Admissions Process

1. Apply

You may apply under our Early Action, Regular Decision, or Transfer programs. All allow you to compare admission and financial aid offers from other universities until May 1.

2. DeciSIONS Released

Early Action candidates receive notification by mid-December. Regular Decision candidates receive notification by April 1. Transfer Decision candidates receive notification by mid-April.

3. deposit deadline

Confirm attendance by submitting your seat deposit by May 1.

4. Enroll

New Student Orientation and Fall classes begin in mid-August.

Required Materials

Online Application

All prospective students will submit an application form online through The Common Application. 

Required Materials

Please submit the following materials as part of your application:

  • Common Application
  • Official secondary school transcript and school report
  • Counselor recommendation
  • At least one teacher recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores (OPTIONAL for 2022-23 cycle). How to send your test scores to NU-Q
  • Official proof of English language proficiency: TOEFL, IELTS  or DUOLINGO scores measuring English language proficiency (unless eligible for waiver). How to send your test scores to NU-Q
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $75 or application fee waiver
  • Midyear transcript

Transfer Applicants

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

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

If you enrolled in a course of study after secondary-school graduation, you must apply as a transfer student. Successful transfer applicants typically arrive at Northwestern having completed at least one academic year of full-time college coursework (24 semester hours or 36 quarter hours). You are eligible to apply for transfer admission while in the process of completing one full-year of college coursework, as long as you will have completed that coursework prior to the start of the term in which you plan to enroll.

You must be in good standing and eligible to continue studies at your most recent institution.

Send Your Test Scores to Northwestern Qatar

Use the following codes to send your official scores:

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


Applications are accepted for fall admission only. Spring admission is not offered for first year or transfers.

Early Action

November 1

Online application form due

November 15

All supplementary materials due


february 1

Online application form due

february 15

All supplementary materials due


february 1

Online application and all materials due

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to Northwestern Qatar 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.

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.

Students who have taken college coursework, dual enrollment, and/or other courses towards an associate's degree while finishing high school will apply as first-year applicants. Students who have finished high school and enrolled in a post-secondary institution (e.g. foundation year program, college, university), even for one term or less, will apply as transfer applicants.

Students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree are not eligible for first-year or transfer admission to Northwestern Qatar.

All applicants must provide NU-Q with certified English translations of their original transcripts. Applicants may use any transcript translation service, including one in their home country. The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) maintains a list of some of the companies that will provide this service.

Applicants are expected to have pursued the most demanding curriculum offered by their school. The exact composition of those courses varies by country and educational system. In schools that follow a US-based curriculum, we recommend students complete a minimum of 16 courses 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

You will upload supporting materials to your online Northwestern Applicant portal. You will receive an email invitation 48-72 hours after we receive your Common App submission. 

Official documents should only be provided to the Office of Admissions following an offer of admission. During the application process, for review purposes only, unofficial documents are scanned and uploaded to the applicant's online portal. Admitted students who plan to matriculate will be asked to provide official transcripts. Please do not send official transcripts to the Office of Admissions ahead of learning your admission decision.

Students must submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test (DET).

Use Northwestern school code 5945 to direct your TOEFL scores to us; if you are taking the IELTS or DET, request that the scores be sent electronically. These scores should not be more than two years old.

Eligibility of English language proficiency waiver:

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

1. Based on native language status: This applies for applicants who are native English speakers.

You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ireland, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, and USA.

If you’re from a country that’s not on the list you’ll need to prove your knowledge of English, even if English is an official language.

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. Northwestern Qatar does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP).

Northwestern is committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive campus community of students from every financial background.

That’s why we want to make sure our $75 application fee does not pose a barrier for any student who wishes to apply. If paying the application fee would cause a hardship for you and your family, please request a fee waiver. Requesting a fee waiver will NOT disadvantage your application in any way.

