General Frequently Asked Questions


The following is a list of questions frequently asked by International Students. Throughout this document, Northern Michigan University is referred to by its initials, NMU.

Is NMU a public or private school? - NMU is a publicly funded State university.

What is the TOEFL requirement at NMU? - Undergraduate: 173 computer-based, 500 paper-based, or 61 iBT. We also accept an IELTS of 6.0 or better. Graduate: 213 computer-based, 550 paper-based, or 79 iBT. IELTS of 6.5 or better. The higher your score the easier it will be for you to adjust to life in the USA and on campus. If English is your native language, a TOEFL is not required. Our school code is 1560.

Does NMU have an ESL school? - Yes, NMU does have an ESL school. Please click on the link for more information.

What does it cost to attend NMU? - To attend the fall and winter semester, your costs would be approximately as follows: (based on 2013-2014 tuition)

One year
(Two semesters)
Undergraduate Graduate MBA ESL
Tuition & Fees $14,113 $10,482 $10,618 $14,113
Room & Board $8,696 $8,696 $8,696 $8,696
Books & Supplies $800 $800 $800 $800
Health Insurance $1,478 $1,478 $1,478 $1,478
Personal & Travel $1,850 $1,850 $1,850 $1,850
Total Cost  $26,937 $23,306 $23,442 $26,937

Is there financial assistance available to International Students? - Yes, there is a NMU Award for Global Ambassadors available for new freshman international students who have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. They must be enrolled full-time to receive the award, which reduces their tuition.  This reduction can amount to a savings of US$2,200 per Fall semester, US$2,200 per Winter semester, or US$1,000 per Spring/Summer semester.  The student must maintain their full-time status and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to continue to receive the NMU Award for Global Ambassadors. A student can receive this award a maximum of 8 semesters

What is “compulsory” health insurance? - “Compulsory” means you must purchase the health insurance offered program by NMU. This policy is for basic coverage only. You may wish to obtain a an additional comprehensive health insurance policy.

Is NMU a safe campus? - Yes, NMU provides a safe environment. Being a medium sized campus, located in a city of only 23,000 people in a rural part of Michigan, the crime rate is very low.

Do I need a car to attend NMU? - No, NMU is an easily navigable, compact campus in a small city; many students do not have cars. Students have access to the Wildcat Shuttle, which offers students, faculty and staff free, reliable bus transportation. For more information, visit http://www.nmu.edu/publicsafety/node/226

How many students are at NMU? – Approximately 9,300 students attend NMU.

What is the typical class size? - Undergraduate lecture class size is approximately 25 to 30 students per instructor; lab size is approximately 10 to 15 students per class.

Are the international students at NMU active? - Yes, the International Students at NMU have an active organization on campus called the All Nations Club. The club organizes an International Food Festival as well as other fun cultural activities.

Where is NMU located? - We are located in the northern mid-west region of the USA. NMU is situated in Marquette, which is a small city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on the southern shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Marquette is served by three major airline hubs: Detroit, Michigan, 750 km; Chicago, Illinois, 640 km; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, 645 km.

Is it cold that far north? - NMU is located in the northern part of the U.S.A., so winters have cold weather and snow. The average winter temperature is -5 degrees C. However, the NMU campus has many covered walkways that allow students to move between many buildings without going outside. The winter months also provide opportunities for fun activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing

Does NMU have an MBA program? - Yes, NMU does have an MBA program. Click on the link for more information.

Can I work while attending NMU? – You may be able to work on campus for the university for up to 20 hours per week. The rate of pay may vary but will be approximately US$7.40 per hour. Visa restrictions prohibit International Students from working off campus for an employer other than the university.

Does NMU have adequate housing for students? - NMU has adequate housing on campus for all students. All students under the age of twenty-one must live on campus for two years (four semesters) or live with a host family; however, prior approval is required.

To contact the International Programs office, e-mail ipo@nmu.edu, call 906-227-2510 or fax 906-227-2533.