS, to demonstrate English proficiency as long as the test was taken between March 1,2020 and August 1, 2020, and the score remains valid.

If submitting the Duolingo English Test, a minimum score of 105 will be required for admission.  In addition to providing a Duolingo score at or above the minimum of 105, graduate programs may choose to require students to participate in a Zoom or Skype interview prior to making an admission decision.

For Purdue West Lafayette graduate students, the Duolingo English Test does not provide sub-score breakouts and cannot be used to satisfy the English proficiency requirements for serving as a Purdue University Graduate Teaching Assistant. Students who submit a Duolingo score for admission will need to either take the TOEFL/IELTS at a later date or take the Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT) upon arrival, if interested in being assigned a teaching assistantship on the West Lafayette campus. Additional information about the OEPT and access to the OEPT Practice Test, may be found at the OEPP Website

Duolingo English Test Information:

·         Preparing for the Exam

·         Schedule your Exam

·         Frequently Asked Questions

For prospective applicants in countries other than Iran and Mainland China, Educational Testing Service announced  April 2, 2020, that the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 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 at

IELTS is providing updates regarding testing centers at:

ETS is proud to introduce a solution for students who have been impacted by the coronavirus to take the TOEFL iBT® test and the GRE® General Test at home until test centers can reopen.  TOEFL® testing is scheduled to begin on March 26, 2020 and GRE® testing will begin on March 27, 2020.

Testing will be conducted through the use of live remote proctoring serviced by ProctorU®.  This high-touch, real-time monitoring of test sessions limits the number of seats available.  Students can register beginning today in the following countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Macau (China)

ETS is working diligently to provide this at home option in other affected areas. We appreciate your patience.


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 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

* 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.

ELP provides intensive academic English as a Second Language instruction and cultural orientation for English language learners.  Our highly experienced and dedicated teachers and staff, rigorous curriculum, modern computer labs, and enthusiastic mentors will help you to excel in your English studies and facilitate your transition into American culture and the American education system.  For more information regarding the PNW English Language Program, please contact the Graduate Studies Office at (219) 989-2257.


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.

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. Explore more about enrollment options and requirements.

Learn More

International graduate students can enroll online for health insurance from International Student Insurance (ISI). The monthly premium rate per student starts at $43.00 per month, depending on age and coverage chosen.

Enroll Online with a Credit Card 

If you are an International Graduate student and purchase health insurance from a provider other than International Student Insurance used by PNW, you must submit supporting documents to the Graduate Studies office, and complete an International Student Insurance Waiver Form prior to registration.

Please fill out all information on the entire form, and return it to the Graduate Studies Office in Lawshe Hall 242. Insurance must be maintained throughout the entire academic year. 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.

There is no monetary profit for the university if a student purchases the ISI plan. The benefit is ensuring that all international students have an adequate health insurance plan and are protected from huge financial burdens.

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.