Application fee waivers are available for students who meet at least one of the indicators of financial need listed on the Common Application, or identify with any one of the following categories:

  • Students receiving free and reduced lunch
  • First-generation college students
  • Students affiliated with a Community Based Organization such as QuestBridge, A Better Chance, Ron Brown Scholars, Strive for College (I’m First), Davis United World College Scholars, and many other national, international and local organizations
  • Students who are eligible for an U.S. Armed Forces or Veteran Fee Waiver
  • Students whose circumstances do not include any of the above, but for whom the application fee nevertheless poses a financial hardship

In the “Profile” section of the Common Application you will be asked if you believe that you qualify for a fee waiver. If you answer “Yes,” you will be asked to select applicable qualification criteria. Choose the correct criteria from the drop-down menu, and proceed with your application submission.

If you do not qualify for a fee waiver directly through the Common Application, you may still be eligible for a Northwestern-specific fee waiver. The Northwestern-specific questions in the Common Application will ask you if you intend to apply using a school-specific fee waiver and to indicate qualification criteria. Choose the correct criteria from the drop-down menu and proceed with your application submission.

If none of the drop-down criteria on the Common Application, or Northwestern-specific application questions apply to you, but the application cost nevertheless presents a financial hardship for your family, you may still request a fee waiver. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Write to us at with your request that we waive the application fee, and be sure to include the following information:
  • Your name as it appears on the application
  • Your application ID number (Common Application)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your e-mail as listed on the application
  1. When filling out your application, under the Northwestern-specific question, “Do you intend to use one of these school-specific fee waivers?” choose the drop-down response, “Yes, I have submitted a fee-waiver request to Northwestern at”

Interviews with Admissions officers are encouraged. Students who do not have the opportunity to interview are not penalized nor given a disadvantage in the application review process.

Schedule an interview

Yes, students can apply to both campuses using one singular application. Students will submit their applications via the Common Application to Northwestern University (United States) and select Communication or Journalism as the major. If another major is selected, students will submit two separate applications.

The official evaluation of your credits will be made by Northwestern's Student Records Office. Once a transfer applicant has been accepted, the Office of Admissions will initiate the process of credit evaluation. Students can expect to receive a preliminary credit evaluation prior to their enrollment deadline. Deadline extension requests should be submitted to Admissions via email and will be reviewed on an individual basis. Since a final evaluation may not be emailed to you before your tuition deposit is due, you should review the following guidelines to better understand how your previous courses will be appraised:

  • The following courses do not transfer:
    • Courses completed at an unaccredited college or university.
    • Physical education or hygiene courses.
    • Courses for which credit was granted by institutional examination or CLEP examination rather than course attendance.
    • Courses worth less than three quarter hours or two semester hours.
    • English as a Second Language courses.
    • Courses graded with P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) grades.
    • Work in a curricular area generally not recognized for credit at Northwestern.
  • A credit conversion formula is used to determine the number of Northwestern units a student is awarded. The sum of transferable credits is multiplied by the number of credits required to earn a Northwestern degree (42, 45, 48 or 50), then the result is divided by the number of credits required to earn a degree at the student’s previous institution. Courses acceptable for credit must be in a curricular area generally recognized for credit at Northwestern (as listed in our course catalog).
  • Eligible Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) scores may be used toward a bachelor’s degree. The type and level of test credit awarded is standardized across the undergraduate schools, though each school has separate rules regarding the use of test credit to fulfill degree requirements. You must arrange to have your scores sent to Northwestern.
  • Transfer credit accepted from another institution is reflected on the Northwestern University transcript with a grade of "T", not the actual grade received at the other institution. The "T" (Transfer) grade is not used in calculating the Northwestern GPA.

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. 

For a complete list of scores, please visit:

While there are no generally no additional requirements or different processes to apply to Northwestern as a student who has attended school at home, questions can arise from families. Given test cancellations and anticipated registration challenges caused by the pandemic, we will adopt a test-optional policy for first-year applicants in the 2023–24 admission cycle. Applicants may submit a score if they wish, but scores are not required.

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.