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Nomination Process and Eligibility

International students who have been offered admission to a PhD or MFA program at Northwestern University for the upcoming academic year may be nominated to join ELP Foundations by their admitting departments.  Each department has its own process for making nominations decisions, but all departments must observe The Graduate School's nomination guidelines for ELP Foundations.

Once a department has nominated a student, English Language Programs will confirm eligibility and then send an offer directly to the student. Offers are made on a rolling basis until the program has reached capacity.

Annual ELP Foundations Admissions Process

Dates and Steps for ELP Foundations Admissions Process
Dates Steps
December through April/May Students receive Northwestern University admissions offers to PhD/MFA programs.
February 1-May 15, 2024 Departments nominate students for participation in ELP Foundations; if eligible, students are offered admission on a rolling basis (if space is available).
May 15, 2024 Last ELP Foundations admission offers go out to nominated students.
May 15, 2024 Final deadline for students admitted before May 1 to accept the ELP Foundations admissions offer.
May 24, 2024 Final deadline for students admitted after May 1 to accept the ELP Foundations admissions offer.
May 15-June 7, 2024 Students who have accepted the offer complete online tasks in the ELP Foundations Pre-Boarding Canvas site to prepare for enrollment in the summer online course "TGS:509-Foundations in American English and Academic Culture."
June 10-14, 2024 Students enrolled by The Graduate School in special degree program ELP Foundations and in non-credit course TGS 509.
June 17, 2024 Official start of Summer Quarter at Northwestern.
June 17-18 and 20, 2024 Canvas course opens for preview for enrolled students. Optional live orientation sessions and online site tours for interested students
June 19, 2024 Juneteenth University Holiday
June 21-July 27, 2024 Students complete weekly assignments for Foundations in American English and Academic Culture and interact with ELP faculty and student peer mentors in Live Zoom Discussions and Faculty Office Group Hours.
September 2024- October 2024 Students who complete the online course are eligible to attend guided ELP Foundations social events in Evanston and Chicago. Event descriptions and registration information will be sent to students in September.
September 24, 2024 Northwestern Fall Quarter 2024 first day of classes.
September 30, 2024 Students who earned 1) a grade of A or B in the course and 2) are enrolled for Fall Quarter receive the ELP Foundations Stipend (the $300 stipend will be included in their first monthly stipend direct deposit).

For prospective students: PhD and MFA students who have an admission offer for Fall 2024 can contact their department admissions officer to request that they be nominated to the program, starting in February of 2024.

For departments: Download our 2024 nomination guidelines. Faculty and admissions officers who have questions about nominating students should contact Program Coordinator Brian Hampson at for more information.