Northwestern University has adopted a SAT or ACT test-optional policy for the 2020-21 admission cycle. Click here for more information 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) or International English Language Testing System (IETLS).
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.
All graduate applicants to the Bienen School of Music whose native language is not English, regardless of citizenship, are required to submit a TOEFL score.
To be considered official, a TOEFL score report must be delivered to our office directly from ETS, and cannot be more than two years old. For example, if your application is submitted on December 1, 2020, then your TOEFL report cannot be older than December 1, 2018. It is recommended that you take the TOEFL 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.
The Bienen School of Music does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the IELTS or ITP, for applications to the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.
Use TOEFL School Code: 1565 (Northwestern University)