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Northern Arizona University

United States


Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a home for intellectual, personal, and professional growth. For over 120 years it has provided student-focused programs that prepare the next generation of innovative professionals.

Students join a community of 1,400 international students from 80 countries. There are nine colleges offering over 150 academic programs, accompanied by English language programs and other modes of study. Study options include:

  • Bachelor's and graduate degrees
  • Program in Intensive English (PIE)
  • Student exchange programs

Teaching is world-class and led by expert faculty who know how to nurture student talent. Classes have a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, meaning international students receive a collaborative and personalized education. Program content is research-driven and has a focus on making the world a better place.

Students are strongly supported by extensive university services. The International Student and Scholar Services provides plenty of advice and assistance with matters such as immigration and visas. Numerous scholarships are available that are dedicated to the international community, helping them with their financial costs.

International students can enjoy the globally-focused halls of residence, where they can make lifelong friends and enjoy cultural events. NAU also supports more than 400 clubs and organizations, where students can explore their interests outside of the classroom.

The main campus is based in the breathtaking location of Flagstaff, Arizona. It's surrounded by stunning mountains and natural landscapes, such as the Grand Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks, and the Colorado River. Flagstaff has even been named the sixth happiest city in the U.S. It's the perfect environment to learn and grow.

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What's new

What's new

COVID-19 update

For fall 2020, all classes at NAU will be taught with NAUFlex. NAUFlex allows students on campus and remotely to participate in class, in real time, together. With NAUFlex, all students are part of the classroom experience, can ask questions, and interact, while maintaining social distancing standards for safety. Students can keep up to date with the latest developments using the university's dedicated portal set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Accelerated Culinary Arts Program at CIA

Those studying for a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management at NAU now have the opportunity to take the related culinary arts program at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This is a ten-month program that combines courses those at NAU have studied, and counts towards the ACAP certificate.

NAU consistently ranks among the top ten best hotel and restaurant management programs across the globe. However, it doesn't have a specific program for culinary arts, so this is an excellent opportunity for those interested in exploring the area. The CIA in Napa Valley is one of the most established and esteemed institutions for powerful educational programs within the sector.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

International students enjoy a low student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 at NAU. Classes are taught by world-class professors who are experts in their fields. They mentor students and are dedicated to helping them become confident and career-ready graduates.

Learning is supported by industry-standard environments and technologies. Labs are high-tech and diverse, and there are state-of-the-art simulation spaces. Certain programs incorporate work experiences where students work alongside industry leaders.

Students benefit from the university's excellence in research. Faculty, students, and staff all can participate in ground-breaking projects where they collaborate to work towards meeting some of the world's biggest challenges. This provides invaluable experiences and opportunities that help students stand out in the competitive job market.

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Department structure

Department structure

NAU teaches hundreds of degree programs and other courses, including:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Program in Intensive English
  • Exchange Student Program
  • Graduate degree

Degree programs are delivered by the following academic colleges:

  • Arts and Letters – music, theatre, history, philosophy, and more
  • Education – leadership, psychology, and more
  • Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences – mechanical engineering, computing, and more.
  • Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences – biological sciences, astronomy, and more
  • Health and Human Services – nursing, health sciences, physical therapy, and more
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – anthropology, social work, gender studies, and more
  • W. A. Franke College of Business – accountancy, finance, marketing, and more

There is also the Graduate College, the Honors College, and NAU Online.

Program in Intensive English (PIE)

NAU has been delivering PIE-where international students can prepare for their academic studies-since 1987. Programs help them practice their language skills, learn about American culture, and get ready to study at a U.S. university.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Students have a number of academic requirements to satisfy when applying to NAU. These are specific to the level of study and chosen program. If English is not a student's first language, they must also provide proof of their English abilities. The following scores are usually accepted, however specific courses may require different scores.


First-year and transfer students need a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Accepted English language tests and the minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL iBT – 70
  • IELTS – 6
  • Duolingo – 95
  • ACT English & Reading – 21
  • SAT ERW – 350
  • PTE – 56
  • Or an accepted equivalent

Those who cannot meet the language requirements can take an English Level Placement Test when they arrive at NAU. Or, they can enroll in the university's Intensive English Program.


Students will need a cumulative GPA of 3.00 out of 4.00.

Accepted English language tests and the minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL iBT – 80
  • IELTS – 6.5
  • Duolingo – 105
  • Or an accepted equivalent

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The university is spread over a number of physical and online campuses, the main location is in Flagstaff, Arizona. This campus is full of amenities, such as:

  • On-campus dining
  • Fitness and wellness services
  • Health services
  • Aquatic center
  • On-campus transit

The Cline Library is full of more than half a million books, special collections archives, and many digital resources. Students can take advantage of these to support their learning.


International students can live at International House (I-House) in Campus Heights. This provides a tailored and enjoyable living experience. Facilities include fully furnished bedrooms and living spaces, well-equipped kitchens, and laundry services.

I-House offers a dynamic community of both American and international students who are all passionate about gaining a global education. Residents can make friends with others from all around the world and attend many unique events.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

NAU offers scholarships to reward high-achieving students and support those in financial need. There are a number of awards available to international students.

International Excellence Award

First-time international students with a GPA of 3.00 and above studying at the Flagstaff campus may be eligible for up to USD 10,000 per year towards tuition. Students can renew the award each year if they maintain a high GPA score and partake in community service projects.

International Baccalaureate Scholarship

First-time undergraduate international students may be eligible for up to USD 5,000 per year towards tuition fees. The award is renewable if students maintain a 2.50 GPA score and complete 30 credit hours in the year.

Khursheed Fatima Scholarship

Up to USD 11,000 is available for one eligible student to help them with their fees and course supplies. Students are encouraged to check eligibility requirements and additional scholarship information.

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

View full cost of living

Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
  • $98
    Daily life
  • $176
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To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

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