Jul 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



Admission to Northwest University is granted to applicants meeting the University admissions requirements without regard to sex, race, color, age, national or ethnic origin, or physical disability. However, admissions are made on a selective basis according to the criteria described below.

Admission Requirements

The following information is specific to the traditional undergraduate programs of the University. Admissions to the College of Adult and Professional Studies,  Oregon extension, Online Programs, or Graduate Programs are detailed in their respective section of this catalog or student handbooks.

Applying for Admissions

Students are encouraged to apply online at http://www.northwestu.edu/apply

Procedures for Students Entering Directly from High School

Students completing college credits while in high school, including those participating in the Running Start program must follow the procedures outlined in this section:

  • Application – Complete the application and submit to the Admissions Office along with the $30 non-refundable application fee.
  • Christian Formation Reference – The University may require a Christian Formation Reference from a spiritual mentor, pastor, or non-family member who can speak to the applicant’s spiritual growth and walk with Christ. The Christian Formation Reference form is included in the application for admission.
  • High School Transcript or Equivalent (GED) –Arrange for an official transcript to be sent by the high school last attended. In addition, approved applicants must submit a final high school transcript to the Admissions Office before August 1 for Fall Term and December 1 for Spring Term.  Students desiring college credit from AP or IB tests must submit official scores in order to receive appropriate credit.
  • College Entrance Test – Take either the College Board SAT (NU Code 4541) or the ACT (NU Code 4466) and submit official scores to NU.
  • College Transcripts – Applicants enrolled in college coursework while in high school must submit official transcripts to the Admissions Office from all colleges and universities enrolled.

Procedures for Transfer Students

Running Start students should follow the process for high school students.

  • Application – Complete the application and submit to the Admissions Office along with the $30 non-refundable application fee.
  • Christian Formation Reference – The University may require a Christian Formation Reference from a spiritual mentor, pastor, or non-family member who can speak to the applicant’s spiritual growth and walk with Christ. The Christian Formation Reference form is included in the application for admission.
  • High School Transcript or Equivalent (GED) – At the time of application, transfer students must submit an official high school transcript if they have completed fewer than 20 semester credits or 30 quarter credits.  Approved applicants with an earned associate’s degree do not need to provide an official high school transcript.  Approved applicants with fewer than 60 credits earned after high school graduation must submit a final official high school transcript to the Admissions Office before August 1 for Fall Term and December 1 for Spring Term.  
  • College Entrance Test – Transfer students who, at the time of application, have completed fewer than 20 semester college credits or 30 quarter college credits after graduating from high school must submit either the SAT or ACT.
  • College Transcripts – Send official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously enrolled.

Salvation Experience

The mission of Northwest is to “carry the call of God by continually building a learning community dedicated to spiritual vitality, academic excellence, and empowered engagement with human need.” As a Christian Liberal Arts University, all experiences are directed to students discovering and preparing for God’s plan for their lives. Therefore, a vital experience of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is required to be admitted.

High School Graduate

Applicants must be graduates of a recognized high school. The following years of preparatory work are recom­mended: English (4), Math (3), Social Studies (2), Science (2), Foreign Language (2) and Electives (3).

Applicants may be admitted on the basis of satisfactory scores on the General Educational Development (GED) Tests as established by State Competency Standards.

Home-schooled students who apply for admission to Northwest University are required to submit the same application materials as stated for all students. An official transcript prepared by an individual educator must be signed and document successful completion of all secondary courses, including information about curriculum and reading lists within the homeschool program. An official letter of intent signed by the appropriate governing authority may be required. Admission for students who submit transcripts from a home educator will weigh more heavily on test scores, demonstrated written ability, and academic curriculum. In addition, applicants may be required to submit a GED if their academic records are of marginal quality.

A limited number of mature persons who are not graduates of a high school may be admitted on a selective basis as non-degree seeking or non-matriculated students. However, non-degree seeking or non-matriculated students are not allowed to earn degrees, diplomas, or certificates at the University.

Notification of Admission

After the application, application fee, reference form, SAT or ACT scores, and transcripts have been received, the Admissions Committee will evaluate the application. Applicants will be notified by telephone and/or postal mail whether or not they are accepted. No assurance of acceptance should be assumed until the applicants receive an official acceptance letter from the Admissions Office.

Accepting Offer of Admission

To accept an offer of admission, follow these steps:

  1. Confirmation Deposit - A $100 advance payment is the student’s acknowledgement of intention to enroll. The confirmation form and deposit should be submitted to the Admissions Office. This payment is credited to the student’s account and is applied towards the initial tuition payment. Deposits for fall semester enrollment are refundable or deferrable to a future semester upon written notice of cancellation or deferral by July 15. Those canceling for the spring semester must give written notice of cancellation or deferral by December 15 to receive a refund or to defer the deposit to a future semester. Thereafter refunds are granted only for reasons of extreme illness or emergency, as verified by the Admissions Office.
  2. Housing Placement Fee – A non-refundable housing fee of $150 must be submitted in order to hold a semester housing placement. The priority deadline for housing fees and fully completed applications is May 15 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester. Students are eligible to apply for housing after they have paid their $100 Confirmation Deposit. Fees and housing applications should be submitted as early as possible.
  3. Health and Immunization Forms – Admitted applicants are to complete certain health and immunization forms during the Registration process. An emergency authorization form is to be completed in all cases and students are encouraged but not required to submit a medical history report as well. The University reserves the right to require a medical report from the applicant’s physician where questions about physical or mental health emerge.

