Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the minimum scores for the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT I/ SAT II and ACT tests required for admission?

  2. Can I be waived from taking the TOEFL or IELTS?

  3. What happens if I take the SAT, ACT or TOEFL tests late and have to submit the scores after the February 1 deadline?

  4. How do I register for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT exams in Qatar?

  5. What classes do you recommend I take in preparation for Northwestern University in Qatar?

  6. I am currently in my AS-level of studies; does NU-Q require me to have A-Levels?

  7. Will I receive credit for Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate and other exams?

  8. Does NU-Q only accept documents in English?

  9. Does NU-Q provide interviews for interested students?

  10. Who is admitted to NU-Q?

  11. What other factors do you consider in making an admission decision?



1. What are the minimum scores for the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT I/ SAT II and ACT tests required for admission?


Northwestern University in Qatar does not have score minimums – every applicant is evaluated on a variety of criteria. For the SAT and ACT, the most competitive applicants will have strong scores in all sections of the exams.  While there is no fixed minimum, the test does help to determine the level of mastery in the areas covered in the SAT or ACT. We also highly encourage, but do not require, the SAT II Subject Tests Because the NU-Q curriculum requires a sophisticated command of spoken and written English, the most competitive students who sit for TOEFL or IELTS will have scores of 104 or better on the internet based test (600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL, 250 or better on the computer based TOEFL), and scores of 7.5 or better on the IELTS.  We do admit students with scores below these competitive ranges.  However, it is recommended for students with scores far below these ranges to take time to improve their English language skills before applying.


2. Can I be waived from taking the TOEFL or IELTS?


Applicants are eligible for a waiver if they meet one of these conditions:

  1. Based on native language status: This applies for applicants who are native English speakers and have completed their studies in English.
  2. Based on testing performance: This applies for applicants who earned a score of:

    • SAT: 600 or more in BOTH the Critical Reading and Writing components

      OR

    • ACT: 26 or more in BOTH English and Reading components

    Note: The office of Admissions reserves the right to deny requests for waiver based on a thorough review of the request and application materials.


3. What happens if I take the SAT, ACT or TOEFL tests late and have to submit the scores after the February 1 deadline?


Please make sure that you take and submit all required testing by the application deadline, February 1. Applications without these test scores will not be considered complete.


4. How do I register for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT exams in Qatar?


For registration, please refer to the testing agencies’ respective websites: TOEFLIELTSSATACT.  Test schedules for Qatar for applicants residing in Qatar, you may also take the ACT-R T administered by HBKU. Schedules are available through Qatar Foundation.


5. What classes do you recommend I take in preparation for Northwestern University in Qatar?


The best high school preparation for our broad based programs we recommend students entering complete a minimum of 16 courses (or the equivalent in your school system) in the following academic areas:

English: 4 full-year courses
Foreign or native language: a minimum of 2 full-year courses of one foreign language; or 4 full-year course in your native language
History and social science: a minimum of 2 full-year courses
Laboratory science: a minimum of 2 full-year courses
Mathematics: a minimum of 3 full-year courses
Additional subjects: 1-3 full-year courses in the academic areas listed above


6. I am currently in my AS-level of studies; does NU-Q require me to have A-Levels?


The admissions committee is seeking students with the most demanding secondary school preparation. Thus, we require 7 IGCSE, four AS-level courses and 3 A-level when applying. We highly recommend, when possible, that students apply after completing their AS year to remain competitive in the applicant pool.  We do not encourage applicants with only AS qualifications to apply especially if the A-Level year is available at the school.


7. Will I receive credit for Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate and other exams?


Northwestern awards credit in nearly all areas for Advanced Placement (AP) examination scores of "5" and for International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level examination results of "5" or higher. In addition, results of the Baccalaureate, A-levels and other university entrance examinations will be evaluated on an individual basis for the possible award of up to one full year of academic credit.


8. Does NU-Q only accept documents in English?


Yes. Applicants whose credentials are not in English must provide NU-Q with a certified English translation of their original transcripts.  Applicants may use transcript translation service including in your country of residence.


9. Does NU-Q provide interviews for interested students?


Admissions interviews are not required but encouraged.  Please contact the admissions office if you would like to schedule an interview.  Please note that interviews are not a significant component of the application review process.  Therefore, students who do not have the chance interview are not penalized or given a disadvantage in the application review process. 


10. Who is admitted to NU-Q?


Admission to NU-Q is highly competitive.  Typically, one-third of applicants are admitted each year.  Students with strong academic records are encouraged to apply.  Successful candidates have maintained strong grades in a very rigorous selection of courses along with strong evidence of spoken and written English. 


11. What other factors do you consider in making an admission decision?


Several members of our admission committee review each application carefully. Seeking information beyond school transcripts and test scores; we take into account your involvement outside the classroom as profiled in an activity chart, and read your essays to get a better sense of your interests, thought processes, and writing ability. Recommendations from secondary school teachers and counselors add additional perspective to your achievements.