Admissions Process

1. Apply

Apply for admission to Northwestern University in Qatar online, with the required materials outlined below, submitted by the deadlines below.

2. Admit

You will be notified of your admission result by April 1.

3. Decision

If accepted to NU-Q, confirm your decision by May 1 and submit a tuition deposit.

4. Attend

Orientation and Fall classes begin in late August.

Required Materials

Online Application

All applicants to NU-Q must submit an application form online through The Common Application website by the deadlines for each application period.

Required Materials

You will be required to send the following materials as part of your 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. How to send your test scores to NU-Q
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores measuring English language proficiency (unless eligible for waiver). How to send your test scores to NU-Q


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

Send Your Test Scores to NU-Q

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


Northwestern University in Qatar accepts undergraduate applications on a yearly basis for Fall term entrance.

Early Action Deadlines

November 1

Online application form due

November 15

All supplementary materials due

Regular Deadlines

January 1

Online application form due: final deadline

March 1

All supplementary materials due: final deadline

Transfer Deadline

March 15

Online application and all materials due


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.

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.

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

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.

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).

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

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.

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

Yes. 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.

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.

Applicants to NU-Q must submit their admissions applications via the Common Application website.

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