Below are answers to frequently asked questions meant to guide you through the admissions and arrival process. If you have additional questions, you may contact us via email at email@example.com.
If you are a newly admitted student, be sure to review our website for newly admitted international students, including our "Next Steps" page, for answers to a lot of common questions.
What are your application deadlines?
Admission deadlines will depend on your program and intake date, and can be viewed on our international undegraduate or international graduate admissions pages. Because visa applications can take months in some countries, we recommend that you apply early if you are overseas and will need to apply for a new studen visa. Our final date to mail out overseas documents and recommended final deadlines can be found on our "GETTING YOUR I-20" page.
How much does it cost to study at NKU?
Please visit our Finances & Scholarships page to learn more about how much it will cost to attend Northern Kentucky University. This page has a breakdown of cost for each level of interest: Undergraduate, Graduate, Law, and the American English Language Program.
What documents must I submit with my application?
Do my documents need to be translated into English?
Yes. The translation must be done by a professional translation agency in order for NKU to accept your documents.
Do I have to choose a major when I apply?
Yes. You will need to choose a major at the time of the application, but you will not be required to stay in that major upon arrival. International Student and Scholar Services can assist you with the change of major process once you have arrived at NKU.
Can I study at NKU if my English is not very strong?
Yes! You can be conditionally admitted to Northern Kentucky University if you do not meet our English requirements listed under the Admissions Standards page. You will begin your studies in our American English Language Program until you meet the English requirements or pass level 6, which is the required level to enter the university. Please note that some graduate programs do not offer conditional admission.
Do you accept transfer credit?
Northern Kentucky University will accept transfer credits if your university is recognized by the Ministry of Education in your home country, or if your university is accredited by one of the US regional accrediting agencies.
How do I transfer my I-20 to NKU?
You will receive admission documents after you are admitted and International Student and Scholar Services at NKU will assist you with the process of transferring in your immigration record from your current school to Northern Kentucky University. This is a very simple process and you will get all the help needed to successfully transfer to NKU.
When can I enroll in classes? Will I have an academic advisor?
Because we want to make sure you are in the right classes, you can only enroll when you arrive and meet with your academic advisor who will meet with you to discuss which classes you should be taking. Meeting your academic advisor typically happens during the week of orientation if you are new to NKU.
When do I pay my tuition and what are the rules for refund?
Your tuition & fees bill can be viewed on the biller direct tab on MyNKU. You should also check the university’s Student Account Services page to learn more about payment deadlines and payment installment plans. Please know that effective January 1, 2018, cash payments will be limited to $5,000 per semester.
Can I take ESL classes at NKU?
Are you on a semester or quarter system?
Northern Kentucky University is on a semester system. The Fall semester runs between mid-August to mid-December; Spring semesters at NKU typically run from mid-January to mid-May. International students entering NKU are required to begin their studies in the fall or spring semesters. Students interested in learning English first can begin their studies in the summer through our American English Language Program.
What is the average class size at Northern Kentucky University?
The average class size is 24 students, which makes NKU a public university that feels like a private institution. The student to faculty ratio is 17 to 1.
How many students attend Northern Kentucky University?
More than 14,000 students attend Northern Kentucky University. Students come from 44 states in the United States and about 55 countries are represented at NKU.
Will I be taught by student teaching assistants?
No. All classes at NKU are taught by full-time or part-time faculty members. No graduate or teaching assistants, and professors get to know each and every student by name.
Is it possible to graduate in four years?
Yes. Northern Kentucky University is committed to students' degree plans. If you take 15 credit hours per semester and you follow your academic advisor’s personalized study plan, you should graduate in four years.
Where are you located?
Northern Kentucky University is located in the Midwest of the United States next to Ohio and Indiana and only a four hour drive to Chicago, Illinois. The university is in the safe, friendly and small community of Highland Heights, which is only about 11 kilometers from the vibrant city of Cincinnati, Ohio. With a metro population of nearly 2 million people, the city of Cincinnati has a lot to offer, including professional sports, shopping, nightlife, and recreational opportunities.
What is the weather like in Highland Heights/Cincinnati area?
Cincinnati/Highland Heights has four seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. Summers are warm to hot and humid with significant rain fall in each month and highs reaching 32 degrees Celsius or above on an average of 21 days during summers. Winters tend to be cold and snowy, with January, the coldest month, averaging at -0.7 Celsius.
How safe is the campus?
NKU was recently ranked as the #3 Safest Campus in the United States. The campus and city of Highland Heights are very safe. Many people walk around the city at all times and residents are extremely friendly and welcoming.
How many students live on campus?
Approximately 2,100 undergraduate students live on campus. We recommend that you consider living on campus during your first year in order to capture the full college experience as an international student.
Am I required to live on campus?
All first-time-freshman and international exchange students are required to live in on-campus housing during their first academic year. The campus offers a variety of places to live and eat, but you must apply early if you wish to secure the accommodation of your choice (March 15 is the priority housing deadline). International students must complete a housing application to live on campus. Please note that a housing application is a contract that you have with the university. Breaking the contract will result in heavy fines.
What are the benefits of living on campus?
There are numerous benefits to living on campus, including convenience, safety, opportunities to develop life-long friendships, and living in an environment that fosters the educational and personal growth of students. Living on campus also allows you to learn about other cultures and provides students easy access to numerous campus resources, such as faculty and academic advisors, the Steely Library, computer labs, and dining options. Students who live on campus tend to do better academically and are more involved than those living off campus on their own.
I completed the housing application and I will be living on campus. When can I move in?
You may move in a day or two before international student orientation begins. Because international students are required to arrive on campus early, ISSS works with the Housing office to ensure that our students are easily able to move in before immigration check-in.
Do you have student clubs and organizations?
Yes! NKU has over 220 clubs and organizations, including the International Student Union. There are cultural clubs such as the African Students Union, Asian Culture Club, Indian Student Association, Saudi Student Club, as well as intramural Sports and academic clubs.
How do I get a visa? What do I need to know about the immigration process?
Information on how to get a student visa can be found here, but you can also visit the admitted student website to learn more about the process. If you still need assistance with the visa process after visiting those two sites, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you with the process.
Can you write a letter to speed up or facilitate my U.S. visa?
Unfortunately, a letter from the international office will not make the visa process any faster. We recommend that you begin the visa process as soon as you are admitted to NKU. Visa applications can take up to six months to process, depending on your country of origin.
Do I have to pay the orientation fee?
International undergraduates do not need to pay the domestic orientation fee or attend Northern Exposure events, but will instead be paying the international orientation fee. Please refer to nku.edu/intlnext for information on the International Student Orientation registration process, which occurs after an international student has received his or her student visa.
Do I have to attend international student orientation?
Yes - International Student Orientation is required of ALL new students. It is extremely important that you attend. During orientation, you will meet with your academic advisor to register for classes, meet your peer international and domestic friends, learn about immigration rules, and how to get jobs on campus. Orientation allows you to be better prepared to enter the university and ISSS will answer any questions or concerns you may have during orientation.
I am transferring from another U.S. institution. Do I need to attend international student orientation?
Yes. International Student Orientation is mandatory and all international students, including transfers, are required to attend.