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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. 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 Steps
December through April/May Students receive Northwestern University admissions offers to PhD/MFA programs
February 15 - May 1 Departments nominate students for participation in ELP Foundations; if eligible, students are offered admission on a rolling basis (if space is available)
May 15 Last ELP Foundations admission offers go out to nominated students
May 31 Last day for student to accept ELP Foundations admissions offer
June 1-21 Students receive ELP Foundations syllabus and orientation materials to prepare for enrollment in summer online course: Foundations in American English and Academic Culture
June 24 -July 25 Students complete weekly assignments for Foundations in American English and Academic Culture and interact with ELP faculty and student peer mentors
Early September 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 August.
Fall quarter Students begin first quarter of graduate study

For prospective students: If you have been accepted as a PhD or MFA student for Fall 2019, would like to participate in ELP Foundations, and have not yet been contacted by our office, please contact both your department's admissions officer and send an e-mail to the ELP staff at

For departments: If you are a department representative and would like to nominate a student, please send an e-mail to the ELP staff at