Online Application

All applicants to Northwestern University in Qatar must submit an application form online through The Common Application website.

What will you be required to submit during application?

  1. Application fee of USD $75 (unless eligible for waiver as specified on The Common Application)
  2. High school transcripts
  3. One essay and one statement of purpose
  4. One recommendation letter from a high school counselor
  5. Two recommendation letters from high school teachers
  6. SAT or ACT scores. View our institutional codes below.
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores measuring English language proficiency (unless eligible for waiver). View our institutional codes below.

Questions: View our FAQ or contact us.


These optional submissions may strengthen your application:

  1. Extracurricular activities history. The application form includes sections where you can list your extracurricular activities.
  2. An interview with admissions representatives at NU-Q. Schedule an interview.

Transfer applicants:

In addition to the above required materials, transfer applicants must submit:

  1. A dean's report from your current university attesting your academic standing and disciplinary history
  2. Transcripts from your current university


Early Action Deadlines:

  • Online application form due: November 1
  • All other application materials are due: November 15

Regular Deadlines:

  • Online application form due: January 1
  • All other application materials are due: March 1

Institutional Codes for Standardized Tests

Use the following codes to send your scores to NU-Q.

Test Institutional Code
SAT 5714
ACT 1107
TOEFL 5945
IELTS Submit a copy of your test score report

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

What classes do you recommend I take in preparation for NU-Q?

We recommend that high school students 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
What are the minimum test scores 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.

Can I be waived from taking the TOEFL or IELTS?

Applicants whose primary language is not English or whose secondary school curriculum has not been in English must submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Use Northwestern school code 5945 to direct your TOEFL scores to us; if you are taking the IELTS, request that the scores be sent electronically to us. These scores should not be more than two years old.

Eligibility of TOEFL/IELTS Waiver:

Applicants are eligible for an automatic TOEFL/IELTS waiver if one of the following conditions are applicable:

  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
    • 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 your completed waiver form and application materials. NU-Q also does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP).

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

For registration, please refer to the testing agencies' respective websites: TOEFLIELTSSATACT

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 "6" 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.

Does NU-Q provide interviews for interested students?

Admissions interviews are not required but encouraged. 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.

Schedule an interview.

Will I be able to defer my admission to Northwestern because of my country's mandatory National Service or for another reason?

Northwestern is familiar with the National Service (military and/or civil) requirement that is compulsory in some countries. Admitted students who reserve a space in the class may defer admission to Northwestern in order to fulfill this duty. Requests for deferral due to National Service or for another reason must be made in writing to the Director of Admissions and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. When Northwestern offers a student deferral, it is with the understanding that they will not use this opportunity to enroll for academic credit at another post-secondary institution. Northwestern will not award credit for any course work done during the deferral period.

Can I apply if I have attended Homeschool?

Students who have been educated at home are required to submit results of three SAT Subject Tests in addition to their SAT Reasoning Test or ACT results. Math Level 1 or 2 and two other SAT Subject Tests of the applicant's choice from different subject areas are required. For students interested in the sciences or engineering, Math Level 2 is preferred.