Immunization Policy

Northwest University does not require vaccinations in order for students to enroll in classes. However, in the event of a confirmed case of Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, or Pertussis, all non-immunized students as well as those who have not provided Northwest University with accurate records of immunization, will be required to leave campus, including campus housing, until the outbreak is resolved. During this time, you are solely responsible for missed classes or coursework. The university will not be able to provide alternative means for completing courses.

In order to avoid this risk, students should have the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (TDAP) vaccines. Additionally, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health information, we recommend vaccinations for Meningococcal Disease and Hepatitis B. Immunization records are kept confidential and are collected during the registration process.

International Students

International applicants must complete the same admissions process as other freshman or transfer students. Additionally, international applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Valid copy of passport
  • Bank Statements – Northwest University is required by the United States government to obtain evidence that each applicant has adequate funds to pay for the educational and living expenses for the first year of study and may require a sponsor if the student does not have sufficient personal or family funds to meet the cost of education and living in the United States. The bank statement must be dated within six months of application.
  • English Language Proficiency – International students whose native language is not English must submit a TOEFL score (or the equivalent score through another approved exam) from an exam taken no more than two years prior to application to the University. 
  • Transcripts – All transcripts must be submitted in English.
  • Full-time – International students must maintain a minimum of twelve (12) units each semester.
  • Health Insurance – All international students admitted to the University are required to purchase the health insurance plan the university offers, or provide documentation indicating that the student has the same or better health insurance coverage for the duration of their time at Northwest University
  • Compliance – All international students must comply with all laws and regulations related to F-1 students, as determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

Foreign Degree Requirements

  • Any college or university transcript which is submitted from a school located outside of the US and Canada must be supplemented by an official evaluation of the transcript for US degree equivalency and GPA, performed by an institution approved by NACES http://www.naces.org/members.html. (Course-by-course evaluations are not required unless transfer credit is requested; for more information, please consult the enrollment counselor for the program to which you are applying.)

English Testing Requirement

Citizens of approved countries with English as an official language and/or the language of academic instruction are exempt from the TOEFL and IELTS. A current list of approved countries is maintained by the Center for English Language Education. 

For undergraduate students, whose native language is not English, one of the following requirements is necessary to qualify for admission to Northwest University: 

  1. TOEFL internet-based (iBT) score of 80, 
  2. IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6.0 in each band),  
  3. SAT 450 in critical writing or reading, or  
  4. ACT 18 in writing.  
  5. If you have completed 30+ semester credits at a regionally accredited college/ university in the U.S. with a minimum GPA of 2.5. 
  6. CELE program completion 
    • If you have competed Level 6 (Bridge) of the ESL program at the Center for English Language Education (CELE) at Northwest University with a grade of 80% or higher and a GPA of 2.5 in NU Bridge Classes. 
  7. Duolingo English Test score of 105.

International priority application deadlines

  • Fall – June 15
  • Spring – November 15

Applications completed after the deadlines will be reviewed as space is available.

International students are encouraged to submit applications by the priority deadline because of the time it takes to issue an I-20 and apply for a student visa.


Former students who have been out of enrollment for one semester or more must complete an Application for Re-Entry and submit supplemental documents required by the specific program. They will not be required to obtain new transcripts other than for college coursework taken during the interim away from Northwest University. 

Withdrawal from University

A $1,500 cancellation fee will be charged to international students who are admitted but, upon entering the U.S. or approval of change of status, immediately request to transfer to another institution (without attending any NU classes).

Admissions Standings

Students admitted to Northwest University are assigned one of the following three standings.

Regular Standing

Regular standing is granted to an admitted applicant who meets all requirements for admission and is pursuing a degree or approved certificate from the University. Regular standing requires an incoming 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in high school and/or college coursework and satisfactory test scores.

Success Standing

Success standing is granted to an admitted applicant who shows the potential to successfully pursue studies at Northwest University but does not meet all requirements for regular standing. Success standing supports academic achievement and persistence through required participation in a track as advised in the Success Standing program. A minimum incoming GPA of 2.0 in high school and college coursework is normally required for admission with success standing.

Conditional Standing

Conditional standing may be offered to a student who meets entrance requirements at Northwest University, but whose application is incomplete. Admission to Northwest University is conditional based upon satisfying specific requirements prior to full admission. Individuals admitted on Conditional standing will not be permitted to take courses for more than one term or session.

