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ELP Foundations 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 should review The Graduate School's nomination guidelines for ELP Foundations.

Once a department has nominated a student, English Language Programs confirm eligibility and then will send an offer directly to the student on a rolling basis, based on availability. Preference is given to students who have never lived or studied in the United States before. 

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 12, 2023 Departments nominate students for participation in ELP Foundations; if eligible, students are offered admission on a rolling basis (if space is available).
May 15, 2023 Last ELP Foundations admission offers go out to nominated students.
May 15, 2023 Final deadline for students admitted before May 1 to accept the ELP Foundations admissions offer.
May 26, 2023 Final deadline for students admitted after May 1 to accept the ELP Foundations admissions offer.
May 26-June 5, 2023 Students who have accepted the offer complete tasks in 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 13-14, 2023 Students enrolled by The Graduate School in TGS 509.
June 16, 2023 Canvas course opens for preview for enrolled students.
June 20, 2023 Summer term officially starts.
June 20-July 22, 2023 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 2023- October 2023 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 19, 2023 Students begin first quarter of graduate studies.
September 30, 2023 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 2023 can contact their department admissions officer to request that they be nominated to the program, starting in February of 2023.

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