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Frequently Asked Questions for Transfer Students

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1. What are NIU’s admission requirements? Do I have to earn an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.)?

Transfer students must have a minimum of 24 transferable semester hours (36 quarter hours) of credit, be in good academic standing from the last college or university attended and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale from all colleges attended. An A.A. or A.S. degree isn't required, but does provide important benefits to most transfer students (if from an Illinois public community college). See Transfer Criteria for more information. Visit our Transfer Center page 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. See Transfer Center for contact information for specific questions.

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

You may transfer up to 66 academic semester hours plus four semester hours of physical education activity courses. Credit hours in excess of 66 will be displayed on your transcript.

In all cases, you'll be required to complete at least 54 semester hours from the following sources: NIU credit, credit from other four-year schools, proficiency credit and up to eight semester hours of physical education activity credit, of which up to four 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). See our Program Major Guides for more information on program-specific requirements.

5. When should I apply for admission?

Early application is encouraged, since you'll be assigned orientation, academic advising and registration based on the date you're admitted. Depending on which semester you're applying for admission, there are different deadlines. The online application is the preferred method to apply for admission.

6. When can I visit the campus?

Join any of our special events through the year including Open Houses, Transfers Get Information Fridays (TGIF) and Admitted Student Days.

Campus walking tours are Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (excluding holidays, closure days and Open House dates).

Tours are available on Saturdays (September through May, excluding holidays and closure days) at 11:30 a.m. However, the Office of Admissions is the only office that is open on Saturdays. For more information, directions, dates and times see our visit campus page.

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

89% of undergraduates received financial aid of some sort in 2014. We suggest all students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). NIU’s priority filing date is March 1 and our school code is 001737.

Information and applications for financial assistance are available from Student Financial Aid. That office also maintains information on Veteran's Assistance.

NIU offers hundreds of scholarships. Scholarship information is available on the Scholarship Search site.

8. What majors are available?

NIU offers 56 academic majors, 73 minors, 90 emphases and seven 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?

A housing application will automatically be sent to you following notification of admission to NIU. Our Off-Campus Housing Office provides listings of housing available in DeKalb (phone: 815-753-5105).

Students meeting the following criteria must live in university residence halls as long as space is available:

  • Single students classified as freshman (under 24 transferable semester hours of credit or 45 quarter hours)
  • Not yet 21 years of age by September 1 for fall (February 1 for spring)
  • Not residing with their parents or legal guardians

10. How much is tuition?

NIU’s graduated tuition plan reduces the cost per credit hour as you add classes, letting you take more classes for less money. Our “Truth-in-tuition” plan provides students with a fixed tuition rate for a time period of four continuous years beginning with your initial enrollment. Our tuition estimator will help you put together an estimated "typical annual budget."

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

NIU helps you secure internships and full-time employment by offering job and internship fairs, career counseling, résumé 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 registered students, full-time or part-time, who have paid on-campus tuition and fees. We offer automatic enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan for students registered for nine or more on-campus hours, and all international students. You may use Health Services without being enrolled in the insurance plan.

14. Can I bring a car to campus?

Yes, you may bring a car to campus. You'll need one of five different parking permits for your car, which you can purchase online. All parking facilities are limited, controlled and color-coded, and all vehicles, including motorcycles and mopeds, must display an appropriate permit. Special Parking privileges are extended to handicapped persons and to individuals who are temporarily disabled.

You don’t need a car though, to get around campus. With the Huskie Bus Line, Huskie Safe Line, Zipcar and the FreedomMobile for students with disabilities, there are a number of options for transportation.

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

Every new NIU undergraduate student must attend New Student Orientation where you'll meet with an advisor and receive priority registration.

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

Please see our residency FAQ.

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

Yes. Once you confirm your intent to enroll with the Office of Admissions, a complete evaluation of all transfer coursework will be performed. 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 admissions@niu.edu. Evaluations are prioritized by the date confirmations they 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 NIU at-a-glance.

Office of Admissions
Williston Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-0446
Toll-free: 800-892-3050

Email: admissions@niu.edu

Transfer Center: transfercenter@niu.edu

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