International graduate program admission
Requirements for international graduate students
In addition to the admissions requirements for all graduate students, international students must meet additional criteria to be eligible for admission to NAU.
71%Increase in US international master’s student enrollment from 2004/5 to 2014/15
4%Total international graduate student enrollment at NAU
Graduate College requirements Accordion Closed
Applicants must have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale for their bachelor’s degree to be considered for regular admission. Admitted students are expected to have undergraduate educational experiences, including general education studies, that are similar to those required for a baccalaureate at Northern Arizona University.
Applicants who have earned their degree(s) from an international institution must submit official transcripts directly from the university or college. The transcripts must be in the original language of the country accompanied by an English translation. If the degree awarded and the date of award is not on the transcripts, applicants must also include a separate degree certificate document.
Please send transcripts to:
Northern Arizona University
Center for International Education
523 S Knoles Dr, Bldg 2, Rm 200 #5598
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5598
All transcripts become the official property of the university and cannot be returned. Failure to provide complete information may delay your admission decision.
Having trouble uploading transcripts? Check out our frequently asked questions page.
Degree availability for students with an F-1 or J-1 visa Accordion Closed
Flagstaff Mountain campus:
International students may apply to most master’s and doctoral programs at the Flagstaff Mountain Campus, with the exception of the following programs:
- Educational Leadership – Community College/Higher Education, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
- Educational Leadership – Educational Foundations, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
- Educational Leadership – Principal K-12, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
- Educational Leadership – Instructional Leadership, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
- English – Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies, Master of Arts (Flagstaff Mountain)
- Graduate – Non-Degree Seeking
- Occupational Therapy – Doctor of Occupational Therapy
- Physician Assistant Studies – Master of Physician Assistant Studies
- Public Administration, Master of Public Administration (Flagstaff Mountain)
- Special Education (non-certified), Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
Please contact the department prior to applying to the following programs:
ESL and Bilingual Education, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
Human Relations, Master of Education (Flagstaff Mountain)
International students may pursue degrees from their home country if delivered completely online. In those circumstances, the student would not need to acquire a visa.
International students may only purse in-person degree programs on the Flagstaff Mountain or Yuma campuses. In-person Graduate Certificates may only be pursued by international students if paired with a degree program.
English proficiency requirements Accordion Closed
If English is not your native or instructional language, you must provide proof of English proficiency from one of the following testing agencies:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Scores are sent directly to NAU from ETS.
NAU’s Institutional Code is 4006.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Scores are sent directly to NAU from IELTS.
The minimum English proficiency scores for most programs are: 80 (TOEFL iBT) or 6.5 (IELTS). Scores must be sent directly to the NAU Graduate College from the testing institution.
Some programs require a higher minimum English proficiency score and/or may only accept a TOEFL score. Below is a list of programs that only accept TOEFL scores and requires that these scores are above the Graduate College minimums.
|Business Administration (MBA)||83|
|Clinical Speech Pathology (MS)||100|
|Mathematics and Statistics (MS and Graduate Certificate)||89|
|Physical Therapy (DPT)||100|
|Political Science (PhD, MA, and Graduate Certificate)||93|
Additionally, some programs require specific score minimums in the individual exam sections, that are above the Graduate College requirements, as shown below.
|Teaching English as a Second |
|Applied Linguistics (PhD)||Reading||27||7.5|
|Combined Counseling/School |
|English Teaching |
The TOEFL/IELTS may be waived*:
- If you are a native speaker of English. Native speakers are considered applicants who completed a high school or university education at an institution where the language of primary instruction is English. Applicants in this category must provide documentation to verify this information.
- If you have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a U.S. university or college.
*Applied Linguistics, PhD and MA TESL applicants must submit official TOEFL/IELTS scores (no more than 2 years old), regardless of where the applicant received their higher education degree. Exemption from these requirements may be requested by contacting the English department.
Program in Intensive English (PIE) Accordion Closed
The Program in Intensive English (PIE) meets the academic needs of NAU international students by providing academic English preparation and support. PIE teaches skills that are essential to successful academic performance at the university. The specific plan for English instruction will be finalized upon arrival at NAU and will include the degree program advisor and the PIE Director.
If an applicant does not meet the TOEFL/IELTS minimum score requirement for a program, they may be admitted to the PIE Program as a non-degree seeking undergraduate student. Upon successful completion of the PIE program, the TOEFL/IELTS exam must be re-taken and new scores must be re-submitted to the Graduate College.
Immigration and visa information Accordion Closed
The privileges and responsibilities of a foreign national in the United States of America depend on the type of visa held. Therefore, is important to ensure that international graduate students obtain the appropriate visa.
Obtaining an F-1 or J-1 Visa
To obtain a visa, you should present to the nearest United States Consulate in your country the following items:
- A Form I-20 (F-1) or a Form DS-2019 (J-1) issued by Northern Arizona University and your admission letter;
- A valid passport;
- Receipt of the SEVIS fee Form I-901 payment; AND
- Proof of financial support, as stated on the Certificate of Eligibility.
It is not advisable to enter the United States on a visitor’s visa and then later request to change this to a student visa. Please note that these requests are usually denied.
Students under H-1B visa status
Prospective students under a H-1B visa are required to provide a copy of their current H-1B visa and official documentation from their employer verifying the academic studies are incidental to their employment. The Graduate College will request this information and provide instructions upon receipt of the student’s application.
Visas for a spouse or child
Your spouse and children may be issued F-2 or J-2 visas at this time, provided you are able to provide evidence of your ability to support dependents. Please be aware that it is illegal for spouses on F-2 visas to work while in the United States. Spouses with J-2 visas may only work with permission from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Maintaining your visa
United States immigration regulations require that, as the holder of a student visa, you maintain student status by enrolling in an academic program on a full-time basis; this means you must complete a minimum of nine (9) credit units each Fall and Spring semesters, six (6) of which must be in-person on the Flagstaff Mountain campus. Additionally, if you intend to complete your degree over the summer term, you must enroll in a minimum of five (5) credit units, in-person on the Flagstaff Mountain campus. Your department can help you determine eligibility for the summer graduation option.
Funding requirements Accordion Closed
Upon admittance to a program, international students must verify they have adequate funding available to support educational costs and all other costs associated with their stay in the United States before a visa application is processed.
The pledge of financial support must, at a minimum, cover tuition, university fees, program fees (if applicable), and living/personal expenses.
International students must submit one of the following documents to verify financial support:
- Self-support (e.g. submit a current bank statement);
- Governmental, Employer, or Academic Institution support: Submit a letter of official financial sponsorship
- Third Party support: submit a completed Financial Guarantee Form;
Please note that at least $42,078.00 (USD) should be available annually to international students planning to study at NAU beginning in Fall 2018.
Health insurance purchasing options Accordion Closed
All international students must purchase NAU student health insurance. Exceptions may be made only for sponsored students who have adequate health insurance provided by the government or a sponsoring agency, or for students whose parents or spouse have health insurance coverage through their employment in the United States. Private policies are not accepted.