Northwestern University has adopted a SAT or ACT test-optional policy for the 2021-22 admission cycle. Learn more about this year's test-optional policy.
Applicants for whom English is not a first nor primary language, or whose schooling has been in a language other than English, must submit results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test (DET).
International applicants must demonstrate a high level of English proficiency. An evaluation of English proficiency includes reviewing all test scores, grades in classes taught in English, writing samples, and comments by recommenders.
English Proficiency Requirements
Please note that we cannot release prescreening results or schedule an audition until we have received your English language exam score. All scores are due by December 1.
All graduate applicants to the Bienen School of Music whose native language is not English, regardless of citizenship, are required to submit proof of English proficiency. The Bienen School accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test (DET).
To be considered official, a score report must be delivered to our office directly from the test provider, and cannot be more than two years old. For example, if your application is submitted on December 1, 2021, then your English proficiency test score cannot be older than December 1, 2019. It is recommended that you take an English proficiency exam at least two months before the application is due, to ensure that your scores arrive by the deadline.
Photocopies, student copies, faxes, and email attachments will not be accepted. Test scores arriving after the deadlines listed below will not be accepted.
Use TOEFL School Code: 1565 (Northwestern University)