Graduate Study
Student Resources
Information for International Students

English Requirement

All international PhD students whose primary language is not English are required to take the Versant English Test after arriving at Northwestern. Students whose countries of origin are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom are exempt. Versant test results will be released to students, their departments, and The Graduate School. A score of 65 or higher (out of a total of 80) meets The Graduate School’s English proficiency requirement.

The lowest scoring students will be assigned to participate in a mandatory supplemental English language curriculum called CLINIC (Culture and Language Intensive for the Northwestern International Community). Students who fail the Versant will need to be re-tested in a later quarter.

ESL Classes

Northwestern University offers a variety of ESL classes and workshops to assist student who are non-native English speakers in their mastery of the English language, including Pronunciation and Intonation (beginning and advanced), Conversation and Fluency, Culture and Fluency, American Academic Culture, Academic Writing, and Academic Presentations. Free Test of Spoken English preparation workshops are also offered on a non-credit basis.

In addition to these classes, students are welcome to participate in free weekly tutoring sessions aimed at refining speaking and writing abilities. Please visit Northwestern's ESL website for more information on these and other English language services.

Northwestern's International Office

Additional information, support and resources for international students can be found at Northwestern's International Office.