Non-Degree Seeking Student Status

A Non-Degree Seeking Student is not seeking a degree or approved certificate at the time of admission. Individuals in this status may be enrolled in courses for reasons such as personal enrichment, learning or upgrading job skills, or fulfilling degree requirements for another institution. A Non-Degree Seeking Student is not eligible for federal or state financial aid. Courses taken by a student while under this status are a part of the student’s permanent academic record, but are not guaranteed to apply to a degree or certificate offered by the institution. Specific course prerequisites must be satisfied regardless of a student’s admission status.

Non-Matriculated Seeking Student Status

A Non-Matriculated Student has been approved to enroll in a specific term for a specific course that has been designated open to non-matriculated students. Students in this status are not seeking a degree or approved certificate at the time of admission and are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. Courses taken by a student while under this status are a part of the student’s permanent academic record, but are not guaranteed to apply to a degree or certificate offered by the institution. Specific course prerequisites must be satisfied regardless of a student’s admission status.

Early Action

The Early Action program at Northwest University is a nonbinding agreement for students who place NU among their top choices of universities. To be eligible for the Early Action program, students must submit a completed Application for Admission by the stated deadline. The deadlines for this program are the following:

  • Early Action 1: November 15
  • Early Action 2: January 15

Participating students will receive notification of their admission status within one month of the Early Action deadlines. Students admitted as part of the Early Action program receive priority for course registration and semester housing placement.

Transfer Credit

During the admissions process, official transcripts from all previously attended educational institutions are evaluated for the maximum amount of transfer credit possible. The results of this evaluative process are communicated to students and their academic advisors on a Transfer Report. Any subsequent credits earned by students must also be communicated via an official transcript, evaluated by the Registrar’s Office, and officially reported. The University strongly recommends that students intending to transfer additional courses to Northwest verify that the intended course will be received prior to enrolling in the course. This is applicable to prospective and enrolled students. See the Northwest University Credit Transfer Guide for further details.

Semester -vs- Quarter Credits

Northwest University’s academic calendar is formatted on a semester basis. A credit transferred into Northwest from a college operating on a quarter-calendar is equivalent to 2/3 of a semester credit. Thus, one can translate quarter credits to semester credits by dividing the quarter credits by 1.5.

Advanced Standing

Northwest University accepts credits earned through the Advanced Placement Testing Program (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (D.S.S.T), and Running Start. Recommendations regarding college credit are made by the Registrar. For credits earned through testing while a matriculated student, refer to Academic Policies and Information, Alternative Ways to Earn Credit.

Military Credit

Those having had military service may petition the Registrar’s Office for physical education credit upon presenting appropriate documentation.

Transfer of ICRC Associate in Arts

Northwest University accepts the transfer A.A. degree from those colleges in the State of Washington whose degree requirements conform to the guidelines of the Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC). The degree will satisfy many of the University’s Core Curriculum Requirements, and will confer 60 semester credits of work in transfer to Northwest University, giving the student junior standing. However, because of the specific nature of some degrees, some Core Curriculum Requirements may still remain to be satisfied.

Transfer of Credit from Regionally Colleges and Universities

Students desiring to transfer to the University from another institution accredited by one of the six regional associations must follow the general instructions for admission and must see that transcripts of previous college work are sent to the Admissions Office. Course work in parallel courses or areas of instruction will be considered for transfer provided that they show a grade of “C-” or better. (Some majors may have a higher grade requirement for some of their courses.)

Transfer of Credit from Non-Regionally Accredited Colleges and Universities

Academic work presented from colleges and universities that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) database but not accredited by one of the six regional associations is subject to the following limitations and guidelines:

  • Transfer from all such sources is limited to a total of 30 semester credits.
  • Courses are considered on a course-by-course basis.
  • Acceptance of such credits is dependent upon the University’s evaluation of the equivalency of course work and level of instruction.
  • All such transfer credit is considered at the time of admission or readmission to the University.
  • Transfer credit from such sources must be validated by completion of a minimum of two semesters enrollment and 30 credits at Northwest University with grades of 2.00 (C) or better, and possibly by examination.
  • Only evaluations and commitments made in writing by the Registrar’s Office will be considered as being applicable.
  • College-level work considered occupational or remedial is not recognized for transfer.
  • Enrolled students desiring to transfer credits from such institutions must obtain prior approval from the dean of the school or college into which the credits are to be transferred.

Residency Requirements

25% of the minimum total credit hours must be completed from Northwest University for every degree earned, and the final semester of work before graduation must be taken from Northwest University irrespective of the amount of previous work completed at Northwest University. 25% of the program or major requirements must be completed in residence at Northwest University.

A student registered at Northwest University may not receive credit for a concurrent enrollment at another institution without approval. Students interrupting their programs at the University may, upon returning, graduate under the requirements of the catalog in effect during the semester in which they first enrolled, provided graduation is within six years from the end of that semester. (The summer semester may count as a part of the semester before or after it.) However, a student may graduate under the requirements of the current catalog. It is expected that the requirements of the catalog chosen will be followed as a whole.