Transfer Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions for Transfer Students

  1. What are NIU's admission requirements? Do I have to earn an Associate in Art (AA) or Associate in Science (AS)?
  2. How will my courses transfer to NIU?
  3. What is the maximum number of hours that can be transferred?
  4. How many hours of credit are required for graduation from NIU?
  5. When should I apply for admission?
  6. When can I visit the campus?
  7. How do I apply for a scholarship or financial aid?
  8. What majors are available?
  9. How do I apply for housing? Do I have to live in a NIU residence hall?
  10. What is the cost of attendance?
  11. What kind of career planning services are offered to prepare students for life after graduation?
  12. How can I get a catalog or class schedule?
  13. Does NIU offer health care and medical insurance for students?
  14. Can I bring a car to campus?
  15. How do I find out what courses I should register for?
  16. What are the residency requirements to qualify for in-state tuition?
  17. Do I need to confirm my intent to attend NIU as a new transfer student?
  18. What is the relationship of ACT scores and high school rank to graduation rates?
  19. Is it safe at NIU?
  20. Where do I find Disabilities Information, Services and Accommodations assistance?

1. What are NIU’s admission requirements? Do I have to earn an associate in art (AA) or associate in science (AS)?

Transfer students must have a minimum of 24 transferable semester hours (36 quarter hours) of credit, a minimum 2.00/4.00 GPA (as calculated by NIU), good academic standing (not on probation or dismissal) from the last college or university attended, and satisfy Northern's competitive transfer GPA (currently a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale). An AA or AS degree is not required, but does provide important benefits to most transfer students (if from an Illinois public community college). See Transfer Criteria for more information.  See Transfer Center for contact information for questions.

2. How will my courses transfer to NIU?

NIU will accept credit in transfer from any regionally accredited college or university if the courses to be transferred are part of a baccalaureate program. The Articulation Tables list course equivalencies from most Illinois public community colleges.

3. What is the maximum number of hours that can be transferred?

Students may transfer up to 66 academic semester hours plus 4 semester hours of physical education activity courses. Credit hours in excess of 66 will be displayed on the student’s transcript; however, in all cases, the student will be required to complete at least 54 semester hours from the following sources: NIU credit, credit from other 4-year schools, proficiency credit, and up to 8 semester hours of physical education activity credit of which up to 4 physical education activity credit hours may be earned at community colleges.

4. How many hours of credit are required for graduation from NIU?

A minimum of 120 semester hours are required. However, some majors may require more than 120 semester hours. A minimum of 30 semester hours must be earned at NIU (residency requirement).

5. When should I apply for admission?

Early application is encouraged, since you will be assigned orientation, academic advisement, and registration based on the date you are admitted. Applications are taken on or after September 1 of the year before the fall, spring, and summer sessions.  The Online application is the preferred, best method to apply for admissions consideration.

6. When can I visit the campus?

NIU hosts several special events through the year including Open House, Transfer Tuesdays, Transfers Get Information Fridays and Admitted Student Days. Campus walking tours are Monday - Friday at 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM (excluding holidays, closure days and Open House dates). Tours are available on Saturdays (September - May, excluding holidays and closure days) at 11:30 AM. However, Admissions is the only office that is open on Saturdays. See Visit NIU Admissions to find, directions, dates, times and visiting NIU Admissions procedures.

7. How do I apply for a scholarship or financial aid?

All students are required to submit the FAFSA, NIU’s Institutional Financial Aid Verification Form. NIU ‘s priority filing date is March 1. Information and applications for financial assistance are available from Student Financial Aid. That office also maintains information on Veteran's Assistance. Scholarship information is available on the Scholarship Search site.

8. What majors are available?

NIU offers 63 academic majors, 59 minors, 64 emphases, and 8 pre-professional programs - more than 100 programs of study! See Undergraduate Majors, Minors and Certificates for more information.

9. How do I apply for housing? Do I have to live in an NIU residence hall?

All single students classified as freshmen (under 30 transferable semester hours of credit or 45 quarter hours) who will not be 21 years of age by September 1 for fall (February 1 for spring) and who are not residing with their parents or legal guardians must live in university residence halls as long as space is available. A housing application will automatically be sent to students following notification of admission to NIU. NIU’s Off-Campus Housing Office provided listings of housing available in DeKalb (phone: 815/753-5105).

10. What is the cost of attendance?

NIU’s graduated tuition plan reduces the cost per credit hour as you add classes, letting you take more classes for less money. NIU’s "typical annual budget" may be found in the Financing Your Education page.

11. What kind of career planning services are offered to prepare students for life after graduation?

NIU helps students secure internships and full-time employment by offering job and internship fairs, career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews and an online job search database. For more information, see our Careers & Employment page.

12. How can I get a catalog or class schedule?

The Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs are available free online. Printed catalogs are provided to all undergraduate students at Orientation. Class schedules are searchable using the NIU Course Finder.

13. Does NIU offer health care and medical insurance for students?

Yes. Health Services provides medical care to all students, full-time or part-time, who are registered and have paid on-campus tuition and fees. Students may use Health Services without being enrolled in the student Health Insurance Plan.

The university offers a Student Health Insurance Plan designed exclusively for NIU students. Enrollment in the plan is automatic for students registered for 9 or more on-campus hours and all international students.

14. Can I bring a car to campus?

Yes. See our Parking & Transportation page for more information.

15. How do I find out what courses I should register for?

Every new NIU undergraduate student must attend New Student Orientation where they will meet with an adviser and receive priority registration.

16. What are the residency requirements to qualify for in-state tuition?

That information is available on the Registration & Records site.

17. Do I need to confirm my intent to attend NIU as a new transfer student?

YES! A complete evaluation of all transfer coursework will be performed upon confirmation notification to NIU Admissions of the student’s intention to enroll at NIU. To confirm your intention to enroll, you may send in the “Confirmation of Expected Attendance” card that accompanies the admission letter or notify the Office of Admissions by phone at (815)-753-0446, or email to admissions@niu.edu. Evaluations will be prioritized by the date confirmations are received (allow 4-6 weeks, processing times may vary)

18. What is the relationship of ACT scores and high school rank to graduation rates?

NIU's graduation rates are similar to the average graduation rates of other NCAA 1-A institutions. For more information, see About NIU.

19. Is it safe at NIU?

Yes! Northern Illinois University has the advantage of being located in a smaller city with lower crime rates than more populous communities. But even in this relatively secure environment, people must act responsibly to ensure their own well-being. For more information, see our Campus Safety site.