International Student FAQ

MSHC International Student Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the additional application requirements for international students?

International student applicants must provide TOEFL results with a minimum required overall score of 100 and a minimum score of 26 on the "Speaking" section. Students with TOEFL scores below these standards will not be accepted. The MSHC TOEFL code 6397. The test must have been administered after September 1, 2010. The MSHC Program does not accept the IELTS test. Applicants who earned their bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. must submit all transcripts to Educational Credential Evaluators for a course-by-course verification instead of submitting transcripts to the MSHC office.

2. Can I have the TOEFL requirement waived?

The TOEFL may be waived for applicants who earned their bachelor's or graduate degree in the U.S.

3. When is the application deadline for international students?

International students must apply by June 1 of the year they wish to begin the MSHC program. This allows for time to obtain a visa.

4. What is the undergraduate requirement for international students?

International students must have the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. If you are unsure about equivalency a course-by-course evaluation can be established through Educational Credential Evaluators.

5. What are the additional requirements for international students once accepted into the program?

Per visa requirements, if accepted, international students are required to provide documentation that one full year's tuition, housing expenses, and living expenses are available to them — either in the form of personal or family funds, financial aid or employer support — prior to beginning the program. In addition, international students must complete either the I-20 or DS-2019 visa-eligibility document. For more information please visit the "New Students" section on the International Office website. Once matriculated, international students must purchase health insurance from the University recommended vendor. There will be no exceptions. If admitted into the MSHC Program, specific information for purchasing health insurance will be included in the acceptance packet.

6. What if I already have a visa?

Students who do not require immigration sponsorship from the university (i.e. students whose immigration status is sponsored by their employer or spouse) are personally responsible for knowing the requirements of their visa. In the case that a student's visa allows for part-time study, this student may be recognized by the university as an international student but be billed at the part-time/domestic rate. These students should share this information with Admissions prior to enrollment.

7. Does the MSHC Program provide housing for international students?

No. However, the university’s Department of Graduate and Off Campus Housing serves to support graduate students seeking housing. Contact them directly to learn more about the accommodations and policies.

8. Can the application interview be conducted by phone?

We prefer to conduct interviews by web video, but are happy to accommodate international students by conducting interviews via web video or phone.

9. Are there additional course requirements for international students?

Per U.S. student visa guidelines, international students are required to enroll in three courses per quarter with exception to the final quarter of study. Each quarter MSHC offers two courses in the primary curriculum and one seminar course or independent research project designed exclusively for international students. International students typically do not take any courses outside of the curriculum, though English written and verbal proficiency courses are available and encouraged.

10. What is the TOEFL code for the MSHC Program?


MS in Health Communication
Northwestern University
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Chicago, IL 60611